Sonnet for a Homecoming Best way of all to be welcomed back at last, Returning home from months of life abroad: Spring songs of birds arouse me from my fast, Spill into empty house and littered yard. And now downpouring early morning rain Releasing scents of fresh green grass and leaves. It drums on drains, against the windowpane, Collects on tips of limbs and washes eaves. Before me stretches out May’s splendid days And all of summer’s brilliance—all three months. Now freed of teaching, meetings, grading essays, I’ll dedicate my energies to private triumphs And welcome all that come of their own free will— The titmouse, cardinal, white-throat and whip-poor-will. I Give Thanks all Day after William Stanley Braithwaite I give thanks all day for the purring of cats, For spring and fall and losses, For migrating birds and the mystery of bats, For the softness of feathers and mosses. I rejoice in my curiosity’s wandering bent That steers me beyond the mundane, Where imagination takes off like a bird aloft To soar above the clouds and rain. I give thanks all day for the mud and muck, For the pure lusciousness of mangroves, For little mud clams that crawl across toes, And pink stilted clouds of flamingos. I give thanks when words flow, cartwheel and spill, When I sing myself utterly away Like Basho’s cicada shell empty and still End of the last summer day. I rejoice in discovery And the great unknowing, For all that is coming And all that is going, For the example of the albatross With his wingbeatless gliding Reminding me to cease From my endless striving. I give thanks all day For the rapture and despair, For all that is missing And all that’s still there. Diana Woodcock teaches composition, creative writing, and environmental literature in Qatar at Virginia Commonwealth University's branch campus, VCUarts Qatar. She is the author of seven chapbooks and three poetry collections: Tread Softly, Under the Spell of a Persian Nightingale, and Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders (winner of the 2010 Vernice Quebodeaux International Women’s Poetry Prize). Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award, as well as performed live on stage in Lincoln Park, San Francisco at Artists Embassy International’s 21st Dancing Poetry Festival.