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  1. TopTop #3271
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Lilies



    Hunting them, a man must sweat, bear
    the whine of a mosquito in his ear,
    grow thirsty, tired, despair perhaps
    of ever finding them, walk a long way.
    He must give himself over to chance,
    for they live beyond prediction.
    He must give himself over to patience,
    for they live beyond will. He must be led
    along the hill as by a prayer.
    If he finds them anywhere, he will find
    a few, paired on their stalks,
    at ease in the air as souls in bliss.
    I found them here at first without hunting,
    by grace, as all beauties are first found.
    I have hunted and not found them here.
    Found, unfound, they breathe their light
    into the mind, year after year.

    - Wendell Berry
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  3. TopTop #3272
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Daily Joy to be Alive

    No matter how serene things
    may be in my life,
    how well things are going,
    my body and soul
    are two cliff peaks
    from which a dream of who I can be
    falls, and I must learn
    to fly again each day,
    or die.

    Death draws respect
    and fear from the living.
    Death offers
    no false starts. It is not
    a referee with a pop-gun
    at the startling
    of a hundred yard dash.

    I do not live to retrieve
    or multiply what my father lost
    or gained.

    I continually find myself in the ruins
    of new beginnings,
    uncoiling the rope of my life
    to descend ever deeper into unknown abysses,
    tying my heart into a knot
    round a tree or boulder,
    to insure I have something that will hold me,
    that will not let me fall.

    My heart has many thorn-studded slits of flame
    springing from the red candle jars.
    My dreams flicker and twist
    on the altar of this earth,
    light wrestling with darkness,
    light radiating into darkness,
    to widen my day blue,
    and all that is wax melts
    in the flame-

    I can see treetops!


    - Jimmy Santiago Baca
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  5. TopTop #3273
    lynettaavery's Avatar
    lynettaavery
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    thank you so much Larry, I could feel the twists of the ropes in my own heart as you expressed so eloquently.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    A Daily Joy to be Alive
    ...
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  6. TopTop #3274
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A City’s Death By Fire


    After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
    I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire;
    Under a candle's eye, that smoked in tears, I
    Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
    All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales,
    Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar;
    Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
    Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
    By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why
    Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails?
    In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths;
    To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath
    Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails,
    Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.


    - Derek Walcott
    (1/23/1930-3/17/2017)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/b...iterature.html
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  8. TopTop #3275
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Transfer of Allegiances

    a bodhisattva poem


    We’ve become like hungry ghosts
    cowering inside this dark age.
    May all the fortresses
    that we’ve built
    finally fall away.
    Look!
    There!
    The Lords of Materialism
    are busily working out their plan;
    they spout their speeches of division
    to make us beholden to fear again.
    They make us drunk
    as if on a drug
    and say: “Ignore what is happening.
    Go back to being numb!”
    The men of my country
    seem so afraid
    of everything these days –
    their fellow man,
    and even women.
    It’s like they’ve all become crazed!
    But at every direction,
    and in every realm,
    the Vajra Bodies are spinning again.
    Spinning
    and spinning
    spinning awake inside our cells.
    We have what we need
    to work with this mind
    and transform any living hells.
    When the branches and vines of ego
    are mindfully and thoroughly pruned,
    the Great Reality of Being appears
    to which we become attuned.
    And the Great Shining Flower that you are
    is no longer choked
    and finally blooms.

    - Frank Owen
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  10. TopTop #3276
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Spirit of Place: The Great Blue Heron



    Out of their loneliness for each other
    two reeds, or maybe two shadows, lurch
    forward and become suddenly a life
    lifted from dawn or the rain. It is
    the wilderness come back again, a lagoon
    with our city reflected in its eye.
    We live by faith in such presences.


    It is a test for us, that thin
    but real, undulating figure that promises,
    “If you keep faith I will exist
    at the edge, where your vision joins
    the sunlight and the rain: heads in the light,
    feet that go down in the mud where the truth is.”


    - William Stafford
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  11. TopTop #3277
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    O sweet spontaneous earth

    O sweet spontaneous
    earth how often have
    the doting

    fingers of
    prurient philosophies pinched
    and poked

    thee
    has the naughty thumb
    of science prodded
    thy

    beauty how
    often have religions taken
    thee upon their scraggy
    knees squeezing and

    buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
    gods
    but
    true

    to the incomparable
    couch of death thy
    rhythmic
    lover

    thou answerest

    them only with

    spring

    - e. e. cummings
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  13. TopTop #3278
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Then Is All Love? It Is, It Is!

    Then is all Love? It is. It is!
    Pure Gravity is Love, it loves to seize our feet,
    It snatches souls and slows the pulse that, fleet,
    Churns life throughout our blood.
    Mass calls each neighborhood.
    Thus Earth loves us and tugs our cuffs
    And roughs our hair and keeps us here
    Most dear to all its Mass.
    While up above, or far below, depending on how you class and see it,
    The Sun says Love, and Earth replies: So be it.
    And, hurled about the Universe, transfixed
    By Sun’s pure Love, our Earth strolls mixed
    With other worlds that in the sling
    Of Gravity are freed but kept to, circling, sing
    Those songs of amity that Sun insists we make
    In cyclings of round-abouting give and take.
    As with the Sun and Earth, and Earth to us,
    So heart to blood and blood to skin;
    The merest atom, molecule or germ knows love within,
    Each of the next, and clings to keep.
    In soul of merest worm asleep
    A kindling whisper burns as bright as Fire above,
    To Man, to blood, to Earth’s grim bulk, to Sun,
    To Suns beyond our Sun,
    To microscopic blink, electric spark beyond that blink,
    In Titan push or subterranean shove,
    God says one single word that binds us each to all:
    Love. Now, listen: Love. And once more listen: Love.
    And, echoed:
    Love.

    - Ray Bradbury (1981)
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  15. TopTop #3279
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Here with Sonoma County earth.
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    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    O sweet spontaneous earth
    ...
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  17. TopTop #3280
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    River

    in the dark forest rivers roar,
    cutting canyons through the trees.
    jagged conifer cliffs soar
    & fall to soft willow knees.
    obstacles of log & stone
    slow the water’s downward dash,
    swirling pools where eggs are sown
    & baby salmon glint & flash.

    under the willows a curving shore
    eats soft ripples from the breeze.
    boatmen cunningly explore
    quiet eddies at their ease.
    a heron balances alone,
    ignores a turtle’s sudden splash.
    she hunts beyond the shallow zone
    where baby salmon glint & flash.

    such loveliness grew long before
    the centuries of human squeeze.
    now we struggle to restore
    pristine rivers such as these.
    where the firs and willows have grown
    lovely, thick, tangled & brash,
    cool, clear waters purl and drone
    so baby salmon glint & flash.

    the willows playfully adore
    the solemn beauty eagle sees.
    where water sings a godly tone
    the baby salmon glint & flash.

    - Sandy Eastoak
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  19. TopTop #3281
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Low Road

    What can they do
    to you? Whatever they want.
    They can set you up, they can
    bust your fingers, they can
    burn your brain with electricity,
    blur you with drugs till you
    can’t walk, can’t remember, they can
    take your child, wall up
    your lover. They can do anything
    you can’t stop them
    from doing. How can you stop
    them? Alone, you can fight,
    you can refuse, you can
    take what revenge you can
    but they roll over you.

    But two people fighting
    back to back can cut through
    a mob, a snake-dancing file
    can break a cordon, an army
    can meet an army.

    Two people can keep each other
    sane, can give support, conviction,
    love, massage, hope, sex.
    Three people are a delegation,
    a committee, a wedge. With four
    you can play bridge and start
    an organization. With six
    you can rent a whole house,
    eat pie for dinner with no
    seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
    A dozen make a demonstration.
    A hundred fill a hall.
    A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter,
    ten thousand, power and your own paper,
    a hundred thousand, your own media,
    ten million, your own country.

    It goes on one at a time,
    it starts when you care
    to act, it starts when you do
    it again after they said no,
    it starts when you say We
    and know who you mean, and each
    day you mean one more.

    - Marge Piercy
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  21. TopTop #3282
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What Is Bounty Without A Beggar

    What is bounty without a beggar? Generosity without a guest?
    Be beggar and guest; for beauty is seeking a mirror, water is crying for a thirsty man.
    Hopelessness and need are tasteful bezel for that ruby.
    Your poverty is a Burak;* don't be a coffin riding on other men's shoulders.
    Thank God you hadn't the means or you may have been a Pharaoh.
    The prayer of Moses was, "Lord, I am in need of Thee!"
    The Way of Moses is all hopelessness and need and it is the only way to God.
    From when you were an infant, when has hopelessness ever failed you?
    Joseph's path leads into the pit; don't flee across the chessboard of this world, for it is His game and we are checkmate! checkmate!
    Hunger makes stale bread more delicious than halvah.
    Your spiritual discomfort is spiritual indigestion; seek hunger and passion and need!
    A mouse is a nibbler. God gave him mind in proportion to his needs.
    Without need God gives nothing.
    How will you impress God? You are a hundred thousand dinars in His debt!
    A beggar shows his blindness and palsy,
    he does not say, "Give me bread, O, people! I am a rich man with granaries and palaces!"
    Bring a hundred sacks of gold and God will say, "Bring the heart."
    And if you bring a dead heart carried like a coffin on your shoulder,
    God will say, "O, cheat! Is this a graveyard? Bring the live heart! Bring the live heart!"
    If you haven't any knowledge and opinions,
    have good opinions about God. This is the way.
    If you can only crawl, crawl to Him.
    If you can not pray sincerely, offer your dry, hypocritical, agnostic prayer; for God in His mercy accepts bad coin.
    If you have a hundred doubts of God,
    make them into ninety doubts. This is the way.
    O, Seeker! Though you have broken your vows a hundred times,
    come again! Come again!
    For God has said, “Though you are on high or in the pit consider me, for I am the Way."

    - Jellaludin Rumi
    (Translated By Daniel Liebert)
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  23. TopTop #3283
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Senior Discount

    I want to grow old with you.
    Old, old.

    So old we pad through the supermarket
    using the shopping cart as a cane that steadies us.

    I’ll wait at register two in my green sweater
    with threadbare elbows, smiling
    because you’ve forgotten the bag of day-old pastries.

    The cashier will tell me a joke about barbers as I wait.
    He repeats the first line three times
    but the only word I understand is barber.

    Over the years we’ve caught inklings
    of our shrinking frames and hunched spines.

    You’re a little confused
    looking for me at the wrong register with a bag
    of almost-stale croissants clenched in your hand.

    The first time I held your hand it felt enormous in my own.
    Sasquatch, I teased you, a million years ago.

    Over here, I yell, but not in a mad way.

    We’re laughing.
    You have a bright yellow pin on your coat that says, Shalom!

    Senior Discount, you say.
    But the cashier already knows us.
    We’re everyone’s favorite customers.

    - Ali Liebegott
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  25. TopTop #3284
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

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    Attached Files
    Last edited by Barry; 03-27-2017 at 10:48 AM.
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  27. TopTop #3285
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Stones

    I owned a slope full of stones.
    Like buried pianos they lay in the ground,
    shards of old sea-ledges, stumbling blocks
    where the earth caught and kept them
    dark, an old music mute in them
    that my head keeps now I have dug them out.
    I broke them where they slugged in their dark
    cells, and lifted them up in pieces.
    As I piled them in the light
    I began their music. I heard their old lime
    rouse in breath of song that has not left me.
    I gave pain and weariness to their bearing out.
    What bond have I made with the earth,
    having worn myself against it? It is a fatal singing
    I have carried with me out of that day.
    The stones have given me music
    that figures for me their holes in the earth
    and their long lying in the dark.
    They have taught me the weariness that loves the ground,
    and I must prepare a fitting silence.

    - Wendell Berry
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  29. TopTop #3286
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How Fascism Will Come

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
    - attributed to Sinclair Lewis


    When fascism comes, it will greet us with a smile. It will get down on its knees to pray. It will praise Main Street and Wall Street. It will cheer for the home team. It will clap from the bleachers when the uninsured are left to die on the street. It will rally on the Washington Mall. It will raise monuments to its heroes and weep for them and place bouquets at their stone feet and trace with their fingers the names engraved on the granite wall and go on sending soldiers to die in the mountains of Afghanistan, in the deserts of Iraq. It will send doves to pluck out the eyes of its enemies, having no hawks to spare.

    When fascism comes, it will sit down for tea with the governor of Texas. It will pee in the mosques from California to Tennessee, chanting, "Wake up America, the enemy is here." It will sing the anthems of corporatization, privatization, demonization, monopolization. It will be interviewed, lovingly, on talk radio. It'll have talking points and a Facebook page and a disdain for big words or hard consonants. It won't bother to read. It will shred all its books. It will lambast the teachers and outlaw the unions.

    When fascism comes, it will look good. It will have big hair, pressed suits, lapel pins. It will control all the channels. It will ride in on Swift Boats. It will sit on the Supreme Court. It will court us with fear. It will woo us with hope. When fascism comes, it will sell shares of itself on the stock market. It will get rich, then it will get obscenely rich, then it will stop paying taxes. It will leave us in the dust. It will kick our ass. It won't have to break a sweat to fool us twice. It will be too big to fail.

    When fascism comes to America, it will enter on the winds of our silence and indifference and complacency. And on that day, one hundred thousand poets will gather. In book stores and libraries, bars and cafes, in their houses and apartments, in schools and on street corners, they will gather. In Albania, Bangladesh, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Guatemala, Hungary, Macedonia, Malawi, Qatar, crying, laughing, screaming. They will wrap the sad music of humanity in bits of word cloth and hang them, like prayers, on the tree of life.



    - Terry Ehret
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  30. TopTop #3287
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Animal Rescue

    To say nothing of all the moths and wasps
    I’ve been opening windows for;

    the sheep headlocked in the wire
    of a fence,

    the newt in the slippery inch
    of a dog-bowl of rain,

    the spider coming off and off
    its wall of death in the kitchen sink

    and the bat flopping the living-room floor
    in a straight-jacket of dust, cobweb and hair.

    ---

    I have angled your skulls
    impossibly free,

    poured you out into colour-matched weeds
    at the edge of the pond,

    offered you into a wineglass and out
    to the forest of herbs

    and taken you into my own
    unravelling hands and worked you loose

    in this borrowed house; let you go
    on the slopes by the buzzard tree.

    Now, who’s coming for me?



    - Antony Dunn
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  32. TopTop #3288
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Her Roots


    A strong wind
    wrenched the great Madrone
    from her hold in the hillside,
    and when she fell
    her roots,
    hanging in mid-air,
    gave us handholds
    to lean on and safely swing
    through her body
    and back onto the trail.

    - Trout Black
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  34. TopTop #3289
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Covered In Birds

    for Bill Horvitz 1947 to 2017

    Once our hands were small flightless birds
    longing only for the recession of gravity, the wings
    of angels. Pressed together, though they did not rise
    or raise us up as flapping might, in prayer
    they gave off light.

    Once I dreamed the two long melancholy notes
    of the song sparrow, and sang them back
    and dreamed of flight, my plumes open
    to sweep the moon that rose above dark hills
    a great distance inhabited by sadness

    I dreamed the birds, all the birds.
    I dreamed crow, those missives of night, those
    morning stars erased, whose message remained
    a mystery held in the shimmer of feathers in sun
    so black they became pure light.

    Raptor, too, could seem the source.
    Golden Eagle, a peach-white river of flight across fog,
    a struck match igniting air. Hawk
    was the highest leaf on the tree
    and by night became fire.

    I dreamed rising and rising from the marsh reeds,
    an iridescence shedding water without thought.
    I dreamed the heron’s mincing. I dreamed the birds

    and saw a gust of gulls that became the horizon –
    rising and rising without what we know as thought.
    I heard a lullaby and wondered
    that the little seed-eater had given Brahms his first notes.

    I dreamed mocking bird sang to nourish the flowers
    with longing, opening and arising from solitude until
    they blossomed into pure joy.

    Once I dreamed the birds, all the birds, showed me how
    their up carries the weight of light. Opening and rising,
    I saw a puff of smoke out over the fields, a crucible
    of starlings, open sky, the churn and fall and tumble,
    their swoop of flight clear as script I could almost decipher.

    I dreamed of all the birds, and vultures came
    flying before the scythe of the sun, hard copper
    beaks, brown feathers prayer flags fluttering
    over my bones.

    Rising and arising below clouds whose weight
    they alone know, I dreamed the birds,
    all the birds I could not name came down,
    calling me by the name I had forgotten.

    The birds, all the birds came down
    and carried me away. In their flight
    I read the indecipherable script of the gods.
    Peace it said, and as I knew it, the word vanished
    in their turning against the wind.


    [Composite poem by 9 Sonoma County poets

    Elizabeth Carothers Herron
    Katherine Hastings
    Mike Tuggle
    Maya Khosla
    Phyllis Meshelum
    Jodi Hottel
    Greg Mahrer
    Larry Robinson
    Terry Ehret
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  36. TopTop #3290
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    CALL FOR ENTRIES: The History of Sonoma County
    A Poetry Contest for Adults and Youth
    Deadline for entry May 1, 2017

    SCA announces a poetry contest, entitled "The History of Sonoma County" which invites local writers to submit poems about the history of Sonoma County. Poems selected from this contest will be displayed at Sebastopol Center for the Arts and winners will be invited to attend and read their winning poem at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts on June 10. The contest juror is Sonoma County Poet Laureate, Iris Jamahl Dunkle. Dunkle is the author of two poetry collections, Gold Passage (2013) and There's a Ghost in this Machine of Air (2015).

    The entry deadline is Monday, May 1, 2017. Youth, teens and adults are invited to submit their work and may submit up to three entries per contestant. The fee for adults is $8 for members of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, $10 for non-members, and $5 for youth entries age 18 and under. For complete contest guidelines visit History of Sonoma County Poetry Contest or visit the Center's website at www.sebarts.org or email a request to lindag@sebarts.org,


    Sebastopol Center for the Arts presents
    The History of Sonoma County
    A Poetry Contest for Adults and Youth
    Guidelines
    Deadline for Entry: May 1, 2017

    Awards:
    · One juror will select the winning entries.
    · Three Winners will be selected in each of the following categories: Youth (K-5), Junior High (6-8), High School (9-12), Adult
    · Winners will read their poems at a reception June 10, 7:30pm,
    · Winning entries will be displayed at SCA
    · First place winners in all categories will each be awarded a $50 prize, Second place winners will receive a $25 prize and Third place winner will receive a $15 prize.
    · Winning entries may be published in SCA's "QuARTerly" and on the website.

    Entry Guidelines:
    · Entries are online only to be uploaded at: History of Sonoma County Poetry Contest (or https://form.jotformpro.com/70865922357970)
    · All entries must be original, unpublished, and not previously exhibited or read at SCA.
    · All entries must be submitted in a font no smaller than 12 pt. Times New Roman (or equivalent).
    · Each entry must be submitted in a Word Doc or PDF file, on a single 8½ x 11" page, with margins no less than 1 inch around.
    · Writers may submit a maximum of 3 entries.
    · Writers must submit two copies of each entry, one blind copy (without any author identification for judging), and a second copy identifying the author and city of residency for display. Each entry must be named as follows:lastname.firstname.1namedcopy and lastname.firstname.noname (for the copy without a name.) For example:
    o Smith.Amy.1name and Smith.Amy.1noname
    o Smith.Amy.2name and Smith.Amy.2noname
    o Smith.Amy.3name and Smith.Amy.3noname
    · Due to volume considerations, a literary panel may prescreen entries.

    Deadlines & Fees:
    Entries must be submitted online by May 1, 2017.
    Sebastopol Center for the Arts members: $8 per entry (membership is $40 annually).
    Non-members: $10 per entry.
    Youth age 18 and under $5 per entry.
    · Winners will be notified by May 25.

    For more information, email lindag@sebarts.org or 707-829-4797 or visit www.sebarts.org
    Last edited by Barry; 03-31-2017 at 12:36 PM.
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  37. TopTop #3291
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Things That Return

    I've been down this road a time or two. I've seen the green
    grass and the rabbits running and the deer
    coming down from the hills to eat the last of the garden's harvest.
    I've trained my eyes to catch the gold of sunset,
    the silver moon rising, (the silver moon) rising over dry grass
    the dry grasses and the leaves that swirl in gusts of surprise
    when the tired stars open their eyes wide and dream in 4/4 time.
    I've seen the frost slip in without so much as a peep
    and leave us wondering where the warm days have fled,
    where the warm nights have hunkered down beneath the earth.
    Beneath the earth to wait out another winter.
    I have closed my eyes and wondered too where the days have gone,
    how the days and the nights and the stars of my dreams have blinked out
    and left me standing here before that night as black
    as the waiting shadow of death - inscrutable as my lover's eyes
    the day he said he needed to leave because it was just too hard.
    I've waited thinking everything comes around, everything
    revolves like the sun and the moon and the tiny round seeds
    of the dandelion that rise each spring in my morning garden.
    But some things go and never come back.
    My darling children's rooms stand empty still.
    Empty of them and their yarn tied braids and their lithe
    moon spirit bodies shining in their beds at midnight.
    And no turnings of the moon's bright face smiling through
    veiled windows bring back the tiny fingers and toes,
    the endless songs of honeyed childhood soprano.
    My love has not returned, not come round through the eternal
    revolving door of love's spring scent blossoming pink on cherry boughs.
    The things that return it seems are the truths that ring round our cabin doors
    ring round our frost-pained windows with each new season of life.
    Not the personal grasping for yesterday's love that lies darkening
    the fallen leaf, but fresh new petals, a different shade of rose,
    a silver hand opening that leads fall toward winter -
    that sometimes startles with its clarity as the crisp cold descends,
    as the bright leaves flee before it toward their dark beds.

    - Diane LaRae Bodach
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  38. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  39. TopTop #3292
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Thing Is

    to love life, to love it even
    when you have no stomach for it
    and everything you've held dear
    crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
    your throat filled with the silt of it.
    When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
    thickening the air, heavy as water
    more fit for gills than lungs;
    when grief weights you like your own flesh
    only more of it, an obesity of grief,
    you think, How can a body withstand this?
    Then you hold life like a face
    between your palms, a plain face,
    no charming smile, no violet eyes,
    and you say, yes, I will take you
    I will love you, again.

    - Ellen Bass
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  40. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  41. TopTop #3293
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Babi Yar

    No monument stands over Babi Yar.
    A steep cliff only, like the rudest headstone.
    I am afraid.
    Today, I am as old
    As the entire Jewish race itself.

    I see myself an ancient Israelite.
    I wander o’er the roads of ancient Egypt
    And here, upon the cross, I perish, tortured
    And even now, I bear the marks of nails.

    It seems to me that Dreyfus is myself.
    The Philistines betrayed me – and now judge.
    I’m in a cage. Surrounded and trapped,
    I’m persecuted, spat on, slandered, and
    The dainty dollies in their Brussels frills
    Squeal, as they stab umbrellas at my face.

    I see myself a boy in Belostok
    Blood spills, and runs upon the floors,
    The chiefs of bar and pub rage unimpeded
    And reek of vodka and of onion, half and half.

    I’m thrown back by a boot, I have no strength left,
    In vain I beg the rabble of pogrom,
    To jeers of “Kill the Jews, and save our Russia!”
    My mother’s being beaten by a clerk.

    O, Russia of my heart, I know that you
    Are international, by inner nature.
    But often those whose hands are steeped in filth
    Abused your purest name, in name of hatred.

    I know the kindness of my native land.
    How vile, that without the slightest quiver
    The antisemites have proclaimed themselves
    The “Union of the Russian People!”

    It seems to me that I am Anna Frank,
    Transparent, as the thinnest branch in April,
    And I’m in love, and have no need of phrases,
    But only that we gaze into each other’s eyes.
    How little one can see, or even sense!
    Leaves are forbidden, so is sky,
    But much is still allowed – very gently
    In darkened rooms each other to embrace.

    “They come!”

    “No, fear not – those are sounds
    Of spring itself. She’s coming soon.
    Quickly, your lips!”

    “They break the door!”

    “No, river ice is breaking…”

    Wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar,
    The trees look sternly, as if passing judgement.
    Here, silently, all screams, and, hat in hand,
    I feel my hair changing shade to gray.

    And I myself, like one long soundless scream
    Above the thousands of thousands interred,
    I’m every old man executed here,
    As I am every child murdered here.

    No fiber of my body will forget this.
    May “Internationale” thunder and ring *3*
    When, for all time, is buried and forgotten
    The last of antisemites on this earth.

    There is no Jewish blood that’s blood of mine,
    But, hated with a passion that’s corrosive
    Am I by antisemites like a Jew.
    And that is why I call myself a Russian!

    - Yevgeny Yevtushenko - 7/18/32 - 4/1/17

    (Translated by Benjamin Okopnik)
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  42. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  43. TopTop #3294
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Moss Carpet, Sky Blanket


    Here we are again, fellow traveler.
    Here.
    Again.
    You.
    Me.

    Have the memories started for you yet?

    Here we are again, fellow traveler
    in yet another troubled time.
    Another troubled time.

    Hearts are burdened.
    Families are being broken.
    Bonds of trust have been dissolved
    all with the quick-flick
    of jet-black ink
    on rough-feeling paper
    that has never known empathy.

    Here we are again, fellow traveler.
    The curriculum is now set.
    The School of Soft Attention is now taking students.

    Grandmothers of the Buffalo Nation
    are out there crying and bleeding in the snow again.
    The latest 'Great White Father' doesn't remember,
    and hasn't really
    let the full history
    settle into his bones.

    Here we are again, fellow traveler.
    Mothers of the Desert
    are out there fighting
    to protect their young
    along some unknown fence line.

    And you and me...
    students of the School of Soft Attention...

    ...we're the witnesses
    that have to see
    because our hearts can't not
    and our minds
    are of The Way,
    and this is our way
    not to turn away
    from what’s really happening.

    - Robert Rich
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  45. TopTop #3295
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    You are cordially invited to join us this coming Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in a celebration of National Poetry Month. Your friends and neighbors will be sharing their favorite poems. Admission is free.
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  46. TopTop #3296
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Prayer For April

    As April begins
    "April is a generous month", she said
    ‘’Generous rain, light singing birds’’.
    Even a mean heart acknowledges the bond
    Linking grass to clouds,
    Linking what we know of here
    To the blue tingling world of beyond,
    I’ve seen mean hearts turn generous
    So why should I limit myself to being
    Only what I think I know,
    When I might dream of another me?
    The year is taking shape.
    So am I.
    I think I’ll go for a stroll with hope.
    When I walk through the April light I see
    A gentle twig is more durable
    Than a stubborn tree.

    - Brendan Kennelly
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  47. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  48. TopTop #3297
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Cargo

    You enter life a ship laden with meaning, purpose and
    gifts
    sent to be delivered to a hungry world,
    and as much as the world needs your cargo,
    you need to give it away.

    Everything depends on this.
    But the world forgets its needs,
    and you forget your mission, and
    the ancestral maps used to guide you
    have become faded scrawls on the parchment of dead
    Pharaohs.

    The cargo weighs you heavy the longer it is held.
    Spoilage becomes a risk.
    The ship sputters from port to port and at each you
    ask:
    "Is this the way?"
    But the way cannot be found without knowing the cargo,
    and the cargo cannot be known without recognizing
    there is a way.

    It is simply this:
    You have gifts.
    The world needs your gifts.
    You must deliver them.
    The world may not know it is starving,
    but the hungry know,
    and they will find you
    when you discover your cargo
    and start to give it away.

    - Greg Kimura
    (1956-2017)
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  49. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  50. TopTop #3298
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Aftermath

    Have you forgotten yet?...
    For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
    Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
    And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
    Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
    Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
    But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game...
    Have you forgotten yet?...
    Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

    Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz--
    The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
    Do you remember the rats; and the stench
    Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench--
    And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
    Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'

    Do you remember that hour of din before the attack--
    And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
    As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
    Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
    With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey
    Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

    Have you forgotten yet?...
    Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.



    - Siegfried Sassoon
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  51. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  52. TopTop #3299
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Spring Again

    Again the violet rises from the underground,
    the rose from Hades grows.

    What rocked their lives into life
    also shoved the mountains into skies,
    forged the wind that chiseled them,
    deepened already deep seas.

    God of the underworld, Pluto of the gold –
    let me pay for the privilege of life,
    let me bow in gratitude
    for eternal Time into which I came
    and through whose beaded curtain pass.

    Thank you for the torture of the roots
    that made this spring of letters
    flower on this page like iris, like ixia,
    like eyes that write the air and see.

    - Bruce Moody
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  53. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  54. TopTop #3300
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Celebration
    Brilliant, this day—a young virtuoso of a day.
    Morning shadows cut by sharpest scissors,
    deft hands. And every prodigy of green—
    whether it's ferns or lichen or needles
    or impatient points of bud on spindly bushes—
    greener than ever before.
    And the way the conifers
    hold new cones to the light for blessing,
    a festive rite, and sing the oceanic chant the wind
    transcribes for them!
    A day that shines in the cold
    like a first-prize brass band swinging along the street
    of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
    with the claims of reasonable gloom.
    - Denise Levertov
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  55. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

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