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  1. TopTop #121
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Answer

    Then what is the answer? - Not to be deluded by dreams.
    To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,
    and their tyrants come, many times before.
    When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose
    the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.
    To keep one's own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted
    and not wish for evil; and not be duped
    By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will
    not be fulfilled.
    To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear
    the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand
    Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars
    and his history... for contemplation or in fact...
    Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,
    the greatest beauty is
    Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty
    of the universe. Love that, not man
    Apart from that, or else you will share man's pitiful confusions,
    or drown in despair when his days darken.

    - Robinson Jeffers
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  2. TopTop #122
    RexCasteel
    Guest

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    You don't just choose these poems at random, do you?

    My goodness, how timely this is. Thank you!

    - R

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    The Answer

    Then what is the answer? - Not to be deluded by dreams.
    To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,
    and their tyrants come, many times before.
    When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose
    the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.
    To keep one's own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted
    and not wish for evil; and not be duped
    By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will
    not be fulfilled.
    To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear
    the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand
    Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars
    and his history... for contemplation or in fact...
    Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,
    the greatest beauty is
    Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty
    of the universe. Love that, not man
    Apart from that, or else you will share man's pitiful confusions,
    or drown in despair when his days darken.

    - Robinson Jeffers
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  3. TopTop #123
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Glass of Water

    That the glass would melt in heat,
    That the water would freeze in cold,
    Shows that this object is merely a state,
    One of many, between two poles. So,
    In the metaphysical, there are these poles.

    Here in the centre stands the glass. Light
    Is the lion that comes down to drink. There
    And in that state, the glass is a pool.
    Ruddy are his eyes and ruddy are his claws
    When light comes down to wet his frothy jaws

    And in the water winding weeds move round.
    And there and in another state--the refractions,
    The metaphysica, the plastic parts of poems
    Crash in the mind--But, fat Jocundus, worrying
    About what stands here in the centre, not the glass,

    But in the centre of our lives, this time, this day,
    It is a state, this spring among the politicians
    Playing cards. In a village of the indigenes,
    One would have still to discover. Among the dogs
    and dung,
    One would continue to contend with one's ideas.

    - Wallace Stevens
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  4. TopTop #124
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Paul Newman

    If Paul Newman is dead,
    then where now are the rest of us
    whose mid-world lives were quickened by
    that vital glance and pulse?

    How can the sun
    go on rising, when every morning it came
    out of those blue eyes?

    Eternal youth has succumbed:
    All men are mortal, after all,
    and the streams that refresh the living realms
    must now go searching for a new darling.

    - Max Reif
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  5. TopTop #125
    RexCasteel
    Guest

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    By the way, I found myself copying down certain phrases of an SF Chronicle article on Mr. Newman (by Mick LaSalle).

    One tidbit: "(He) had not torment in the area of masculinity... lacking any conflict or confusion in that zone... could play men without defense or apology or bluff... building his own ethics system out of the few things he could trust."

    Very Robert Bly-esque, I thought (much to my delight).

    - R

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Paul Newman

    If Paul Newman is dead,
    then where now are the rest of us
    whose mid-world lives were quickened by
    that vital glance and pulse?

    How can the sun
    go on rising, when every morning it came
    out of those blue eyes?

    Eternal youth has succumbed:
    All men are mortal, after all,
    and the streams that refresh the living realms
    must now go searching for a new darling.

    - Max Reif
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  6. TopTop #126
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Remorseless Ripples

    Everything will be snatched
    out of our limbs,
    as the fall winds
    breeze and tease,
    then tug and swell,
    remorselessly tearing
    our leaves
    of money, shredding
    our looks and bodily sheaths.

    What's left in the land?
    Only the roots and ripples
    of our laughter,
    troughs of tears,
    the draughts of love
    that we bring.

    So now it is fall,
    leaves fly, fly
    to the earth,
    and when our need
    is to cling,
    aren't we held in embrace
    by pattering rain?

    For in the fragile,
    ribbed web of our being,
    all is dissolving -
    only the core remains.

    - Raphael Block
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  7. TopTop #127
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    We Have A Beautiful Mother

    We have a beautiful
    Mother
    Her hills
    Are buffaloes
    Her buffaloes
    Hills.
    We have a beautiful
    Mother
    Her oceans
    Are wombs
    Her wombs
    Oceans.
    We have a beautiful
    Mother
    Her teeth
    The white stones
    At the edge
    Of the water
    The summer
    Grasses
    Her plentiful
    Hair.
    We have a beautiful
    Mother
    Her green lap
    Immense
    Her brown embrace
    Eternal
    Her blue body
    Everything we know.

    - Alice Walker
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  8. TopTop #128
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Everybody Knows

    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows that the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows the captain lied
    Everybody got this broken feeling
    Like their father or their dog just died
    Everybody talking to their pockets
    Everybody wants a box of chocolates
    And a long stem rose
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows that you love me baby
    Everybody knows that you really do
    Everybody knows that you've been faithful
    Ah give or take a night or two
    Everybody knows you've been discreet
    But there were so many people you just had to meet
    Without your clothes
    And everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows
    And everybody knows that it's now or never
    Everybody knows that it's me or you
    And everybody knows that you live forever
    Ah when you've done a line or two
    Everybody knows the deal is rotten
    Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
    For your ribbons and bows
    And everybody knows
    And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
    Everybody knows that it's moving fast
    Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
    Are just a shining artifact of the past
    Everybody knows the scene is dead
    But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
    That will disclose
    What everybody knows
    And everybody knows that you're in trouble
    Everybody knows what you've been through
    From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
    To the beach of Malibu
    Everybody knows it's coming apart
    Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
    Before it blows
    And everybody knows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows

    - Leonard Cohen
    - Leonard Cohen
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  9. TopTop #129
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Prepare

    "Why don't you write me a poem that will prepare me for your
    death?" you said.
    It was a rare day here in our climate, bright and sunny. I didn't feel like
    dying that day.
    I didn't even want to think about it -- my lovely knees and bold
    shoulders broken open,
    Crawling with maggots. Good Christ! I stood at the window and I saw
    a strange dog
    Running in the field with its nose down, sniffing the snow, zigging and
    zagging,
    And whose dog is that? I asked myself. As if I didn't know. The limbs
    of the apple trees
    Were lined with snow, making a bright calligraphy against the world,
    messages to me
    From an enigmatic source in an obscure language. Tell me, how shall I
    decipher them?
    And a jay slanted down to the feeder and looked at me behind my glass
    and squawked.
    Prepare, prepare. Fuck you, I said, come back tomorrow. And here he
    is in this new gray and gloomy morning.
    We're back to our normal weather. Death in the air, the idea of death
    settling around us like mist,
    And I am thinking again in despair, in desperation, how will it happen?
    Will you wake up
    Some morning and find me lying stiff and cold beside you in our bed?
    How atrocious!
    Or will I fall asleep in the car, as I nearly did a couple of weeks ago,
    and drive off the road
    Into a tree? The possibilities are endless and not at all fascinating,
    except that I can't stop
    Thinking about them, can't stop envisioning that moment of hideous
    violence.
    Hideous and indescribable as well, because it won't happen until it's
    over. But not for you
    For you it will go on and on, thirty years or more, since that's the
    distance between us
    In our ages. The loss will be a great chasm with no bridge across it
    (for we both know
    Our life together, so unexpected, is entirely loving and rare). Living
    on your own --
    Where will you go? what will you do? And the continuing sense of
    displacement
    From what we've had in this little house, our refuge on our green or
    snowbound
    Hill. Life is not easy and you will be alive. Experience reduces itself to
    platitudes always,
    Including the one which says that I'll be with you forever in your
    memories and dreams.
    I will. And also in hundreds of keepsakes, such as this scrap of a poem
    you are reading now.

    - Hayden Carruth


    Hayden Carruth died yesterday at age 87
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  10. TopTop #130
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Summer’s Gone

    My very good friend is leaving,
    won’t be back till next year.

    In the place of her sunny, even-tempered disposition
    and her hot breath on my neck
    I will have a tempestuous and unpredictable
    but colorful companion
    who scatters leaves all over the yard
    and wets the landscape.

    Goodbye, my good friend!
    I will miss you dearly
    as I wind my fleecy scarf about my neck
    against the chill of your alter ego.

    - Jana deProsse
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  11. TopTop #131
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Extraordinary Times

    Is it that we want: Armageddon?
    Or are we merely tired of routine decades?
    Adrenaline's fallout blasts the air:
    warm currents from one side, Arctic winds from another,
    a volatile mix that could upend
    the patient efforts of a century or more.
    Our homes, our jobs—safe? Milk
    already $5.29 a half-gallon, and if prices spiral
    until even the middle class can’t afford to live,
    what then?

    But there is something, something
    we love: the danger itself, or the promise
    of something beyond? Reality
    seems closer now. But instead of arriving,
    it teases like a tiger swiping a great paw,
    then disappearing, then coming back to swipe again,
    neither destroying us thus far, nor leaving us alone.

    - Max Reif
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  12. TopTop #132
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Just Thinking

    Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window.
    No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held
    for awhile. Some dove somewhere.

    Been on probation most of my life. And
    the rest of my life been condemned. So these moments
    count for a lot--peace, you know.

    Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
    bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one
    stirring, no plans. Just being there.

    This is what the whole thing is about.

    - William Stafford
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  13. TopTop #133
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Labor
    I spent a couple of years during my undestined
    Twenties on a north woods acreage
    That grew, as the locals poetically phrased it,
    "Stones and rocks." I loved it.

    No real insulation in the old farmhouse,
    Which meant ten cords of hardwood,
    Which meant a muscled mantra of cutting,
    Yarding, splitting, stacking and burning.

    I was the maul coming down kerchunk
    On the round of maple; I was the hellacious
    Screeching saw; I was the fire.
    I was fiber and grew imperceptibly.

    I lost interest in everything except for trees.
    Career, ambition and politics bored me.
    I loved putting on my steel-toe, lace-up
    Work boots in the morning. I loved the feel

    Of my feet on grass slick with dew or frost
    Or ice-skimmed mud or crisp snow crust.
    I loved the moment after I felled a tree
    When it was still again and I felt the awe

    Of what I had done and awe for the tree that had
    Stretched toward the sky for silent decades.
    On Saturday night the regulars who had worked
    In the woods forever mocked me as I limped into

    The bar out on the state highway. "Workin' hard
    There, sonny, or more like hardly workin'?"
    I cradled my bottle between stiff raw hands,
    Felt a pinching tension in the small of my back,

    Inhaled ripe sweat, damp flannel,
    Cheap whiskey then nodded—a happy fool.
    They grinned back. Through their proper
    Scorn I could feel it. They loved it too.

    for Hayden Carruth

    - Baron Wormser
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  14. TopTop #134
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Elegy for Matthew Shepard

    In the end, let me believe this much: that only the first blow was
    painful-what came after, no more than half-heard thunder, a
    proselyte storm impending in Wyoming distances and speaking
    in tones as low as a lover's voice in the floating time before sleep.

    That the scarecrow night and a day on the buck fence were
    nothing to him, who had carried himself to a place beyond
    the hours, the thirty-degree freeze, the ropes that lashed
    his arms apart in the unnatural opposite of embrace.

    That God stood by to witness his ninth hour-a miracle this time
    of presence-so that the broken-hearted question never came; and
    sent the blank, dark face of midnight down to press its cheek
    on his, still wet with tears, and come away all etched in stars.

    Anyone who loved him would convince himself the same-
    even those, not father or brother, lover or friend, whose
    grief, its ragged fingers impotent as wind-ripped prayer flags,
    loiters at the boundaries of our skin like shadows.

    His silence now is pure rebuff. Wandering away on the indifferent
    air, he slipped across the seam that sometimes opens where the earth
    and sky brush edges, and, like strangers, step politely back, eager
    now to kiss the boy whose reckless arms have stretched, since dawn,

    from the far edge of the meadow. He won't turn back,
    though we call, though we stand in groups as general as wildflowers
    and bow and nod together in the wind:

    He knows the calendar is all subjunctive now, that
    death's no matter for the dead.

    - Wendell Ricketts

    This is the 10th anniversary of the attack on
    Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay college student in Laramie, Wyoming. He
    died on October 12, 1998 of his injuries.
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  15. TopTop #135
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In the Beginning

    Sometimes simplicity rises
    like a blossom of fire
    from the white silk of your own skin.
    You were there in the beginning
    you heard the story, you heard the merciless
    and tender words telling you where you had to go.
    Exile is never easy and the journey
    itself leaves a bitter taste. But then,
    when you heard that voice, you had to go.
    You couldn't sit by the fire, you couldn't live
    so close to the live flame of that compassion
    you had to go out in the world and make it your own
    so you could come back with
    that flame in your voice, saying listen...
    this warmth, this unbearable light, this fearful love...
    It is all here, it is all here.


    - David Whyte
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  16. TopTop #136
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In The Absence Of Bliss

    Museum of the Diaspora, Tel Aviv

    The roasting alive of rabbis
    in the ardor of the Crusades
    went unremarked in Europe from
    the Holy Roman Empire to 1918,
    open without prerequisite
    when I was an undergraduate.

    While reciting the Sh’ma in full
    expectation that their souls
    would waft up to the bosom
    of the Almighty the rabbis burned,
    pious past the humming extremes
    of pain. And their loved ones with them.
    Whole communities tortured and set aflame
    in Christ’s name
    while chanting Hear, O Israel.

    Why?
    Why couldn’t the rabbis recant,
    kiss the Cross, pretend?
    Is God so simple that He can’t
    sort out real from sham?
    Did He want
    these fanatic autos-da-fé, admire
    the eyeballs popping,
    the corpses shrinking in the fire?

    We live in an orderly
    universe of discoverable laws,
    writes an intelligent alumna
    in Harvard Magazine.
    Bliss is belief,
    agnostics always say
    a little condescendingly
    as befits mandarins who function
    on a higher moral plane.

    Consider our contemporary
    Muslim kamikazes
    hurling their explosives-
    packed trucks through barriers.
    Isn’t it all the same?
    They too die cherishing the fond
    certitude of a better life beyond.

    We walk away from twenty-two
    graphic centuries of kill-the-jew
    and hail, of all things, a Mercedes
    taxi. The driver is Yemeni,
    loves rock music and hangs
    each son’s picture—three so far—
    on tassels from his rearview mirror.

    I do not tell him that in Yemen
    Jewish men, like women, were forbidden
    to ride their donkeys astride,
    having just seen this humiliation
    illustrated on the Museum screen.

    When his parents came
    to the Promised Land, they entered
    the belly of an enormous
    silver bird, not knowing whether
    they would live or die.
    No matter. As it was written,
    the Messiah had drawn nigh.

    I do not ask, who tied
    the leaping ram inside the thicket?
    Who polished, then blighted the apple?
    Who loosed pigs in the Temple,
    set tribe against tribe
    and nailed man in His pocket?

    But ask myself, what would
    I die for and reciting what?
    Not for Yahweh, Allah, Christ,
    those patriarchal fists
    in the face. But would
    I die to save a child?
    Rescue my lover? Would
    I run into the fiery barn
    to release animals,
    singed and panicked, from their stalls?

    Bliss is belief, but where’s
    the higher moral plane I roost on?
    This narrow plank given to splinters.
    No answers. Only questions.

    - Maxine Kumin
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  17. TopTop #137
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Let America Be America Again



    Let America be America again.
    Let it be the dream it used to be.
    Let it be the pioneer on the plain
    Seeking a home where it is free.

    (America never was America to me.)

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed-
    Let it be that great strong land of love
    Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
    That anyone be crushed by one above.

    (It never was America to me.)

    O, let my land be a land where Liberty
    Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
    But opportunity is real, and life is free,
    Equality is in the air we breathe.

    (There's never been equality for me,
    Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free".)

    Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
    And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

    I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
    I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
    I am the red man driven from the land,
    I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek-
    And finding only the same old stupid plan
    Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

    I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
    Tangled in that ancient endless chain
    Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
    Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
    Of work the people! Of take the pay!
    Of owning everything for one's own greed!

    I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
    I am the worker sold to the machine.
    I am the Negro, servant to you all.
    I am the people, humble, hungry, mean-
    Hungry yet today despite the dream.
    Beaten yet today-O, Pioneers!
    I am the man who never got ahead,
    The poorest worker bartered through the years.

    Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
    In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
    Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
    That even yet its mighty daring sings
    In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
    That's made America the land it has become.
    O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
    In search of what I meant to be my home-
    For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
    And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
    And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
    To build a "homeland of the free".

    The free?

    Who said the free? Not me?
    Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
    The millions shot down when we strike?
    The millions who have nothing for our pay?
    For all the dreams we've dreamed
    And all the songs we've sung
    And all the hopes we've held
    And all the flags we've hung,
    The millions who have nothing for our pay-
    Except the dream that's almost dead today.

    O, let America be America again-
    The land that never has been yet-
    And yet must be-the land where every one is free.
    The land that's mine-the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME-
    Who made America,
    Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
    Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
    Must bring back our mighty dream again.

    Sure, call me any ugly name you choose-
    The steel of freedom does not stain.
    From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
    We must take back our land again,
    America!

    O, yes,
    I say it plain,
    America never was America to me,
    And yet I swear this oath-
    America will be!

    Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
    The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
    We, the people, must redeem
    The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
    The mountains and the endless plain-
    All, all the stretch of these great green states-
    And make America again!

    Langston Hughes
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  18. TopTop #138
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Lazy

    Too lazy to be ambitious,
    I let the world take care of itself.
    Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
    a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
    Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
    Listening to the night rain on my roof,
    I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

    - Ryokan
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  19. TopTop #139
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Second Coming

    Turning and turning on the widening gyre,
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: Somewhere in the sands of the desert
    A shape with a lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again, but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    - William Butler Yeats
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  20. TopTop #140
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Worship

    A white heron
    Hiding itself
    In the snowy field,
    Where even the winter grass
    Cannot be seen.

    - Dogen
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  21. TopTop #141
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Toward Bethlehem

    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
    W. B. Yeats

    Yes, I know.
    This is the time
    of the second coming.
    The great beast lurking,
    the savage heart
    beating once again.

    Somewhere in the desert, yes,
    that blank and pitiless stare.
    The haunches moving.
    The stealthy advamce.

    Shall we watch in horror and dismay?
    Do we turn away
    or witness in silence and despair?

    The vision falters,
    the image fades again.
    That distant struggle
    in the clouds of dust--
    is this the specter
    we ourselves have made,
    created from our inner dreamscape
    of grasping and desire?
    Are we ourselves
    the approaching shape
    of darkness drawing near?

    - Dorothy Walters
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  22. TopTop #142
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In Washington

    Suited banksters talk of debt default, crowd control, and martial law.

    Grave politicians promise yet again to follow them through hell itself and a few local pet projects if necessary.

    Concerned journalists soberly agree that something drastic must be done to restore confidence.

    Meanwhile at my house,

    Confident oak leaves deposit free sunshine into rash acorns.

    Unruly kinglets comb the leaves for small spiders.

    Friends gather in circles, newfound comfort in proximity.

    Impenetrable blackberry tangles open onto riotous gopher burrows.

    Outlaw scrub jays hide acorns under secret mattresses.

    Undocumented stones crash unpredictably down the hillside.

    I sit still on this buckwheat cushion, high grasses waving freedom all around me.

    We are in this together

    and we are ready

    now.

    - Barton Stone
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  23. TopTop #143
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In This World

    In this world
    we walk on the roof of hell,
    gazing at flowers.

    - Kobayashi Issa
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  24. TopTop #144
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In The End

    It is not death we fear
    but rather a life un-lived.

    For in the end
    it will be the stars
    that went unseen
    and
    the love we did not tend,

    That will cause our soul
    to weep.

    - Ron Harding
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  25. TopTop #145
    RexCasteel
    Guest

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    OUCH!

    - R

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    In The End

    It is not death we fear
    but rather a life un-lived...

    That will cause our soul
    to weep.

    - Ron Harding
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  26. TopTop #146
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain


    The birds have vanished down the sky.
    Now the last cloud drains away.

    We sit together, the mountain and me,
    until only the mountain remains.

    - Li Po
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  27. TopTop #147
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Firefall

    Though it is cold,
    the fires in the Lodge
    remain unlit all day;
    the world outside still starched
    and sifted with the flour
    of yesterday’s snow.

    For hours,
    in the great hall of the Awahnee
    I’ve been looking up at
    a life-size portrait of John Muir.

    He’s posing against a granite boulder—
    larger-than-life,
    mirroring my grammar-school memory
    of his history--

    When Muir hiked he ate only
    the stale bread he could lift
    off his father’s bakery in Mariposa,

    dipping their rough crusts
    into mountain streams
    to loosen them up.

    He stitched trails,
    wove his thin body down
    the crevices of every rock
    these naked windows face--

    All day, I’ve been trying to think
    of something to give you--
    a souvenir, a risk--

    but the portrait of Muir,
    the taste of his two thin lips,
    has me fixed in this chair.

    They’re like a pair of blue butterflies
    I could trap in my palms
    and press to my lips.

    * * *

    My mother has told me for years
    about the firefalls--

    from Glacier Point--
    the highest peak,
    the Rangers would light
    huge bonfires every week

    just to see them spill over
    down to the valley floor
    as they yelled from above:
    Let the fire fall.

    I have never seen it.
    The firefalls were banned
    years before I was born,

    But I have grown accustomed
    to believing my Mother.

    She says loving is what’s
    most important in life

    not butterflies, not
    marking what is yours--

    What I’m giving you
    is the possibility
    of what might ignite--

    fire falling down
    as the men yell from above,
    their voices echoing
    through the whole discovered park.

    - Iris Dunkle
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  28. TopTop #148
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Shed The Fear

    Who has a face sees
    the world,
    but the world
    is not

    to be borne -
    or only
    when seen as
    another:

    how did this
    come together? How
    did I find you?
    So many turns

    in the road
    so few of them
    possible!
    How not to spin out

    in hairpin turns
    of disbelief.
    The Sufi martyrs
    insisted

    "The world
    is a wedding."
    Why not
    go with them.

    in the face of
    present carnage,
    centuries
    later.

    - Anselm Hollo
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  29. TopTop #149
    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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  30. TopTop #150
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Another Woman


    Another woman
    would keep her mouth shut,
    not spout fervent beliefs
    like a speaker on a soapbox.

    Another woman
    would have chosen
    equity over experience,
    settling down or
    just plain settling.

    Another woman
    would have stayed the course,
    refusing distraction and
    the pangs of the heart
    that lead to upheaval.

    Another woman
    would not vacillate hearing
    the voices that preach security and
    the voices that harp on ideals.

    Another woman
    would not succumb to worry,
    knowing that it never helps
    and only constricts.

    Another woman
    would revel in her children’s independence
    instead of mourning
    their day-to-day absence in her life.

    Another woman
    would live in gratitude every moment
    for her sojourn on this gorgeous planet
    and not slip into the mundane
    routine of forgetting.

    But I am not
    another woman.
    I am this woman,
    led by my heart and
    pulled by conflicting voices,
    a woman who
    worries,
    mourns,
    forgets.

    I am this woman,
    this aging, outspoken, heart-stirred,
    frightened and sometimes grateful woman,
    This woman,
    with this particular life
    and not another.

    - Maya Spector
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