January 20: “America the Beautiful’s President”



America the Beautiful’s President

Should know the LORD and practice poetry,

Write law, love people, use his heaven-sent

Irrevocable gifts and call to free


The spirits small and great, with collars blue

And white, and lead the people to the heights

By bolting wheels to visions old and new,

For with no vision people disunite.


The President who’s lived the quiet life,

Accustomed to the inward reverie

Aware of how the Holy Spirit moves,


Can face the conflicts, challenges and strife,

Will manage home and foreign policy,

And lead the nation so that it improves.

~Day Williams

January 20: “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman

I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman


Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,

The day what belongs to the day — at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

January 19: “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers (124)” by Emily Dickinson

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers (124)

By Emily Dickinson

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers –
Untouched by Morning –
and untouched by noon –
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection,
Rafter of Satin and Roof of Stone –

Grand go the Years,
In the Crescent above them –
Worlds scoop their Arcs –
and Firmaments – row –
Diadems – drop –
And Doges surrender –
Soundless as Dots,
On a Disk of Snow.

January 19: “Blue Note” by Day Williams



A saxophone player on 32nd Street

Squeezed a note from his loins

and his guts and his heart,


Filched a note from the space

between the earth and the moon,


Caressed a note for a woman

with green eyes,


Smuggled a note from the tenements,

the smoke-filled bars

and the garbage-strewn streets,


a blue note


That soared up the skyscrapers’ bellies

And sauntered over a funeral procession

on Seventh Avenue,


a blue note


That glided over the college students

who lounged in the sun at Washington Square,

Spun round,


And drifted into the harbor,

Plunged into the ocean

and fell asleep.

~Day Williams


January 17: “Ronald the Crankster” by Day Williams



The needle slips inside the vein,

The tubing tight around

The arm, and Ronald feels a rush

That lifts him off the ground


Of the men’s bathroom stall at the hall

Where bowlers knock down pins.

The needle and the tubing go

Back in the pack. He grins


And springs out to the Reno street

To dumpster-dive and score

Once more in a parking lot

Near a casino floor.


“This is my change of lifestyle, cop,

I slam the speed and go

Outside to root in garbage, not

Like cranksters at the windows,


Listening to walls. I used to be

An alcoholic. . . . Why,

With all the tweakers round, stop me,

A long-time Reno guy?”

~Day Williams