Category: Poetry

My Gift to You

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
Dark storm clouds, photo by Mihaela Limberea.

My gift to you will be an abyss, she said, 

but it will be so subtle you’ll perceive it

only after many years have passed

and you are far from Mexico and me. 

You’ll find it when you need it most,

and that won’t be

the happy ending, 

but it will be an instant of emptiness and joy. 

And maybe then you’ll remember me, 

if only just a little.

by Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003), Chilean novelist, short-story writer, poet and essayist.


To read more poems, click here.



The Peace of Wild Things

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
Deep blue sea. Photo by Mihaela Limberea

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

by Wendell Berry (b. 1934), American poet, novelist, and environmentalist.


To read more poems, click here.



Wild Geese

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
A lake

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019), from the volume Dream Work (1986)


To read more poems, click here.



From Blossoms

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
Rose blossoms, photo by Mihaela Limberea

There are days we live

as if death were nowhere

in the background; from joy

to joy to joy, from wing to wing,

from blossom to blossom to

impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

By Li-Young Lee (b. 1957 – )


To read more poems, click here.



Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
Jonah and the Whale (1932) a statue by Carl Milles at Millesgården, Stockholm (Sweden)
Jonah and the Whale (1932) by Carl Milles at Millesgården, Stockholm (Sweden)

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.

Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires

with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.

Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.

Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way

for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review

each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments

of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.

Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound

of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart. 

Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,

where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all

the things you did and could have done. Remember

treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes

pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.

by Dan Albergotti


To read more poems, click here.



The Great Morning

  1. The Rising Moon
  2. Tonight’s Moon
  3. Cicadas’ Voices
  4. At Yamei’s House
  5. The Bleak Wind
  6. Beads Of Dew
  7. Moon-Viewing At My Hut
  8. Fallen Leaves
  9. An Old Tree Was Felled …
  10. The Autumn Tempest
  11. Autumn Is Advanced
  12. To Ransetsu
  13. In Imitation of Kaku’s Haiku on Knotgrass and a Firefly
  14. On the Death of Issho
  15. Ice and Water
  16. The Lark
  17. The First Snow
  18. The Moon Of Tonight
  19. The Chanting of Buddhist Prayers
  20. Lightning
  21. The Quails
  22. Moon Viewing at an Old Temple
  23. In My Dark Winter
  24. Snow
  25. The Great Morning
Pine trees covered in snow. Photo by Mihaela Limberea.

The Great Morning:

Winds of long ago

Blow through the pine-trees.

Uejima Onitsura

By Uejima Onitsura. Onitsura (1660-1738) was, along with Basho, one of the most acclaimed poets of the 17th century.


To read more poems, click here.



Snow

  1. The Rising Moon
  2. Tonight’s Moon
  3. Cicadas’ Voices
  4. At Yamei’s House
  5. The Bleak Wind
  6. Beads Of Dew
  7. Moon-Viewing At My Hut
  8. Fallen Leaves
  9. An Old Tree Was Felled …
  10. The Autumn Tempest
  11. Autumn Is Advanced
  12. To Ransetsu
  13. In Imitation of Kaku’s Haiku on Knotgrass and a Firefly
  14. On the Death of Issho
  15. Ice and Water
  16. The Lark
  17. The First Snow
  18. The Moon Of Tonight
  19. The Chanting of Buddhist Prayers
  20. Lightning
  21. The Quails
  22. Moon Viewing at an Old Temple
  23. In My Dark Winter
  24. Snow
  25. The Great Morning
A lone small dead plant in an expanse of snow. Photo by Mihaela Limberea

(sent to Etsujin* at the recollection of last year’s journey)

The snow we two beheld – 

Hath it come down again this year?

Matsuo Basho 

* Etsujin, Basho’s favorite pupil.

Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694) was the most famous Edo period poet and a haiku master.


To read more poems, click here.



In My Dark Winter

  1. The Rising Moon
  2. Tonight’s Moon
  3. Cicadas’ Voices
  4. At Yamei’s House
  5. The Bleak Wind
  6. Beads Of Dew
  7. Moon-Viewing At My Hut
  8. Fallen Leaves
  9. An Old Tree Was Felled …
  10. The Autumn Tempest
  11. Autumn Is Advanced
  12. To Ransetsu
  13. In Imitation of Kaku’s Haiku on Knotgrass and a Firefly
  14. On the Death of Issho
  15. Ice and Water
  16. The Lark
  17. The First Snow
  18. The Moon Of Tonight
  19. The Chanting of Buddhist Prayers
  20. Lightning
  21. The Quails
  22. Moon Viewing at an Old Temple
  23. In My Dark Winter
  24. Snow
  25. The Great Morning
A pine tree, black and white photo by Mihaela Limberea.

In my dark winter lying ill

At last I ask

”How fares my neighbor”?

Matsuo Basho 

Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694) was the most famous Edo period poet and a haiku master.


To read more poems, click here.



Moon Viewing at an Old Temple

  1. The Rising Moon
  2. Tonight’s Moon
  3. Cicadas’ Voices
  4. At Yamei’s House
  5. The Bleak Wind
  6. Beads Of Dew
  7. Moon-Viewing At My Hut
  8. Fallen Leaves
  9. An Old Tree Was Felled …
  10. The Autumn Tempest
  11. Autumn Is Advanced
  12. To Ransetsu
  13. In Imitation of Kaku’s Haiku on Knotgrass and a Firefly
  14. On the Death of Issho
  15. Ice and Water
  16. The Lark
  17. The First Snow
  18. The Moon Of Tonight
  19. The Chanting of Buddhist Prayers
  20. Lightning
  21. The Quails
  22. Moon Viewing at an Old Temple
  23. In My Dark Winter
  24. Snow
  25. The Great Morning
Full moon, photo by Mihaela Limberea

No pretty face is to be seen

Among the group viewing the moon.

Matsuo Basho 

Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694) was the most famous Edo period poet and a haiku master.


To read more poems, click here.



The Quails

  1. The Rising Moon
  2. Tonight’s Moon
  3. Cicadas’ Voices
  4. At Yamei’s House
  5. The Bleak Wind
  6. Beads Of Dew
  7. Moon-Viewing At My Hut
  8. Fallen Leaves
  9. An Old Tree Was Felled …
  10. The Autumn Tempest
  11. Autumn Is Advanced
  12. To Ransetsu
  13. In Imitation of Kaku’s Haiku on Knotgrass and a Firefly
  14. On the Death of Issho
  15. Ice and Water
  16. The Lark
  17. The First Snow
  18. The Moon Of Tonight
  19. The Chanting of Buddhist Prayers
  20. Lightning
  21. The Quails
  22. Moon Viewing at an Old Temple
  23. In My Dark Winter
  24. Snow
  25. The Great Morning
The sky at dusk, a sliver of the moon showing, with tree shadows in the foregrounds. Photo by Mihaela Limberea,

The quails are chirping in the dusk

Aware the hawks’ eyes are now dim.

Matsuo Basho 

Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694) was the most famous Edo period poet and a haiku master.


To read more poems, click here.