APRIL poems

The season inspired us to read "Spring" (from her Selected Poems ) by Edna St. Vincent Millay and "Blossom"  (from American Primitive)  by Mary Oliver.

Poet T.S. Eliot wrote "April is the cruelest month," and poets have written about the month many times. I looked through a series of April poems and settled on 2 by Mary Oliver and Edna Saint Vincent Millay. Both take an interesting look at the month, or use the month to look at something that interests them. Why was April chosen as National Poetry Month? Is it the unpredictability of the month that appeals to the poet? I sat watching a baseball game this past weekend in a winter coat & hat while snowflakes whirled. Robert Frost said:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

Prompts don't get much simpler. Let's see your April poems.


April walks swift in the night - her
gown brushes stones - heels
click cobble. Lamplight dim
flicks shadow

of him onto her - swift
though her heels,

is swifter.
In morning light,
April rains bright red.




Barnum and Bailey rides the rails bringing chilly, wet March into April.
In the city, inhale, a dry spell welcomes the rain raising dust on the brick pavement.
On cool , bright days, glorious old magnolias, with gray-brown trunks, sporting velvet blossoms of pink and white with touches of light green, put me at ease, and with
Rushes of energy, passions turning heads, loud teenage voices, high- pitched giggles and blasting car radios
Predict sunny May.

Ellen Kaplan


Look up. Look down.
The game we play
this early day of spring
is the inside game

turned out. Look down
and there is grass,
the first live thrusts
of the year, handfuls ripe

for pulling. Everything
new in the rising wind-
this grass, mock orange waiting
to be green, all the bare

branches of maple and pecan.
Look up, and there are clouds,
grays racing to cover up
the blue-mysteries

too harsh to name. In the middle
of this roll-over game,
Julianna, suspended between
me and the darkening sky.

I want to point up to the clouds,
tell her Mourningcloak Butterfly,
night-blooming cereus,
anything else dark but lovely-

only words I've learned
in books. I don't know
what to do but feel
my daughter's weight

growing in the crook of my arm.
I gather up the blanket, her toys,
the futile book I brought,
the wind too cold to stay

outside, the grass, the sky
too much for us to hold.

R.G. Evans


His aversion to change
In awe of April's perpetual timetable
creating life color out of brown mud
trumpeting reproductive growth
hawking sex for young zealots
creating debt from hormonal folly
a new generation of repeaters

Her surrender to conceiving forces
be it human animal or plant
products of fertilized conception
feeding tending shaping
new life in nesting
survival at all costs
begins again in April

Furtive activity of no design
creating procreating
nature mankind and art vying
for material and substance
contending for excellence
boastfully producing
one more crop for harvesting

F. William Broome


I wrote - in a mid-life-crisis year -
"September’s game is calm and slow
and friendly as an easy chair,
but April’s got wild oats to sow..."

Since that time, my seedlings, grown,
have also passed their April-test
owning up to seeds they’ve sown
moaning some, but making the best

of their autumn harvest. Lost
to all is remembering that rain
sometimes turns to snow. The cost
is reckoned in the price of pain

as balanced in the saner scale
of freely measured chance. The Dove,
who hovers in the April dale.
ascends us all to hills of love

where the view takes it all in:
but concentrates on April’s gamble -
the agony, the joy, the sin -
that forms the gist of life’s preamble.

Catherine M. LeGault

April, After the Rain: A Woman Wonders If Maybe Her Mother Was Right

"You never see this many greens except after the rain,"
her mother said. "Everything looks better wet."
Perhaps it's true. In this sun, plain brown
sparrows in the birdbath transform to tiny, wet flames.
Waves once slick-shined her beach glass and stones,
but here in the house they grow powdered and gray.
Weekends the neighbors' husbands hose cars with sparks;
with glitter and stars. Later, evaporation points out
spots they missed-patches, ragged chalk-clouds.
His favorite candid of her was the one where she'd washed
her hair in the sink. Dripping strands cling to her neck.
Water spots spread on her pink pajamas like drops of blood.

Svea Barrett-Tarleton



April urges me to work in form
then lets me tunnel forth again

our perpetual bow to the lengthening day
we gather around the table to read in verse

daffodil becomes just Wordsworth’s footprint
left uttering itself to wind and rain

the bulbs in the garage lean against the spade and fork
last year’s dirt still hopeful on tines

Michelle Cameron

April is the cruelest month. - T.S. Eliot

I saw my first dandelion today
spring arrived in its golden rays
remembered plucking the stems in earnest
to preserve the green expanse of lawn
the stink of manure
spread black under shrubs
air thick with floating invaders
that sting my eyes
and itch my skin
the daily drone of cleanup machines
intruding upon my silence
the first yellow jacket
found dead today
on my window sill.

Norma Bernstock

30 More Reasons

Ashes don't return to wood.
Daffodils are not simply coming back
to life but are newly born. They
and the world have changed.

It was something the voice said:
Stay awake!
I know they will throw dirt on me
if I let my eyes close and sleep.

I am married to yards of passion,
folded neatly and stored on a shelf.
I can no longer see patterns in the stars
and this great hinge is folding back again.

What is the meaning of a flower?
This field of time widens from a Sunday
that is called Passion and the air fills
with April pollen dusting the house.

That which is best cannot be told,
yet, isn't art an attempt at consolation?
I number the days. Each X is a reason
to count the next, and marvel at a season.

Ken Ronkowitz



April you are still so much
the child, look at you
filling brooks with sparkling waters
till they overflow.
teasing the flowers with gentle
rays of sunshine,
'til they burst at the seams.
so eager to be the first to show off their
array of colors to no other but you.
'tis true it is you April,
never May.
may is too predictable and quite
boring with the march winds long gone
and the brook left to babble along
like an old woman
while the flowers try to hold to
their fleeting beauty
and June?
no not June,
with her never changing
sky,not even one drop of
water to cool the summer brow.
no it is you April, and no other
that pleases me so.

Ray Cutshaw

Enter The Fool and April begins.
Where can you go from there?
Perhaps the groundhog,
But he's already had his turn.
Wash away winter woe with a soothing godsent shower;
A bud appears, and it's not a beer;
And sunshine: life is good.

Ann Steiner



April is the cruelest month,
that's what they all say, my friend.
Is it because it promises so much
of hot summer days in slumber spent
and winter left so far behind
it is but a memory in the mind.
But we know perhaps
that all it tells
may not hold good
for life has a way of
Springing surprises.
And if you think that all is well
once April comes
you may as well
think it with caution
For remember they are not fools
who've held
that April is
the cruelest month.
It promises so much through its blossoms
and green leaves
the sheen of sweat that just forms
on the brow,
the tinkling of ice cubes
makes one forget that April
seems to bring forth hope
but the world has learnt
that this is not so.
Nothing changes.
April is just what dreams are made of.
because it hides the future
and makes us love the thought of it.

Abha Iyengar


When are you going to face it?
Look at the thick-budded maple, greening
your vision of April’s clichéd heart .
You turn from the window and stare
at the coffee-stained counter, the cracked mug.
The wrong month’s on the calendar, but you need
to believe in the curtain framed hoax. Why not?
Nothing to lose. You lift the window and lean
your elbow on the sill, breathe in the wet sidewalk,
hear the traffic’s low hum. You slip into a yellow slicker,
leave the room. Old granules of snow bead the new crabgrass.
Soft mud splotches your shoes as you walk through
the front yard shuffling through drenched newspapers,
paper cups, cigarette butts. Lift your face to the wind,
let your hair tease your eyes, stick to your teeth.
There’s something out there, you don’t know what,
but you’ve left an old month hanging on the wall;
and you’re walking into your life.

Joanne Kelley


When April is imperfect
It is with days of New York summer heat
That soften the black asphalt
Till it yields to
April's stiletto heels.
She goes about
Unfazed by the haze of overheated taxis
Or trucks with shimmering exhausted gas,
Unknown essence of monoxides.

On seventy-fifth and Madison
The matrons in black Panama straw
Have left an air conditioned beige cool.
They are madams with oceanic pearls
Across their desert colored necks
Eroded skin and tightened flesh
So happy
Their black dresses catch style,
A close hiss of eternity's heat.

On Madison and one-thirty-fifth
My April moves with reflective white,
Her cafe au lait feet now sandaled,
Her ample hard breasts laughing.
How perfectly she wears
A wanton garden of antique rose.
Perfect April knows
How days may kneel and rise,
Who understands better the time
When to chill out?

Edward N. Halperin


It’s not like I knew you well.

When you arrived
your light bathed the pale earth and
stars blanched in your presence,
robins warbled your early morning praises.
Except on those days of storms and pouting.

Not getting your way

you threw tantrums of colliding clouds
and frightening lightening,
electric with displeasure,
dark for days on end and
when I tried to calm you,
to smoothe the tempest
of your temperament
you wailed and hurled hail,
fickle, hiding behind
squalls of indecision.

Stay longer next time,
I long to understand you,
uneven demeanor and all,
give me
more than thirty days.

Susan Stewart





2015 poetsonline.org | | | freecounterstat