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  1. TopTop #3541
    Dorothy Friberg's Avatar
    Dorothy Friberg
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    HOW TO GO TO THE WOODS

    Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend,
    for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable

    I don't really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
    or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying,
    as you no doubt have yours.

    Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
    on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds
    until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
    unbearable sound of the roses singing.

    If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.

    Mary Oliver
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  3. TopTop #3542
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Why Then Do We Not Despair?


    Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
    Death's great black wing scrapes the air,
    Misery gnaws to the bone.
    Why then do we not despair?


    By day, from the surrounding woods,
    cherries blow summer into town;
    At night the deep transparent skies
    glitter with new galaxies.


    And the miraculous comes so close
    to the ruined, dirty houses --
    Something not known to anyone at all,
    but wild in our breast for centuries.

    - Anna Akhmatova
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  5. TopTop #3543
    markwjam's Avatar
    markwjam
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    needed this one today, thanks...it helped me get out of......despair..

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Why Then Do We Not Despair?


    Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
    Death's great black wing scrapes the air,
    Misery gnaws to the bone.
    Why then do we not despair?


    By day, from the surrounding woods,
    cherries blow summer into town;
    At night the deep transparent skies
    glitter with new galaxies.


    And the miraculous comes so close
    to the ruined, dirty houses --
    Something not known to anyone at all,
    but wild in our breast for centuries.

    - Anna Akhmatova
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  6. TopTop #3544
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Spiral Stairway


    The spiral stairway
    went nowhere,
    though it once went
    from ground floor to
    second floor before
    the wild fires that
    taught them what
    wild really felt like,
    what fire really looked like,
    when they evacuated
    in the night, managed to
    take only their cat,
    her computer
    and their car which took them
    beyond the flames in the
    forest bright
    brought them to safety and the
    memory of that spiral stairway
    that conveyed them up and down
    for decades with cat, with
    computer and the sounds of the
    forest now stilled by the fury
    of the fire.


    - Jonah Raskin
    Last edited by Barry; 11-05-2017 at 11:22 AM.
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  8. TopTop #3545
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In a Neighborhood in Los Angeles



    I learned
    Spanish
    from my grandma

    mijito
    don’t cry
    she’d tell me

    on the mornings
    my parents
    would leave

    to work
    at the fish
    canneries

    my grandma
    would chat
    with chairs

    sing them
    old
    songs

    dance
    waltzes with them
    in the kitchen

    when she’d say
    niño barrigón
    she’d laugh

    with my grandma
    I learned
    to count clouds

    to recognize
    mint leaves
    in flowerpots

    my grandma
    wore moons
    on her dress

    Mexico’s mountains
    deserts
    ocean

    in her eyes
    I’d see them
    in her braids

    I’d touch them
    in her voice
    smell them

    one day
    I was told:
    she went far away

    but still
    I feel her
    with me

    whispering
    in my ear:
    mojito

    - Francisco X. Alarcón
    (translated by Francisco Aragon)


    En un barrio de Los Ángeles

    el español
    lo aprendí
    de mi abuela

    mijito
    no llores
    me decía

    en las mañanas
    cuando salían
    mis padres

    a trabajar
    en las canerías
    de pescado

    mi abuela
    platicaba
    con las sillas

    les cantaba
    canciones
    antiguas

    les bailaba
    valses en
    la cocina

    cuando decía
    niño barrigón
    se reía

    con mi abuela
    aprendí
    a contar nubes

    a reconocer
    en las macetas
    la yerbabuena

    mi abuela
    llevaba lunas
    en el vestido

    la montaña
    el desierto
    el mar de México

    en sus ojos
    yo los veía
    en sus trenzas

    yo los tocaba
    con su voz
    yo los olía

    un día
    me dijeron:
    se fue muy lejos

    pero yo aún
    la siento
    conmigo

    diciéndome
    quedito al oído:
    mijito
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  10. TopTop #3546
    wisewomn's Avatar
    wisewomn
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Lovely poem, Larry. I'm pretty sure you meant to type "mijito" for the last word of the English translation, not "mojito" which is an alcoholic beverage. :-)

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    In a Neighborhood in Los Angeles...
    mijito
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  11. TopTop #3547
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Gates of Hope


    Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope—
    Not the prudent gates of Optimism,
    Which are somewhat narrower.

    Not the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense;
    Nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness,
    Which creak on shrill and angry hinges
    (People cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through)
    Nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of
    “Everything is gonna’ be all right.”

    But a different, sometimes lonely place,
    The place of truth-telling,
    About your own soul first of all and its condition.
    The place of resistance and defiance,
    The piece of ground from which you see the world
    Both as it is and as it could be
    As it will be;

    The place from which you glimpse not only struggle,
    But the joy of the struggle.
    And we stand there, beckoning and calling,
    Telling people what we are seeing
    Asking people what they see.

    - Victoria Safford
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  13. TopTop #3548
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Advice from a Five Year Old

    Audra asks my dog’s middle name.
    I say it’s Super Star. She says,

    “What’s her last name?”
    I say it’s Wing, like me.

    She spins twice on one sneakered toe,
    says she likes my wedding ring.

    She asks, “What’s her name?”
    a chin nod towards the woman last

    at my side. “That’s Sabrina, my wife.
    But our last names are not the same.”

    She twists one long strand of hair.
    “Are you a boy?” I say no.

    “Is she a boy?” I say no again.
    Her face pulls into a puzzle.

    “Then how can she be your wife?”
    I say a girl can marry a girl.

    Her shoulders reach to her ears,
    eyes wide. “That’s crazy!”

    I say, “A girl can marry a girl,
    or a boy can marry a boy.”

    She rocks, heel to toe, heel
    to toe. She says, “My dad

    said I have to marry a boy.”
    I shrug, say, “It’s up to you.

    Boy or girl.” She twists the fabric
    of her t-shirt at the belly, thinking,

    then announces she is hungry,
    makes her way to the buffet table.

    Audra returns with a plate of cut-up
    pears, apples, peaches, sits down

    again at my side. She says,
    “Your wife helped me.” I lift my

    hat to rub my head. She drops her
    fork. “You don’t have any hair!”

    I tell her I shaved it off. “Does your
    wife have hair?” Yes, yes she does,

    I say. It’s just short, under her cap.
    She says, “I want to keep mine.”

    That’s fine, I say. It looks nice.
    She finishes her fruit, then turns,

    brows knit tight. “I don’t think
    you should shave your dog.”

    - Michele Wing

    (Recently published in Manzano Mountain Review)
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  15. TopTop #3549
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    You Learn

    After a while you learn the subtle difference
    Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

    And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
    And company doesn’t mean security.

    And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
    And presents aren’t promises,

    And you begin to accept your defeats
    With your head up and your eyes open
    With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

    And you learn to build all your roads on today
    Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
    And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

    After a while you learn…
    That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

    So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
    Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

    And you learn that you really can endure…

    That you really are strong

    And you really do have worth…

    And you learn and learn…

    With every good-bye you learn.

    - Jorge Borges
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  17. TopTop #3550
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Before The Election

    I am trying to recall those
    Hope filled times when the lilacs
    Knew exactly when to blossom
    And the figs always produced
    In the same months
    I count on those like my grandmother’s
    Gentle voice or my mother’s sturdy hands
    When we knew we would be safe
    Even after that terrible earthquake
    When the chimney bricks tumbled down
    Even when a father’s anger could make
    The whole house crumble
    I could still cry out and someone
    would touch my cheek
    I am trying to recall
    When civility mattered
    When our leaders were dignified
    When the entire house of a nation felt safe
    Even after terrible fires, floods and shootings
    When tragedy stirred up a mighty compassion
    I am trying to recall those
    Times when we could lie out exposed
    All day warming ourselves in the truth of a sun
    My underbelly safe atop
    A large solid boulder
    Overlooking the precipice
    Just ahead.

    - Kristy Hellum
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  19. TopTop #3551
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Pray for Peace

    Pray to whomever you kneel down to:
    Jesus nailed to his wooden or marble or plastic cross,
    his suffering face bent to kiss you,
    Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
    Adonai, Allah, raise your arms to Mary
    that she may lay her palm on our brows,
    to Shekhina, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
    to Inanna in her stripped descent.

    Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
    of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
    to terriers and shepherds and siamese cats.
    Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.

    Pray to the bus driver who takes you to work,
    pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
    and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
    If you haven't been on a bus in a long time,
    climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.

    Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
    for your latte and croissant, offer your plea.
    Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
    Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
    each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

    Make the brushing of your hair
    a prayer, every strand its own voice,
    singing in the choir on your head.
    As you wash your face, the water slipping
    through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
    softest thing on earth, gentleness
    that wears away rock.

    Making love, of course, is already a prayer.
    Skin and open mouths worshipping that skin,
    the fragile case we are poured into,
    each caress a season of peace.

    If you're hungry, pray. If you're tired.
    Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
    Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.
    Pray to the angels and the ghost of your grandfather.

    When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
    to the video store, let each step
    be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
    that we do not blow off anyone else's legs.
    Or crush their skulls.
    And if you are riding on a bicycle
    or a skateboard, in a wheel chair, each revolution
    of the wheels a prayer that as the earth revolves
    we will do less harm, less harm, less harm.

    And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
    a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
    or delivering soda or drawing good blood
    into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
    with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas, pray for peace.

    With each breath in, take in the faith of those
    who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
    who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.

    Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
    feed the birds for peace, each shiny seed
    that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
    Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.

    Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
    Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
    around your VISA card. Gnaw your crust
    of prayer, scoop your prayer water from the gutter.
    Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
    your prayer through the streets.

    - Ellen Bass
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  21. TopTop #3552
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Obituary

    Tim Hicks died expectedly at some moment in the future
    not yet determined but certain.
    He died at the center of the universe
    surrounded by everyone and everything.
    He died as he lived, apologetic for his inadequacies,
    proud of his uncertainties, and
    very appreciative of the opportunity.

    The cause of death was living,
    worn out before his time by time,
    unfortunately.
    There was so much more he wished to do.

    Among his accomplishments were surviving and
    occasional laughter, over-serious as he was.
    He built several gardens and was on his way
    to mastering happiness, if only he’d had a bit
    more time.

    He is survived by the rest of the world that
    follows him as reluctantly as he followed the others,
    and by those few who taught him patiently about the
    meaning of love, his children especially, who knew him well
    and partially, and his dear sweet partners, who chose
    to travel with him, for better and for worse.
    He was a slow student, but diligent and well-meaning.

    Services will be held somewhere. In lieu of flowers,
    memorial thoughts of wonder may be offered up.

    - Tim Hicks
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  22. TopTop #3553
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    45 Years of My Words Away

    So how do I write about something
    that took 45 years of my words & art away?

    Journals, articles, poems, drawings, paintings, manuscripts,
    travel sketches, a library & research files, every letter
    and post card from the three kids, Margaret, family friends.

    A goldrush mine of memory
    that I wanted to dig into in retirement
    to shovel, rake, sift, pan and separate
    all the nuggets from the general debris.

    After the fire
    only the rammed earth adobe walls
    still standing.

    Everything else melted or
    bent or pulverized into
    soft fine ash.

    Even the half dozen
    cords of wood
    in the open field
    that were chain sawed, split, stacked
    neatly in geometric rows

    patiently waiting through
    the drought-dried summer simmering heat
    to perform their duty
    in the Vermont Casting wood stove

    as soon as the first beautiful
    silver frost wolves of winter
    came running down
    the slopes
    of the Sierra

    now sit
    but a handful
    of delicate fine ash.

    The power of the flame
    to totally dissolve
    a refrigerator,
    liquify glass
    and melt machines.

    All those hundreds of hours
    spent getting beyond clearance
    with the undergrowth
    inching my way through
    oak, manzanita, cedar, pine,
    miners' misery, poison oak, star thistle

    Now beyond - beyond clearance.

    Every nook, valley, slope, hill
    creek, drainage on the acreage

    nakedly exposed
    beyond all my years
    of intimacy with them.

    There were some ghost books
    that lay on their backs,
    binders spread open,
    at a hundred and eighty degrees

    an accordion of pages
    eerily beckoning
    to be picked up
    and played
    one last time

    collapsing with their final breath
    when delicately touched
    by a finger cautiously seeking
    that final secretive tale.

    Somehow family history
    still clung to the walls
    reminding me of archeological sites
    I visited around the world.

    I first thought
    of leaving the walls
    to be buried
    by moss, lichens, vines

    a new forest monument
    to my family living
    for a short period together
    at the edge of the grid
    my mother's ashes
    spread around the property
    weaving a genetic thread
    from the Old World to the New.

    When Margaret and I drove back the first time
    and got out of the car., both of us thought
    one of us whispered , The silence - it's so quiet here.

    Unimaginably quiet
    beyond the cherished silence
    that had nurtured us
    all these years.

    No tracks of squirrel, skunk, raccoon, bear, coyote,
    mountain lion, wild turkey, wild pig, dog, cat.

    No bird. Songs.

    One set-one set
    out of dozens before
    of deer tracks
    clearly imprinted
    in the ash-sealed road.

    Of course,
    the walls did have to come down
    the land did have to be cleared

    leaving an open, empty field.

    A haunted forest?

    Or, a fresh, new
    field of dreams?

    Yet to be written.

    - Conrad Levasseur
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  24. TopTop #3554
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Song: The Kiss

    We were walking through
    A department store in Paris,
    Escaping the rain,
    The sort of French rain
    That changes in intensity
    If you look at it,
    Then changes back if you don't.
    You went to lingerie,
    And I to electronics,
    And then we met again. It was there
    That you noticed them, in furnishings,
    Relaxing on a couch, his arm
    Draped around her shoulder.
    She pecked him on the cheek.
    He didn't seem to notice.
    Practicing for marriage,
    You said, a bit too wryly
    I thought, then stared at them
    With You. He was pompadoured,
    Italian, rough and beautiful,
    With muscles so prominent
    They seemed to be tattooed,
    And you must have felt a twinge
    Moving up your throat
    To your face, for it settled
    Into a smile, half adoration,
    Half resignation. And she, Italianate,
    Shapely as that ivory statue
    Pygmalian called "my virgin beauty,"
    With hair so long and black
    I could almost see myself
    Reflected in it, and behind me
    You watching me watching
    Her small breasts move
    Beneath her black t-shirt.
    Then on we went, you to where
    The silk scarves were,
    All the rage that year,
    And I to toys to see
    What passed for toys those days,
    And then we met again,
    By the escalator, and out
    The revolving doors we went,
    Hand in hand, for this was Paris,
    Where even the middle-aged
    Will behave like young lovers
    In the rain, waiting for bad weather
    To bring them to their youth again.
    And there they were, standing
    In the rain that hadn't changed
    For an hour. They were kissing,
    Their tongues wrestling
    In that eternal battle
    No one wins or loses.
    His hand was on her breast,
    Cupping it; her hand on top of his,
    As if to keep it there forever
    Were a commitment they'd just now taken on.
    And you said, laughing,
    If you let me kiss him
    I'll let you kiss her!
    Then we set out again,
    Hand in hand, thirty years married,
    Across the busy Seine,
    And then I was the one laughing,
    And you, I thought for a moment
    You were crying,
    But it was only the rain in Paris,
    Relentless and unchanging.

    - Steve Orlen
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  26. TopTop #3555
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Curator

    We thought it would come, we thought the Germans would come,
    were almost certain they would. I was thirty-two,
    the youngest assistant curator in the country.
    I had some good ideas in those days.

    Well, what we did was this. We had boxes
    precisely built to every size of canvas.
    We put the boxes in the basement and waited.

    When word came that the Germans were coming in,
    we got each painting put in the proper box
    and out of Leningrad in less than a week.
    They were stored somewhere in southern Russia.

    But what we did, you see, besides the boxes
    waiting in the basement, which was fine,
    a grand idea, you’ll agree, and it saved the art—
    but what we did was leave the frames hanging,
    so after the war it would be a simple thing
    to put the paintings back where they belonged.

    Nothing will seem surprised or sad again
    compared to those imperious, vacant frames.

    Well, the staff stayed on to clean the rubble
    after the daily bombardments. We didn’t dream—
    You know it lasted nine hundred days.
    Much of the roof was lost and snow would lie
    sometimes a foot deep on this very floor,
    but the walls stood firm and hardly a frame fell.

    Here is the story, now, that I want to tell you.
    Early one day, a dark December morning,
    we came on three young soldiers waiting outside,
    pacing and swinging their arms against the cold.
    They told us this: in three homes far from here
    all dreamed of one day coming to Leningrad
    to see the Hermitage, as they supposed
    every Soviet citizen dreamed of doing.
    Now they had been sent to defend the city,
    a turn of fortune the three could hardly believe.

    I had to tell them there was nothing to see
    but hundreds and hundreds of frames where the paintings had hung.

    “Please, sir,” one of them said, “let us see them.”

    And so we did. It didn’t seem any stranger
    than all of us being here in the first place,
    inside such a building, strolling in snow.

    We led them around most of the major rooms,
    what they could take the time for, wall by wall.
    Now and then we stopped and tried to tell them
    part of what they would see if they saw the paintings.
    I told them how those colors would come together,
    described a brushstroke here, a dollop there,
    mentioned a model and why she seemed to pout
    and why this painter got the roses wrong.

    The next day a dozen waited for us,
    then thirty or more, gathered in twos and threes.
    Each of us took a group in a different direction:
    Castagno, Caravaggio, Brueghel, Cézanne, Matisse,
    Orozco, Manet, da Vinci, Goya, Vermeer,
    Picasso, Uccello, your Whistler, Wood, and Gropper.
    We pointed to more details about the paintings,
    I venture to say, than if we had had them there,
    some unexpected use of line or light,
    balance or movement, facing the cluster of faces
    the same way we’d done it every morning
    before the war, but then we didn’t pay
    so much attention to what we talked about.
    People could see for themselves. As a matter of fact
    we’d sometimes said our lines as if they were learned
    out of a book, with hardly a look at the paintings.

    But now the guide and the listeners paid attention
    to everything—the simple differences
    between the first and post-impressionists,
    romantic and heroic, shade and shadow.

    Maybe this was a way to forget the war
    a little while. Maybe more than that.
    Whatever it was, the people continued to come.
    It came to be called The Unseen Collection.

    Here. Here is the story I want to tell you.

    Slowly, blind people began to come.
    A few at first then more of them every morning,
    some led and some alone, some swaying a little.
    They leaned and listened hard, they screwed their faces,
    they seemed to shift their eyes, those that had them,
    to see better what was being said.
    And a cock of the head. My God, they paid attention.

    After the siege was lifted and the Germans left
    and the roof was fixed and the paintings were in their places,
    the blind never came again. Not like before.
    This seems strange, but what I think it was,
    they couldn’t see the paintings anymore.
    They could still have listened, but the lectures became
    a little matter-of-fact. What can I say?
    Confluences come when they will and they go away.

    - Miller Williams
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  28. TopTop #3556
    M/M's Avatar
    M/M
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What an exquisite reminder of how universal dark nights for the collective can affect us. This poem is such a wonderful reminder -- (to paraphrase many): That Love loves what it loves... and even when 'tall trees are falling down,' it saves what can be saved... and remembers.... those things that are important reminders of our potential and what is in our hearts. Thank you, Larry.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    The Curator

    We thought it would come, we thought the Germans would come,
    ...

    - Miller Williams
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  29. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  30. TopTop #3557
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Beautiful Changes

    One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides
    The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies
    On water; it glides
    So from the walker, it turns
    Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you
    Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.

    The beautiful changes as a forest is changed
    By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;
    As a mantis, arranged
    On a green leaf, grows
    Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves
    Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.

    Your hands hold roses always in a way that says
    They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
    In such kind ways,
    Wishing ever to sunder
    Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose
    For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

    - Richard Wilbur
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  31. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  32. TopTop #3558
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Longing

    Do not pretend that The Longing
    has not also lived in you
    swinging like a pendulum.
    You have been lost
    and thieved like a criminal
    your heart
    into the darkness.
    But life is tired, Dear Friend
    of going on
    without you.
    It is like the hand of the mother
    who has lost the child.
    And if you are anything like me, you have been afraid.
    And if you are anything like me
    You have known your own courage.
    There is room in this boat:
    take your seat.
    Take up your paddle, and all of us
    All of us
    shall row our hearts
    back
    home.

    - Em Claire
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  33. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  34. TopTop #3559
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When Fire Swept West

    When fire swept west in Annadel Park
    there appeared no stopping it
    from descending to devour our street and house
    and when it halted, we wept
    with gratitude then went silent
    in the knowledge of what others were loosing.

    Then came a long-planned
    trip to the land of my wife's ancestors.
    One evening in Kyoto in an
    elegant old hilltop home

    our hostess presented us
    with poems hand-written
    on rice paper. Mine, by an
    anonymous 9th century poet, read

    How clear and bright the moon this autumn night!
    White clouds float in the crystal firmament.
    I see clearly even the shadows of a flight of geese.

    But I couldn't take it in, and rewrote it in my mind:

    How red and scorched the moon this autumn night.
    Black smoke floats in the inky sky
    blotting everything out -- even lost geese
    and their invisible shadows.

    In Shinto there are a thousand deities;
    Here are two we must speak to now:


    First, Rai-den, God of Destruction. He stands fiercely,
    fire in his right hand, a sword in his left.
    Enough. You ravage the world and now you've ravaged us.
    Leave us. We don't want you her again, ever.

    Then there is Kan-non, Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.
    She stands serene and focused, in her left hand a lotus blossom.
    Welcome. We need you now. Show us that while pain's roots go deep, those of healing go deeper. That loss can choke us but cannot inhibit hope -- we won't let it, now or ever.

    And finally, remind us that love is strong as death. It lives in
    community, and it's just here that
    we will hold it, and each other, tight.

    - David Beckman
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  35. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  36. TopTop #3560
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Beauty Of Hopelessness

    You are hanging from a branch
    by your teeth. No
    way to save yourself
    or others who hang, too.
    Arms that cannot reach
    any branch, legs stretch but
    cannot find the smooth safe trunk.

    All around, your loved ones,
    friends, strangers hang--
    teeth clamp bony twigs
    that suspend necessary hopes
    and plans.

    It is hopeless. No rescue will arrive.
    So you relax, taste the clean,
    unfamiliar tang of sap,
    feel the forgiving wind against
    your waving arms, arms
    that swim through emptiness.

    Without hope, life is
    focused, fluid, a ledge
    of fragile earth suspended
    over the ocean of unknowing, the end
    of the branch. Life is
    the glorious moment
    before the fall when all
    plans are abandoned,
    the love you give
    as you hang, loving
    those who hang with you.

    - Rebecca del Rio
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  37. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  38. TopTop #3561
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Perhaps The World Ends Here

    The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat
    to live.

    The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it
    has been since creation, and it will go on.

    We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at
    the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

    It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to
    be human. We make men at it, we make women.

    At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

    Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around
    our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down
    selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the
    table.

    This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

    Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in
    the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

    We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents
    for burial here.

    At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering
    and remorse. We give thanks.

    Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying,
    eating of the last sweet bite.


    - Joy Harjo
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  39. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  40. TopTop #3562
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Thanksgiving Day

    Over the river, and through the wood,
    To grandfather’s house we go;
    The horse knows the way
    To carry the sleigh
    Through the white and drifted snow.

    Over the river, and through the wood—
    Oh, how the wind does blow!
    It stings the toes
    And bites the nose
    As over the ground we go.

    Over the river, and through the wood,
    To have a first-rate play.
    Hear the bells ring
    “Ting-a-ling-ding”,
    Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

    Over the river, and through the wood
    Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
    Spring over the ground,
    Like a hunting-hound!
    For this is Thanksgiving Day.

    Over the river, and through the wood,
    And straight through the barn-yard gate.
    We seem to go
    Extremely slow,—
    It is so hard to wait!

    Over the river and through the wood—
    Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
    Hurrah for the fun!
    Is the pudding done?
    Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!

    - Lydia Maria Child
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  41. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  42. TopTop #3563
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For Us, The Living
    (Thanksgiving Poem)

    On this day, we join our lives
    In thanksgiving feast and light
    But let us not forget
    The other days, the other loves,
    Whom we have long passed by.
    Give thanks, O my friends,
    For the living and the dead
    For those who have gone before
    To show us the way – or perhaps,
    A way we do not want to go.
    The instructions are clear for us,
    My friends: To live until we die
    To taste the sweet and the bitter
    To love and to lose…
    To forge our own way
    Through thicket and briar
    To build our own mountain-tops
    To traverse our own valleys.
    We are made, my friends,
    Not to go alone!
    Our hands were made for holding
    Our hearts were made for love
    Our souls were made to search
    The daytime skies for stars,
    The nighttime sky for dawn.
    Reach your fingers out, ungloved
    For thorns and roses both
    Hold your sadness close inside
    Your grief as much a gift
    As joy; we need both rain
    And sun to grow; we need
    Forests to get lost in,
    And dreams to lead us on.
    Rejoice, my friends, in life
    Which so many are denied
    Bless the broken pieces
    The memories that haunt
    The children of our spirit
    Who toss the autumn leaves
    And leap into their piles
    Releasing clouds of dust
    The sweet piercing stems and sticks
    Embracing the wholeness of life
    From start to finish
    And beyond.
    So, give thanks, my friends,
    For one another, the strangers
    And the known, for those
    Who look for stars at dawn
    For those with races still un-run.
    For here we are, the living
    With hearts’ desires unmet
    We find those in each others’ hands
    And smiles, the comfort
    Of joining lives today
    And all the days to come.

    - Susan S. Standen
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  44. TopTop #3564
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Black Friday

    While families bleed their wallets
    into big-box stores
    my son and I flee to the forest.

    We visit our favorite campsite
    walk the plank bridge
    gambol in the puckers of the tunnel tree.

    We imbibe a trunkful of memories
    in the clutch of thousand-year-old redwoods
    gulping wisps of minted air.

    I show him a photo of himself at three—
    white Mowgli poised among the Steller’s Jays—
    screaming to the world I am.

    We commune with turkeys and white-tailed deer
    visit the damned-up creek—our former swimming hole
    closed for the season or lack of interest.

    I ask if he’ll pose against the tallest tree
    flower at the ease of his assent.
    Pointing the camera toward its black-green limbs

    I catch a penumbra of cross-hatched light
    beaming bands of magenta-gold
    that frame him like a pale Pieta.

    Light is anesthetic;
    we’re held in its eternal grasp.
    At twenty-four he’s lost the concept of shun.

    The day marries us to a new genre.

    - Sandra Anfang
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  45. Gratitude expressed by:

    M/M
  46. TopTop #3565
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Eating The Bones

    The women in my family
    strip the succulent
    flesh from broiled chicken,
    scrape the drumstick clean;
    bite off the cartilage chew the gristle,
    crush the porous swellings
    at the ends of each slender baton.
    With strong molars
    they split the tibia, sucking out
    the dense marrow.
    They use up love, they swallow
    every dark grain,
    so at the end there’s nothing left,
    a scant pile of splinters
    on the empty white plate.

    - Ellen Bass
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  47. Gratitude expressed by:

  48. TopTop #3566
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Cutting Greens

    curling them around
    i hold their bodies in obscene embrace
    thinking of everything but kinship.
    collards and kale
    strain against each strange other
    away from my kissmaking hand and
    the iron bedpot.
    the pot is black.
    the cutting board is black,
    my hand,
    and just for a minute
    the greens roll black under the knife,
    and the kitchen twists dark on its spine
    and i taste in my natural appetite
    the bond of live things everywhere.

    - Lucille Clifton
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  49. Gratitude expressed by:

  50. TopTop #3567
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    hashtag youtoo

    #youtoo
    remember how it started
    #youtoo
    recall how far it went

    #youtoo
    mistook fear for fascination
    overtaken by the scent
    of your own pounding flesh
    so caught in the obsession
    you wanted her to know
    somehow shaken by the sight
    of a girl, of a woman

    #youtoo
    sought domination, even then
    saying “it will be our secret”
    (cause she knows what’s good)
    and she wants a door held open
    she will comply
    she’ll be complicit
    perhaps lose track of who
    did what
    and when

    #youtoo
    will count on her confusion
    #youtoo
    will twist the facts to suit your sin

    when she starts to lose her compass
    in the vortex of your spin

    - Fran Carbonaro
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  51. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  52. TopTop #3568
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What We Packed at 3 A.M.


    The dog
    the drugs

    The cash
    the cards

    The elder neighbors who couldn’t drive

    We packed our fear
    though it couldn’t be contained

    We crawled in our cars
    as the fire raced
    through its feast
    of everything
    of everyone
    or everyone’s dreams

    Everywhere we looked
    RED RED

    We called friends in the hills
    No answer

    We cried Jesus Christ!
    No answer

    The fire jumped and morphed
    and ate some more

    Garage doors wouldn’t open

    Trees blocked the roads

    The red sky
    grew wider and taller
    and shot its off-springs
    into the air
    to ignite their own
    smorgasbords

    We unpacked our prayers
    to all the gods
    we don’t believe in

    And when we reached safety
    we watched our phones
    (we packed those, too)
    for news and it
    wasn’t good.

    Yes, we had each other.

    Yes, we were alive.

    But our world,
    our beautiful Sonoma County world

    What we packed
    wasn’t the mountains
    wasn’t the deer
    the coyotes, the quail
    wasn’t the mountain lions
    or mountain lakes
    wasn’t Willi’s
    or Fountaingrove
    wasn’t Coffey Park
    or the field of larks
    or the knowledge
    it would take two weeks

    to get back home
    or that home would still
    be there
    or that the gorgeous golden grass
    just outside our windows
    would change overnight
    into candles waving
    their virgin wicks


    - Katherine Hastings
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  53. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  54. TopTop #3569
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Same as a Seed

    In everything, its opposite.
    In the sun’s ascendancy,
    its downfall.
    In darkness, light
    not yet apprehended.

    At night in bed, I fear the falling-off.
    Though falling, I will rise.
    I fear. Fall arriving now.
    In any word so small, the world.
    In the world I walk in, a wild wood.

    - Elizabeth Spires
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  55. Gratitude expressed by:

    M/M
  56. TopTop #3570
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Consent

    Late in November, on a single night
    Not even near to freezing, the ginkgo trees
    That stand along the walk drop all their leaves
    In one consent, and neither to rain nor to wind
    But as though to time alone: the golden and green
    Leaves litter the lawn today, that yesterday
    Had spread aloft their fluttering fans of light.

    What signal from the stars? What senses took it in?
    What in those wooden motives so decided
    To strike their leaves, to down their leaves,
    Rebellion or surrender? and if this
    Can happen thus, what race shall be exempt?
    What use to learn the lessons taught by time.
    If a star at any time may tell us: Now.

    - Howard Nemerov
    Last edited by Barry; 11-30-2017 at 02:16 PM.
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  57. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

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