Posts tagged ‘The Writer’s Almanac’

November 21, 2011

Turkeys

by Jillian Douglas

Another poem brought to you by The Writer’s Almanac!

Turkeys by Mary Mackey

One November
a week before Thanksgiving
the Ohio river froze
and my great uncles
put on their coats
and drove the turkeys
across the ice
to Rosiclare
where they sold them
for enough to buy
my grandmother
a Christmas doll
with blue china eyes

I like to think
of the sound of
two hundred turkey feet
running across to Illinois
on their way
to the platter
the scrape of their nails
and my great uncles
in their homespun leggings
calling out gee and haw and git
to them as if they
were mules

I like to think of the Ohio
at that moment
the clear cold sky
the green river sleeping
under the ice
before the land got stripped
and the farm got sold
and the water turned the color
of whiskey
and all the uncles
lay down
and never got up again

I like to think of the world
before some genius invented
turkeys with pop-up plastic
thermometers
in their breasts
idiot birds
with no wildness left in them
turkeys that couldn’t run the river
to save their souls

October 18, 2011

a poem

by Jillian Douglas

here’s a poem that popped up in my inbox today:

Problem by George Bilgere

Jerry is at his usual table this morning
with his cup of coffee and his laptop,
working on his science fiction/fantasy novel.

In every café in America
men and women are hard at work
on their science fiction/fantasy novels.
Perhaps you are one of them. If so,
I salute you; it’s a very competitive field.

Forty years, says Jerry, I sold life insurance.
Now I can do what I really want to do.

The planet where his story takes place
has three suns, and the problem he’s working on
is how do the aliens there tell time.

I suggest having everyone wear three watches,
which Jerry doesn’t think is funny.
This is a serious novel, he’s taking it seriously,
and he’s wants to get everything just right.

Forty years I sold life insurance, he says.
Now I can do what I really want to do.

The Writer’s Almanac is a neat, free program that used to be on the radio but now offers daily emails with nuggets of literary and world history along with a poem.  It’s a great way to increase your exposure to the arts a little at a time.