This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

William Carlos Williams

Jist ti Let Yi No

(from the American of Carlos Williams)

ahv drank
thi speshlz
that wurrin
thi frij

n thit
yiwurr probbli
hodn back
furthi pahrti

they wur great
thaht stroang
thaht cawld

Tom Leonard

Solo per dire

che ho mangiato
le prugne
che erano nella

e che
avevi messo da parte
per colazione

erano deliziose
così dolci
e fredde.

Anny Ballardini


að ég borðaði
sem voru í

þú hafðir
sjálfsagt hugsað þér
að geyma þær
til morguns

en þær voru svo góðar
svo sætar
og svalandi

Árni Ibsen


tht wr in
yr frig

& whch
yr prolly
fr brkfst

they wr delish
++cold ;)

Dominic Fox

Disziz Justosahy

ahve et
induh ayicbox


furgieve mee
daywer delishish
soh kolhd

Deborah Russell

William's First Draft

I didn't realise before, but
the white house, the chickens in the garden,
even the soft Welsh rain -
they all contribute.

But I wish it weren't so cold.
The wind rattles through the windows.
Haven't they heard of double glazing here?

My face was red this morning. It was so embarrassing
when I remembered being brought back from the pub
last night in a wheelbarrow:
so much depends on making a good impression.

Everyone's poems are much
shorter than mine:
it's very worrying.

And I have stolen someone's sausages from the refrigerator:
they were probably saving them for breakfast.
They'll never forgive me.

The sausages were nice, though,
sweet and spicy.


Peter Howard

WCW sold to WWF, the WWF, subsequent to a copyright spay with the WWF, becomes WWE.

seems to me: "I ate the pandas / in the bambo . . . and which / were probably
/ endangered . . . so soft / and so furry", ellipses here removing
troublesome references to Golddust (tm) and Jake the Snake (tm).

Jow Lindsay

you worked and spared

and i’ve eaten those plums
while working and sparing

but what is my lack of sleep

in front of yours

& that sense of guilt
i as a child had & now have
in front of your broken hands back
when my work was compared with yours
when it is with yours every moment
now that i eat juicy pineapples
mangos and cherries

when i sit down & say i work -   when you never sat down but worked
& said you were working for me
while sparing those plums for our breakfast
the ones i ate together with my sense of guilt

they were good i will never forget
because stolen from you
because i was working
but you always said i didn’t

that is why i do
not like plums
any more

Anny Ballardini


In my dream I was wheeling a
wheelbarrow. There were chickens
everywhere, white
as stars. Strangely, they were silent
and soft
and pleasant to look upon.


The hen must be white
to cleanse properly. And it was,
a gentle creature, surprised at its fate
and questioning
in the language of chickens.
After he had removed whatever curse
from us Armando
slit its neck and fed the blood
to the goddess.


When my shoulder mends
I will go to the farm
where they raise chickens in a long
warehouse and fill a wheelbarrow
with their droppings
for my garden.
And think of the bird dead
for whatever ailed me
in faroff Cuba.


Two barrows had I, red,
and green. The chickens roosted
in the red, so I bought
the other. And they roosted there
as well. Now my yard is filled
with barrows.
Under each
white hen
a clutch of eggs,
some white
some brown.


To a chicken a wheelbarrow
must be like the back seat
of my father's chevy.
Add straw, and
what a ride!


Hey Flossie! See
what the chickens
are doing!


Someone has painted the wheelbarrow
with raspberry jam. The chickens
have discovered the seeds,
and peck furiously, a frantic din
not unlike music. Not good
for bird or barrow--the first
blunted, the second
dented. And the hens
flecked with red,
part preserve,
part blood. They were white
they were white
but now are sullied.
No eggs tomorrow.

Perhaps it was god who did the painting.
Now there will be death
and insects
and a world of changes.
Who would have thought
so much
could depend upon
a red wheelbarrow?


So much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

by professors

beside the white



Sometimes rural kids would have wheelbarrow races, with one kid in the
passenger seat and another pushing. Almost as much fun as falling down and
hurting yourself. Winslow Homer did a painting of one such. So maybe the
poem is from the point of view of a contestant or the corporate sponsor of
an impending race.

Or maybe it's a Mormon contemplating pushing one to Utah with all his
worldly goods c. 1848.

Or maybe there's a hidden reference to the neolithic tombs that punctuate
the British landscape--barrows--but here on wheels, the message a hymn to
American progress, and that aint chickens!

Or maybe the red refers to the putative color of the indigenous population
surrounded by cowardly white folks who make walking barefoot a messy business.

Come to think of it, farm boys and chickens. Is that "pastoral?"

I have a spade in the garden. What must the neighbors think?


Or again, those chicken droppings would be great for the flowers, and the
wheelbarrow the means of transport. Bill and Flossie loved flowers--they
looked so cheerful against the sooty sky. So maybe it's a red wheelbarrow
and those chickens are chickens.

There was a gaiety to those shiny red things.


Mark Weiss

So Much Depends

So much depends on questions.
What is the constitution of an educated man?

Part of a poem...
incongruent lines,
bell curves,
for whom the bell tolls.

A word, here.
A word, there.
What sense or nonsense
is part of a poem?
What is a significant gain?

So much depends on questions,
Who can decipher?
Who makes amends?

Part of a poem.
How is it possible
to understand?
Who will comprehend?

Why does a poem, or does it not -
begin or end?
When did part of a poem
The Poem?

Go out of that now!
Absorb, dissolve,
resolve into memory
a part of a poem.
Between the lines and punctuation,
Go -
circle toward the definition.

deborah russell

The icebox
so cold

The plums
so sweet
I have eaten
They were delicious

Forgive me
You were probably
saving them for breakfast.

Harriet Zinnes