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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication by King Features.

Omens

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, September 26, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I’ve always been fascinated by the archetype of the blind seer or soothsayer, and the fact that my first name means ‘blind.’ That coupled with the vivid, quasi-prophetic dreams I have suffered from ever since I was a child, were natural entryways into this poem. These are turbulent times—with forces of light and dark pressing in on all sides—and I often think about how helpless we feel, not knowing who to turn to for truths. Written during a time when my own life felt tossed at sea, when I was learning to lean a closer ear to my own heart, this poem feels both burdened by seeing, and cracked open by hope.”
—Cecilia Llompart

Omens

The dead bird, color of a bruise,
and smaller than an eye
swollen shut,
is king among omens.

Who can blame the ants for feasting?

Let him cast the first crumb.

~

We once tended the oracles.

Now we rely on a photograph

a fingerprint
a hand we never saw

coming.

~

A man draws a chalk outline
first in his mind

around nothing

then around the body
of another man.

He does this without thinking.

~

What can I do about the white room I left
behind? What can I do about the great stones

I walk among now? What can I do

but sing.

Even a small cut can sing all day.

~

There are entire nights

                                I would take back.

Nostalgia is a thin moon,
                                                              disappearing

into a sky like cold,
                                          unfeeling iron.

~

I dreamed

you were a drowned man, crown
of phosphorescent, seaweed in your hair,

water in your shoes. I woke up desperate

for air.

~

In another dream, I was a field

and you combed through me
searching for something

you only thought you had lost.

~

What have we left at the altar of sorrow?

What blessed thing will we leave tomorrow?

Copyright © 2016 by Cecilia Llompart. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Cecilia Llompart. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems

datesort ascending title author
September 24, 2016 Sunset E. E. Cummings
September 24, 2016 To Joseph Lee Angelina Weld Grimké
September 23, 2016 Electrons Ruth Madievsky
September 22, 2016 Landscape with Clinic and Oracle Lynn Melnick
September 21, 2016 Shared Plight Kamilah Aisha Moon
September 20, 2016 Resurrection Alison Hawthorne Deming
September 19, 2016 Deer at Twilight Paula Bohince
September 17, 2016 Amaze Adelaide Crapsey
September 17, 2016 Letters Ralph Waldo Emerson
September 16, 2016 The/A Train David Tomas Martinez

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