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  1. TopTop #3781
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper


    At sixteen, I worked after high school hours
    at a printing plant
    that manufactured legal pads:
    Yellow paper
    stacked seven feet high
    and leaning
    as I slipped cardboard
    between the pages,
    then brushed red glue
    up and down the stack.
    No gloves: fingertips required
    for the perfection of paper,
    smoothing the exact rectangle.

    Sluggish by 9 PM, the hands
    would slide along suddenly sharp paper,
    and gather slits thinner than the crevices
    of the skin, hidden.
    Then the glue would sting,
    hands oozing
    till both palms burned
    at the punchclock.

    Ten years later, in law school,
    I knew that every legal pad
    was glued with the sting of hidden cuts,
    that every open lawbook
    was a pair of hands
    upturned and burning.

    - Martin Espada


    Last edited by Barry; 05-30-2018 at 08:38 AM.
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  3. TopTop #3782
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Tree of Knowledge


    The hastily assembled angel saw
    One thing was like another thing and that
    Thing like another everything depend-
    ed on how high it was the place you saw


    Things from and he had seen the Earth from where
    A human couldn’t see the Earth and could-
    n’t tell most human things apart and though
    He hadn’t ever really understood


    His job he knew it had to do with seeing
    And what he saw was everything would come
    Together at the same time everything
    Would fall apart and that was humans thinking


    The world was meant for them and other things
    Were accidental or were decora-
    tions meant for them and therefore purposeful
    That humans thought that God had told them so


    And what the hastily assembled angel
    Thought was that probably God had said the same thing
    To every living thing on Earth and on-
    ly stopped when one said Really back but then


    Again the hastily assembled angel
    Couldn’t tell human things apart and maybe
    That Really mattered what would he have heard
    Holy or maybe Folly or maybe Kill me


    - Shane McCrae
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  4. TopTop #3783
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Old Timer's Day


    When the tall puffy
    figure wearing number
    nine starts
    late for the fly ball,
    laboring forward
    like a lame truckhorse
    startled by a gartersnake,
    this old fellow
    whose body we remember
    as sleek and nervous
    as a filly's,


    and barely catches it
    in his glove's
    tip, we rise
    and applaud weeping:
    On a green field
    we observe the ruin
    of even the bravest
    body, as Odysseus
    wept to glimpse
    among shades the shadow
    of Achilles.





    - Donald Hall
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  6. TopTop #3784
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Cello


    When a dead tree falls in a forest
    it often falls into the arms
    of a living tree. The dead,
    thus embraced, rasp in wind,
    slowly carving a niche
    in the living branch, sheering away
    the rough outer flesh, revealing
    the pinkish, yellowish, feverish
    inner bark. For years
    the dead tree rubs its fallen body
    against the living, building
    its dead music, making its raw mark,
    wearing the tough bough down,
    moaning in wind, the deep
    rosined bow sound of the living
    shouldering the dead.


    - Dorianne Laux
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  8. TopTop #3785
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Destruction

    First of all do you remember the way a bear goes through
    a cabin when nobody is home? He goes through
    the front door. I mean he really goes through it. Then
    he takes the cupboard off the wall and eats a can of lard.

    He eats all the apples, limes, dates, bottled decaffeinated
    coffee, and 35 pounds of granola. The asparagus soup cans
    fall to the floor. Yum! He chomps up Norwegian crackers
    stashed for the winter. And the bouillon, salt, pepper,
    paprika, garlic, onions, potatoes.

    He rips the Green Tara
    poster from the wall. Tries the Coleman Mustard. Spills
    the ink, tracks in the flour. Goes up stairs and takes
    a shit. Rips open the water bed, eats the incense and
    drinks the perfume. Knocks over the Japanese tansu
    and the Persian miniature of a man on horseback watching
    a woman bathing.

    Knocks Shelter, Whole Earth Catalogue,
    Planet Drum, Northern Mists, Truck Tracks, and
    Women's Sports into the oozing water bed mess.

    He goes down stairs and out the back wall. He keeps on going
    for a long way and finds a good cave to sleep it all off.
    Luckily he ate the whole medicine cabinet, including stash
    of LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, Amanita, Benzedrine, Valium
    and aspirin.

    - Joanne Kyger

    Last edited by Barry; 06-04-2018 at 10:22 AM.
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  10. TopTop #3786
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Drummers


    Unbeknownst to biblical scholars, behind the tree of life in the Garden of Eden, stood drummers. Now bear with this outrageous claim for a moment and consider the notion that

    Drummers draw vertical lines of protection around all who walk the earth and stand upon its spinning firmament, acting as human surrogates for the hands of deities. That

    Drummers can’t be understood by critics but require shaman and priests to comprehend the workings of rhythm and sound. That

    Drummers, with Orphic metaphor, call the sun to rise and conduct late afternoon shadows toward evening’s obsidian crypts. That

    Drummers, with weathered hands dance their dream-drumming riffs on mud, clay pots, tree trunks and goatskins. That

    Drummers guide the sacred breathing itself and the coursing of blood through our veins for this sprint of a lifetime. That

    Drummers lurk behind trees and spark the cosmic movin’ and
    groovin,’ rockin’ and a reelin,’ injecting sparks into human clay

    so friends and lovers will play and pray, sanctified with the wine
    and bread of Rumba, Jazz, Samba, and Salsa, Flamenco,

    Fandango and the sensuous Tango, reminding us that we swing in
    a universe that pulses, gyrates, beats and palpitates the yearning

    heart with the one vibration: be it final ending or primal start.

    - Bruce Silverman
    Last edited by Barry; 06-05-2018 at 01:47 PM.
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  12. TopTop #3787
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Buttonhook


    President Roosevelt, touring Ellis Island
    in 1906, watched the people from steerage
    line up for their six-second physical.

    Might not, he wondered aloud, the ungloved handling
    of aliens who were ill infect the healthy?
    Yet for years more it was done. I imagine

    my grandmother, a girl in that Great Hall's
    polyglot, reverberating vault
    more terrible than church, dazed by the stars

    and stripes in the vast banner up in front
    where the blessed ones had passed through. Then she did too,
    to a room like a little chapel, where her mother

    might take Communion. A man in a blue cap
    and a blue uniform—a doctor? a policeman?
    (Papa would have known, but he had sailed

    all alone before them and was waiting
    now in New York; yet wasn't this New York?)—
    a man in a blue cap reached for her mother.

    Without a word (didn't he speak Italian?)
    he stuck one finger into her mother's eye,
    then turned its lid up with a buttonhook,

    the long, curved thing for doing up your boots
    when buttons were too many or too small.
    You couldn't be American if you were blind

    or going to be blind. That much she understood.
    She'd go to school, she'd learn to read and write
    and teach her parents. The eye man reached to touch

    her own face next; she figured she was ready.
    She felt big, like that woman in the sea
    holding up not a buttonhook but a torch.

    - Mary Jo Salter
    Last edited by Barry; 06-06-2018 at 02:50 PM.
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  13. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

    Dre, M/M
  14. TopTop #3788
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Trying to Name What Doesn’t Change


    Roselva says the only thing that doesn’t change
    is train tracks. She’s sure of it.
    The train changes, or the weeds that grow up spidery
    by the side, but not the tracks.
    I’ve watched one for three years, she says,
    and it doesn’t curve, doesn’t break, doesn’t grow.


    Peter isn’t sure. He saw an abandoned track
    near Sabinas, Mexico, and says a track without a train
    is a changed track. The metal wasn’t shiny anymore.
    The wood was split and some of the ties were gone.


    Every Tuesday on Morales Street
    butchers crack the necks of a hundred hens.
    The widow in the tilted house
    spices her soup with cinnamon.
    Ask her what doesn’t change.


    Stars explode.
    The rose curls up as if there is fire in the petals.
    The cat who knew me is buried under the bush.


    The train whistle still wails its ancient sound
    but when it goes away, shrinking back
    from the walls of the brain,
    it takes something different with it every time.


    - Naomi Shihab Nye
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  16. TopTop #3789
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Impeded Stream

    It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
    we have come to our real work.
    Name:  2018-06-08_10-22-19.png
Views: 228
Size:  281.3 KB

    And that when we no longer know
    which way to go,
    we have begun our real journey.

    The mind that is not baffled
    is not employed.
    The impeded stream
    is the one that sings.

    - Wendell Berry
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  18. TopTop #3790
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Name:  Impeded-Stream.jpg
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    William Rain is a nature photographer living in Boulder, Co.
    This photo goes nicely with the poem and the poem goes nicely with William.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    The Impeded Stream...
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  20. TopTop #3791
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Richard Cory

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
    "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
    And admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

    - Edwin Arlington Robinson
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  22. TopTop #3792
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Why Are the Lilacs Still Here When Everyone’s Gone?

    A writing class of grandmothers, Jewish Community Center
    Winter wind rattling windows
    Julia, pen in hand, hungry to tell her story

    Auschwitz-Birkenau: one teenager in a long line of Jews
    Julia’s mother and little sister kicked to one side
    She the other
    It was Himmler you know, she says
    Numbly watching her mother and sister vanish
    The sound of marching boots

    Julia huddled, nameless days by the barracks door
    What are you doing there?
    Asked a compatriot
    Waiting for my mother and sister
    The woman pointed to smoke trailing into the sky
    What do you think that is?

    A fellow villager forced raw potato into her mouth
    Staunching the reverse flow of her life
    Day after day women toiling in stink and mud
    Shovels and claws, endlessly moving stones
    —the strength of labor matched only by the paucity of potato—
    Days, weeks, a month out on the sodden field
    Julia a sack of bones and stones

    One day a square of sunlight appeared in the mud
    Against endless clanging of metal against stone
    As long as I keep looking at that patch of light, thought Julia
    I will survive

    And she did

    All we need:
    One patch of sunlight

    - Margo Perin
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  23. Gratitude expressed by:

    M/M
  24. TopTop #3793
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For C.

    After the clash of elevator gates
    And the long sinking, she emerges where,
    A slight thing in the morning’s crosstown glare,
    She looks up toward the window where he waits,
    Then in a fleeting taxi joins the rest
    Of the huge traffic bound forever west.

    On such grand scale do lovers say good-bye—
    Even this other pair whose high romance
    Had only the duration of a dance,
    And who, now taking leave with stricken eye,
    See each in each a whole new life forgone.
    For them, above the darkling clubhouse lawn,

    Bright Perseids flash and crumble; while for these
    Who part now on the dock, weighed down by grief
    And baggage, yet with something like relief,
    It takes three thousand miles of knitting seas
    To cancel out their crossing, and unmake
    The amorous rough and tumble of their wake.

    We are denied, my love, their fine tristesse
    And bittersweet regrets, and cannot share
    The frequent vistas of their large despair,
    Where love and all are swept to nothingness;
    Still, there’s a certain scope in that long love
    Which constant spirits are the keepers of,

    And which, though taken to be tame and staid,
    Is a wild sostenuto of the heart,
    A passion joined to courtesy and art
    Which has the quality of something made,
    Like a good fiddle, like the rose’s scent,
    Like a rose window or the firmament.

    - Richard Wilbur
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  25. TopTop #3794
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Going Back to Bed

    Up early, trying to muffle
    the sounds of small tasks,
    grinding, pouring, riffling
    through yesterday's attacks

    or market slump, then changing
    my mind—what matter the rush
    to the waiting room or the ring
    of some later dubious excuse?—

    having decided to return to bed
    and finding you curled in the sheet,
    a dream fluttering your eyelids,
    still unfallen, still asleep,

    I thought of the old pilgrim
    when, among the fixed stars
    in paradise, he sees Adam
    suddenly, the first man, there

    in a flame that hides his body,
    and when it moves to speak,
    what is inside seems not free,
    not happy, but huge and weak,

    like an animal in a sack.
    Who had captured him?
    What did he want to say?
    I lay down beside you again,

    not knowing if I'd stay,
    not knowing where I’d been.

    - J.D. McClatchey
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  26. TopTop #3795
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When Someone Deeply Listens


    When someone deeply listens to you
    it is like holding out a dented cup
    you've had since childhood
    and watching it fill up with
    cold, fresh water.
    When it balances on top of the brim,
    you are understood.
    When it overflows and touches your skin,
    you are loved.

    When someone deeply listens to you,
    the room where you stay
    starts a new life
    and the place where you wrote
    your first poem
    begins to glow in your mind's eye.
    It is as if gold has been discovered!

    When someone deeply listens to you,
    your bare feet are on the earth
    and a beloved land that seemed distant
    is now at home within you.

    - John Fox
    Last edited by Barry; 06-13-2018 at 01:32 PM.
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  27. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  28. TopTop #3796
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    It Is Up To Us

    I can feel violence coming toward me
    The Tsunami that Ruth Ozeki said
    Brought Japan closer to us,
    And maybe North Korea and Niger.
    Can you hear the continuing wars:
    The hurricanes of guns, in Syria and
    At Concerts, Night Clubs, schools, movies,
    Political rallies and even churches?
    The old bombs still breaking over
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the memories
    Of Manzanar and Heart Mountain, the
    Trail of Tears, the avalanche at Orlando,
    Of bloodshed that keeps coming?

    I can feel the aftermath of that cruel approach,
    Can’t you? A firestorm of torches,
    And hooded men disguised with crosses,
    in white ritual robes, and unrhymed chants.
    It has already come for black youth in Hoodies,
    And brown and white youth, and babies at school.
    It has endangered species and oceans, is choking
    Local streams, setting fires, sending floods,
    Earthquakes, even Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and
    Elijah can’t stop! All the Prophets with insomnia
    Are wide awake now. And God, in her weakness,
    Has not slept since before the Holocaust, and still
    Turns over agitated, again, and strangled,
    Again, in clouds of insidious invisible
    And tasteless gas. A toxic cancer cocktail!
    If you live that long! The Seraphim
    are coughing and gagging, weeping
    for all the Gods, seeing
    from their watchtowers in the heavens:
    It is surely and destructively coming.
    Asthma, autism, anti-Semitism and Alzheimer’s,
    Palestinian, Arab and English mouths, foam rabid
    With death, towards us, and towards our children.
    Unless we stop it. Unless we stop it
    With compassion for every living thing.
    And even for the slowly accumulating rocks!
    It will keep advancing. It will keep on coming.

    - Judith Stone
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  30. TopTop #3797
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When Horror Becomes Mundane


    The mystery is not that evil exists (undeniable)
    or that evil men will seek power (inevitable)
    but that good people give it to them.

    We trade our fears and niggling insecurities
    for the magic ring of simple certainties
    that we think will bring us power,

    but when we are seduced into giving up
    our moral clarity, we become the crucible
    where our soul is not the precious metal

    but the fuel
    in service to dark alchemies
    that make horror unremarkable.

    - Paul Asbury Seaman
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  32. TopTop #3798
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Freedom's Plow

    When a man starts out with nothing,
    When a man starts out with his hands
    Empty, but clean,
    When a man starts to build a world,
    He starts first with himself
    And the faith that is in his heart-
    The strength there,
    The will there to build.
    First in the heart is the dream-
    Then the mind starts seeking a way.
    His eyes look out on the world,
    On the great wooded world,
    On the rich soil of the world,
    On the rivers of the world.
    The eyes see there materials for building,
    See the difficulties, too, and the obstacles.
    The mind seeks a way to overcome these obstacles.
    The hand seeks tools to cut the wood,
    To till the soil, and harness the power of the waters.
    Then the hand seeks other hands to help,
    A community of hands to help-
    Thus the dream becomes not one man’s dream alone,
    But a community dream.
    Not my dream alone, but our dream.
    Not my world alone,
    But your world and my world,
    Belonging to all the hands who build.
    A long time ago, but not too long ago,
    Ships came from across the sea
    Bringing the Pilgrims and prayer-makers,
    Adventurers and booty seekers,
    Free men and indentured servants,
    Slave men and slave masters, all new-
    To a new world, America!
    With billowing sails the galleons came
    Bringing men and dreams, women and dreams.
    In little bands together,
    Heart reaching out to heart,
    Hand reaching out to hand,
    They began to build our land.
    Some were free hands
    Seeking a greater freedom,
    Some were indentured hands
    Hoping to find their freedom,
    Some were slave hands
    Guarding in their hearts the seed of freedom,
    But the word was there always:
    Freedom.
    Down into the earth went the plow
    In the free hands and the slave hands,
    In indentured hands and adventurous hands,
    Turning the rich soil went the plow in many hands
    That planted and harvested the food that fed
    And the cotton that clothed America.
    Clang against the trees went the ax into many hands
    That hewed and shaped the rooftops of America.
    Splash into the rivers and the seas went the boat-hulls
    That moved and transported America.
    Crack went the whips that drove the horses
    Across the plains of America.
    Free hands and slave hands,
    Indentured hands, adventurous hands,
    White hands and black hands
    Held the plow handles,
    Ax handles, hammer handles,
    Launched the boats and whipped the horses
    That fed and housed and moved America.
    Thus together through labor,
    All these hands made America.
    Labor! Out of labor came villages
    And the towns that grew cities.
    Labor! Out of labor came the rowboats
    And the sailboats and the steamboats,
    Came the wagons, and the coaches,
    Covered wagons, stage coaches,
    Out of labor came the factories,
    Came the foundries, came the railroads.
    Came the marts and markets, shops and stores,
    Came the mighty products moulded, manufactured,
    Sold in shops, piled in warehouses,
    Shipped the wide world over:
    Out of labor-white hands and black hands-
    Came the dream, the strength, the will,
    And the way to build America.
    Now it is Me here, and You there.
    Now it’s Manhattan, Chicago,
    Seattle, New Orleans,
    Boston and El Paso-
    Now it’s the U.S.A.
    A long time ago, but not too long ago, a man said:
    ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL--
    ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR
    WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS--
    AMONG THESE LIFE, LIBERTY
    AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
    His name was Jefferson. There were slaves then,
    But in their hearts the slaves believed him, too,
    And silently too for granted
    That what he said was also meant for them.
    It was a long time ago,
    But not so long ago at that, Lincoln said:
    NO MAN IS GOOD ENOUGH
    TO GOVERN ANOTHER MAN
    WITHOUT THAT OTHER’S CONSENT.
    There were slaves then, too,
    But in their hearts the slaves knew
    What he said must be meant for every human being-
    Else it had no meaning for anyone.
    Then a man said:
    BETTER TO DIE FREE
    THAN TO LIVE SLAVES
    He was a colored man who had been a slave
    But had run away to freedom.
    And the slaves knew
    What Frederick Douglass said was true.
    With John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, Negroes died.
    John Brown was hung.
    Before the Civil War, days were dark,
    And nobody knew for sure
    When freedom would triumph
    "Or if it would," thought some.
    But others new it had to triumph.
    In those dark days of slavery,
    Guarding in their hearts the seed of freedom,
    The slaves made up a song:
    Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
    That song meant just what it said: Hold On!
    Freedom will come!
    Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
    Out of war it came, bloody and terrible!
    But it came!
    Some there were, as always,
    Who doubted that the war would end right,
    That the slaves would be free,
    Or that the union would stand,
    But now we know how it all came out.
    Out of the darkest days for people and a nation,
    We know now how it came out.
    There was light when the battle clouds rolled away.
    There was a great wooded land,
    And men united as a nation.
    America is a dream.
    The poet says it was promises.
    The people say it is promises-that will come true.
    The people do not always say things out loud,
    Nor write them down on paper.
    The people often hold
    Great thoughts in their deepest hearts
    And sometimes only blunderingly express them,
    Haltingly and stumblingly say them,
    And faultily put them into practice.
    The people do not always understand each other.
    But there is, somewhere there,
    Always the trying to understand,
    And the trying to say,
    "You are a man. Together we are building our land."
    America!
    Land created in common,
    Dream nourished in common,
    Keep your hand on the plow! Hold on!
    If the house is not yet finished,
    Don’t be discouraged, builder!
    If the fight is not yet won,
    Don’t be weary, soldier!
    The plan and the pattern is here,
    Woven from the beginning
    Into the warp and woof of America:
    ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.
    NO MAN IS GOOD ENOUGH
    TO GOVERN ANOTHER MAN
    WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.
    BETTER DIE FREE,
    THAN TO LIVE SLAVES.
    Who said those things? Americans!
    Who owns those words? America!
    Who is America? You, me!
    We are America!
    To the enemy who would conquer us from without,
    We say, NO!
    To the enemy who would divide
    And conquer us from within,
    We say, NO!
    FREEDOM!
    BROTHERHOOD!
    DEMOCRACY!
    To all the enemies of these great words:
    We say, NO!
    A long time ago,
    An enslaved people heading toward freedom
    Made up a song:
    Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
    The plow plowed a new furrow
    Across the field of history.
    Into that furrow the freedom seed was dropped.
    From that seed a tree grew, is growing, will ever grow.
    That tree is for everybody,
    For all America, for all the world.
    May its branches spread and shelter grow
    Until all races and all peoples know its shade.
    KEEP YOUR HAND ON THE PLOW! HOLD ON!

    - Langston Hughes
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  33. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  34. TopTop #3799
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Father and Son


    I needed you to be a god.
    to rescue me
    from yourself.
    I needed you to be larger
    than a glass of scotch.
    to leap out from the depression.
    to look me in the eye
    and see me.


    Instead you were not a god.
    You loved me in a human way.
    Stumbled and slurred your words of apology.
    And my adolescence was cast adrift.


    We grew apart.
    You in deeper withdrawal.
    Me in increasing bitterness.
    ‘Till all we had was
    “How’s the weather?” and the next cute grandchild story.


    Over time, my life arced back towards you
    just as you body wore out.
    Finally, it was your return to childhood
    that brought me to adulthood.


    You left too soon
    or I arrived too late.


    Sometimes the final goodbye
    Contains every hello that did not happen.


    - Jose Enciso
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  35. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  36. TopTop #3800
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Louie Lies


    Louie lives by lying. He must always lie
    all day long, and thus he craves fellowship.
    He lies about the sunrise: "It was golden,
    a great ball of fire clearing the rooftops,
    sending the mockingbirds into wild screeches
    as they scurried deeper into the branches
    of the Atlas cedar." Actually the day
    began slowly as the winter overcast
    burned off above the treetops. The phone rings.
    It's Louie. He's found a huge diamond ring
    buried in his sock drawer. He has no idea
    how it got there. "When I turn it toward
    the light it gives off blue and yellow rays
    like nothing ever seen. Would you like it?"
    He'll be over within the hour. I make coffee,
    turn on the classical music station
    to hear Bach's Chaconne for the hundredth time.
    When the bell rings it's Louie with a copy
    of The Watchtower, his forehead beaded
    with sweat, his eyes huge, his jeans sagging
    under the weight of his new belly. Nothing
    is said about the ring. Instead he tells me
    about the women he met on his way over.
    "One was from Prague, raven-haired,
    pale as a ghost, six feet tall, right out of Poe.
    The other spoke English, had been brought up
    to believe she was Hemingway's daughter.
    She chain-smoked Chesterfields. Both found God
    in the Brooklyn Yellow Pages under
    'Perishable Items.'" "Awake!" they'd cried
    in chorus. Here he'd thought he was awake.
    "Maybe I'll convert," he says, swirling his coffee.
    He's tried Orthodox Judaism, Zen,
    psychoanalysis, downhill racing,
    organic farming, LSD. He shakes his head,
    his wild black curls flashing in the noon light,
    refuses more coffee, and rises to leave.
    He has a lesson with his Latin teacher,
    a young refugee from the Vatican
    who wants to bear his child. The door closes
    behind him, and the final notes of the Bach
    scrape over and over. The record is stuck,
    the DJ with the fake Irish accent is out
    to lunch or drunk. I open The New York Times.


    - Phillip Levine
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  37. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  38. TopTop #3801
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Frederick Douglass

    When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
    and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
    usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
    when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
    reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
    than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
    this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
    beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
    where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
    this man, superb in love and logic, this man
    shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,
    not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
    but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
    fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.

    - Robert E. Hayden
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  39. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  40. TopTop #3802
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Summer Holiday

    When the sun shouts and people abound
    One thinks there were the ages of stone and the age of
    bronze
    And the iron age; iron the unstable metal;
    Steel made of iron, unstable as his mother; the tow-
    ered-up cities
    Will be stains of rust on mounds of plaster.
    Roots will not pierce the heaps for a time, kind rains
    will cure them,
    Then nothing will remain of the iron age
    And all these people but a thigh-bone or so, a poem
    Stuck in the world’s thought, splinters of glass
    In the rubbish dumps, a concrete dam far off in the
    mountain…

    - Robinson Jeffers
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  41. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  42. TopTop #3803
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ghazal: America the Beautiful

    Do you remember our earnestness our sincerity
    in first grade when we learned to sing America

    The Beautiful along with the Star-Spangled Banner
    and say the Pledge of Allegiance to America

    We put our hands over our first grade hearts
    we felt proud to be citizens of America

    I said One Nation Invisible until corrected
    maybe I was right about America

    School days school days dear old Golden Rule Days
    when we learned how to behave in America

    What to wear, how to smoke, how to despise our parents
    who didn’t understand us or America

    Only later learning the Banner and the Beautiful
    live on opposite sides of the street in America

    Only later discovering the Nation is divisible
    by money by power by color by gender by sex America

    We comprehend it now this land is two lands
    one triumphant bully one still hopeful America

    Imagining amber waves of grain blowing in the wind
    purple mountains and no homeless in America

    Sometimes I still put my hand tenderly on my heart
    somehow or other still carried away by America

    - Alicia Ostriker
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  43. Gratitude expressed by:

    M/M
  44. TopTop #3804
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

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  45. TopTop #3805
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Pity The Nation
    (After Khalil Gibran)

    Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
    and whose shepherds mislead them.
    Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose
    sages are silenced,
    and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
    Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
    except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully
    as hero
    and aims to rule the world with force and by
    torture.
    Pity the nation that knows no other language but
    its own
    and no other culture but its own.
    Pity the nation whose breath is money
    and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
    Pity the nation--oh, pity the people who allow
    their rights to erode
    and their freedoms to be washed away.
    My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.

    - Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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  46. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  47. TopTop #3806
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

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  48. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  49. TopTop #3807
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Day is Coming

    A day is coming
    in which misery will end.
    A day is coming
    in which poverty
    will open bank accounts
    in every nation.
    A day is coming.
    I hear it coming.
    A day is coming
    in which the
    campesino
    will gather his children a green spring
    and go on vacations.
    I believe it.
    I see it.
    A day is coming
    in which a soldier will be
    decorated
    for helping
    instead of killing
    his poor brother.
    A day is coming
    in which lovers
    will serve themselves from large bowls
    warm love and faithfulness.
    A day is coming
    in which the Christ who returns
    is the Christ who never left.
    A day is coming
    in which the father will ask the son
    for friendship
    instead of respect.
    A day is coming
    in which the student
    and a poor laborer
    will be half and half.
    A day is coming
    in which the prisoners
    come out
    running in the fields and shouting
    about their freedom.
    A day is coming,
    I see it coming.

    - Lalo Delgado
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  51. TopTop #3808
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Early Retirement


    or more generally
    Reboot


    For far too long now
    I have been running
    I want to stand
    still
    I want to listen

    I want to set aside
    the troubles of this world
    and go into the other world
    deep within

    where silence is welcome
    where life is not manufactured
    and sold through advertising
    where there is no business model

    where joy has room to breathe
    where love governs the land
    where I can hear
    and rediscover myself

    moment by moment
    with no deadline
    fully open to endings
    fully open to new beginnings

    - Jean-Pierre Swennen
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  53. TopTop #3809
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Affirmation

    To grow old is to lose everything.
    Aging, everybody knows it.
    Even when we are young,
    we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
    when a grandfather dies.
    Then we row for years on the midsummer
    pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
    that began without harm, scatters
    into debris on the shore,
    and a friend from school drops
    cold on a rocky strand.
    If a new love carries us
    past middle age, our wife will die
    at her strongest and most beautiful.
    New women come and go. All go.
    The pretty lover who announces
    that she is temporary
    is temporary. The bold woman,
    middle-aged against our old age,
    sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
    Another friend of decades estranges himself
    in words that pollute thirty years.
    Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
    and affirm that it is fitting
    and delicious to lose everything.

    - Donald Hall
    (September 20, 1928 - June 23, 2018)
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  54. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  55. TopTop #3810
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Background image is a section of a Randall Exon painting.


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  56. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

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