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  1. TopTop #4051
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To Step off a Hundred Foot Pole

    The koan asks: If you can step forward and reveal yourself fully, there will be no place where you are called dishonorable. So, right now, tell me. How do you step forward from the top of the hundred-foot pole?

    Start your day with
    Three assumptions: you are
    Safe. You have enough.
    You cannot get life wrong.
    Now, step out and live.

    Foolish, I know. Knowing that
    Danger, like dragons
    Waits for so many,
    Knowing hunger is inheritance to
    Too many. Missteps must be
    Avoided lest vulnerability
    Be exposed. Still too many

    With plenty
    Start days with
    Three assumptions: danger
    Is all around. More is needed.
    You will likely
    Get life wrong, make mistakes
    Expose vulnerability.

    It is to those, I say,
    Start your day with
    Three assumptions: strangers
    Are ones you haven’t yet met.
    You have enough to share.
    Life itself can’t be wrong.

    It’s to those I say,
    Safe, you’ll find
    Those unlike you more
    Like you. Satisfied
    With enough, the grip
    Of greed loosens, generosity
    Becomes routine, normal.
    Mistakes will reveal themselves
    As unlocked doors.

    Safe, satisfied, secure
    We are able to step off
    That hundred foot pole,
    Feel the wind wave
    Through our one body.

    So to you I say, Start your day
    Knowing you are safe,
    You have enough,
    You cannot get life wrong.
    Now take that step.
    The universe is here to hold you.

    - Rebecca del Rio
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  3. TopTop #4052
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    There is a community of the spirit.

    Join it, and feel the delight
    of walking in the noisy street
    and being the noise.

    Drink all your passion
    and be a disgrace.

    Close both eyes
    to see with the other eye.

    Open your hands,
    if you want to be held.

    Sit down in this circle.

    Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
    the shepherd's love filling you.

    At night, your beloved wanders.
    Don't accept consolations.

    Close your mouth against food.
    Taste the lover's mouth in yours.

    You moan, "She left me." "He left me."
    Twenty more will come.

    Be empty of worrying.
    Think who created thought!

    Why do you stay in prison
    when the door is so wide open?

    Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
    Live in silence.

    Flow down and down in always
    widening rings of being.

    - Jelalludin Rumi
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  5. TopTop #4053
    eddierosenthal's Avatar
    eddierosenthal
    Supporting Member

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I can hear Coleman Barks in my minds voice. ( was that the translator?) On my list of 100 to read i have the masnavi, will i live that long...

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    There is a community of the spirit.

    Join it, and feel the delight
    of walking in the noisy street
    and being the noise.
    ...
    - Jelalludin Rumi
    Last edited by Barry; 02-09-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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  7. TopTop #4054
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Cleaning Up After the Poetry Salon

    It's not always easy.

    Proper nouns are manageable.
    They stack well.
    Biggest on the bottom -
    The Great Plains, Idaho, Mt. Rainier -
    then the smaller stuff left behind -
    Boxcars, photographs, you know.

    Adjectives are remarkably tough to clean up.
    The dry ones catch on the furniture,
    bury themselves in cracks
    hide in the pocket of an old sweater.
    They crumble to awkward, ungainly,
    unmanageable, yes fragile
    pieces …that somehow cunningly avoid
    the shedding broom some poet has
    left behind.
    And wet ones like sticky and slimy - yikes!

    Cleaning up the leavings of Wendell Berry?
    it's a grange meeting hall.
    Rich black dirt everywhere,
    corn stalks, the lingering thick odor of
    compost and just a hint of cow manure
    on your shoes and your best carpet.

    And Jesus! Those poems about stars -
    the poets have no idea.
    Whole constellations left behind -
    Watch it with the Pleides, they have sharp points
    And yes, the Dog Star does bite.

    My rule would be -
    you brought 'em, you take 'em home.

    Food is good in a poem.
    Mom's apple pie and romantic dinners for two
    are usually digested by the salon - no leftovers.
    It's the ethnic dishes with strange names
    luedafisk, sauerkraut, gefiltafish
    and anything made with hot peppers
    Well, you know.

    Poets - a little consideration -
    slip in some sponges, maybe
    a mop or really - just a mouthful of food,
    a spoonful -
    yes, spoons for everybody.

    And come on,
    no animals bigger than a cat or small dog.
    polar bears and coyotes are disasters.

    Oh I could go on…
    mixed metaphors sliding
    down the walls and tangled
    in the drapes.

    Cliches hiding their heads in the corners.
    shy, embarrassed marmots standing by dead seals.
    stinking sea weed and sharks behind the sofa
    And fish - fish beyond number -
    flopping on the floor.

    Verbs are easy - they move around
    so much - just
    open the door and they
    take care of themselves.

    But poets,
    It's the birds left behind…
    Egret, Robin, wrens, a flock of seagulls,
    a murder of crows…
    For God's sake leave a window open.

    But eagle, oh my friends, the eagle
    he glowers there
    from the chandelier
    Royally pissed!
    A moment in a poem
    then forgotten
    in the closed room.

    I know, I know.
    I'm making a new mess now -
    I'll need some help here with
    Idaho and that eagle.

    For the rest
    I brought 'em.
    I'll take 'em home.

    - Doug von Koss
    Last edited by Barry; 02-10-2019 at 02:14 PM.
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  9. TopTop #4055
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How It Happens


    The sky said I am watching

    to see what you

    can make out of nothing

    I was looking up and I said

    I thought you

    were supposed to be doing that

    the sky said Many

    are clinging to that

    I am giving you a chance

    I was looking up and I said

    I am the only chance I have

    then the sky did not answer

    and here we are

    with our names for the days

    the vast days that do not listen to us



    - W.S. Merwin
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  11. TopTop #4056
    eddierosenthal's Avatar
    eddierosenthal
    Supporting Member

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    There are a few that make something out of nothing and even without punctuation
    one of the newer experiments poets are imitating from ws merwin

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    How It Happens
    ...
    - W.S. Merwin
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  13. TopTop #4057
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Name:  How-It-Happens.jpg
Views: 657
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    Background image taken one evening from the Jr. College's Maginni Hall's 3rd floor.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    How It Happens ...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Barry; 02-12-2019 at 11:34 AM.
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  15. TopTop #4058
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    If They Should Come for Us

    these are my people & I find

    them on the street & shadow
    
through any wild all wild
    
my people my people
a dance of strangers in my blood
    
the old woman’s sari dissolving to wind

    bindi a new moon on her forehead
    
I claim her my kin & sew
the star of her to my breast
    
the toddler dangling from stroller
hair a fountain of dandelion seed
    
at the bakery I claim them too
    
the sikh uncle at the airport
    who apologizes for the pat
    
down the muslim man who abandons
    his car at the traffic light drops
    
to his knees at the call of the azan
    
& the muslim man who sips
    
good whiskey at the start of maghrib
    
the lone khala at the park
    
pairing her kurta with crocs
    
my people my people I can’t be lost
    
when I see you my compass
    
is brown & gold & blood

    my compass a muslim teenager
    
snapback & high-tops gracing
the subway platform
    
mashallah I claim them all

    my country is made
    
in my people’s image

    if they come for you they
    
come for me too in the dead

    of winter a flock of

    aunties step out on the sand
    
their dupattas turn to ocean

    a colony of uncles grind their palms
    
& a thousand jasmines bell the air

    my people I follow you like constellations

    we hear the glass smashing the street
    
& the nights opening their dark
    
our names this country’s wood
    
for the fire my people my people
    
the long years we’ve survived the long
    
years yet to come I see you map

    my sky the light your lantern long
    
ahead & I follow I follow

    - Fatimah Asghar
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  17. TopTop #4059
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Mortician in San Francisco

    This may sound queer,
    but in 1985 I held the delicate hands
    of Dan White:
    I prepared him for burial; by then, Harvey Milk
    was made monument—no, myth—by the years
    since he was shot.

    I remember when Harvey was shot:
    twenty, and I knew I was queer.
    Those were the years,
    Levi’s and leather jackets holding hands
    on Castro Street, cheering for Harvey Milk—
    elected on the same day as Dan White.

    I often wonder about Supervisor White,
    who fatally shot
    Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk,
    who was one of us, a Castro queer.
    May 21, 1979: a jury hands
    down the sentence, seven years—

    in truth, five years—
    for ex-cop, ex-fireman Dan White,
    for the blood on his hands;
    when he confessed that he had shot
    the mayor and the queer,
    a few men in blue cheered. And Harvey Milk?

    Why cry over spilled milk,
    some wondered, semi-privately, for years—
    it meant “one less queer.”
    The jurors turned to White.
    If just the mayor had been shot,
    Dan might have had trouble on his hands—

    but the twelve who held his life in their hands
    maybe didn’t mind the death of Harvey Milk;
    maybe, the second murder offered him a shot
    at serving only a few years.
    In the end, he committed suicide, this Dan White.
    And he was made presentable by a queer.

    - Randall Mann
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  19. TopTop #4060
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Love Letter from Baghdad


    Call me Rabia. I was
    named for the Sufi Saint.
    Blood pumps through the four
    chambers of my heart,
    swift and scarlet with joy or slow
    and bruised black with sorrow.
    We are the same.

    This morning, as I pin up wash
    in my rubbled court yard,
    the long fingers of the sun reach
    over the desert and sting my sleepless
    eyes like dust, like diesel fumes.
    There’s an explosion.
    Did you hear it?

    My neighbor sinks to the ground
    in the folds of her burka,
    a dark flower, rocking and keening,
    her bloodied grandchild in her arms.
    The earth trembles with
    the terrible sound of her grief.
    We are the same.

    I want to share sweet memories
    with you, of date palm and pomegranate,
    the hay fragrance of saffron, the song
    of the nightingale. I invite you
    to share yours with me.
    We are the same.

    Come sister, let’s raise our arms
    and begin. We’ll spin
    and dance like the Sufis.
    It will take as many turns
    as there are stars
    to make this right.
    We do not yet know the steps.

    - Gail Barker
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  21. TopTop #4061
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Brief History of Love

    The first-born of Mother Chaos, it is said,

    was Eros of the piercing, life-giving darts.
    & then through eons & eons of Cosmic turmoil
    was born Earth who in union with the Sun
    through eons & eons of gestation
    gave birth to Life. Through more eons & eons
    of calamity, catastrophe & trial,
    Life grew sentient —colors & sounds,
    smells, tastes, the feel of things.
    And later after eons & eons
    (though far less) it grew conscious
    of wonder & of myth, of history & science,
    strange mixtures of love & fear,
    curiosity, invention, & awry desires,
    until Tonantzin, the Great Mother
    is wounded by us, her wayward children.

    Awaking to what is
    now we must defend the Earth
    from ourselves
    with a fierce love.

    - Rafael Jesús González


    Breve historia del amor

    El primogénito de Madre Caos, se dice,
    fue Eros de las saetas penetrantes, dadoras de vida.
    Y luego a través de eones y eones de agitación Cósmica
    nació la Tierra que en unión con el Sol
    a través de eones y eones de preñez
    dio luz a la Vida. A través más eones y eones
    de calamidad, catástrofe y prueba,
    la Vida se hizo sensible —colores y sonidos,
    olores, sabores, tacto de las cosas,
    Y más tarde después de eones y eones
    (aunque muchos menos) se hizo consciente
    de asombro y de mito, de historia y ciencia,
    extrañas mixturas de amor y de miedo,
    curiosidad, invención y torcidos deseos
    hasta que ahora Tonantzin, la Gran Madre
    es herida por nosotros, sus hijos desviados.

    Despertando a lo que es
    ahora tendremos que defender a la Tierra
    de nosotros mismos
    con un amor feroz.

    - Rafael Jesús González
    Last edited by Barry; Yesterday at 01:19 PM.
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