“Risk”

Poem for a Tuesday — “Risk” by Lisa Colt

“My teacher says,

You’ve got to stink first.

I tell her, I don’t have time to stink–

at 64 years old

I go directly to perfection

or I go nowhere.

Perfection is nowhere,

she says, So stink.

Stink like a beginner,

stink like decaying flesh,

old blood,

cold sweat,

she says,

I know a woman who’s eighty-six,

last year she learned to dive.

Published in Claiming the Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Women’s Poetry, ed. Marilyn Sewell. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.


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The Three Goals

Poem for a Tuesday

“The Three Goals”

by David Budbill

“The first goal is to see the thing itself

in and for itself, to see it simply and clearly

for what it is.

No symbolism, please.

The second goal is to see each individual thing

as unified, as one, with all the other

ten thousand things,

In this regard, a little wine helps a lot.

The third goal is to grasp the first and the second goals,

to see the universal and the particular,

simultaneously.

Regarding this one, call me when you get it.”

from Good Poems, ed. Garrison Keillor. New York: Penguin Books, 2002. Page 225.