You Are Standing In— RSS

You Are Standing In—

18 April, 2020: You Are Standing In—

Read a Poem

You Are Standing In

by Cathy Barber

the sky. It begins
where Earth
lets off, a reverse
image of every
gulch, valley,
rivulet and manhole.
Your knees bend
to its resistance.
Your lungs pull it
deep inside
to fill your very blood
with sky.
It is on the bottom of your
shoes, hugging your
calves and thighs,
affixed like       
gold dust on
an illuminated
Take a shower,      
it still coats you.
Hop a train
to Calgary, the sky
will be waiting
in all its width
and mundanity.
Duck into an alley,       
it ducks with you
like a persistent hit man.
Dust is
after all skin
yours and mine,                    
the Earth’s.
We tread on ourselves,
our pasts, daily,
breathe in and out,                                        
fail to see the field.
“You Are Standing In—” by Cathy Barber, from SLAB, Issue 9. 2014. Used by permission of the author.
Cathy Barber’s work has been published in Kestrel, Slant, and Tattoo Highway, among others. She has an MA in English from California State University, Hayward and an MFA in poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She taught for many years with California Poets in the Schools, and served on their board. She has also served on the board of Literary Cleveland. Barber's inspiration for this poem, and a borrowed line, come from Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses.

Write a Poem

Write a poem using this quote from Clarence Major as the beginning, ending, or epigraph: "In the old days/hair was magical."

Emily Miller
I love the idea that we are standing in the sky. That it hugs us and even coats the bottom of our shoes. Beautiful poem, Cathy.
4/20/2020 12:42:03 PM

Barbara Quick
What an exquisite poem! I love the embedded rhymes. The imagery persists long after we’re done reading, “affixed like/gold dust on/an illuminated/manuscript.”
4/18/2020 3:36:39 PM

aNna L rybaT
i am in love all over again, in spite of the pandemic. Thank you friend! Love
4/18/2020 1:44:11 PM

N. K. Hasen
Hair Was Magical

In the old days
Hair was magical.
Could be made up
Into complex hairdos.
Pile high above
Or done left to right
Elaborate designs
French use to wear.
Hair could buy
Money for diffult times
Food for family
Or love one’s medication.
If your hair
Was certain color
Could be luck or a curse.
Hair is magical
In many ways.
As a strand could
Be use to solve crimes;
Or one way to get DNA.
Hair had it all
In old days being magical.
4/18/2020 9:41:07 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.