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  1. TopTop #3631
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Say Her Name


    I am a woman carrying other women
    in my mouth
    behold a sister
    a daughter
    a mother
    dear friend
    spirits demystify
    on my tongue
    they gather to breath
    and exhale a dance with the death we know
    is not the end all these nameless
    bodies haunted by pellet wounds in their chests
    listen for them and the saying of a name you cannot pronounce
    black and woman is a sort of magic
    you cannot hash tag
    the mere weight
    of it too vast to be held
    we hold ourselves
    an inheritance felt between the hips
    womb of soft darkness portal of light
    watch them envy the revolution of our movement
    how we break open to give life flow
    while the terror of our tears the torment of our taste
    my rage
    is righteous my love is righteous
    my name
    be righteous here what I am not here to say
    we too have died we know we are dying too
    I am not here to say look at me how I died
    so brutal a death I deserve a name to fit all the horror in
    I am here to tell you how if they mentioned me
    in their protest and their rallies
    they would have to face their role in it too
    my beauty too
    I have died many times before
    the blow to the body
    I have bled
    many months before the bullet to the flesh we know
    the body is not the end
    call it what you will
    but for all the handcuffed wrists of us the shackled
    ankles of us
    the bend over to make room for you
    of us how dare we speak anything less
    then I love you
    we who love just as loudly in the thunderous
    rain as when the Sun shines golden on our skin
    and the world kisses us unapologetically we
    be so beautiful when we be- how you gonna be free
    without me
    your freedom tied up
    with mine at the nappy edge of my soul
    singing for all my sisters watch them stretch their
    arms and my voice how they fly open chested
    toward your ear
    listen for
    Rekia Boyd, Tanisha Anderson Yvette Smith
    Aiyana Jones
    Caleb Moore Shelly Frey
    Miriam Carey Kendra James
    Alberto Spruill, Tarika Wilson,
    Shereese Francis
    Shantel Davis, Malissa Williams
    Darnisha Harris Michelle Cassell
    Pearlie Golden, Kathryn Johnston
    Eleanor Bumpers, Natasha McKenna
    Sheneque Proctor
    We
    we will not vanish
    and the baited breath of our brothers
    show me show me
    a man willing to fight beside me
    my hand in his the color of courage
    there is no mountaintop worth
    seeing without us
    meet me
    in the trenches where we lay our bodies down
    in the valley of a voice
    say her name
    - Aja Monet


    To hear Aja read her powerful poem: https://youtu.be/aL_yzeM7wY0
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  3. TopTop #3632
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
    The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
    Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
    Is my destroyer.
    And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
    My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

    The force that drives the water through the rocks
    Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
    Turns mine to wax.
    And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
    How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

    The hand that whirls the water in the pool
    Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
    Hauls my shroud sail.
    And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
    How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

    The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
    Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
    Shall calm her sores.
    And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
    How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

    And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
    How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

    - Dylan Thomas
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  4. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  5. TopTop #3633
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Waking

    A massive blue stallion rears before me
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    out of a midnight lake of dreams

    Moonlight flows
    like fire along his flanks, and

    an inner blaze flares
    from the dark mystery of his eyes

    I turn and flee, afraid for the small life
    clutched tight in my chest, knotted in my stomach

    Branches tear at my coat
    underbrush at my feet

    Every step, the horse gains
    his heavy breath close and closer, until

    I stumble

    He grabs my collar in his teeth
    flings me over his shoulder, onto his back

    and waits, trembling

    for me to grab a handful of his wiry mane
    press my knees together

    urge him on


    - Karl Frederick
    Last edited by Barry; 01-18-2018 at 02:06 PM.
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  7. TopTop #3634
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Perhaps we are all lost a little

    I miss my mother; she listened to me

    Sent me Pablo Neruda’s Fully Empowered,

    Hoping that I would be.

    She called Sunday evenings to

    Listen to my News of the Day, the Week

    Or month.

    How would fully empowered feel?

    Able to use my soul to enrich others?

    Able to connect people who need each other

    To complete themselves and their work?

    Able to relax into life so it may be enjoyed

    More than fought through.

    How could we NOT be at least a bit lost?

    Men we are asked to trust lead us

    Ever closer to world war and possible

    Annihilation;

    Other men, mostly men, take away

    The civil rights we worked for a lifetime

    Or more to put in place.

    If we are not required to love each other,

    At least should we not be required to

    Respect each other? To share.

    How can our world be good

    If we do not treat each other kindly?

    How can our future be bright

    If we are not quite sure love is real.

    I want to curl up

    And cry with you.

    There is so much pain

    In a life

    And so very much joy

    If you seek it but

    You have to seek that and hold on.

    Beauty, is all around

    If you get off your iPhone.

    Please come and find me;

    I’ll be looking everywhere for you

    Because it matters when you can touch

    Another soul and

    Once you have met on the astral plain

    You shall remain there together forever.

    Or not. Which?

    - Connie Madden
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  9. TopTop #3635
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Prayer

    Refuse to fall down.
    If you cannot refuse to fall down,
    refuse to stay down.
    If you cannot refuse to stay down,
    lift your heart toward heaven,
    and like a hungry beggar,
    ask that it be filled,
    and it will be filled.
    You may be pushed down.
    You may be kept from rising.
    But no one can keep you
    from lifting your heart
    toward heaven -
    only you.
    It is in the middle of misery
    that so much becomes clear.
    The one who says nothing good
    came of this,
    is not yet listening.

    - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
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  10. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  11. TopTop #3636
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Three Gratitudes

    Every night before I go to sleep
    I say out loud
    Three things that I’m grateful for,
    All the significant, insignificant
    Extraordinary, ordinary stuff of my life.

    It’s a small practice and humble,
    And yet, I find I sleep better
    Holding what lightens and softens my life
    Ever so briefly at the end of the day.

    Sunlight, and blueberries,
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    Good dogs and wool socks,
    A fine rain,
    A good friend,
    Fresh basil and wild phlox,
    My father’s good health,
    My daughter’s new job,
    The song that always makes me cry,
    Always at the same part,
    No matter how many times I hear it.

    Decent coffee at the airport,
    And your quiet breathing,
    The stories you told me,
    The frost patterns on the windows,
    English horns and banjos,
    Wood Thrush and June bugs,
    The smooth glassy calm of the morning pond,
    An old coat,
    A new poem,
    My library card,
    And that my car keeps running
    Despite all the miles.

    And after three things,
    More often than not,
    I get on a roll and I just keep on going,
    I keep naming and listing,
    Until I lie grinning,
    Blankets pulled up to my chin,
    Awash with wonder
    At the sweetness of it all.


    - Carrie Newcomer
    Last edited by Barry; 01-21-2018 at 01:40 PM.
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  13. TopTop #3637
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Do not be defeated by the rain

    Unbeaten by the rain
    Unbeaten by the wind
    Bested by neither snow nor summer heat
    Strong of body
    Free of desire
    Never angry
    Always smiling quietly
    Dining daily on four cups of brown rice
    Some miso and a few vegetables
    Observing all things
    With dispassion
    But remembering well
    Living in a small, thatched-roof house
    In the meadow beneath a canopy of pines
    Going east to nurse the sick child
    Going west to bear sheaves of rice for the weary mother
    Going south to tell the dying man there is no cause for fear
    Going north to tell those who fight to put aside their trifles
    Shedding tears in time of drought
    Wandering at a loss during the cold summer
    Called useless by all
    Neither praised
    Nor a bother
    Such is the person
    I wish to be
    Miyazawa.jpg

    - Kenji Miyazawa
    (27 August 1896 – 21 September 1933)
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  15. TopTop #3638
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I get up

    (I don’t always want to)
    I’m tired
    I am run down
    My thoughts run me down
    The news runs me down
    My country runs me down
    Our history runs me down
    But
    Something pulls me from the safety of my sheets
    Puts me in the shower
    Dresses me and says
    Show up
    Sometimes I show up
    Because Heather Heyer can’t
    Sometimes I show up because
    Anita Hill’s testimony still sends chills down my spine, because my friend who is a DREAMER is living in a constant state of fear, or because there are thousands of Puerto Rican Americans who have lost everything and are still living in darkness.

    Sometimes I get up,
    Because I’m tired of wondering why there are so many people who should not have a gun but
    have a gun
    Sometimes I get up
    Because I know that equal pay for equal work does not exist.
    And when I see that 1 in 4 black people in Florida cannot vote, it is clear to me that equal voting rights do not exist either.
    Sometimes I get up
    Because the land of the free is locking millions of human beings in cages, shackling women during childbirth, and putting our children in solitary confinement.

    Sometimes I get up because
    I know that Nazis are planning to march again, because Flint still has no clean drinking water.
    Sometimes I get up
    Because I know that 40 percent of our homeless population are LGBTQ youths and there is something wrong with that.
    Sometimes I get up
    Because I don’t want to have to teach my children how to do nuclear bomb drills, or what to wear to avoid sexual harassment or how to behave to avoid a “justifiable shooting” by the police.
    Sometimes I get up
    Because I hugged Trayvon Martin’s mother last year and told her I would keep going.
    And sometimes I get up because I remember the time I read the Coretta Scott King line that said,
    “Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”

    So I show up
    Some days I am only able to show up for myself when I close my eyes and say,
    “Breathe. You are are worthy. You can do this. And you will be okay.”
    And on the days when I can do more …
    I do more
    I listen more
    I learn more
    I give more of my time.
    I give more of my dollars.
    I give more of my heart.
    I give more spirit.
    I give more of my …
    Self
    Because
    To not show up
    To stay silent
    To do nothing
    Is to tell the world that I think it is fine the way it is
    And I do not think the world is fine the way it is

    - Cleo Wade
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  16. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  17. TopTop #3639
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Anguish Longer Than Sorrow

    If destroying all the maps known
    would erase all the boundaries
    from the face of this earth
    I would say let us
    make a bonfire
    to reclaim and sing
    the human person

    Refugee is an ominous load
    even for a child to carry
    for some children
    words like home
    could not carry any possible meaning
    but
    displaced
    border
    refugee
    must carry dimensions of brutality and terror
    past the most hideous nightmare
    anyone could experience or imagine

    Empty their young eyes
    deprived of a vision of any future
    they should have been entitled to
    since they did not choose to be born
    where and when they were
    Empty their young bellies
    extended and rounded by malnutrition
    and growling like the well-fed dogs of some
    with pretensions to concerns about human rights
    violations

    Can you see them now
    stumble from nowhere
    to no
    where
    between
    nothing
    and
    nothing

    Consider
    the premature daily death of their young dreams
    what staggering memories frighten and abort
    the hope that should have been
    an indelible inscription in their young eyes

    Perhaps
    I should just borrow
    the rememberer’s voice again
    while I can and say:
    to have a home is not a favour.

    - Keorapetse Kgositsile
    (Former Poet Laureate of South Africa:
    September 19,1938 – January 3, 2018)
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  18. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  19. TopTop #3640
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Tension

    "Never use the word suddenly just to
    create tension." - Writing Fiction

    Suddenly, you were planting some yellow petunias
    outside in the garden,
    and suddenly I was in the study
    looking up the word oligarchy for the thirty-seventh time.

    When suddenly, without warning,
    you planted the last petunia in the flat,
    and I suddenly closed the dictionary
    now that I was reminded of that vile form of governance.

    A moment later, we found ourselves
    standing suddenly in the kitchen
    where you suddenly opened a can of cat food
    and I just as suddenly watched you doing that.

    I observed a window of leafy activity
    and, beyond that, a bird perched on the edge
    of the stone birdbath
    when suddenly you announced you were leaving

    to pick up a few things at the market
    and I stunned you by impulsively
    pointing out that we were getting low on butter
    and another case of wine would not be a bad idea.

    Who could tell what the next moment would hold?
    Another drip from the faucet?
    Another little spasm of the second hand?
    Would the painting of the bowl of pears continue

    to hang on the wall from that nail?
    Would the heavy anthologies remain on their shelves?
    Would the stove hold its position?
    Suddenly, it was anyone's guess.

    The sun rose ever higher.
    The state capitals remained motionless on the wall map
    when suddenly I found myself lying on a couch
    where I closed my eyes and without any warning

    began to picture the Andes, of all places,
    and a path that led over the mountain to another country
    with strange customs and eye-catching hats
    suddenly fringed with little colorful, dangling balls.

    - Billy Collins
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  21. TopTop #3641
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    At the Age of 18-Ode to Girls of Color


    At the age of 5

    I saw how we always pick the flower swelling with the most color.

    The color distinguishes it from the rest, and tells us:

    This flower should not be left behind.

    But this does not happen in the case of colored girls.

    Our color makes hands pull back, and we, left to grow alone,

    stretching our petals to a dry sun.


    At the age of 12

    I blinked in the majesty of the color within myself,

    blinded by the knowledge that a skinny black girl, a young brown teen,

    has the power to light Los Angeles all night,

    the radiance to heal all the scars left on this city's pavement.

    Why had this realization taken so long,

    When color pulses in all that is beauty and painting and human?

    You see, long ago, they told me

    that snakes and spiders have spots and vibrant bodies if they are poisonous.

    In other words, being of color meant danger, warning, 'do not touch'.

    At the age of 18

    I know my color is not warning, but a welcome.

    A girl of color is a lighthouse, an ultraviolet ray of power, potential, and promise

    My color does not mean caution, it means courage

    my dark does not mean danger, it means daring,

    my brown does not mean broken, it means bold backbone from working

    twice as hard to get half as far.

    Being a girl of color means I am key, path, and wonder all in one body.

    At the age of 18

    I am experiencing how black and brown can glow.

    And glow I will, glow we will, vibrantly, colorfully;

    not as a warning, but as promise,

    that we will set the sky alight with our magic.

    - Amanda Gorman

    (Amanda Gorman is America’s first national Youth Poet Laureate)
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  22. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  23. TopTop #3642
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Quality of Face


    Maybe it’s how kindness rests there

    First on the forehead

    Pausing not to land determinedly

    Flowing out to the corners of your eyes

    Creating small rivulets

    Ebbing inward and onward

    Drifting from the corners of your mouth

    Floating down toward the bass violin

    How kindness resonates, first

    in your profile, then

    in the curve of grained wood

    Meeting and greeting the other, with

    a small uplift of the mouth, and

    a bowed note


    - Rebecca Evert
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  24. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  25. TopTop #3643
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For C.

    After the clash of elevator gates
    And the long sinking, she emerges where,
    A slight thing in the morning’s crosstown glare,
    She looks up toward the window where he waits,
    Then in a fleeting taxi joins the rest
    Of the huge traffic bound forever west.

    On such grand scale do lovers say good-bye—
    Even this other pair whose high romance
    Had only the duration of a dance,
    And who, now taking leave with stricken eye,
    See each in each a whole new life forgone.
    For them, above the darkling clubhouse lawn,

    Bright Perseids flash and crumble; while for these
    Who part now on the dock, weighed down by grief
    And baggage, yet with something like relief,
    It takes three thousand miles of knitting seas
    To cancel out their crossing, and unmake
    The amorous rough and tumble of their wake.

    We are denied, my love, their fine tristesse
    And bittersweet regrets, and cannot share
    The frequent vistas of their large despair,
    Where love and all are swept to nothingness;
    Still, there’s a certain scope in that long love
    Which constant spirits are the keepers of,

    And which, though taken to be tame and staid,
    Is a wild sostenuto of the heart,
    A passion joined to courtesy and art
    Which has the quality of something made,
    Like a good fiddle, like the rose’s scent,
    Like a rose window or the firmament.
    - Richard Wilbur
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  26. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  27. TopTop #3644
    Dorothy Friberg's Avatar
    Dorothy Friberg
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Nice visuals Larry, and once again I am sent to consult my dictionary.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    For C.

    After the clash of elevator gates ...

    - Richard Wilbur
    Last edited by Barry; 01-29-2018 at 06:01 PM.
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  29. TopTop #3645
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Blessing

    this is not the truth
    about the end but a hint about
    beginning When the Buddha

    had sat alone
    for nearly forever
    beneath the tree of many names
    when he had taken into himself
    all the suffering there is
    and will always be then
    he did not despair
    he turned away
    from the empty air
    that starving saints exhale
    he laughed at the idea
    of nothing What he saw
    clear and unmistakable
    before him and really on all sides
    was a lake and the lake shone
    and there was Iight in it
    and he knew that to hold
    all that water in his gaze
    would mislead him
    about his own
    size unless he entered the water
    and bathed
    for there is no enlightenment
    without immersion


    And so after so long the Buddha

    entered enlightenment
    which is not the end
    but the end of being alone


    and the Buddha whom the world
    had thought sufficient
    unto himself was not
    for that was what
    enlightenment taught

    And at the end of
    so long alone
    the Buddha slowly turned
    toward all the others
    who were also alone
    and she opened her arms
    and around them all the water
    stretched and shone

    - Eleanor Wilner
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  30. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  31. TopTop #3646
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Half Life


    We walk through half our life
    as if it were a fever dream
    barely touching the ground
    our eyes half open
    our heart half closed.


    Not half knowing who we are
    we watch the ghost of us drift
    from room to room
    through friends and lovers
    never quite as real as advertised.


    Not saying half we mean
    or meaning half we say
    we dream ourselves
    from birth to birth
    seeking some true self.


    Until the fever breaks
    and the heart can not abide
    a moment longer
    as the rest of us awakens,
    summoned from the dream,
    not half caring for anything but love.


    - Stephen Levine
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  32. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  33. TopTop #3647
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Love Hides


    Love hides in crevices that go unnoticed. It dangles from
    the worn threads of faith that drop from religion’s coattail.

    It lies in splinters, beaten by the club of family strife and
    the slow decay of relationships.

    It stares wistfully from outside shattered windows of illness and mortality.

    It sits amidst the debris left behind in silken cobwebs by
    spirit’s door and in breath-less moments when the body can

    do no more. It even lurks in moments of anger and hating.
    Love hides in crevices: unperturbed and waiting.

    - Bruce Silverman
    Last edited by Barry; 02-01-2018 at 01:12 PM.
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  34. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  35. TopTop #3648
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Background photo: Margrethe Mather—1920

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  36. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  37. TopTop #3649
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Where Papi’s Angel Speaks to Me About Love


    mijo—i know you have seen the night
    as an excuse to hold your body like a bottle

    and drink yourself to sleep in the morning
    the sun will rise bright as an infant fear

    in your throat you will not die as much
    as you wish for it you will get lucky

    friends will envy you with their stomachs
    whether or not you deserve it you will lose

    women you loved wrong and i know what
    that’s like—to love until you lose hope

    in yourself no one wants to talk about it
    how at the border they offered us clean

    criminal records our first ride on an airplane
    if we went back to motherland el salvador

    it’s so hard to leave and of course your tio
    he went back for a girl said he would try again

    the right way but there is never a right way
    to leave we would have never left if there

    was a choice to make but men leave to survive
    leaving is what makes us & you will become

    a man all the wrong ways which is to say
    there is no right way after your tio left

    they let me go—into the blinding street
    with nothing not even a bus route always

    an orphan this time without a family
    to call a motherland only an address

    my eighth grade dropout’s command of
    language & survival—mijo—i made it

    there is no need for a map if fear is your
    new face learn to kiss him with your eyes

    open without a border between your lips

    - Willie Palomo
    Last edited by Barry; 02-02-2018 at 02:00 PM.
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    M/M
  39. TopTop #3650
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Humanity i love you
    because you would rather black the boots of
    success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
    watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both

    parties and because you
    unflinchingly applaud all
    songs containing the words country home and
    mother when sung at the old howard

    Humanity i love you because
    when you’re hard up you pawn your
    intelligence to buy a drink and when
    you’re flush pride keeps

    you from the pawn shop and
    because you are continually committing
    nuisances but more
    especially in your own house

    Humanity i love you because you
    are perpetually putting the secret of
    life in your pants and forgetting
    it’s there and sitting down

    on it
    and because you are
    forever making poems in the lap
    of death Humanity

    i hate you


    - e.e. cummings
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  40. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  41. TopTop #3651
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How Many Generations ‘Til Mary?

    How many generations from
    the wars of streets that
    steal one’s children,
    the daily violence of poverty,
    the grinding stone of racism,
    must one be before
    she can follow Mary Oliver
    down the green path
    to the grasshopper’s house?

    Between civilization and anarchy
    only seven meals—
    how many missing meals
    must be replaced
    before the chaos forced
    upon the living earth
    can be felt
    by the hungry man?

    How many generations of
    enough bread, enough water,
    enough freedom from
    fear-blind soldiers—
    especially when
    they’re called police—
    will carve a space of safety
    in which to see and write
    the fog-drunk woods, the hawk,
    the running dear?

    How can people burned as fuel
    surely as a rainforest;
    ghosted people trapped outside,
    people in a gristmill turning
    making plenty we enjoy—
    even now as I am writing,
    you are reading,
    on this quiet page—
    find a way to care
    or even think
    about the wild geese?

    - Kalia Mussetter
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  42. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  43. TopTop #3652

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I'm listening on mp3 to Ann Patchett's novel, Run. Yesterday I heard a very moving passage in which an 11 year-old African-American girl named Kenya muses on the differences in opportunity between life in her and her mom's apartment in Roxbury and those of her half-brothers (it's complicated) in whose upscale, stately home she's just spent a night. Wish I could find the passage online to quote. Her half-brothers' place is light, her apartment is always dark. The new place is quiet, her apartment is always noisy with people going up and down the stairs, often cursing or muttering, with sirens waking her up all night...it's quiet a compelling description of the differences...the same sorts of things expressed and lamented in this poem.
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  44. Gratitude expressed by:

  45. TopTop #3653
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Dancing In Front Of The Guns

    We’re facing the guns again, we have faced them before
    Humanity’s longing after so many deaths
    For something more human than war
    But part of me whispers “Take your body and run away.
    Leave the vision to somebody else,” then I hear myself say,

    I’d rather be dancing at the edge of my grave.
    I’d rather be holding you close as we march forward loving and brave.
    I’d rather be singing in the face of my fear.
    I’d rather be dancing in front of the guns as long as I’m here.
    Life is so dangerous that there’s little to fear
    Life is so possible, every breath a frontier
    They’ve brought out the guns once again ‘cuz they haven’t a clue
    That we could be dancing, the whole human race, each one must choose
    And I’d rather be dancing at the edge of my grave…

    To the drum of my heartbeat pounding up through my feet
    With millions of lovers urging me on as we take to the streets
    As we face the terror, if I leave here before my time
    One thing’s for certain, I’ll go dancing and I’ll go alive!
    And I’d rather be dancing at the edge of my grave…

    - Libby Roderick
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  46. Gratitude expressed by:

  47. TopTop #3654
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    On a Lamp Post Long Ago

    I don’t know what to think of first
    in the list

    of all the things that are disappearing: Fishes, birds, trees, flowers, bees,

    and languages too. They say that if historical rates are averaged, a language will die
    every four months.

    In the time it takes to say I love you, or move in with someone, or admit to the child
    you’re carrying, all the intricate words of a language become extinct.

    There’s too many things to hold in the palm of the brain.

    Your father uses the word thing to describe many different nouns and we guess
    the word he means. When we get it right, he nods as if it’s obvious.

    When we get it wrong, his face closes like a fist.

    Out walking in the neighborhood, there’s a wide metal lamp post
    that has scratched into it, Brandy Earlywine loves Jack Pickett and then there
    come the hearts. The barrage of hearts scratched over and over as if,

    just in case we have forgotten the word love, we will know its symbol. As if,
    Miss Earlywine wanted us to know that, even after she and Mr. Pickett

    have passed on, their real hearts stopped—the ones that don’t look anything
    like those little symbols—they frantically, furiously, late one night under

    the streetlight while their parents thought they were asleep, inscribed
    onto the body of the something like a permanent tree, a heart—

    so that even after their bodies ceased to be bodies,

    their mouths no longer capable of words, that universal shape will tell you
    how she felt, one blue evening, long ago, when there were still 7,000

    languages that named and honored the plants and animals each in their
    own way, when your father said thing and we knew what it meant,

    and the bees were big and round and buzzing.

    - Ada Límon
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  49. TopTop #3655
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What Do Women Want?

    I want a red dress.
    I want it flimsy and cheap,
    I want it too tight, I want to wear it
    until someone tears it off me.
    I want it sleeveless and backless,
    this dress, so no one has to guess
    what’s underneath. I want to walk down
    the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store
    with all those keys glittering in the window,
    past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
    donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
    slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
    hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
    I want to walk like I’m the only
    woman on earth and I can have my pick.
    I want that red dress bad.
    I want it to confirm
    your worst fears about me,
    to show you how little I care about you
    or anything except what
    I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
    from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
    to carry me into this world, through
    the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
    and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
    it’ll be the goddamned
    dress they bury me in.
    - Kim Addonizio
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  51. TopTop #3656
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Reinventing America

    The city was huge. A boy of twelve could walk
    for hours while the closed houses stared down at him
    from early morning to dusk, and he'd get nowhere.
    Oh no, I was not that boy. Even at twelve I knew
    enough to stay in my own neighborhood,
    I knew anyone who left might not return.
    Boys were animals with animal hungers
    I learned early. Better to stay close to home.
    I'd try to bum cigarettes from the night workers
    as they left the bars in the heavy light of noon
    or I'd hang around the grocery hoping
    one of the beautiful young wives would ask me
    to help her carry her shopping bags home.
    You're wondering what I was up to. Not much.
    The sun rose late in November and set early.
    At times I thought life was rushing by too fast.
    Before I knew it I'd be my half-blind uncle
    married to a woman who cried all day long
    while in the basement he passed his time working
    on short-wave radio calls to anywhere.
    I'd sneak down and talk to him, Uncle Nathan,
    wiry in his boxer's shorts and high-topped boots,
    chewing on a cigar, the one dead eye catching
    the overhead light while he mused on his life
    on the road or at sea. How he loved the whores
    in the little Western towns and the Latin ports!
    He'd hold his hands out to approximate
    their perfect breasts. The months in jail had taught him
    a man had only his honor and his ass
    to protect. "You turn your fist this way," he said,
    taking my small hand in both of his, "and fire
    from the shoulder, so," and he'd extend it out
    to the face of an imaginary foe.
    Why he'd returned to this I never figured out,
    though life was ample here, a grid of crowded blocks
    of Germans, Wops, Polacks, Jews, wild Irish,
    plus some square heads from the Upper Peninsula.
    Six bakeries, four barber shops, a five and dime,
    twenty beer gardens, a Catholic church with a shul
    next door where we studied the Talmud-Torah.
    Wonderful how all the old hatreds bubbled
    So quietly on the back burner you could
    forget until one day they tore through the pool halls,
    the bowling alley, the high school athletic fields
    leaving an eye gone, a long fresh, livid scar
    running to touch a mouth, young hands raw or broken,
    boys and girls ashamed of what they were, ashamed
    of what they were not. It was merely village life,
    exactly what our parents left in Europe
    brought to America with pure fidelity.

    - Philip Levine
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  53. TopTop #3657
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Birdsong From Inside The Egg


    Sometimes a lover of God may faint
    in the presence. Then the beloved bends
    and whispers in his ear, "Beggar, spread out
    your robe. I'll fill it with gold.

    I've come to protect your consciousness.
    Where has it gone? Come back into awareness!"

    This fainting is because
    lovers want so much.

    A chicken invites a camel into her henhouse,
    and the whole structure is demolished.

    A rabbit nestles down
    with its eyes closed
    in the arms of a lion.

    There is an excess
    in spiritual searching
    that is profound ignorance.

    Let the ignorance be our teacher!
    The Friend breathes into one
    who has no breath.

    A deep silence revives the listening
    and the speaking of those two
    who meet on the riverbank.

    Like the ground turning green in a spring wind,
    like birdsong beginning inside the egg.

    Like this universe coming into existence,
    the lover wakes, and whirls
    in a dancing joy,

    then kneels down
    in praise.


    - Jellaludin Rumi
    (translation by Coleman Barks)
    Last edited by Barry; 02-09-2018 at 02:42 PM.
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  54. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  55. TopTop #3658
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Are you disheartened by the state of the world?
    Do you worry about the life you are bequeathing your children and their children?
    Do the bleak winter days give you the blues?

    Take heart!

    Rumi’s Caravan is coming to bring you comfort and joy.

    Let the timeless wisdom and beauty of poetry in the ecstatic tradition soothe your soul and uplift your spirits.

    Join us Saturday, February 10 at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Performances at 2pm and 7pm.

    I guarantee that you will be glad you came.

    Larry

    Click here to buy your tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3201925

    Ps. You are encouraged to wear lavish attire.

    Proceeds support the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in its mission to bring more beauty into the world.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-09-2018 at 02:54 PM.
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  56. Gratitude expressed by:

  57. TopTop #3659
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Starlight Night

    Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
    O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
    The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!
    Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves'-eyes!
    The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies!
    Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare!
    Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!
    Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.

    Buy then! bid then! — What? — Prayer, patience, alms, vows.
    Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!
    Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow sallows!
    These are indeed the barn; withindoors house
    The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse
    Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows.

    - Gerard Manley Hopkins
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  58. TopTop #3660
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Fire In The Earth

    And we know, when Moses was told
    in the way he was told,
    “Take off your shoes”, he grew pale from that simple

    reminder of fire in the dusty earth.
    He never recovered
    his complicated way of loving again

    and was free to love in the same way
    the fire licking at his heels loved him.
    As if the lion earth could roar

    and take him in one movement.
    Every step he took
    from there was carefully placed.

    Everything he said mattered as if he knew
    the constant witness of the ground
    and remembered his own face in the dust

    the moment before revelation.
    Since then thousands have felt
    the same immobile tongue with which he tried to speak.

    Like the moment you too saw, for the first time,
    your own house turned to ashes.
    Everything consumed so the road could open again.

    Your entire presence in your eyes
    and the world turning slowly
    into a single branch of flame.

    - David Whyte
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  59. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

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