Sun Poems for Kids
Of a Forgetful Sea
Sometimes, I forget the sun
sinking into ocean.
Desert is only a handful of sand
held by my daughter.
In her palm,
she holds small creatures,
tracks an ant, a flea
moving over each grain.
She brings them to places
she thinks are safe:
an island of driftwood,
the knot of a blackberry bush,
a continent of grass.
Fire ants carried on sticks,
potato bugs scooped
into the crease of a newspaper.
She tries to help them
before the patterns of tides
reach their lives.
She knows about families
who fold together like hands,
a horizon of tanks moving forward.
Here war is only newsprint.
How easy it is not to think about it
as we sleep beneath our quiet sky,
slip ourselves into foam, neglectful
waves appearing endless.
At Castle Wood
The day is done, the winter sun
Is setting in its sullen sky;
And drear the course that has been run,
And dim the hearts that slowly die.
No star will light my coming night;
No morn of hope for me will shine;
I mourn not heaven would blast my sight,
And I ne'er longed for joys divine.
Through life's hard task I did not ask
Celestial aid, celestial cheer;
I saw my fate without its mask,
And met it too without a tear.
The grief that pressed my aching breast
Was heavier far than earth can be;
And who would dread eternal rest
When labour's hour was agony?
Dark falls the fear of this despair
On spirits born of happiness;
But I was bred the mate of care,
The foster-child of sore distress.
No sighs for me, no sympathy,
No wish to keep my soul below;
The heart is dead in infancy,
Unwept-for let the body go.
When the sun goes down
I have my first drink
standing in the yard,
talking to my neighbor
about the alder tree
rising between our houses,
a lowly tree that prospered
from our steady inattention
and shot up quick as a weed
to tower over our rooftops,
where it now brandishes
a rich, luxuriant crown.
Should we cut it down?
Neither of us wants to --
we agree that we like
the flourishing branches,
shade like thick woods.
We don't say it,
studying our tree in silence,
but we know that if the roots
get into the foundations
we've got real trouble.
John goes back inside.
Nothing to be done in summer --
not to those heavy branches.
I balance my empty glass
on top of a fence post.
In the quiet early dark,
those peaceful minutes
before dinner, I bend down
to the flower beds I love
and pull a few weeds --
something I've meant to do
The hoar-frost crumbles in the sun,
The crisping steam of a train
Melts in the air, while two black birds
Sweep past the window again.
Along the vacant road, a red
Bicycle approaches; I wait
In a thaw of anxiety, for the boy
To leap down at our gate.
He has passed us by; but is it
Relief that starts in my breast?
Or a deeper bruise of knowing that still
She has no rest.
Along The Sun-Drenched Roadside
Along the sun-drenched roadside, from the great
hollow half-treetrunk, which for generations
has been a trough, renewing in itself
an inch or two of rain, I satisfy
my thirst: taking the water's pristine coolness
into my whole body through my wrists.
Drinking would be too powerful, too clear;
but this unhurried gesture of restraint
fills my whole consciousness with shining water.
Thus, if you came, I could be satisfied
to let my hand rest lightly, for a moment,
lightly, upon your shoulder or your breast.
As often-times the too resplendent sun
Hurries the pallid and reluctant moon
Back to her sombre cave, ere she hath won
A single ballad from the nightingale,
So doth thy Beauty make my lips to fail,
And all my sweetest singing out of tune.
And as at dawn across the level mead
On wings impetuous some wind will come,
And with its too harsh kisses break the reed
Which was its only instrument of song,
So my too stormy passions work me wrong,
And for excess of Love my Love is dumb.
But surely unto Thee mine eyes did show
Why I am silent, and my lute unstrung;
Else it were better we should part, and go,
Thou to some lips of sweeter melody,
And I to nurse the barren memory
Of unkissed kisses, and songs never sung.
At his incipient sun
The ice of twenty winters broke,
Crackling, in her eyes.
Her mirroring, still mind,
That held the world (made double) calm,
Went fluid, and it ran.
There was a stir of music,
Mixed with flowers, in her blood;
A swift impulsive balm
From obscure roots;
Gold bees of clinging light
Swarmed in her brow.
Her throat is full of songs,
She hums, she is sensible of wings
Growing on her heart.
She is a tree in spring
Trembling with the hope of leaves,
Of which the leaves are tongues.
I have lain in the sun
I have toil'd as I might,
I have thought as I would,
And now it is night.
My bed full of sleep,
My heart full of content
For friends that I met
The way that I went.
I welcome fatigue
While frenzy and care
Like thin summer clouds
Go melting in air.
To dream as I may
And awake when I will
With the song of the birds
And the sun on the hill.
Or death - were it death -
To what would I wake
Who loved in my home
All life for its sake?
What good have I wrought?
I laugh to have learned
That joy cannot come
Unless it be earned;
For a happier lot
Than God giveth me
It never hath been
Nor ever shall be.
The Butterfly's Numidian Gown
With spots of Burnish roasted on
Is proof against the Sun
Yet prone to shut its spotted Fan
And panting on a Clover lean
As if it were undone --
Said the sun to the moon,
You cannot stay.
Says the moon to the waters,
All is flowing.
Says the fields to the grass,
Seed-time and harvest,
Chaff and grain.
You must change said,
Said the worm to the bud,
Though not to a rose,
That wings may rise
Borne on the wind.
You are changing
said death to the maiden, your wan face
To memory, to beauty.
Are you ready to change?
Says the thought to the heart, to let her pass
All your life long
For the unknown, the unborn
In the alchemy
Of the world's dream?
You will change,
says the stars to the sun,
Says the night to the stars.
Song To Diana
Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close:
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.
Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright.
These things wondering I saw beneath the sun:
That never yet the race was to the swift,
The fight unto the mightiest to lift,
Nor favors unto men whose skill had done
Great works, nor riches ever unto one
Wise man of understanding. All is drift
Of time and chance, and none may stay or sift
Or know the end of that which is begun.
Who waits until the wind shall silent keep,
Will never find the ready hour to sow.
Who watcheth clouds will have no time to reap.
At daydawn plant thy seed, and be not slow
At night. God doth not slumber take nor sleep:
Which seed shall prosper thou shalt never know.
Fall of the Evening Star
Speak softly; sun going down
Out of sight. Come near me now.
Dear dying fall of wings as birds
complain against the gathering dark...
Exaggerate the green blood in grass;
the music of leaves scraping space;
Multiply the stillness by one sound;
by one syllable of your name...
And all that is little is soon giant,
all that is rare grows in common beauty
To rest with my mouth on your mouth
as somewhere a star falls
And the earth takes it softly, in natural love...
Exactly as we take each other...
and go to sleep...
So set its Sun in Thee
What Day be dark to me --
What Distance -- far --
So I the Ships may see
That touch -- how seldomly --
Thou fair hair'd angel of the evening,
Now, while the sun rests on the mountains light,
Thy bright torch of love; Thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves; and when thou drawest the
Blue curtains, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full, soon,
Dost thou withdraw; Then, the wolf rages wide,
And the lion glares thro' the dun forest.
The fleece of our flocks are covered with
Thy sacred dew; Protect them with thine influence.
The Only Day In Existence
The early sun is so pale and shadowy,
I could be looking up at a ghost
in the shape of a window,
a tall, rectangular spirit
looking down at me in bed,
about to demand that I avenge
the murder of my father.
But the morning light is only the first line
in the play of this day--
the only day in existence--
the opening chord of its long song,
or think of what is permeating
the thin bedroom curtains
as the beginning of a lecture
I will listen to until it is dark,
a curious student in a V-neck sweater,
angled into the wooden chair of his life,
ready with notebook and a chewed-up pencil,
quiet as a goldfish in winter,
serious as a compass at sea,
eager to absorb whatever lesson
this damp, overcast Tuesday
has to teach me,
here in the spacious classroom of the world
with its long walls of glass,
its heavy, low-hung ceiling.
Oh, why are you shining so bright, big Sun,
And why is the garden so gay?
Do you know that my days of delight are done,
Do you know I am going away?
If you covered your face with a cloud, I 'd dream
You were sorry for me in my pain,
And the heads of the flowers all bowed would seem
To be weeping with me in the rain.
But why is your head so low, sweet heart,
And why are your eyes overcast?
Are they clouded because you know we must part,
Do you think this embrace is our last?
Then kiss me again, and again, and again,
Look up as you bid me good-bye!
For your face is too dear for the stain of a tear,
And your smile is the sun in my sky.
I winged my bird,
Though he flew toward the setting sun;
But just as the shot rang out, he soared
Up and up through the splinters of golden light,
Till he turned right over, feathers ruffled,
With some of the down of him floating near,
And fell like a plummet into the grass.
I tramped about, parting the tangles,
Till I saw a splash of blood on a stump,
And the quail lying close to the rotton roots.
I reached my hand, but saw no brier,
But something pricked and stung and numbed it.
And then, in a second, I spied the rattler--
The shutters wide in his yellow eyes,
The head of him arched, sunk back in the rings of him,
A circle of filth, the color of ashes,
Or oak leaves bleached under layers of leaves.
I stood like a stone as he shrank and uncoiled
And started to crawl beneath the stump,
When I fell limp in the grass.
Lines Written at Thorp Green
That summer sun, whose genial glow
Now cheers my drooping spirit so
Must cold and distant be,
And only light our northern clime
With feeble ray, before the time
I long so much to see.
And this soft whispering breeze that now
So gently cools my fevered brow,
This too, alas, must turn --
To a wild blast whose icy dart
Pierces and chills me to the heart,
Before I cease to mourn.
And these bright flowers I love so well,
Verbena, rose and sweet bluebell,
Must droop and die away.
Those thick green leaves with all their shade
And rustling music, they must fade
And every one decay.
But if the sunny summer time
And woods and meadows in their prime
Are sweet to them that roam --
Far sweeter is the winter bare
With long dark nights and landscapes drear
To them that are at Home!
The Color of a Queen, is this --
The Color of a Sun
At setting -- this and Amber --
Beryl -- and this, at Noon --
And when at night -- Auroran widths
Fling suddenly on men --
'Tis this -- and Witchcraft -- nature keeps
A Rank -- for Iodine --