The Lover’s Almanac – 25 May – Always

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag.  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

describe your mouth
when kissed finally
thinkin’ about… always

and the dark days behind
the edge of hope
and the outline of your lips,

and you yourself
of other possibilities,
far more desire

Then the way the heat
comes, and breath becomes
more urgent and the cries

soon after that. no stoppin’
then all at once

like it was always meant to be,
graspin’, then
lettin’ go

believin’ again

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved.

Pass the black cottonwoods,
and, enterin’ the sage,
climbin’ the gradual slope
Direction kept in line
with a western star
From time to time
stoppin’ to listen…
only the familiar bark
of coyote and sweep
of wind and rustle of sage
Presently an outcroppin’
of rocks looms up darkly
somewhat to the right
Climbin’ over the rock,
and then down to where
it is darker, and sheltered
from the wind
Usin’ a saddle for a pillow,
rolled in blankets,
face upward to the stars
In that wild covert,
eyes shut, comparin’
their loneliness to his own,
Sleep comes

© copyright 2016 Mac tag all rights reserved


And, how about a great love poem today?  Who among us does not love Shakespeare?  Can I get a hell yeah for Will!  His plays and sonnets are among my favorite things to read.  If I could only own one book if might be his collected works.  This is dedicated to my muse.  Rhett


Sonnet 91

by William Shakespeare

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force;
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill;
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men’s pride I boast:
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
All this away, and me most wretched make.

“Sonnet 91” by William Shakespeare.  Public domain.

Click Here For Zazie’s Reply
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson ca1857 retouched.jpg

Emerson in 1857
Appletons' Emerson Ralph Waldo signature.svg

Today is the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Boston, May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882 Concord); American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.  He was seen as a champion of individualism and a critic of the countervailing pressures of society.  Emerson disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.  He formulated and expressed the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, “Nature”.  Emerson gave a speech entitled “The American Scholar” in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. considered to be America’s “Intellectual Declaration of Independence”.  His first two collections of essays Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844—represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as “Self-Reliance”, “The Over-Soul”, “Circles”, “The Poet” and “Experience”.  In my opinion, he is one of the linchpins of the American romantic movement.

I hung my verse in the wind
Time and tide their faults will find.

  • “The Test”, as quoted in Emerson As A Poet (1883) by Joel Benton, p. 40.
  • Sunshine cannot bleach the snow,
    Nor time unmake what poets know.

    • “The Test”, as quoted in Emerson As A Poet (1883) by Joel Benton, p. 40

The horseman serves the horse,
The neatherd serves the neat,
The merchant serves the purse,
The eater serves his meat;
‘T is the day of the chattel,
Web to weave, and corn to grind;
Things are in the saddle,
And ride mankind.

  • “Ode,” Complete Works (1883), vol. 9, p. 73.
  • Give all to love;
    Obey thy heart;
    Friends, kindred, days,
    Estate, good fame,
    Plans, credit, and the muse;
    Nothing refuse.

    • Give All to Love, st. 1.
  • Though thou loved her as thyself,
    As a self of purer clay,
    Tho’ her parting dims the day,
    Stealing grace from all alive,
    Heartily know,
    When half-gods go,
    The gods arrive.

    • Give All to Love, st. 4.

He thought it happier to be dead,
To die for Beauty, than live for bread.

  • Beauty

A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs,
The world uncertain comes and goes;
The lover rooted stays.

  • Friendship
Theodore Roethke
Theodore Roethke.jpg

Today is the birthday of Theodore Huebner Roethke (Saginaw, Michigan, May 25, 1908 – August 1, 1963 Bainbridge Island, Washington); American poet.  He published several volumes of award-winning and critically acclaimed poetry.  In my opinon; one of the most accomplished and influential poets of his generation.  Roethke’s work is characterized by its introspection, rhythm and natural imagery.  He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1954 for his book The Waking, and he won the annual National Book Award for Poetry twice, in 1959 for Words for the Wind and posthumously in 1965 for The Far Field.  In the November 1968 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, former U.S. Poet Laureate and author James Dickey wrote Roethke was: “in my opinion the greatest poet this country has yet produced.”

Open House (1941)

  • My secrets cry aloud.
    I have no need for tongue.

    My heart keeps open house,
    My doors are widely swung.
    An epic of the eyes
    My love, with no disguise.

    • “Open House,” ll. 1-6
  • My truths are all foreknown,
    This anguish self-revealed.
    I’m naked to the bone,
    With nakedness my shield.

    • “Open House,” ll. 7 – 11
  • The light comes brighter from the east; the caw
    Of restive crows is sharper on the ear.

    • “The Light Comes Brighter,” ll. 1-2

The Lost Son and Other Poems (1948)

  • Over the gulfs of dream
    Flew a tremendous bird

    Further and further away
    Into a moonless black,
    Deep in the brain, far back.

    • “Night Crow,” ll. 4-


        • Voice, come out of the silence.
          Say something.

          Appear in the form of a spider
          Or a moth beating the curtain.Tell me:
          Which is the way I take;
          Out of what door do I go,
          Where and to whom?

          • The Lost Son, ll. 24 – 29


    • The salt said, look by the sea,
      Your tears are not enough praise,
      You will find no comfort here,
      In the kingdom of bang and blab.

      • The Lost Son, ll. 32 – 35



  • The mind moved, not alone,
    Through the clear air, in the silence.
Was it light?
Was it light within?
Was it light within light?
Stillness becoming alive,
Yet still?

  • The Lost Son, ll. 161 – 167
  • A lively understandable spirit
    Once entertained you.
    It will come again.
    Be still.

    • The Lost Son,” ll. 168-172
  • I saw the separateness of all things!
    My heart lifted up with the great grasses;
    The weeds believed me, and the nesting birds.

    • “A Field of Light,” ll. 45-47
  • The wind sharpened itself on a rock;
    A voice sang
Pleasure on ground
Has no sound,
Easily maddens
The uneasy man.

  • “The Shape of the Fire,” ll. 40 – 45
  • Mother of quartz, your words writhe into my ear.
    Renew the light, lewd whisper.

    • “The Shape of the Fire,” ll. 54 – 55
  • The wasp waits.
    The edge cannot eat the center.
    The grape listens.
    The path tells little to the serpent.
    An eye comes out of the wave.
    The journey from flesh is longest.
    A rose sways least.
    The redeemer comes a dark way.

    • “The Shape of the Fire,” ll. 56-63
  • Death was not. I lived in a simple drowse:
    Hands and hair moved through a dream of wakening blossoms.

    Rain sweetened the cave and the dove still called;
    The flowers leaned on themselves, the flowers in hollows;
    And love, love sang toward.

    • “The Shape of the Fire,” ll. 73-77
  • To stare into the after-light, the glitter left on the lake’s surface,
    When the sun has fallen behind a wooded island;
    To follow the drips sliding from a lifted oar
    Held up, while the rower breathes, and the small boat drifts quietly shoreward;
    To know that light falls and fills, often without our knowing.

    • The Shape of the Fire,” ll. 88-92

Praise to the End! (1951)

  • I’ll seek my own meekness.
    What grace I have is enough.

    The lost have their own pace.
    The stalks ask something else.
    What the grave says,
    The nest denies.

    • “Unfold! Unfold!,” ll. 59-64
  • Bless me and the maze I’m in!
    Hello, thingy spirit.

    • “I Cry, Love! Love!,” ll. 20-21
  • Beginnings start without shade,
    Thinner than minnows.
    The live grass whirls with the sun,
    Feet run over the simple stones,
    There’s time enough.
    Behold, in the lout’s eye, love.

    • “I Cry, Love! Love!,” ll. 33-39

The Waking (1953)

  • I take this cadence from a man named Yeats:
    I take it and I give it back again:
    For other tunes and other wanton beats
    Have tossed my heart and fiddled through my brain.
    Yes, I was dancing mad, and how
    That came to be the bears and Yeats would know.

    • “Four for Sir John Davies,” ll. 19-24
  • Dante attained the purgatorial hill,
    Trembled at hidden virtue without flaw,
    Shook with a mighty power beyond his will, —
    Did Beatrice deny what Dante saw?
    All lovers live by longing, and endure:
    Summon a vision and declare it pure.

    • “Four for Sir John Davies,” ll. 73-78

The Waking

  • I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
    I learn by going where I have to go.
  • Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
  • Great Nature has another thing to do
    To you and me; so take the lively air,
    And, lovely, learn by going where to go.
  • This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

Words for the Wind (1958)

  • I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
    When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
    Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
    The shapes a bright container can contain!

    • “I Knew a Woman,” ll. 1 – 4


  • Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
    I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
    What’s freedom for? To know eternity.

    I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
    But who would count eternity in days?
    These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
    (I measure time by how a body sways.)

    • “I Knew a Woman,” ll. 22-28


  • Is pain a promise? I was schooled in pain,
    And found out what I could of all desire;
    I weep for what I’m like when I’m alone
    In the deep center of the voice and fire.I know the motion of the deepest stone.
    Each one’s himself, yet each one’s everyone.

    • “The Sententious Man,” ll. 31-36
  • The night wind rises. Does my father live?
    Dark hangs upon the waters of the soul.
    My flesh is breathing slower than a wall.
    Love alters all. Unblood my instinct, love.

    • “The Renewal,” ll. 7-10
  • I lived with deep roots once:
    Have I forgotten their ways —
    The gradual embrace
    Of lichen around stones?

    • “Plaint,” ll. 13-16
  • I have gone into the waste lonely places
    Behind the eye.

    • “Meditations of an Old Woman: First Meditation,” ll. 76-77

The Far Field (1964)

  • Too much reality can be a dazzle, a surfeit;
    Too close immediacy an exhaustion

    • “The Abyss”
  • A terrible violence of creation,
    A flash into the burning heart of the abominable;
    Yet if we wait, unafraid, beyond the fearful instant,
    The burning lake turns into a forest pool,
    The fire subsides into rings of water,
    A sunlit silence.

    • “The Abyss”
  • Being, not doing, is my first joy.
    • “The Abyss,” l. 100


  • Pain wanders through my bones like a lost fire;
    What burns me now? Desire, desire, desire.

    • “The Marrow,” ll. 11-12
  • Let others probe the mystery if they can.
    Time-harried prisoners of Shall and Will
    The right thing happens to the happy man.

    • “The Right Thing,” ll. 1-3


  • And I dance with William Blake
    For love, for Love’s sake;And everything comes to One,
    As we dance on, dance on, dance on.

    • Once More, the Round,” ll. 11-12

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