Poetry by John Harper


everything is everything i’m so excited—
everything is instantly a sunrise
pouring in—it’s when everyone’s on tip-toes,
at least in their heads, in thinking to love up everything—
everything in even the tiniest roots reaching
is humanity embracing itself—
running to the telephone and there’s everything in you
listening for who—dancing
is the expression of everything snowflakes;
there’s everything in the intangible language
of how the furniture is arranged in the living room;
everybody loves everybody,
even their own cried-closed hearts;
everything is the instant the first question was ever asked;
everything rhymes with butterfly-insides;
everything is wearing pajamas all day
in the pennsylvania mountains;
everything is waking up;
everything is the how
of the fall of your hair
as you open the door home—


sad is raining in the sunrise
like it did this morning—the color
of the sky’s engine was gray—
sad’s dreaming in my windows waiting—
it’s been raining all day in the sunrise
where it was supposed to be—

sad isn’t lost; lost is worse—
the lost look about my pretty face;
my face’s lost this evening;
i’m in a window dreaming;

the sunrise is in twelve hours;
the engine’s running—
sad is saying goodbye from a car window—
my eyes have that look of missing someone—


About John Harper

John Harper attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Some of his poems have been published by literary journals like Diagram, Mid-American Poetry Review, Cutbank, Spinning Jenny, Mad Hatter’s Review, and Zoland Poetry.