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POETRY PAGE

Discrepancies, Happy and Sad

By Li-Young Lee

We've moved into a bigger house.

Now our voices wander among the rooms

calling, Where are you?

And what we can't forget

of other houses confuses us

as we answer back and forth, Over here!

It's like returning to the village

where you were born, the sad bewilderment

of discrepancies between

No. It's more like a memory of heaven.

Voices coming closer, voices moving away,

and what we thought we knew

about life on earth confounding us.

And then that question

from which all the other questions begin.

Award-winning poet and memoirist LI-YOUNG LEE will read from his work at 7 p.m. this Thursday at Kleinhans Music Hall as a part of the Buffalo/Williamsville Poetry, Music, and Dance Celebration. This poem is from Lee's 2001 collection, "Book of My Nights" (BOA Editions).

* * *

One Heart

By Li-Young Lee

Look at the birds. Even flying

is born

out of nothing. The first sky

is inside you, open

at either end of day.

The work of wings

was always freedom, fastening

one heart to every falling thing.

* * *

Sleepers, Beware!

By Michael Kelleher

The old man

Stepping softly

Between

Your bunks seeks

To democratize

Your dreaming.

See how he rubs

How he kisses

How he leans in

To listen to another

To singing soon

And his low, sad

Song will render

Each one mortal.

MICHAEL KELLEHER is artistic director of Just Buffalo Literary Center and pocket book "To Be Sung" published by Blaze Vox (books).

* * *

Aubade to the Least

By Carolyn Kieber Grady

Bittern arising into the yellow sunshine

from the murk of the Tifft Farm cattails,

so close our meeting is a surprise party,

an unwrapped gift,

a star on my list.

both so damned frightened of movement.

whose hot tears surface unexpectedly, embarrassingly.

Your awesome frosted neck stretches

toward me

for a few delicious moments -

and then you disappear again into the endless marsh.

I will take your image away with me

into the murk of the world

where I will hold you close

and sip the lightest breaths -

yes,

imagine touching

your shining feathers in the dark.

CAROLYN KIEBER GRADY teaches writing and poetry at Fredonia State College. On June 21, she will lead a nature journaling workshop at Lana's The Little House in Forestville, N.Y.

* * *

On Twenty Years of Keeping a Journal

By Celia White

the frailty of memory

notes in the margin

salt puckered pages

old pain

seeds of joy

syllable scatter

turned under

this ground

I stand upon

today

CELIA WHITE is the co-founder and organizer of "Urban Epiphany 2005: A Community Gathering of Western New York Poets," a reading featuring many of the Buffalo area's leading poets reading in two-minute segments from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 24, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Ave. (at West Ferry Street) in Buffalo.

* * *

Wife of Bath's Tale
By Steve McCaffery

Because his name was Brian

I married him first, after Arthur, but before

Charles

Then Dave and Eric, Frank

is a coin, George a mirrored disjunction

Harvey, Ian, John, mere harbingers of

Ken, Len, Mike, and Neil whose brother Otto

slandered Peter Quentin, Roger,

Simon, Tony and Ulrich were the famous four before

Victor arrived with octagonal breath announcing

Walter's back and you should marry him

and I did

and then divorced him for Xerxes

(strange name for an Yvonne and that too

a pseudonym for Zelda).

STEVE McCAFFERY will read from his work at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, in the Poets and Writers Series at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center on the Buffalo State College campus. He teaches in the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo. This poem is from his 2002 collection "Bouma Shapes."