A Message from Michael Ansara

Dear Friends,

We were going to send out an email asking you to make a year end donation to Mass Poetry.

But recent events changed our mind.

Instead, we want to share with you a new poem by Yusef Komunyakaa, one of the  poets who will be appearing at the next Massachusetts Poetry Festival in May. Yusef wrote this in response to the unbelievably sad events in Newtown.

Rock Me, Mercy
The river stones are listening
because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today.
The singing in the electrical woods
has gone dumb. It looks like rain
because it is too warm to snow.
Guardian angels, wherever you’re hiding,
we know you can’t be everywhere at once.
Have you corralled all the pretty wild
horses? The memory of ants asleep
in daylilies, roses, holly, & larkspur.
The magpies gaze at us, still
waiting. River stones are listening.
But all we can say now is,
Mercy, please, rock me.

Used with the poet’s permission

You can listen to Yusef read his poem on NPR

Komunyakaa (c) by Tom Wallace
Yusef Komunyakaa’s thirteen books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, Warhorses, and most recently The Chameleon Couch. His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Testimony, and Gilgamesh. He teaches at New York University. He will be participating in the 2013 Poetry Festival in Salem, May 3 -5.
If you can, we would greatly appreciate any support you can provide to Mass Poetry and our work to support poetry and poets in these challenging times.
Be well. Be warm. Be safe.
Michael Ansara


  1. Suellen Wedmore says:

    Michael, thank you for the poem! I’m trying to find the wonderful video that was made of the 2012 festival that you offered in a recent email seeking interest in the 2013 festival. I want to show it to my Poetry Reading Group, but the link seems to have disappeared.