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  1. TopTop #3601
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Forbidden Words


    The Word Posse has rounded them up and lassoed them.
    It has tied bandanas around their mouths; shut them up in word jails,
    and in administrative lock-up. They will not see the light of day!
    They have been barred them from the lexicon of our thought.


    They are washing out our mouths with soap, yet
    there is not a four-letter word among them!


    They are tying our tongues in knots!
    Can your hear the police speed those lawbreakers
    Into dead letter files, or Black Sites?
    Their terrible influence has to be stuffed down
    our throats to strangle us, to wipe the silly grins off
    our faces. The sound of them will never again
    emerge from under our hats! They are to be
    shot on sight. You better not, better not shout:
    Vulnerable, or Transgender, or Fetus
    Or Science–based, especially Evidenced-based.
    No Diversity, no Entitlements., and what about
    Global Climate Change? Is it next?


    We hear you, but we will not keep silent. We will call in
    armies of words in pussy hats, saying “Me Too.”
    We will keep them all on the tips of our tongues;
    giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitations. And Rosa Parks
    and all the black women, and men, like William Barber
    will lead white women and men, to join in and say them!
    And Linda Sartor, Gloria Steinham and Jim Wallis
    will keep them like scripture and memorized poems.
    There is so much we know by heart. The whole
    oral tradition, the sound of songs, nursery rhymes
    echoing in the everyday streets of our lives.
    Even Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and U2 will be playing
    or rapping with the Millennials, and voting with them.
    The answer my friends is blowing
    with the wind of them, on the many roads


    and marches, until every street resounds
    with their un-rhymed offensive possibilities.


    - Judith Stone
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  3. TopTop #3602
    M/M's Avatar
    M/M
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    It is not just CDC, and it is not just USA.... AND what a clever way to stir up emotions and sides (aka the divide us/conquer us ruse)... See article by an oceanographer and two other lists of banned or forbidden words:

    CDC Receives List of Banned Words Including “Evidence-Based” and “Science-Based”

    War on language: Words like mankind, man-made, housewife banned at UK university

    War On Words: New York City Dept. Of Education Wants 50 'Forbidden' Words Banned From Standardized Tests


    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Forbidden Words
    ...
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  5. TopTop #3603
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Account Of A Visit From St. Nicholas

    ’Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

    The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
    While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads,
    And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
    Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —

    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
    Away to the window I flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

    The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
    Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
    When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
    But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,

    With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
    I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
    More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
    And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

    “Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
    “On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Under and Blixem;
    “To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
    “Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

    As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
    When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
    So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
    With the sleigh full of Toys — and St. Nicholas too:

    And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
    The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
    As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
    Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

    He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
    And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
    A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
    And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:

    His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
    His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
    His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow.
    And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

    The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
    And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
    He had a broad face, and a little round belly
    That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:

    He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
    And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
    Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
    And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
    And laying his finger aside of his nose
    And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

    He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
    And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
    Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

    - Henry Livingston, Jr.
    _____________________
    Last edited by Barry; 12-24-2017 at 02:51 PM.
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  7. TopTop #3604
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Amazing Peace


    Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
    And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
    Flood waters await us in our avenues.


    Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to
    avalanche
    Over unprotected villages.
    The sky slips low and grey and threatening.


    We question ourselves.
    What have we done
    to so affront nature?
    We worry God.
    Are you there? Are you there really?
    Does the covenant you made with us still hold?


    Into this climate of fear and apprehension,
    Christmas enters,
    Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
    And singing carols of forgiveness
    high up in the bright air.
    The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
    Come the way of friendship.


    It is the Glad Season.
    Thunder ebbs to silence
    and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
    Flood waters recede into memory.
    Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
    As we make our way to higher ground.


    Hope is born again in the faces of children
    It rides on the shoulders of our aged
    as they walk into their sunsets.
    Hope spreads around the earth,
    brightening all things,
    Even hate which crouches,
    breeding in dark corridors.


    In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
    At first it is too soft.
    Then only half heard.
    We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
    We hear a sweetness.
    The word is Peace.
    It is loud now.
    It is louder.
    Louder than the explosion of bombs.


    We tremble at the sound.
    We are thrilled by its presence.
    It is what we have hungered for.
    Not just the absence of war.
    But true Peace.
    A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
    Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.


    We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
    We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
    We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
    Peace.
    Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
    We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
    Implore you to stay a while with us.
    So we may learn by your shimmering light
    How to look beyond complexion and see community.


    It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.


    On this platform of peace, we can create a language
    To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.


    At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
    Into the great religions of the world.
    We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
    We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
    All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
    To celebrate the promise of Peace.


    We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
    Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
    Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
    Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
    And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.




    Peace, My Brother.
    Peace, My Sister.
    Peace, My Soul.


    - Maya Angelou
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  9. TopTop #3605
    gardenmaniac's Avatar
    gardenmaniac
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Night Before Christmas redux

    tis the day after christmas and all the thru the store
    some folks will be shouting "we need to buy more"
    most feared they'd missed out on the best deals of all
    so early they got up and drove to the mall

    I'm sorry to say it's the 'merican way ...
    there's never enough in old Santy Claws sleigh
    to fill up that void we buy things we don't need
    it's really appalling to witness such greed

    I remember when we would behave in this way
    only that one late November Friday
    we forget to be grateful for all that we've got
    so here's an idea let's give it a shot


    maybe next weekend to start the new year
    we can relish our good health and those we hold dear
    be grateful for everything good in our lives
    our sisters our brothers our husbands and wives.

    peace out, Ruth
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  11. TopTop #3606
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ring Out, Wild Bells

    Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

      The flying cloud, the frosty light:
      The year is dying in the night;
    Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

    Ring out the old, ring in the new,
      Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
      The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true.

    Ring out the grief that saps the mind
      For those that here we see no more;
      Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
    Ring in redress to all mankind.

    Ring out a slowly dying cause,
      And ancient forms of party strife;
      Ring in the nobler modes of life,
    With sweeter manners, purer laws.

    Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
      The faithless coldness of the times;
      Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
    But ring the fuller minstrel in.

    Ring out false pride in place and blood,
      The civic slander and the spite;
      Ring in the love of truth and right,
    Ring in the common love of good.

    Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
      Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
      Ring out the thousand wars of old,
    Ring in the thousand years of peace.

    Ring in the valiant man and free,
      The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
      Ring out the darkness of the land,
    Ring in the Christ that is to be.
    Last edited by Barry; 12-26-2017 at 02:37 PM.
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  13. TopTop #3607
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    You Darkness

    You Darkness, from which I come,
    I love you more than all the fires that fence out the world.

    Because the fires make a circle of light
    so that no one can see you any more.

    But the Darkness holds it all.
    The shapes, the animals,
    The flames and myself.

    How it holds them.
    All power, All Strength

    And it is possible, a great energy is breaking into my body.

    I have faith in the night

    - Rainier Maria Rilke
    (translation by Robert Bly)
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  15. TopTop #3608
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Background photo taken from aircraft window somewhere above the Southwest.

    Name:  Rilke-Poem.jpg
Views: 875
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    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    You Darkness...
    Last edited by Barry; 12-27-2017 at 06:01 PM.
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  17. TopTop #3609
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In My 74th Year


    I’m leaving.
    I come upon this unexpectedly,
    like turning a corner and seeing the cat walking on out the open door.
    I’ll be sitting quietly, like always,
    and notice that something I used to think was very important
    just doesn’t seem to matter anymore.
    A surprise.
    I always knew I would be leaving, the fact of it.
    But now I know it differently, through awareness.
    Not, as I once thought, through aches and pains,
    or gradually diminishing capacity,
    But, unexpectedly,
    The cat, tail up, just walking away.

    - Jean Norelli
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  19. TopTop #3610
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Prayer


    Tonight...instead of trying to talk to You in my bed,
    I talk to You with my pen...a Psalm perhaps.
    I ask for what I ask for every night:
    Heal my heart and let me not be crazy,
    and give me strength to live a good life.
    This is a small man's simple wish.

    Like on other nights, I do not know if You are there.
    I do not know if You hear me.
    It has been said by sages that You talk to men.
    I have not heard Your voice, I do not think.
    But yet....I know there is a You,
    by what You have made:
    by the stars and the grasses in the marshes.
    How You grow flowers and trees
    and by how they breathe.
    By how Your perfumes fill the woods
    and by the more than myriads of intricacies
    Your hand has crafted.

    Maybe then, for me in some small way
    We have heard each other.
    If this is so, I cannot say.

    And now I end this with the end
    of the Bedtime Shema:*
    “Stand in awe and sin not.
    Commune with your own heart
    upon your bed and be still.
    Selah” *

    - Marvin Blaustein

    *Shema is a Hebrew Prayer
    *Selah; forever
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  21. TopTop #3611
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Hieroglyphic Stairway


    it’s 3:23 in the morning
    and I’m awake
    because my great great grandchildren
    won’t let me sleep
    my great great grandchildren
    ask me in dreams
    what did you do while the planet was plundered?
    what did you do when the earth was unraveling?

    surely you did something
    when the seasons started failing?

    as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?

    did you fill the streets with protest
    when democracy was stolen?

    what did you do
    once
    you
    knew?

    I’m riding home on the Colma train
    I’ve got the voice of the milky way in my dreams

    I have teams of scientists
    feeding me data daily
    and pleading I immediately
    turn it into poetry

    I want just this consciousness reached
    by people in range of secret frequencies
    contained in my speech

    I am the desirous earth
    equidistant to the underworld
    and the flesh of the stars

    I am everything already lost

    the moment the universe turns transparent
    and all the light shoots through the cosmos

    I use words to instigate silence

    I’m a hieroglyphic stairway
    in a buried Mayan city
    suddenly exposed by a hurricane

    a satellite circling earth
    finding dinosaur bones
    in the Gobi desert
    I am telescopes that see back in time

    I am the precession of the equinoxes,
    the magnetism of the spiraling sea

    I’m riding home on the Colma train
    with the voice of the milky way in my dreams

    I am myths where violets blossom from blood
    like dying and rising gods

    I’m the boundary of time
    soul encountering soul
    and tongues of fire

    it’s 3:23 in the morning
    and I can’t sleep
    because my great great grandchildren
    ask me in dreams
    what did you do while the earth was unraveling?

    I want just this consciousness reached
    by people in range of secret frequencies
    contained in my speech


    - Drew Dellinger
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    M/M
  23. TopTop #3612
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Way Forward

    There is that of Christ
    in each of us
    but none
    has the whole.

    Therefore, we must listen,
    listen to discern
    what part we speak
    what part we hear
    what part is left unspoken.

    We must not think
    our part is whole,
    nor another’s part
    nor the part left unspoken.

    But searching our soul,
    open to discovery
    of something new
    about ourselves,
    hearing something new
    from another,
    being aware of something
    yet to be spoken,
    will lead us forward.

    And what new thing
    might we discover?
    What fear uncover,
    that leads to deafness
    and to judgment—
    of ourselves or of another?
    And how might owning
    that part of us
    and sharing
    in faith
    that we will be heard
    and held as human,
    show us the Spirit
    and the way forward?

    - Bill Denham
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  25. TopTop #3613
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A New Year’s Blessing

    Unhurried mornings, greeted with gratitude;
    good work for the hand, the heart and the mind;
    the smile of a friend, the laughter of children;
    kind words from a neighbor, a home dry and warm.

    Food on the table, with a place for the stranger;
    a glimpse of the mystery behind every breath;
    some time of ease in the arms of your lover;
    then sleep with a prayer of thanks on your lips;

    May all this and more be yours this year
    and every year after to the end of your days.

    - Larry Robinson
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  27. TopTop #3614
    Roland Jacopetti's Avatar
    Roland Jacopetti
    Supporting Member

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Thank you, Larry, for your year-long gift of poetry, and for your presence in our lives.
    Roland


    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    A New Year’s Blessing

    Unhurried mornings, greeted with gratitude;
    good work for the hand, the heart and the mind;
    the smile of a friend, the laughter of children;
    kind words from a neighbor, a home dry and warm.

    Food on the table, with a place for the stranger;
    a glimpse of the mystery behind every breath;
    some time of ease in the arms of your lover;
    then sleep with a prayer of thanks on your lips;

    May all this and more be yours this year
    and every year after to the end of your days.

    - Larry Robinson
    Last edited by Barry; 01-02-2018 at 10:29 AM.
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  29. TopTop #3615
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Year’s End

    Now winter downs the dying of the year,
    And night is all a settlement of snow;
    From the soft street the rooms of houses show
    A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
    Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
    And still allows some stirring down within.

    I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
    The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
    And held in ice as dancers in a spell
    Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
    Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
    They seemed their own most perfect monument.

    There was perfection in the death of ferns
    Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
    A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
    Composedly have made their long sojourns,
    Like palaces of patience, in the gray
    And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

    The little dog lay curled and did not rise
    But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
    And found the people incomplete, and froze
    The random hands, the loose unready eyes
    Of men expecting yet another sun
    To do the shapely thing they had not done.

    These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
    We fray into the future, rarely wrought
    Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
    More time, more time. Barrages of applause
    Come muffled from a buried radio.
    The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.

    - Richard Wilbur
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  31. TopTop #3616
    Roland Jacopetti's Avatar
    Roland Jacopetti
    Supporting Member

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    One of my all-time favorites. Thanks again, Larry.
    Roland

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Year’s End

    Now winter downs the dying of the year,
    And night is all a settlement of snow;
    From the soft street the rooms of houses show
    A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
    Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
    And still allows some stirring down within.

    I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
    The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
    And held in ice as dancers in a spell
    Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
    Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
    They seemed their own most perfect monument.

    There was perfection in the death of ferns
    Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
    A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
    Composedly have made their long sojourns,
    Like palaces of patience, in the gray
    And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

    The little dog lay curled and did not rise
    But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
    And found the people incomplete, and froze
    The random hands, the loose unready eyes
    Of men expecting yet another sun
    To do the shapely thing they had not done.

    These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
    We fray into the future, rarely wrought
    Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
    More time, more time. Barrages of applause
    Come muffled from a buried radio.
    The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.

    - Richard Wilbur
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  33. TopTop #3617
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    It would be neat if with the New Year…


    It would be neat if with the New Year
    I could leave my loneliness behind with the old year.
    My leathery loneliness an old pair of work boots
    my dog vigorously head-shakes back and forth in its jaws,
    chews on for hours every day in my front yard—
    rain, sun, snow, or wind
    in bare feet, pondering my poem,
    I’d look out my window and see that dirty pair of boots in the yard.

    But my happiness depends so much on wearing those boots.

    At the end of my day
    while I’m in a chair listening to a Mexican corrido
    I stare at my boots appreciating:
    all the wrong roads we’ve taken, all the drug and whiskey houses
    we’ve visited, and as the Mexican singer wails his pain,
    I smile at my boots, understanding every note in his voice,
    and strangers, when they see my boots rocking back and forth on my
    feet
    keeping beat to the song, see how
    my boots are scuffed, tooth-marked, worn-soled.

    I keep wearing them because they fit so good
    and I need them, especially when I love so hard,
    where I go up those boulder strewn trails,
    where flowers crack rocks in their defiant love for the light.

    - Jimmy Santiago Baca
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  35. TopTop #3618
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    This Year

    Assemble
    resolve
    good thoughts
    merriment
    humble pie
    friends
    unusual words
    only good thots
    goodness
    lactobacillus bacteria
    memories
    some guts(iness)
    gray clouds
    nimbus

    Dis-assemble
    resentment
    expectations
    fancy restaurants–
    Rebeccas
    unilateral decisions
    iron gloves
    motherless days
    ledgers
    past ledgers
    worries
    knots in stomach
    tangled sheets
    the firearms


    - Nancy Cavers Dougherty
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  37. TopTop #3619
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A NEW YEAR’S REMINDER
    TO TAPE TO MY CALENDAR

    Burn the old calendar,
    put up the new!
    (We humans must always
    have something to do.)

    The date moves on
    to the next little box.
    Time inches forward
    on all the world’s clocks—

    all Impermanence,
    as Buddha said.
    No sooner welcomed,
    each moment is shred.

    Life is a shell game,
    played on the street
    by a trickster who yawns
    at the Spirit’s defeat

    while the Unchanging One,
    behind time and space,
    patiently waits
    to gift us with Grace.

    - Max Reif
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  39. TopTop #3620
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ashes Among the Remains

    My father responded

    Just throw them away

    I did not nor did I cast them into
    ocean or bay where we’d fished
    flounder and fluke nor strew them
    over the golf courses where he’d hit
    multistage rockets rising from half an inch
    then to a foot above fairways
    to summarily explode
    hundreds of yards into the future
    other worldly fireworks released
    by his elegantly compact fury.

    Instead I left them in their box
    a golden shiny tin ossuary
    next to my mother’s on the top shelf
    of my bedroom closet
    where I did not have to make decisions
    and I incidentally could visit them daily
    until our house burned down
    in the California wildfires
    October Ninth 2017

    I don’t intend here to dwell upon
    the nightmare that fire is
    I will not detail the feelings we had
    as we evacuated in one of our cars
    along with the family terrier and nothing else
    though later we did contemplate
    Dad’s and Mom’s remains further
    consumed by 1500 degree flames
    extending their years-earlier incineration
    in an oven at the crematorium near Petaluma.

    Were it not that my parents lived well into
    their nineties I so sick depressed and barely 74
    might feel prepared to let go of the tangible rim
    to the bottomless jar of all that remains
    to the what or the where or the not.

    - Ed Coletti
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  40. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  41. TopTop #3621
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Thoughts on a Journey


    1

    I knew I had to take gold.
    When it was brought from my treasury,
    even I marveled at it.
    It had come from a royal suppliant,
    a small coffer chased in lions & suns.
    Even he did not fully know how costly it is:
    the metal shines with the sweat of slaves,
    its beauty weighed by blood.
    (I had dreamt that in another world
    it is called the excrement of gods.)
    It had to be the incorruptible measure of cost.

    2

    Once I knew I was going,
    I knew what I would bring;
    the casket of olibanum stood on the table,
    white male frankincense, breast-shaped drops,
    brought by a traveler from Hadramaut.
    As I gazed at the sky
    the three tears I had placed in the brazier
    gave up their scent.
    It smelled bitterly sweet, this clotted blood of trees.
    This smoke holy to the rites of Isis,
    this costly gum precious to Horus.

    3

    For every coming there is a going,
    even for stars.
    One is no more astounding than the other,
    one is to be celebrated even as the other,
    & I sent for the myrrh,
    brown & bitter & costly,
    brought long distances by a friend.
    (He said that somewhere it is fed cows
    to make their milk flow rich.)
    Incense for the gods,
    unguent for the dead.


    [From the records of a Galilean merchant late in the reign of Herod the Great: “The census has been good for trade, praise the Lord God. Prices are high and no one asks where the money comes from. Today a clownish craftsman bought one of my good mules: a gold box; two thick wool blankets: a pound of frankincense; and wheat-bread, dried figs, three goat-skins of wine (for a long trip, he said): one pound of myrrh.”]

    - Rafael Jesus Gonzales


    Pensamientos durante una Jornada


    1

    Supe que tendría que llevar oro.
    Cuando lo trajeron de mi tesorería
    aun yo me maravillé de él.
    Me había llegado de un suplicante real,
    un pequeño cofre engastado con soles y leones.
    Ni él sabía del todo lo costoso que es:
    el metal luce con el sudor de esclavos,
    su belleza pesada con sangre.
    (Había soñado yo que en algún otro mundo
    se le llamaba el excremento de los dioses.)
    Tenía que ser la medida incorruptible del precio.

    2

    Una vez que supe que iba,
    supe lo que traería;
    el cofrecito de olíbano estaba sobre la mesa,
    blanco incienso macho, gotas en forma de pezones,
    traído por un viajero de Hadramaut.
    Al mirar al cielo
    las tres lágrimas que había puesto en el brasero
    despidieron su aroma.
    Olía amargamente dulce,
    esta coagulada sangre de árboles.
    Este humo sacro a los ritos de Isis,
    esta costosa resina preciosa a Hero.

    3

    Por cada venir hay un ir,
    aun para las estrellas.
    El uno no más asombrante que el otro,
    el uno es para celebrarse tanto como el otro,
    y mandé por la mirra,
    morena y amarga y costosa,
    traída a través largas distancias por un amigo.
    (Dijo que en algún lugar se la alimentaban a las vacas
    para que les fluyeran rica la leche.)
    Incienso para los dioses,
    ungüento para los muertos.


    [De los apuntes de un mercader de Galilea tarde en el reino de Herodes el Grande: “El censo ha sido bueno para el negocio, alabado sea el Señor Dios. Los precios son altos y nadie pregunta de donde viene el dinero. Hoy un artesano villano compró una de mis mulas mejores: una cajita de oro; dos mantas gruesas de lana: una libra de incienso; y pan de trigo, higos desecados, tres botas de vino (para un viaje largo dijo): una libra de mirra.”]

    - Rafael Jesus Gonzales
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  42. TopTop #3622
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    With Our Own Hands


    After reading Kazim Ali’s poem “Drone”

    Maybe we see everything from a distance now.
    Like the drones we build,
    We view life from twenty thousand feet,
    Separate ourselves from the pain —
    Autonomous capability.

    Do we eventually become what we make?
    If we make poems, do we become the words
    Or the single letters from which they’re formed,
    Or the thought just before our pencils land?
    Be careful what you make.

    - Jackie Huss Hallerberg
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  43. TopTop #3623
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For the New Year, 1981

    I have a small grain of hope—
    one small crystal that gleams
    clear colors out of transparency.

    I need more.

    I break off a fragment
    to send you.

    Please take
    this grain of a grain of hope
    so that mine won’t shrink.

    Please share your fragment
    so that yours will grow.

    Only so, by division,
    will hope increase,

    like a clump of irises, which will cease to flower
    unless you distribute
    the clustered roots, unlikely source—
    clumsy and earth-covered—
    of grace.

    - Denise Levertov
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  45. TopTop #3624
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What the Shuttle Driver Told Me

    My spiritual education began when I was broke, dead broke.
    I went to a park, sat down and cried.
    A man in a black suit stopped in front of me.
    He said, I’m a magician.
    I have one trick no one else in the world can do.
    Watch.
    No, I won’t explain. It’s magic.
    God sent me to give you a blessing, he said:
    Don’t worry about money.
    Oh, and feed the birds.

    Three days in a row I sat on that bench.
    Three days in a row, that magician found me.
    Each time, he repeated his impossible trick.
    He always had a big bag of bread
    and fed the birds:
    pigeons, crows, sparrows,
    They waited for him.
    Those birds knew him.

    Growing up in El Salvador,
    I used to catch little lizards and kill them.
    I thought I was a hunter.
    As an adult, I realize I’ve caused a lot of damage.
    I have to pay it back.
    That’s one thing the magician taught me.
    You can feed a bunch of birds really fast, every day.
    Those are little blessings.
    You can give away blessings easily.
    It’s not that hard.
    Every day I look for a new way.

    After the third blessing, I went back to the garage,
    told the other drivers about my magician.
    Oh I know who you mean! He wears a top hat, right?
    Yes, I said, and a long black overcoat too.
    Wait, when was this?
    My friend was looking at me funny.
    Today, just now, I said, and for two days before that.
    Oh no, Eduardo, my friend laughed,
    That can’t be right.
    That’s old so-and-so (I can’t remember his name), he was famous.
    He died ten years ago.

    I’ve never seen that magician again.
    Was he a ghost? a spirit? an angel?
    I always remember what he said:
    God sent me to give you a blessing.
    There is a little bit of truth in all religions.

    I’ve never worried about money since then.
    I’ve never been that penniless again.
    What he did was teach me how to give blessings.
    I wish I had some rose quartz to give you.
    Rose quartz is for healing.
    The first time I touched it, I fainted.
    It was like an electrical shock.
    Now I still tingle all over,
    but my body absorbs the energy.
    I’m hungry for it, like a vitamin.

    I’m giving you this story—
    is this your destination?—
    Sign here.
    Take your receipt.
    Remember me in your prayers, okay?
    I will do the same.


    - Deborah A. Miranda
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  46. TopTop #3625
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    January
    Dusk and snow this hour
    in argument have settled
    nothing. Light persists,
    and darkness. If a star
    shines now, that shine is
    swallowed and given back
    doubled, grounded bright.
    The timid angels flailed
    by passing children lift
    in a whitening wind
    toward night. What plays
    beyond the window plays
    as water might, all parts
    making cold digress.
    Beneath iced bush and eave,
    the small banked fires of birds
    at rest lend absences
    to seeming absence. Truth
    is, nothing at all is missing.
    Wind hisses and one shadow
    sways where a window’s lampglow
    has added something. The rest
    is dark and light together tolled
    against the boundary-riven
    houses. Against our lives,
    the stunning wholeness of the world.
    - Betty Adcock
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  47. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  48. TopTop #3626
    PElla's Avatar
    PElla
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What a poem... what a find! Thank you, Larry.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    January...
    Last edited by Barry; 01-12-2018 at 03:07 PM.
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  49. Gratitude expressed by:

  50. TopTop #3627
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Our Jeopardy


    It is good to use best china

    treasured dishes
    the most gentle goblets
    the oldest lace tablecloth
    there is a risk of course
    every time we use anything
    or anyone shares an inmost
    mood or comment
    or a fragile cup of revelation
    but not to touch
    not to handle
    not to employ the available
    artifacts of being
    a human being
    that is a quiet crash
    the deadly catastrophe

    where nothing is enjoyed or broken
    or spoken or spilled
    or stained or mended
    where nothing is ever
    lived
    loved
    pored over
    laughed over
    wept over
    lost
    or found.

    - Thomas John Carlisle
    Last edited by Barry; 01-12-2018 at 03:16 PM.
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  51. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  52. TopTop #3628
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ladybugs

    What guides the ladybugs

    to cluster every year
    in the early winter months
    alongside the Stream Trail?
    How do they remember,
    locate their way back,
    find each other?
    Clustering on dead logs
    and in the sunny patches of
    blackberry brambles, they rest,
    lay their eggs, and
    wait for Spring.

    Why are ladybugs, like salmon
    pitting their way back
    to the places of their spawning,
    smarter than we supposedly
    superior humans?
    They know to spend the bleak
    winter months congregating with
    their companions, while we so often think
    we must overwinter alone, or only

    with a few of our nearest and dearest.

    Here is what ladybugs know:
    Rest.
    Find your way home.
    Huddle up together.
    Stay warm.

    - Maya Spector
    Last edited by Barry; 01-13-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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  53. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  54. TopTop #3629
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Nuyorico

    Dedicated to Pedro Pietri “El Reverendo” R.I.P.


    Nuyorico…
    That place somewhere between The Empire State and El Morro
    Down a dripping pipe that lands pitter pat on Mami’s broken back
    For lifetimes attacked
    Placed on frontlines to fight for what we will never get back
    But the soil is still fertile unlike the colonized spirit of the
    Mass graves of the enslaved that chanted but no one could hear it
    ‘Cause our heads are so far up our own asses
    We can’t tell the unnatural from the natural gases
    But best believe we still manage to breathe
    And pull out in time so we won’t have to breed
    Another generation of the ill conceived
    Born in search of truth but perpetually deceived
    Told that we are free but we cannot leave
    Nuyorico…
    That place that we live for
    Papi said, “Americanos no tienen accentos”
    Americans don’t have accents
    Except the kind you sprinkle on your food and pretend
    That compared to Abuelita’s cooking
    Your cooking’s just as good
    Yeah! Pour some more on for me
    Call it Sazon, even though it’s made by Pillsbury
    So obvious when the main ingredient is MSG
    The message is to love all that isn’t we and
    The doughboy in the White House just goes “hee hee hee”
    World War I, World War II, World War Infinity
    But resistance existed through Word War divinities
    Coming in the form of “El Reverendo” Pedro Pietri
    Who fought a war of no good and plenty
    Still he speaks to our people
    Forcing us out from behind tenement peepholes
    To find a place where we can all feel equal
    And realize all along your heart knew you were so Rico
    When you realize that, that’s when you’re there
    Welcome to Nuyorico…

    - Caridad De La Luz
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  55. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  56. TopTop #3630
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    After the Lecture

    for Martin Luther King Jr.

    A woman said I was not polite
    to the opposition,
    that I was harsh
    and did not encourage
    discourse.

    Perhaps if I were Christ,
    I could say, "Forgive them
    for they know not what they do."
    Or the queen, and apologize
    for stubbing my executioner's toes.

    But only if I knew
    the executioners
    were mine only.

    What courtesy have I the right to give
    to them who break the bones,
    the souls of my brothers,
    my sisters;
    deny bread, books
    to the hungry,
    the children;
    medicine, healing
    to the sick;
    roofs to the homeless;

    who spoil the oceans,
    lay waste the forests
    and the deserts,
    violate the land?


    Affability on the lips
    of outrage
    is a sin and blasphemy
    I'll not be guilty of.

    - Rafael Jesús González


    Después del Discurso


    a Martin Luther King Jr.


    Una mujer me dijo que no fui cortés
    con la oposición,
    que fui duro
    y que no animé
    discusión.

    Tal vez si fuera Cristo,
    pudiera decir - Perdónalos
    que no saben lo que hacen. -
    O la reina, y disculparme
    por haber pisarle el pie a mi verdugo.

    Pero solamente si supiera
    que los verdugos
    fueran solamente míos.

    ¿Qué cortesía tengo el derecho a darles
    a los que quiebran los huesos
    y las almas de mis hermanos,
    mis hermanas;
    les niegan el pan, los libros
    a los hambrientos,
    a los niños;
    la medicina, el sanar
    a los enfermos;
    techos a los desamparados;

    que estropean los mares,
    que destruyen los bosques
    y los desiertos,
    violan la tierra?

    Afabilidad en los labios
    de la furia justa
    es pecado y blasfemia
    de la cual no seré culpable.


    - Rafael Jesús González
    Last edited by Barry; 01-15-2018 at 01:46 PM.
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  57. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

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