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  1. TopTop #1531
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In the Absence of Kindness


    In the absence of kindness
    Take one deep breath
    And then let it go
    Into the heat of confusion
    Or an echoless emptiness
    Where it may be swallowed up
    Like a dove in a black hole
    Listen as it coos gently in the dark


    The next breath may disorient you
    That’s a good sign
    Go ahead
    Lose your way
    Your point
    Your imitation
    Of someone you don’t even
    Recognize now

    You’ve made a U-turn
    And like a boomerang
    Being struck by lightning
    Random acts of kindness
    Now seem as natural
    As being breathed into Self
    That One who has forgiven
    Any part of the whole that
    Might have believed
    You were not enough


    - Fran Carbonaro
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  3. TopTop #1532
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    OCCUPY SUGARLOAF
    - a California State Park


    As I hike the path that crosses
    a sun-blanched meadow, meander
    under oak shadow on the hillside trail,

    I spot them, beginning to take over:
    whip of slim snake, fin-flick of steelhead
    black-tailed deer, encroaching grass.

    Silence occupies the air.

    Then the ravens' croaks,
    the turkeys' glee. There's only
    one more day

    till the state locks the gate
    to cars, campers, horses—
    and those who know

    no boundaries take hold:
    quail, hawk, lizard
    rain, sun, wind, seed.
    - Jodi Hottel
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  5. TopTop #1533
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Leaning In


    Sometimes, in the middle of a crowded store on a Saturday
    afternoon, my husband will rest his hand
    on my neck, or on the soft flesh belted at my waist,
    and pull me to him. I understand


    his question: Why are we so fortunate
    when all around us, friends are falling prey
    to divorce and illness? It seems intemperate
    to celebrate in a more conspicuous way


    so we just stand there, leaning in
    to one another, until that moment
    of sheer blessedness dissolves and our skin,
    which has been touching, cools and relents,


    settling back into our separate skeletons
    as we head toward Housewares to resume our errands.


    - Sue Ellen Thompson
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  6. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  7. TopTop #1534
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Footnote from the Brink

    2/14/2013, Valentines Day

    Black sky,
    lots of glittering white stars,
    brings back a memory.
    I'm not moving,
    but staying still,
    still want to participate,
    get involved.

    Color coming into it,
    reds and greens,
    blinking yellow background
    warning me,
    get on to something else,
    stay active with the thoughts of dying.

    Din in background,
    going off and on,
    very important.
    Activity,
    just being,
    the act of dying.

    State of being,
    the act of dying not affecting it.
    Wonder what part, what part of what?
    It is a situation that is getting confusing.
    Why am I doing it?
    I'm not curious about dying.
    I just want to do it.
    I am not afraid.

    The din is leaving me,
    evaporating.
    I sleep.
    I wake up,
    not unhappy to wake up.
    I accept it all.

    Another day is coming on,
    travel and family are still basic passions,
    and dying is well taken care of,
    coming around the bend.

    Where did the words come from?

    My friends are mostly gone,
    and I'm going off to love music, jazz, opera,
    and to hear Gregory's voice,
    to see him.

    Leaving is enough.
    I can't feel sad,
    what's happening is inevitable.
    My time is your time.

    I'm feeling incompetent,
    unlikely to hold it together.
    I did the best I could under the circumstances.

    The circumstances of what?
    Everything is interesting,
    every little piece of evidence,
    and I am not afraid.

    I want to head into the unknown,
    with my forehead first,
    no hair to cover my eyes.
    I want to go open, unadorned, plain and bare.
    I see part light, part dark,
    the light is ahead of me,
    and dark on either side of me.

    I'm traveling through the light and the dark.
    And I am not afraid.


    - Maxine Collin Williams
    (Maxine died last week after 95 years on the planet)
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  8. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  9. TopTop #1535
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    ascension


    for Jonathan Glass

    the geometry
    of distance annoys
    is unfilled

    countless shapes fly about
    collide
    change form
    careen in other directions

    when motion stops
    what does the space contain?

    do we require an answer?

    it feels dangerous
    uncertain
    without movement

    images and memories
    slowly approach
    are here
    then gone

    hands held
    candles lit
    chaotic feelings
    rise and fall
    within love
    and loss

    life's
    ragged outline
    becomes more clear
    we must go on

    so must you.


    - Richard Retecki
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  10. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  11. TopTop #1536
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
    I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
    And Mourners to and fro
    Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
    That Sense was breaking through -

    And when they all were seated,
    A Service, like a Drum -
    Kept beating - beating - till I thought
    My mind was going numb -

    And then I heard them lift a Box
    And creak across my Soul
    With those same Boots of Lead, again,
    Then Space - began to toll,

    As all the Heavens were a Bell,
    And Being, but an Ear,
    And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
    Wrecked, solitary, here -

    And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
    And I dropped down, and down -
    And hit a World, at every plunge,
    And Finished knowing - then -


    - Emily Dickinson
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  13. TopTop #1537
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Dear Human:


    You've got it all wrong.
    You didn't come here to master unconditional love.
    This is where you came from and where you'll return.


    You came here to learn personal love.
    Universal love.
    Messy love.
    Sweaty love.
    Crazy love.
    Broken love.
    Whole love.
    Infused with divinity.
    Lived through the grace of stumbling.
    Demonstrated through the beauty of . . . messing up.
    Often.


    You didn't come here to be perfect; you already are.
    You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.
    And rising again into remembering.
    But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.
    Love in truth doesn't need any adjectives.
    It doesn't require modifiers.
    It doesn't require the condition of perfection.


    It only asks you to show up.


    And do your best.


    That you stay present and feel fully.


    That you shine and fly and laugh and cry
    and hurt and heal and fall and get back up
    and play and work and live and die as YOU.


    It's enough.


    It's plenty.


    - Courtney A. Walsh
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  14. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  15. TopTop #1538
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    It Is March


    It is March and black dust falls out of the books
    Soon I will be gone
    The tall spirit who lodged here has
    Left already
    On the avenues the colorless thread lies under
    Old prices


    When you look back there is always the past
    Even when it has vanished
    But when you look forward
    With your dirty knuckles and the wingless
    Bird on your shoulder
    What can you write


    The bitterness is still rising in the old mines
    The fist is coming out of the egg
    The thermometers out of the mouths of the corpses


    At a certain height
    The tails of the kites for a moment are
    Covered with footsteps


    Whatever I have to do has not yet begun


    - W. S. Merwin
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  17. TopTop #1539
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The World Was Old When We Got Here


    we could see that, easy. Paint and birch
    bark curling, dried up wells and leaky
    faucets, weeping willows and bent windmills
    shrieking in the breeze. Driven outside, we swung
    our legs from the seats of rusted tractors tangled
    in dead branches, crept into abandoned
    houses graffitied by trees. We wove sticks
    with bale twine to make shelters, fished
    the hood of a car from the river
    for a roof, used bricks from the crumbled
    cookhouse for a makeshift wall.


    Inheriting ruins,
    we made ruins.


    Blue jeans in the wash still came out dirty. The breath
    of grown-ups fermented with things unsaid. Someday
    we'd understand "farm crisis," foreclosure, FDIC. We'd see
    people driving Cadillacs, rest our faces on the plush
    white carpet of our own remodeled homes, remember
    clover by the chicken pen, how each spring we rolled
    in it, each spring it was new.


    - Kara McKeever
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  18. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  19. TopTop #1540
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In Praise of Worry


    Think of it and it won't happen,
    I've often thought. Too unlikely
    to imagine the accident-you
    in the car in the rain-then receive
    the call. Too uncanny,
    too much like a book.


    In life, almost no one
    recognizes what's important
    when it's beginning-the comical bully
    on his way to power, the shy boy
    next door loading his gun, or the baby
    in the barn, only the animals watching.


    Then a few travelers arrive in the night.


    Later, we can see the shape of the story,
    or make one up, if we have to.


    So you're driving home in a terrible storm.
    Rain lashes the windshield, great trees
    are collapsing, but you're safe
    because the scene I'm picturing


    won't happen if I think of it first.
    That's what I keep telling myself
    until the storm is over-
    challenging the order of things
    to show its hand, betting it won't.


    - Lawrence Raab
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  20. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  21. TopTop #1541
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Silence


    I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
    And the silence of the city when it pauses,
    And the silence of a man and a maid,
    And the silence of the sick
    When their eyes roam about the room.
    And I ask: For the depths
    Of what use is language?
    A beast of the field moans a few times
    When death takes its young.
    And we are voiceless in the presence of realities -
    We cannot speak.




    A curious boy asks an old soldier
    Sitting in front of the grocery store,
    "How did you lose your leg?"
    And the old soldier is struck with silence,
    Or his mind flies away
    Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg,
    It comes back jocosely
    And he says, "A bear bit it off."
    And the boy wonders, while the old soldier
    Dumbly, feebly lives over
    The flashes of guns, the thunder of cannon,
    The shrieks of the slain,
    And himself lying on the ground,
    And the hospital surgeons, the knives,
    And the long days in bed.
    But if he could describe it all
    He would be an artist.
    But if he were an artist there would be deeper wounds
    Which he could not describe.


    There is the silence of a great hatred,
    And the silence of a great love,
    And the silence of an embittered friendship.
    There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
    Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
    Comes with visions not to be uttered Into a realm of higher life.
    There is the silence of defeat.
    There is the silence of those unjustly punished
    And the silence of the dying whose hand
    Suddenly grips yours.
    There is the silence between father and son,
    When the father cannot explain his life,
    Even though he be misunderstood for it.


    There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
    There is the silence of those who have failed;
    And the vast silence that covers
    Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
    There is the silence of Lincoln,
    Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
    And the silence of Napoleon
    After Waterloo.
    And the silence of Jeanne d'Arc
    Saying amid the flames, "Blessed Jesus" -
    Revealing in two words all sorrows, all hope.
    And there is the silence of age,
    Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
    In words intelligible to those who have not lived
    The great range of life.


    And there is the silence of the dead.
    If we who are in life cannot speak
    Of profound experiences,
    Why do you marvel that the dead
    Do not tell you of death?
    Their silence shall be interpreted
    As we approach them.


    - Edgar Lee Masters
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  22. TopTop #1542
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To Daffodils


    Fair Daffodils, we weep to see

    You haste away so soon;
    As yet the early-rising sun
    Has not attain'd his noon.
    Stay, stay,
    Until the hasting day
    Has run
    But to the even-song;
    And, having pray'd together, we
    Will go with you along.


    We have short time to stay, as you,
    We have as short a spring;
    As quick a growth to meet decay,
    As you, or anything.
    We die
    As your hours do, and dry
    Away,
    Like to the summer's rain;
    Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
    Ne'er to be found again.


    - Robert Herrick
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  24. TopTop #1543
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Generations


    We watch the young, rising early, determined,
    going out to dig into the horizons their elders
    heralded: the images and tokens of worship, the
    paradises and unfenced boundaries prepared
    before them that now must be seen through
    their own eyes. There's no going back. There's
    hope they will grow into the possibilities we were.
    We want and often wait for and gravely expect
    our children to fulfill our plotted desires. Often we
    are blind or indifferent to their desires. More and
    more we merge with the lives and deaths contained
    in the time through which we passed.
    Let us watch out for the winter's clouds we see as
    loss, the withering of hope into judgement that can
    come with age. Why trust in the whisperings of regret
    when our precious days are ripening with the measure
    of honest enthusiasms that, at last, we have earned?
    The generation that follows, we pray, will not be burdened
    with our history of distortions; they may be free of the
    lament that recalls a world once better than it is. How
    clear it is that those other worlds are here! We who were
    children just a dream ago can offer the light that lets us
    love in them their journey. Understanding this, we can
    come to more respect our own.

    - Rich Meyers
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  25. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  26. TopTop #1544
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Two Giant Fat People


    God
    And I have become
    Like two giant fat people
    Living in a
    Tiny boat.
    We
    Keep
    Bumping into each other and
    Laughing.


    - Hafiz
    (from The Gift - Translations by Daniel Ladinsky)
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  27. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  28. TopTop #1545
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Difficulties


    Friend, please tell me what I can do about this mud world
    I keep spinning out of myself!


    I gave up expensive clothes, and bought a robe
    But I noticed one day the cloth was well-woven.


    So I bought some burlap, but I still
    Throw it elegantly over my left shoulder.


    I stopped being a sexual elephant,
    And now I discover that I"m angry a lot.


    I finally gave up anger, and now I notice
    That I am greedy all day.


    I worked hard at dissolving the greed,
    And now I am proud of myself.


    When the mind wants to break its link with the world
    It still holds on to one thing.


    Kabir says: Listen, my friend,
    There are very few that find the path!!


    - Kabir
    (translation by Robert Bly)
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  29. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  30. TopTop #1546
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Passage Through The Center


    It’s like swimming across a river
    with our eyes closed, this passage
    through the center of our life.
    Sometimes we have to navigate
    from the inside out -
    when the stars hide their light
    when we cannot see the bank
    on the other side, when the hounds
    of our past bark on the shoreline
    braying their mournful song at our leaving.

    It is a stillness like the heart of the fire
    that guides—the voice of some angel of mercy
    who has been sending us missives
    since our birth. And when we look over
    our shoulder - once, twice -
    it is the fierce tiger of truth who howls,
    You cannot go back, that place is gone now.

    And for a moment, we freeze in the river
    sure we will drown, forgetting which way
    is up and down, forward and back,
    as the roar of the tumbling current
    pours through us with all the questions
    that have refused to leave us alone,
    with visions of the many roads
    bursting into flames behind us.

    And then something remembers itself,
    lifts our shoulders above the swirling cauldron
    of in between and we simply let go
    of making our way, we let go of decisions,
    and the tangled paradoxes flow on through
    the river’s body, drawing us to the edge
    of this new world that calls us to our knees
    to give thanks for this fertile soil
    seeded with dreams,
    thirsty for our arrival.

    - Laura Weaver
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  32. TopTop #1547
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Point Reyes—wild oats in the wind
    for JQ

    As if it were the holy spirit
    engulfing me,
    as if I even knew
    the nature of such a thing,
    as if I might even be able to tell you
    the mystery of a moment that pushed me
    to the very edge of . . . of . . . something,
    calling loudly without words for me to simply open up—all the way . . .

    We stood together in silence,
    in the midst of things,
    on the headlands, high above the surf,
    a dusty trail beneath our feet
    crisscrossed from time to time
    by slow moving, shinny black beetles,
    while stationery, high above our heads
    a hawk lay just beneath the cold gray blanket
    that covered everything on this tiny slip of land
    sliding northward, sliding always northward.
    And everywhere it was wind—
    the air moved, ruffled clothes and tousled hair,
    made soft staccato pops and flutters in our ears
    that almost hid from them
    an exquisite, near silent song.

    Had we not seen the wild oats dancing,
    delicately dangling their tiny, hull-covered seeds,
    atop straight golden stalks,
    that bent down in the wind,
    as if to say, namaste, to everything,
    lightly touching one another, then,
    like bows and strings—
    had we not seen them dancing so,
    we would have missed their music,
    their heavenly music,
    the intricacy of which,
    the joy of which
    went well beyond
    what human hand
    could make
    or these human words
    describe.

    Oh, the wind and the song of the wild oats!


    - Bill Denham
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  34. TopTop #1548
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ark

    The mountain sleeps,
    awaiting the arrival
    of the next storm,
    unmoved as only a mountain can be

    Unlike the rest of us
    anxiously eyeing
    the hidden pearl of the sun
    tucked away in the
    dank oyster flesh
    of the cloud

    Or others of us,
    heads down grazing into a wind
    heavy with water and information
    we do not want

    Or still others
    gathering kindling
    that might float away from us
    and save someone else

    All of us occupied
    with our useless preparations,
    like Noah, who meant well
    but should have left well enough alone
    and slept and dreamed
    he was a mountain.


    - Greg Hayes
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  35. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  36. TopTop #1549
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Pope's Penis

    It hangs deep in his robes, a delicate
    clapper at the center of a bell.
    It moves when he moves, a ghostly fish in a
    halo of silver sweaweed, the hair
    swaying in the dark and the heat -- and at night
    while his eyes sleep, it stands up
    in praise of God.

    - Sharon Olds
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  37. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  38. TopTop #1550
    RexCasteel
    Guest

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Jesus Christ! ;-)
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  39. TopTop #1551
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Gold, Green

    Let it be
    On a day in March
    California;
    When the grass is green
    On the rolling hills
    And the snow
    Is deep in the mountains –

    Let it be
    On a day like this
    That we plant a tree
    California
    For the years to come
    For the little ones
    and the lakes
    Will be pure in the mountains –

    Let it be gold and green
    California;
    That we touch the ground
    That we heal the land
    From the mountains to the sea.

    - Gary Snyder
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  40. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  41. TopTop #1552
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Envoi


    O, child, where we stand
    Is quicksand


    This venerable crust
    Dust


    Move bravely on,
    As if there were watchers.


    - Barry Spacks
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  42. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  43. TopTop #1553
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    alchemy


    the miracle is in
    the capacity
    of your eyes
    to distinguish
    an ordinary tree
    from a sun-crowned
    gently nodding
    green cathedral.
    to realize
    a faucet
    is a dispensary
    of wet
    braided
    light.
    to regard
    your own
    left hand
    as an astonishing feat
    of animation.
    to turn
    a rabid
    gnashing world
    into unending
    gentle music.


    - Natascha Bruckner
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  45. TopTop #1554
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Daffodils


    I wander'd lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the Milky Way,
    They stretch'd in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:
    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.


    - William Wordsworth
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  46. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  47. TopTop #1555
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Sailing to Byzantium

    I

    That is no country for old men. The young
    In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
    --Those dying generations--at their song,
    The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
    Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
    Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
    Caught in that sensual music all neglect
    Monuments of unageing intellect.


    II

    An aged man is but a paltry thing,
    A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
    Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
    For every tatter in its mortal dress,
    Nor is there singing school but studying
    Monuments of its own magnificence;
    And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
    To the holy city of Byzantium.


    III

    O sages standing in God’s holy fire
    As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
    Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
    And be the singing-masters of my soul.
    Consume my heart away; sick with desire
    And fastened to a dying animal
    It knows not what it is; and gather me
    Into the artifice of eternity.


    IV

    Once out of nature I shall never take
    My bodily form from any natural thing,
    But such a form a Grecian goldsmiths make
    Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
    To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
    Or set upon a golden bough to sing
    To lords or ladies of Byzantium
    Of what is past, or passing, or to come.


    - William Butler Yeats
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  48. Gratitude expressed by:

  49. TopTop #1556
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Song Of Peace


    I closed my eyes in darkness

    and opened them in light,
    and over the world,
    like a flag unfurled,
    was a sweet sound and a holy sight.

    A dove spread wings of magic;
    its shadow was golden and broad,
    and the people of earth,
    in a passion of birth,
    had shattered an ancient sword.

    Oh, why is my country hated
    and made such a thing of scorn,
    this fruitful place
    with its varied race,
    this land where I was born?

    And why is my country darkened,
    when the rest of the world is light,
    and cloaked in fear
    of things once dear,
    and weak in its frightful might?

    And why are the people silent,
    and where is the ancient song
    that mankind found
    was freedom's sound,
    to shatter injustice and wrong?

    We'll not have our country hated!
    Our country is strong and grand.
    Oh, be not dismayed
    by those who betrayed
    the heritage of our land.

    If a song can be made so simple,
    if a word can become a creed,
    then the sound of peace
    will gently increase,
    like the harvest from the seed.

    Ask not why the land is silent;
    let the people measure their toil,
    and the human race
    will share its grace
    with the lonely folk of our soil.

    Its grace is new and holy,
    and peace is the dream of the world,
    and the people of earth
    in a passion of birth
    will see their banner unfurled.

    The banner is pure and sacred,
    enough of the swine who destroy!
    Enough of the night,
    the world is bright-
    and the future is filled with-joy.

    Our cup is running over
    with the graft and the lies and the hate,
    and the renegade
    is too well paid
    with our broken dreams and our children's fate.


    We'll open our eyes in the darkness,
    and boldly look to the light,
    and call to our side
    with earnest pride
    our people who dwell in the night.

    And they'll see the dove so holy,
    so pure and wide of wing,
    wide as the earth
    in its passion of birth-
    with a joyful song to sing.

    And the lilt will be made so simple,
    and the word will become a creed,
    and the song of peace
    will gently increase,
    like the harvest from the seed.

    - Howard Fast (1914-2003)
    Last edited by Barry; 03-20-2013 at 02:20 PM.
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  51. TopTop #1557
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Another Spring


    The seasons revolve and the years change
    With no assistance or supervision.
    The moon, without taking thought,
    Moves in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.


    The white moon enters the heart of the river;
    The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
    Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
    Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.


    The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
    The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
    High in the sky the Northern Crown
    Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.


    O heart, heart, so singularly
    Intransigent and corruptible,
    Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
    And moments that should each last forever


    Slide unconsciously by us like water.


    - Kenneth Rexroth
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  53. TopTop #1558
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ten Years Later


    When the mind is clear
    and the surface of the now still,
    now swaying water
    slaps against
    the rolling kayak,
    I find myself near darkness,
    paddling again to Yellow Island.
    Every spring wildflowers
    cover the grey rocks.
    Every year the sea breeze
    ruffles the cold and lovely pearls
    hidden in the center of the flowers
    as if remembering them
    by touch alone.
    A calm and lonely, trembling beauty
    that frightened me in youth.
    Now their loneliness
    feels familiar, one small thing
    I've learned these years,
    how to be alone,
    and at the edge of aloneness
    how to be found by the world.
    Innocence is what we allow
    to be gifted back to us
    once we've given ourselves away.
    There is one world only,
    the one to which we gave ourselves
    utterly, and to which one day
    we are blessed to return.


    - David Whyte
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  54. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  55. TopTop #1559
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Frivolous Spring

    If one must have a mind for winter,
    spring requires no mind at all.

    Only a blue-eyed sky, long of day,
    sweet of night,

    or sprinkle of rain with muddysplash
    walk in the park,

    and gather of lupine, poppies,
    a singing lark.

    Spring is a garland dance in the woods,
    a humming breeze with peppery zing
    of pollensting,

    a giddy of daisies flinging petals
    to the wind, counting the ways
    helovesmehelovesmenothelovesme!


    - Patrice Warrender
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  56. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  57. TopTop #1560
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Bush's War


    I typed the brief phrase, "Bush's War,"
    At the top of a sheet of white paper,
    Having some dim intuition of a poem
    Made luminous by reason that would,
    Though I did not have them at hand,
    Set the facts out in an orderly way.
    Berlin is a northerly city. In May
    At the end of the twentieth century
    In the leafy precincts of Dahlem Dorf,
    South of the Grunewald, near Krumme Lanke,
    Spring is northerly; it begins before dawn
    In a racket of bird song. The amsels
    Shiver the sun up as if they were shaking
    A liquid tangle of golden wire. There are two kinds
    Of flowering chestnuts, red and white,
    And the wet pavements are speckled
    With petals from the incandescent spikes
    Of their flowers and shoes at U-bahn stops
    Are flecked with them. Green of holm oaks,
    Birch tassels, the soft green of maples,
    And the odor of lilacs is everywhere.
    At Oscar Helene Heim station a farmer
    Sells white asparagus from a heaped table.
    In a month he'll be selling chanterelles;
    In the month after that, strawberries
    And small, rosy crawfish from the Spree.
    The piles of stalks of the asparagus
    Are startlingly phallic, phallic and tender
    And deathly pale. Their seasonal appearance
    Must be the remnant of some fertility ritual
    Of the German tribes. Steamed, they are the color
    Of old ivory. In May, in restaurants
    They are served on heaped white platters
    With boiled potatoes and parsley butter,
    Or shavings of Parma ham and lemon juice
    Or sorrel and smoked salmon. And,
    Walking home in the slant, widening,
    Brilliant northern light that falls
    On the new-leaved birches and the elms,
    Nightingales singing at the first, subtlest,
    Darkening of dusk, it is a trick of the mind
    That the past seems just ahead of us,
    As if we were being shunted there
    In the surge of a rattling funicular.
    Flash forward: the firebombing of Hamburg,
    Fifty thousand dead in a single night,
    "The children's bodies the next day
    Set in the street in rows like a market
    In charred chicken." Flash forward:
    Firebombing of Tokyo, a hundred thousand
    In a night. Flash forward: forty-five
    Thousand Polish officers slaughtered
    By the Russian Army in the Katyn Woods,
    The work of half a day. Flash forward:
    Two million Russian prisoners of war
    Murdered by the German army all across
    The eastern front, supplies low,
    Winter of 1943. Flash: Hiroshima.
    And then Nagasaki, as if the sentence
    Life is fire and flesh is ash needed
    To be spoken twice. Flash: Auschwitz,
    Dachau, Therienstadt, the train lurching,
    The stomach woozy, past displays of falls
    Of hair, piles of valises, spectacles
    With frames designed to curl delicately
    Around a human ear. Flash:
    The gulags, seven million in Byelorussia
    And Ukraine. In innocent Europe on a night
    In spring, among the light-struck birches,
    Students holding hands. One of them
    Is carrying a novel, the German translation
    Of a slim book by Marguerite Duras
    About a love affair in old Saigon. (Flash:
    Two million Vietnamese, fifty five thousand
    Of the American young, whole races
    Of tropical birds extinct from saturation bombing)
    The kind of book the young love
    To love, about love in time of war.
    Forty five million, all told, in World War II.
    In Berlin, pretty Berlin, in the spring time,
    You are never not wondering how
    It happened, and the people around you
    In the station with chestnut petals on their shoes,
    Children then, or unborn, never not
    Wondering. Is it that we like the kissing
    And bombing together, in prospect
    At least, girls in their flowery dresses?
    Someone will always want to mobilize
    Death on a massive scale for economic
    Domination or revenge. And the task, taken
    As a task, appeals to the imagination.
    The military is an engineering profession.
    Look at boys playing: they love
    To figure out the ways to blow things up.
    But the rest of us have to go along.
    Why do we do it? Certainly there's a rage
    To injure what's injured us. Wars
    Are always pitched to us that way.
    The well-paid news readers read the reasons
    On the air. And we who are injured,
    Or have been convinced that we are injured,
    Are always identified with virtue. It's that--
    The rage to hurt mixed with self-righteousness
    And fear--that's murderous.
    The young Arab depilated himself
    As an act of purification before he drove
    The plane into the office building. It's not
    Just violence, it's a taste for power
    That amounts to loathing for the body.
    Perhaps it's this that permits people to believe
    That the dead women in the rubble of Baghdad
    Who did not cast a vote for their deaths
    Or the glimpse afforded them before they died
    Of the raw white of the splintered bones
    In the bodies of their men or their children
    Are being given the gift of freedom
    Which is the virtue of their injured killers.
    It's hard to say which is worse about this,
    The moral sloth of it or the intellectual disgrace.
    And what good are our judgments to the dead?
    And death the cleanser, Walt Whitman's
    Sweet death, the scourer, the tender
    Lover, shutter of eyelids, turns
    The heaped bodies into summer fruit,
    Magpies eating dark berries in the dusk
    And birch pollen staining sidewalks
    To the faintest gold. Bald nur--Goethe--no,
    Warte nur, bald ruhest du auch. Just wait.
    You will be quiet soon enough. In Dahlem,
    Under the chestnuts, in the leafy spring.


    - Robert Hass
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