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  1. TopTop #3961
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How to be a Poet (to remind myself)

    Make a place to sit down.
    Sit down. Be quiet.
    You must depend upon
    affection, reading, knowledge,
    skill—more of each
    than you have—inspiration
    work, growing older, patience,
    for patience joins time
    to eternity…

    Breathe with unconditional breath
    the unconditioned air.
    Shun electric wire.
    Communicate slowly. Live
    a three-dimensional life;
    stay away from screens.
    Stay away from anything
    that obscures the place it is in.
    There are no unsacred places;
    there are only sacred places
    and desecrated places.

    Accept what comes from silence.
    Make the best you can of it.
    Of the little words that come
    out of the silence, like prayers
    prayed back to the one who prays,
    make a poem that does not disturb
    the silence from which it came.

    - Wendell Berry
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  3. TopTop #3962
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Darling


    1.

    I break this toast for the ghost of bread in Lebanon.
    The split stone the toppled doorway.

    Someone's kettle has been crushed.
    Someone's sister has a gash above her right eye.

    And now our tea has trouble being sweet.
    A strawberry softens, turns musty,

    overnight each apple grows a bruise.
    I tie both shoes on Lebanon's feet.

    All day the sky in Texas that has seen no rain since June
    is raining Lebanese mountains, Lebanese trees.

    What if the air grew damp with the names of mothers?
    The clear-belled voices of first graders

    pinned to the map of Lebanon like a shield?
    When I visited the camp of the opposition

    near the lonely Golan, looking northward toward
    Syria and Lebanon, a vine was springing pinkly from a tin can

    and a woman with generous hips like my mother's
    said, "Follow me."

    2.

    Someone was there. Someone not there now
    was standing. In the wrong place
    with a small moon-shaped scar on his cheek
    and a boy by the hand.
    Who had just drunk water, sharing the glass.
    Not thinking about it deeply
    though they might have, had they known.
    Someone grown, and someone not grown.
    Who imagined they had different amounts of time left.
    This guessing-game ends with our hands in the air,
    becoming air.
    One who was there is not there, for no reason.
    Two who were there.

    It was almost too big to see.

    3.

    Our friend from Turkey says language is so delicate
    he likens it to a darling.

    We will take this word in our arms.
    It will be small and breathing.
    We will not wish to scare it.
    Pressing lips to the edge of each syllable.
    Nothing else will save us now.
    The word "together" wants to live in every house.


    - Naomi Shihab Nye
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  5. TopTop #3963
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Communion, NYC
    September 25, 2001, for A.

    He is breathing the dust
    of his neighbors.
    At night he wakes
    to cough a path of air
    down his throat between
    their body motes.
    In the day he walks streets
    fluttered with faces they once wore
    and flags. Grief-
    cry, battle-cry, wind.

    **
    Their ashes
    line his lungs now,
    stir on his air,
    sting on his unskinned eye.
    He drinks the tea
    they make of his tears,
    serves it to others
    whose names he does not know.

    ***
    In his dream, death is finally worn
    on the surface. A small black square
    above each head and to the right:
    undeniable.

    ***
    He wakes to clear his throat in the night.
    Death is inside him now,
    released
    from its long exile in the grave.
    His body is the charnel ground,
    his breath the white white vulture
    churning ash into bread
    bread into touch
    touch passed from stranger
    to stranger
    through the dust
    of fallen walls.

    - Kim Rosen
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  7. TopTop #3964
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Thanksgiving in the Anthropocene

    Thank you, instant mashed potatoes, your bland taste
    makes me feel like an average American. Thank you,

    incarcerated Americans, for filling the labor shortage
    and packing potatoes in Idaho. Thank you, canned

    cranberry sauce, for your gelatinous curves. Thank you,
    Ojibwe tribe in Wisconsin, your lake is now polluted

    with phosphate-laden discharge from nearby cranberry
    bogs. Thank you, crisp green beans, you are my excuse

    for eating apple pie à la mode later. Thank you, indigenous
    migrant workers, for picking the beans in Mexico’s farm belt,

    may your children survive the season. Thank you, NAFTA,
    for making life dirt cheap. Thank you, Butterball Turkey,

    for the word, butterball, which I repeat all day butterball,
    butterball, butterball because it helps me swallow the bones

    of genocide. Thank you, dark meat, for being so juicy
    (no offense, dry and fragile white meat, you matter too).

    Thank you, 90 million factory-farmed turkeys, for giving
    your lives during the holidays. Thank you, factory-farm

    workers, for clipping turkey toes and beaks so they don’t scratch
    and peck each other in overcrowded, dark sheds. Thank you,

    genetic engineering and antibiotics, for accelerating
    their growth. Thank you, stunning tank, for immobilizing

    most of the turkeys hanging upside down by crippled legs.
    Thank you, stainless steel knives, for your sharpened

    edge and thirst for throat. Thank you, de-feathering
    tank, for your scalding-hot water, for finally killing the last

    still-conscious turkeys. Thank you, turkey tails, for feeding
    Pacific Islanders all year round. Thank you, empire of

    slaughter, for never wasting your fatty leftovers. Thank you,
    tryptophan, for the promise of an afternoon nap;

    I really need it. Thank you, store-bought stuffing,
    for your ambiguously ethnic flavor, you remind me

    that I’m not an average American. Thank you, gravy,
    for being hot-off-the-boat and the most beautiful

    brown. Thank you, dear readers, for joining me at the table
    of this poem. Please join hands, bow your heads, and repeat

    after me: “Let us bless the hands that harvest and butcher
    our food, bless the hands that drive delivery trucks

    and stock grocery shelves, bless the hands that cooked
    and paid for this meal, bless the hands that bind

    our hands and force-feed our endless mouth.
    May we forgive each other and be forgiven.”

    - Craig Santos Perez
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  9. TopTop #3965
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Grace


    Though the world is dented and dinged
    and scuffed and scorned,
    we trim the beans and peel the potatoes,
    and the kitchen is warm and full
    of laughter. We hum as we work
    and break into scraps of song.
    All day our hands are joyful
    as they prepare the meal to come.
    There are wars and battles even now,
    not all of them fought with guns,
    some waged intimately in our thoughts,
    our scraped up hearts. And still,
    this scent of apple pie, sweetening
    as it bakes, this inner insistence
    that love is not only possible,
    it is every bit as real as our fear.
    Whether the host has brought
    out his best wine and his best crystal glasses
    or water in chipped clay cups,
    there is every reason
    to be generous, to serve not only
    our family, our friends, ourselves,
    but also those we don’t yet know how to love
    and those parts of ourselves we
    have tried to keep separate.
    Tonight the host has hidden bait
    in the dinner—we all are caught.
    Scent of sage, scent of mushrooms
    and cream. The bite of cranberry.
    Never mind the potatoes cooked too long.
    Blessings seep into all the imperfect places,
    even if you can’t name the blessings—
    consider them secret ingredients.
    The point is not to understand the feast,
    but to eat, to eat it together.

    - Rosemerry Trommer
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  10. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  11. TopTop #3966
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ode to Gratitude

    Thanks to the word
    that gives thanks.
    Thanks to the gratitude
    for how excellently
    the word melts snow or iron.

    The planet seemed full of threats
    until soft
    as a translucent
    feather,
    or sweet as a sugary petal,
    from lip to lip,
    it passed,
    thank you,
    magnificent, filling the mouth,
    or whispered,
    hardly voiced,
    and the soul became human again,
    not a window,
    some clear shine
    penetrated the forest:
    it was possible again to sing beneath the leaves.

    Gratitude, you are medicine
    opposing
    scorn’s bitter oxides,
    light melting the cruel altar.

    Perhaps
    you are also
    the carpet
    uniting
    the most distant men,
    passengers spread out
    through nature
    and the jungle
    of unknown men,
    merci,
    as the delirious train
    penetrates a new country,
    eradicating frontiers,
    spasibo,
    joined with the sharp-cusped
    volcanoes, frost and fire,
    thanks, yes, gracias, and the Earth
    turns into a table,
    a single word swept it clean,
    plates and cups glisten,
    forks jingle,
    and the flatlands seem like tablecloths.

    Thanks, gracias,
    you travel and return,
    you rise
    and descend.
    It is understood, you don’t
    permeate everything,
    but where the word of thanksgiving
    appears like a tiny petal,
    proud fists hide
    and a penny’s worth of a smile appears.

    - Pablo Neruda
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  13. TopTop #3967

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Gracias!
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  14. TopTop #3968
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When Giving Is All We Have

    One river gives
    Its journey to the next.

    We give because someone gave to us.
    We give because nobody gave to us.

    We give because giving has changed us.
    We give because giving could have changed us.

    We have been better for it,
    We have been wounded by it—

    Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
    Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

    Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
    But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

    Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
    Mine to yours, yours to mine.

    You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
    Together we are simple green. You gave me

    What you did not have, and I gave you
    What I had to give—together, we made

    Something greater from the difference.

    - Alberto Ríos
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  16. TopTop #3969
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What the Birds Know

    once we have looked away
    once we have mourned
    and banished all smoldering thoughts
    about the tribe of blackened trees
    replacing the known world
    for now and another season
    and the last long fingers of smoke
    have been ushered out by wind
    a ticking begins
    no one has seen them arrive in such numbers
    the birds are neither lost nor passing through
    they are simply linked tight
    to the lingering scents
    the promise of white fruits
    protein concealed by bark
    so were the ways of ancestors
    who began their journeys
    as specks in the distance
    some fifty thousand years ago
    riding miles of smoky gold
    along a known line of hunger
    growing closer and closer
    the black beat of instinct
    working a migration upstream
    against the flow of smoke
    into the source and its multiple riches
    one preens its dusk-and-opal plumage
    others tap like a knock on the door
    whose answer is advice provided
    by the ages
    long as genetic fibers coiled
    in every cell beak and bone
    muscle and shiny eye
    the birds are awake to the growth
    and abundance soon to follow
    with the diligence
    of all known colors unfurling
    from the soil’s chocolatey darkness
    from the trees re-greening come spring
    from the blackness

    - Maya Khosla
    (Maya Khosla is Sonoma County’s Poet Laureate)
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  18. TopTop #3970
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Our Fire Circle Tree

    Every Wednesday in Sebastopol, California, a small group
    of men meet around an outdoor fire at the foot of an old Gravenstein apple tree


    We are witnessed and inspired by this age-old tree
    some branches lost to storm or time
    some covered with cankers and galls
a trunk hollowed to a twisted shell
    by fire and little creatures
yet still claiming its sacred ground

    And upon the rising of the sun season
    
its blood stirs 

    buds burst into exquisite white blossoms

    and it emerges as a bride
    
ready to renew her vows to life once again
    
when the bees grant their blessing



    Then upon the rising of the moon season
    
it settles into awe and gratitude 

    knowing that its union, unlike the salmon’s,

    will not claim its life

    and silently revels in the dreams

    of what is yet to come

    - Jean-Pierre Swennen
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  20. TopTop #3971
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Fire and Ice Revisited Following the October 2017 Blaze That Consumed Our House (apologies to Robert Frost)

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what Frost tasted of desire
    He held with those who favor fire.
    But added if it must end twice,
    His understanding of man’s hate
    Informed him for destruction ice
    Is also great and would suffice.
    But in my present case I note
    The first becomes my final vote.
    What’s been started from a flicker
    Gets it done a whole lot quicker.

    - Ed Coletti
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  22. TopTop #3972
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To Create An Enemy


    Start with an empty canvas
    Sketch in broad outline the forms of
    men, women, and children.

    Dip into the well of your own
    disowned darkness
    with a wide brush and
    stain the strangers with the sinister hue
    of the shadow.

    Trace onto the face of the enemy the greed,
    hatred, carelessness you dare not claim as
    your own.

    Obscure the sweet individuality of each face.

    Erase all hints of the myriad loves, hopes,
    fears that play through the kaleidoscope of
    every finite heart.

    Twist the smile until it forms the downward
    arc of cruelty.

    Strip flesh from bone until only the
    abstract skeleton of death remains.

    Exaggerate each feature until man is
    metamorphasized into beast, vermin, insect.

    Fill in the background with malignant
    figures from ancient nightmares - devils
    demons, myrmidons of evil.

    When your icon of the enemy is complete
    you will be able to kill without guilt,
    slaughter without shame.

    The thing you destroy will have become
    merely an enemy of G-D, an impediment
    to the sacred dialectic of history.


    - Sam Keen
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  23. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  24. TopTop #3973
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For the Children

    They were unutterably lovely, the aliens,
    when finally we knew them, when at last we understood
    they had lived and moved among us from the beginning

    in bodies the image of ours, through smoother, eyes wider,
    as if the world were a little darker for them, or more wonderous,
    and we loved them as wildly and deeply and helplessly

    as our first loves, our dreams, our lost ones, all at once,
    though we knew they were wilder and deeper than we were, and freer,
    and loving them only deepened our loneliness.

    When they gathered on evening corners, faintly luminous,
    and their murmurring rose in urgency, calling on stars,
    we feared they would leave us for worlds far, far beyond us,

    though we dared not ask, in their language so eerily ours,
    Will you carry us with you?—lest they look away, bored
    with our dullness, our burdensome love, our ignorant dying.

    What could we, after all, with our dim minds, our narrowed snesoria,
    know of the lightning of their thoughts, the storm of their joys?—
    or their sorrows, for sorrow was theirs, they were lords of sorrow.

    Why in the world these creatures, immortal and perfect,
    should be so gloomy and aimless was beyond us,
    yet they grew so slowly into the unprecedented lives

    we had thought they would seize instantly as their right
    that it seemed the long long future brooding over them
    was so heavy they could hardly bear it forward one little step.

    And at last they dismissed the fantastic travels, faster then light,
    that had landed them only here, and their magic technologies
    that had taught them, it seemed, what anyone could have told them,

    and they ceased to gather on corners, dreaming of rescuers,
    and glanced, if at all, only sidelong at the stars.
    Maybe some earthly pathogen had worn them,

    or the weakness of our yellow sun had left tem so wan
    that even their radiant children could not tell them from us
    when they sat with us, sipping at coffee, a little more patiently now,

    enduring our sadness, our sad adoration, even our sad relief
    that life was a little less possible than once we had hoped,
    and gratefully meeting our eyes, since who else in the universe knew

    that they were as luminous and unutterably lovely
    as our first loves, our dreams, our lost ones all at once,
    so impossible they were beautiful, so beautiful they were true?

    - James Richardson
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  26. TopTop #3974
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Carrying
    The sky’s white with November’s teeth,
    and the air is ash and woodsmoke.
    A flush of color from the dying tree,
    a cargo train speeding through, and there,
    that’s me, standing in the wintering
    grass watching the dog suffer the cold
    leaves. I’m not large from this distance,
    just a fence post, a hedge of holly.
    Wider still, beyond the rumble of overpass,
    mares look for what’s left of green
    in the pasture, a few weanlings kick
    out, and theirs is the same sky, white
    like a calm flag of surrender pulled taut.
    A few farms over, there’s our mare,
    her belly barrel-round with foal, or idea
    of foal. It’s Kentucky, late fall, and any
    mare worth her salt is carrying the next
    potential stake’s winner. Ours, her coat
    thicker with the season’s muck, leans against
    the black fence and this image is heavy
    within me. How my own body, empty,
    clean of secrets, knows how to carry her,
    knows we were all meant for something.

    - Ada Limon
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  28. TopTop #3975
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    She is Spitting a Mouthful of Stars
    (nikâwi’s song)

    She is Spitting a Mouthful of Stars
    She is laughing more than the men who beat her
    She is ten horses breaking open the day
    She is new to her bones
    She is holy in the dust


    She is spitting a mouthful of stars
    She is singing louder than the men who raped her
    She is waking beyond the Milky Way
    She is new to her breath
    She is sacred in this breathing


    She is spitting a mouthful of stars
    She is holding the light more than those who despised her
    She is folding clouds in her movement
    She is new to this sound
    She is unbroken flesh


    She is spitting a mouthful of stars
    She is laughing more than those who shamed her
    She is ten horses breaking open the day
    She is new to these bones
    She is holy in their dust.

    - Gregory Scofield
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  30. TopTop #3976
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Sacred Wine

    Sit with the pain in your heart, he said.

    Hold it like a sacred wine in a golden cup.

    The wine may break you and if it does, let it.

    To be human is to be broken,

    and only from brokenness can one be healed.

    The ancestors say:

    the world is full of pain,

    and each is allotted a portion.

    If you do not carry your share,

    then others are forced to carry it for you,

    And the suffering you bring

    to the world is your sin,

    But the suffering you bring

    to yourself will be your hell.

    Sit with the pain in your heart, he said.

    Hold it there like a sacred wine in a golden cup.

    - Greg Kimura
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  31. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  32. TopTop #3977
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    American Song

    I'm in sweatpants, pouring boiling water
    over grounds that smell of soil
    and autumn ferment.
    The radio is pouring out Bye bye
    Miss American Pie
    so I scoop up the cat for a dance.
    Hey Jackson, this country has lost
    its mind and I don't know
    what to do I whisper,
    right into his soft pink ear.
    He stares at me quizzically,
    his narrow face part lynx,
    part fallen angel and I don't know what
    he says back except it looks like
    I want to eat you.
    All these years I've spent
    pouring words onto the page,
    while the work of the street goes on
    outside my window:
    traffic and yelling and mariachi and wafting
    smoke from my neighbor's barbeque,
    and kids walking to school and their parents
    running after them with homework they forgot.
    The poem works or it doesn't,
    my life has meaning, or not,
    and it all keeps pouring through anyway,
    like lava, molten, relentless.
    And yes, I am caught
    in the honey of my time
    like a bug trapped in amber,
    and I make what I can of the struggle.
    Okay Jackie, I say to my disdainful,
    needy familiar.
    We're well on our way
    toward the mouth of the falls now,
    so let me be poured like oil
    or wine or cool sweet water,
    over the lip of the world,
    into the heart of the song.

    - Alison Luterman
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  33. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  34. TopTop #3978
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Sometimes A Wild God


    Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
    He is awkward and does not know the ways
    Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
    His voice makes vinegar from wine.
    When the wild god arrives at the door,
    You will probably fear him.
    He reminds you of something dark
    That you might have dreamt,
    Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.
    He will not ring the doorbell;
    Instead he scrapes with his fingers
    Leaving blood on the paintwork,
    Though primroses grow
    In circles round his feet.
    You do not want to let him in.
    You are very busy.
    It is late, or early, and besides…
    You cannot look at him straight
    Because he makes you want to cry.
    The dog barks.
    The wild god smiles,
    Holds out his hand.
    The dog licks his wounds
    And leads him inside.
    The wild god stands in your kitchen.
    Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
    Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
    And wrens have begun to sing
    An old song in the mouth of your kettle.
    ‘I haven’t much,’ you say
    And give him the worst of your food.
    He sits at the table, bleeding.
    He coughs up foxes.
    There are otters in his eyes.
    When your wife calls down,
    You close the door and
    Tell her it’s fine.
    You will not let her see
    The strange guest at your table.
    The wild god asks for whiskey
    And you pour a glass for him,
    Then a glass for yourself.
    Three snakes are beginning to nest
    In your voicebox. You cough.
    Oh, limitless space.
    Oh, eternal mystery.
    Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
    Oh, miracle of life.
    Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.
    You cough again,
    Expectorate the snakes and
    Water down the whiskey,
    Wondering how you got so old
    And where your passion went.
    The wild god reaches into a bag
    Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
    He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
    Raises an eyebrow
    And all the birds begin to sing.
    The fox leaps into your eyes.
    Otters rush from the darkness.
    The snakes pour through your body.
    Your dog howls and upstairs
    Your wife both exults and weeps at once.
    The wild god dances with your dog.
    You dance with the sparrows.
    A white stag pulls up a stool
    And bellows hymns to enchantments.
    A pelican leaps from chair to chair.
    In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
    Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
    Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
    The hills echo and the grey stones ring
    With laughter and madness and pain.
    In the middle of the dance,
    The house takes off from the ground.
    Clouds climb through the windows;
    Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
    The moon leans in through the window.
    The wild god points to your side.
    You are bleeding heavily.
    You have been bleeding for a long time,
    Possibly since you were born.
    There is a bear in the wound.
    ‘Why did you leave me to die?’
    Asks the wild god and you say:
    ‘I was busy surviving.
    The shops were all closed;
    I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’
    Listen to them:
    The fox in your neck and
    The snakes in your arms and
    The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
    The great un-nameable beasts
    In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…
    There is a symphony of howling.
    A cacophony of dissent.
    The wild god nods his head and
    You wake on the floor holding a knife,
    A bottle and a handful of black fur.
    Your dog is asleep on the table.
    Your wife is stirring, far above.
    Your cheeks are wet with tears;
    Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
    A black bear is sitting by the fire.
    Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
    He is awkward and does not know the ways
    Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
    His voice makes vinegar from wine
    And brings the dead to life.

    - Tom Hirons
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  35. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  36. TopTop #3979
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Well


    My sons gathered theirs
    and walked on
    because they had to
    and we say thank you and thank you
    and thank you
    until our hearts stop bleeding

    I packed my life and turned
    with my stuff and my man
    and drove away
    from friends gathered
    and I shout thank you and thank you
    and thank you
    until I can hear

    My friend stopped writing poems forever
    and turned and left the earth
    and still I sing thank you and thank you
    and thank you
    until I can bear our silence

    For there in the deep
    of gratitude
    is
    birdsong headlong falling into fullness
    hearthwarm clasp of hands familiar
    held close hearts beating time
    pull of ocean tide
    that holds me holy
    on nighttime breath of knowing
    who I am
    in the arms of these
    in the face of loss
    and abundance

    There in the well of
    gratitude
    where tears know
    the worth of every drop

    There I know
    thank you.

    - Sashana Kane Proctor
    .
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  37. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  38. TopTop #3980
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Enriching the Earth

    To enrich the earth I have sowed clover and grass
    to grow and die. I have plowed in the seeds
    of winter grains and various legumes,
    their growth to be plowed in to enrich the earth.
    I have stirred into the ground the offal
    and the decay of the growth of past seasons
    and so mended the earth and made its yield increase.
    All this serves the dark. Against the shadow
    of veiled possibility my workdays stand
    in a most asking light. I am slowly falling
    into the fund of things. And yet to serve the earth,
    not knowing what I serve, gives a wideness
    and a delight to the air, and my days
    do not wholly pass. It is the mind's service,
    for when the will fails so do the hands
    and one lives at the expense of life.
    After death, willing or not, the body serves,
    entering the earth. And so what was heaviest
    and most mute is at last raised up into song.

    - Wendell Berry
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  39. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  40. TopTop #3981
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Basket of Figs

    Bring me your pain, love. Spread
    it out like fine rugs, silk sashes,
    warm eggs, cinnamon
    and cloves in burlap sacks. Show me

    the detail, the intricate embroidery
    on the collar, tiny shell buttons,
    the hem stitched the way you were taught,
    pricking just a thread, almost invisible.

    Unclasp it like jewels, the gold
    still hot from your body. Empty
    your basket of figs. Spill your wine.

    That hard nugget of pain, I would suck it,
    cradling it on my tongue like the slick
    seed of pomegranate. I would lift it

    tenderly, as a great animal might
    carry a small one in the private
    cave of the mouth.

    - Ellen Bass
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  41. Gratitude expressed by 8 members:

  42. TopTop #3982
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Cause Of Death: Fox News

    Toward the end he sat on the back porch,
    sweeping his binoculars back and forth
    over the dry scrub-brush and arroyos,

    certain he saw Mexicans
    moving through the creosote and sage
    while the TV commentators in the living room,

    turned up loud enough for a deaf person to hear,
    kept pouring gasoline on his anxiety and rage.

    In the end he preferred to think about illegal aliens,
    about welfare moms and healthcare socialists,
    than about the uncomfortable sensation of the disease

    crawling through his tunnels in the night,
    crossing the river between his liver and his spleen.
    It was just his luck

    to be born in the historical period
    that would eventually be known
    as the twilight of the white male dinosaur,

    feeling weaker and more swollen every day,
    with the earth gradually looking more like hell
    and a strange smell rising from the kitchen sink.

    In the background those big male voices
    went on and on, turning the old crank
    about hard work and god, waving the flag

    and whipping the dread into a froth.
    Then one day my father had finished
    his surveillance, or it had finished him,

    and the cable-TV guy
    showed up at the house apologetically
    to take back the company equipment:

    the complicated black box with the dangling cord,
    and the gray rectangular remote control,
    like a little coffin.

    - Tony Hoagland
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  44. TopTop #3983
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Raking the Leaves with Jack
    for Jack Ridl and all the rakers


    Pulling the rake through the cottonwood leaves,
    I think of Jack in Michigan pulling his rake
    through beech, birch, oak and ash leaves.
    I stop to lean on my rake and I think
    of him stopping to lean on his rake
    and talk to the gods. I’m not so sure I believe
    in gods, but I believe in Jack. I believe in kindness.

    I believe in friendship that grows despite distance.
    I believe that these rhythms of raking and making piles
    bring us closer together—all of us rakers, all of us
    who step into the slow cadence of pull and reach,
    and pull and reach. There is something unifying
    in this annual act of tidying the world. Every day
    the news is full of all we can’t set right. But we
    can drag the rake through the yard so that we
    can see the path again. And we can set the rake
    aside and stare at the sky and think of all
    the people we love and all the people
    we’ll never know who join us in this simple act,
    reach and pull, reach and pull, reach and pull,
    the sound of metal tines grating, the beat
    of our own hearts scraping against our chests.


    - Rosemerry Trommer
    Last edited by Barry; Yesterday at 03:21 PM.
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  45. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  46. TopTop #3984
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    language lesson for young angels

    the wooden stone fiber box
    in which they sleep
    in which they dream
    the box in which their possessions
    keep them
    the box is called a house
    how’s?
    no house
    with heart force they say home
    ho om
    the metal rubber vinyl fiber box
    the box in which they roll over
    the strips of tar that they lay down
    burning smell machine cooking
    the thick black goo
    the metal box is called automobile
    haut oh mo veal?
    no aw toe mo beel
    with heart force they say my car
    mihigh karr
    and we funnels of the everlasting godhead’s
    grace
    we guardians of the young of all species
    we warrior shield against wayward meteors
    we vibration balancers of all tectonic plates
    we singers of the constant Glory
    we are called angels
    han gelz?
    no angels

    - Theresa Roach Melia
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  47. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

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