Hans Ostrom

Hans Ostrom Poems

In a wilderness of reasons
not to write, he wrote. Just wrote.
Each word was the belief
in the possibility of the next.

Let's lay down some lines for Langston Hughes
this day of news: 20 January 2009. A fine
piece of the dream's no longer deferred, though
the thought's occurred that Mr. Hughes

Be the noble curator of your excellence, for
fate made you perfect. In all things, be precise:
standing, sitting, staring, walking, sniffing, eating,
sleeping, killing. Never look in mirrors,

Today’s whether report
calls for increasing perplexity
in the morning hours,
followed by intermittent

Imagine you can consider all ideas
And images represented by all words
And numbers in all libraries worldwide.
Open the book of this consideration.

Among the events occurring
in the universe today, one featured
a convergence of the life patterns
belonging to a salamander and me.

Stone walls get the last word.
This wall, my father built.He's dead.
It stands.He hefted each rock, troweled
mortar, composed High-Sierra granite,

News: a signature of flight
stays imprinted on blue-black strata
in Earth’s uncertain crust.
(Body long since gone.)

The circle is the center of the game:
The trip from home to home; mound; ball.
And Baseball’s creed is O-penness: fields;
Gloves like birds’ mouths; past fences lies forever.

The field of our day lay ordinarily
before us. Gravity and practice

tethered our thoughts

If you don’t have it, you
must need it, and if you need
it, we can feed it to you. You’re
free to buy what you want,

A politician's head swelled
and burst out of a televising screen,
crashing onto the floor of my room,
rolling to my feet, where it lay,

Winter’s filibuster fades to mumbles.
The delegates are nominating Spring,
signifying their favor by piercing
soil with green digits. Birds work

People have retreated
from the outside
of not having homes
to the inside of not

Some doors are made of wood,
and some of fear.
Inside, you hear
the knocking, wonder: Should

The task of cafeterias is to feed large
numbers of people quickly. They are
not so different, then, from farms and
ranches, except the clientele is often


Sex is an excellent syllable, which
detonates meaning and is fillable
with much connotation. Of course
it conjures a deed done and conjugal

Someone's wearing the socks I almost bought.
I wonder how they're doing.

Does he, or someone, launder them well?

He'd been at his place of work many years
when one day white ants swarmed
into his official space and climbed all over him.
They bit him, making red marks, stinging.

Your constancy inspires me to refurbish
pavilions of hope. Your sweetness
unfurls yards of woven sky
that luxurious tailors applaud. Ah,

Hans Ostrom Biography

[Please see the Youtube channel langstonify for recorded poems by others and a few by me.} -Born and raised in a small town in the High Sierra of California: Sierra City. My dad was a carpenter and stone mason, mother a substitute teacher. -Attended schools there and went to high school in the Central Valley. -Went to Sierra Community College for two years. -Earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from U.C. Davis, studying there with Karl Shapiro. -Now and English professor in the Pacific Northwest, where I have taught in the English Dept and the African American Studies Program. I co-founded the latter. I co-edited the Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature 4 volumes, and I've published books on Langston Hughes. -Co-wrote and/or co-edited several books with the late Wendy Bishop. Member of the PEN/American Center. Blog: http: //poetsmusings-muser.blogspot.com/)

The Best Poem Of Hans Ostrom

Langston Hughes

In a wilderness of reasons
not to write, he wrote. Just wrote.
Each word was the belief
in the possibility of the next.
He kept it going.

Mostly his days and words talk
quietly, though he could rant and rage.
Mention is what his voices usually do
in a world of self-convinced noise.

Truth mentioned is a sweet brass
note you’ll never forget. Writing,
Langston showed writing to be
an unashamed act, one of the few
in a shameful, shaming world. Words

grin. Words reside. Words throw
a meal together for unexpected friends,
make a garden in front of a brownstone,
come back from long sea voyages
alive. Words aren’t everything,
are not the rent, often
may be only change left from
a last dollar spent in Paris or Reno.

Morning: Hallelujah.
The world goes to its terrible work
of silencing souls. Out
of an open window comes a tapping—
the tick, the tack, the click and the clack,
Jack, of writing. And all those sorry rooftops
get red, get glad, get suave, get saved.

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