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  1. TopTop #4411
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Move

    Whether it’s a turtle who drags herself
    Slowly to the sandlot, where she digs
    The sandy nest she was born to dig

    And lay leathery eggs in, or whether it’s salmon
    Rocketing upstream
    Toward pools that call, Bring your eggs here

    And nowhere else in the world, whether it is turtle-green
    Ugliness and awkwardness, or the seething
    Grace and gild of silky salmon, we

    Are envious, our wishes speak out right here,
    Thirsty for a destiny like theirs,
    An absolute right choice

    To end all choices. Is it memory,
    We ask, is it a smell
    They remember,

    Or just what is it—some kind of blueprint
    That makes them move, hot grain by grain,
    Cold cascade above icy cascade,

    Slipping through
    Water’s fingers
    A hundred miles

    Inland from the easy, shiny sea?
    And we also—in the company
    Of our tribe

    Or perhaps alone, like the turtle
    On her wrinkled feet with the tapping nails—
    We also are going to travel, we say let’s be

    Oblivious to all, save
    That we travel, and we say
    When we reach the place we’ll know

    We are in the right spot, somehow, like a breath
    Entering a singer’s chest, that shapes itself
    For the song that is to follow.

    - Alicia Ostriker
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  3. TopTop #4412
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    After the Wilderness


    May 3, 1863


    When Clifford wasn’t back to camp by nine,
    I went to look among the fields of dead
    before we lost him to a common grave.
    But I kept tripping over living men
    and had to stop and carry them to help
    or carry them until they died,
    which happened more than once upon my back.
    And I got angry with those men because
    they kept me from my search and I was out
    still stumbling through the churned-up earth at dawn,
    stopping to stare into each corpse’s face,
    and all the while I was writing in my head
    the letter I would have to send our father,
    saying Clifford was lost and I had lost him.


    I found him bent above a dying squirrel
    while trying to revive the little thing.
    A battlefield is full of trash like that —
    dead birds and squirrels, bits of uniform.
    Its belly racked for air. It couldn’t live.
    Cliff knew it couldn’t live without a jaw.
    When in relief I called his name, he stared,
    jumped back, and hissed at me like a startled cat.
    I edged up slowly, murmuring “Clifford, Cliff,”
    as you might talk to calm a skittery mare,
    and then I helped him kill and bury all
    the wounded squirrels he’d gathered from the field.
    It seemed a game we might have played as boys.
    We didn’t bury them all at once, with lime,
    the way they do on burial detail,
    but scooped a dozen, tiny, separate graves.
    When we were done he fell across the graves
    and sobbed as though they’d been his unborn sons.
    His chest was large — it covered most of them.
    I wiped his tears and stroked his matted hair,
    and as I hugged him to my chest I saw
    he’d wet his pants. We called it Yankee tea.


    - Andrew Hudgins
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  5. TopTop #4413
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Laying the Fire


    I am downstairs early
    looking for something to do

    when I find my father on his knees
    at the fireplace in the sitting-room
    sweeping ash
    from around and beneath the grate
    with the soft brown hand-brush
    he keeps especially for this.

    Has he been here all night
    waiting to catch me out?
    So far as I can tell
    I have done nothing wrong.

    I think so again
    when he calls my name
    without turning round;

    he must have seen me
    with the eyes in the back of his head.

    ‘What’s the matter old boy?
    Couldn’t sleep?’

    His voice is kinder than I expect,
    as though he knows
    we have in common a sadness
    I do not feel yet.

    I skate towards him in my grey socks
    over the polished boards of the sitting-room,

    negotiating the rugs
    with their patterns of almost-dragons.

    He still does not turn round.

    He is concentrating now
    on arranging a stack of kindling
    on crumpled newspaper in the fire basket,

    pressing small lumps of coal
    carefully between the sticks
    as though he is decorating a cake.

    Then he spurts a match,
    and chucks it on any old how,

    before spreading a fresh sheet of newspaper
    over the whole mouth of the fireplace
    to make the flames take hold.

    Why this fresh sheet
    does not also catch alight
    I cannot think.

    The flames are very close.

    I can see them
    and hear them raging
    through yesterday’s cartoon of President Kennedy

    and President Khrushchev
    racing towards each other in their motorcars
    both shouting
    I’m sure he’s going to stop first!

    But there’s no need to worry.
    Everything
    is just as my father wants it to be,
    and in due time,
    when the fire is burning nicely,
    he whisks the newspaper clear,

    folds it under his arm,

    and picks up the dustpan
    with the debris of the night before.

    Has he just spoken to me again?
    I do not think so. I
    do not know.
    I was thinking how neat he is.
    I was asking myself:
    will I be like this? How will I manage?

    After that he chooses a log
    from the wicker wood-basket
    to balance on the coals,
    and admires his handiwork.

    When the time comes to follow him,
    glide, glide over the polished floor,
    he leads the way to the dustbins.

    A breath of ash
    pours continuously over his shoulder
    from the pan he carries before him
    like a man bearing a gift
    in a picture of a man bearing a gift.


    - Andrew Motion
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  7. TopTop #4414
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General


    His Grace! impossible! what dead!
    Of old age too, and in his bed!
    And could that mighty warrior fall?
    And so inglorious, after all!
    Well, since he’s gone, no matter how,
    The last loud trump must wake him now:
    And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger,
    He’d wish to sleep a little longer.
    And could he be indeed so old
    As by the newspapers we’re told?
    Threescore, I think, is pretty high;
    ’Twas time in conscience he should die
    This world he cumbered long enough;
    He burnt his candle to the snuff;
    And that’s the reason, some folks think,
    He left behind so great a stink.
    Behold his funeral appears,
    Nor widow’s sighs, nor orphan’s tears,
    Wont at such times each heart to pierce,
    Attend the progress of his hearse.
    But what of that, his friends may say,
    He had those honours in his day.
    True to his profit and his pride,
    He made them weep before he died.


    Come hither, all ye empty things,
    Ye bubbles raised by breath of kings;
    Who float upon the tide of state,
    Come hither, and behold your fate.
    Let pride be taught by this rebuke,
    How very mean a thing’s a Duke;
    From all his ill-got honours flung,
    Turned to that dirt from whence he sprung.


    - Jonathan Swift
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  9. TopTop #4415
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    rosetta

    hair a bright orange
    mouth painted red-red
    gold teeth
    fingers covered with rings
    she wears many gold chains
    and crosses
    her car an old rusted out chevy
    piled high with her belongings
    she's laying against the fence
    outside the opp center
    wearing a long wine colored
    rita hayworth number
    with a slit up the side
    and two black eyes

    - Geri Digiorno
    Last edited by Barry; 01-14-2020 at 01:11 PM.
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  11. TopTop #4416
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Darkling Thrush


    I leant upon a coppice gate
    When Frost was spectre-grey,
    And Winter's dregs made desolate
    The weakening eye of day.
    The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
    Like strings of broken lyres,
    And all mankind that haunted nigh
    Had sought their household fires.


    The land's sharp features seemed to be
    The Century's corpse outleant,
    His crypt the cloudy canopy,
    The wind his death-lament.
    The ancient pulse of germ and birth
    Was shrunken hard and dry,
    And every spirit upon earth
    Seemed fervourless as I.


    At once a voice arose among
    The bleak twigs overhead
    In a full-hearted evensong
    Of joy illimited;
    An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
    Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.


    So little cause for carolings
    Of such ecstatic sound
    Was written on terrestrial things
    Afar or nigh around,
    That I could think there trembled through
    His happy good-night air
    Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.


    - Thomas Hardy
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  13. TopTop #4417
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Dream

    to Martin Luther King Jr.

    "I have a dream," he said,
    the dream, fitted to his times,
    that his master the Nazarene
    two-thousand years ago amplified
    from the ancient scriptures of his cult,
    the dream already pressed
    into the clay tablets of Ur,
    entered in the ledger of Toth,
    the dream that when realized
    will make us truly great.

    - Rafael Jesús González
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  15. TopTop #4418
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Floaters


    "Ok, I’m gonna go ahead and ask ... have ya’ll ever seen floaters this clean. I’m
    not trying to be an a$$ but I HAVE NEVER SEEN FLOATERS LIKE THIS,
    could this be another edited photo. We’ve all seen the dems and liberal parties
    do some pretty sick things."
    - Anonymous post, “I’m 10-15” Border Patrol Facebook group


    Like a beer bottle thrown into the river by a boy too drunk to cry,
    like the shard of a Styrofoam cup drained of coffee brown as the river,
    like the plank of a fishing boat broken in half by the river, the dead float.
    And the dead have a name: floaters, say the men of the Border Patrol,
    keeping watch all night by the river, hearts pumping coffee as they say
    the word floaters, soft as a bubble, hard as a shoe as it nudges the body,
    to see if it breathes, to see if it moans, to see if it sits up and speaks.


    And the dead have names, a feast day parade of names, names that
    dress all in red, names that twirl skirts, names that blow whistles,
    names that shake rattles, names that sing in praise of the saints:
    Say Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez. Say Angie Valeria Martínez Ávalos.
    See how they rise off the tongue, the calling of bird to bird somewhere
    in the trees above our heads, trilling in the dark heart of the leaves.


    Say what we know of them now they are dead: Óscar slapped dough
    for pizza with oven-blistered fingers. Daughter Valeria sang, banging
    a toy guitar. He slipped free of the apron he wore in the blast of the oven,
    sold the motorcycle he would kick till it sputtered to life, counted off
    pesos for the journey across the river, and the last of his twenty-five
    years, and the last of her twenty-three months. There is another name
    that beats its wings in the heart of the trees: Say Tania Vanessa Ávalos,
    Óscar’s wife and Valeria’s mother, the witness stumbling along the river.


    Now their names rise off her tongue: Say Óscar y Valeria. He swam
    from Matamoros across to Brownsville, the girl slung around his neck,
    stood her in the weeds on the Texas side of the river, swore to return
    with her mother in hand, turning his back as fathers do who later say:
    I turned around and she was gone. In the time it takes for a bird to hop
    from branch to branch, Valeria jumped in the river after her father.
    Maybe he called out her name as he swept her up from the river;
    maybe the river drowned out his voice as the water swept them away.
    Tania called out the names of the saints, but the saints drowsed
    in the stupor of birds in the dark, their cages covered with blankets.
    The men on patrol would never hear their pleas for asylum, watching
    for floaters, hearts pumping coffee all night on the Texas side of the river.


    No one, they say, had ever seen floaters so clean: Óscar’s black shirt
    yanked up to the armpits, Valeria’s arm slung around her father’s
    neck even after the light left her eyes, both face down in the weeds,
    back on the Mexican side of the river. Another edited photo: See how
    her head disappears in his shirt, the waterlogged diaper bunched
    in her pants, the blue of the blue cans. The radio warned us about
    the crisis actors we see at one school shooting after another; the man
    called Óscar will breathe, sit up, speak, tug the black shirt over
    his head, shower off the mud and shake hands with the photographer.


    Yet, the floaters did not float down the Río Grande like Olympians
    showing off the backstroke, nor did their souls float up to Dallas,
    land of rumored jobs and a president shot in the head as he waved
    from his motorcade. No bubbles rose from their breath in the mud,
    light as the iridescent circles of soap that would fascinate a two-year-old.


    And the dead still have names, names that sing in praise of the saints,
    names that flower in blossoms of white, a cortege of names dressed
    all in black, trailing the coffins to the cemetery. Carve their names
    in headlines and gravestones they would never know in the kitchens
    of this cacophonous world. Enter their names in the book of names.
    Say Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez; say Angie Valeria Martínez Ávalos.
    Bury them in a corner of the cemetery named for the sainted archbishop
    of the poor, shot in the heart saying mass, bullets bought by the taxes
    I paid when I worked as a bouncer and fractured my hand forty years
    ago, and bumper stickers read: El Salvador Is Spanish for Vietnam.


    When the last bubble of breath escapes the body, may the men
    who speak of floaters, who have never seen floaters this clean,
    float through the clouds to the heavens, where they paddle the air
    as they wait for the saint who flips through the keys on his ring
    like a drowsy janitor, till he fingers the key that turns the lock and shuts
    the gate on their babble-tongued faces, and they plunge back to earth,
    a shower of hailstones pelting the river, the Mexican side of the river.


    - Martin Espada
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  17. TopTop #4419

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I heard Martin read this poem on Democracy Now! a few days ago. Wonderful! Thanks, Larry.
    Roland

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Larry Robinson: View Post
    Floaters
    ...
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  18. TopTop #4420
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Not Unaware

    The community’s time capsule resides beneath the parched and nearly
    barren earth. A forlorn coffee can size relic coffin.

    Above ground, a dusty bronze plaque specifies the far-off date when a
    future citizenry should exhume and examine the artifacts.

    The concerned civic leaders who buried the specially designed
    canister have long since found their eternal resting places.

    Should the premonitory marker yet be discovered, the container unearthed
    and the contents retrieved; a trio of telltale objects would be recovered.

    An empty plastic water bottle, a car key, a cell phone and nothing more.

    At the time of the symbolic interment, some were opposed to such a
    pointed and blatant characterization of their entire culture.
    The realists however, prevailed.

    The seasons such as they are, come and go. Dry incessant winds
    howl across the scorched and inhospitable landscape.

    A few small creatures scuttle about near the forsaken site, oblivious of
    the three carefully chosen harbinger objects resting undisturbed
    a few feet below.


    - Mark Telles
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  20. TopTop #4421
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson



    What If



    What if you were an angel,
    called to earth to do your part?


    What if your wings
    were gently lifted from you,
    and you were left to walk about on
    the planet
    just like everyone else,
    though you could still feel
    the places
    where they had been?


    What if you had come
    with a gift
    that was especially
    your own,
    though it was hidden inside?


    Would you find it, use it,
    help others on the way,
    give love to all you met?


    What if?


    - Dorothy Walters
    Last edited by Barry; 01-19-2020 at 02:39 PM.
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  22. TopTop #4422
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    After the Lecture
    for Martin Luther King Jr.


    A woman said I was not polite
    to the opposition,
    that I was harsh
    and did not encourage
    discourse.


    Perhaps if I were Christ,
    I could say, "Forgive them
    for they know not what they do."
    Or the queen, and apologize
    for stubbing my executioner's toes.


    But only if I knew
    the executioners
    were mine only.


    What courtesy have I the right to give
    to them who break the bones,
    the souls of my brothers,
    my sisters;
    deny bread, books
    to the hungry,
    the children;
    medicine, healing
    to the sick;
    roofs to the homeless;


    who spoil the oceans,
    lay waste the forests
    and the deserts,
    violate the land?


    Affability on the lips
    of outrage
    is a sin and blasphemy
    I'll not be guilty of.

    - Rafael Jesús González


    Después del Discurso

    a Martin Luther King Jr.


    Una mujer me dijo que no fui cortés
    con la oposición,
    que fui duro
    y que no animé
    discusión.


    Tal vez si fuera Cristo,
    pudiera decir - Perdónalos
    que no saben lo que hacen. -
    O la reina, y disculparme
    por haber pisarle el pie a mi verdugo.


    Pero solamente si supiera
    que los verdugos
    fueran solamente míos.


    ¿Qué cortesía tengo el derecho a darles
    a los que quiebran los huesos
    y las almas de mis hermanos,
    mis hermanas;
    les niegan el pan, los libros
    a los hambrientos,
    a los niños;
    la medicina, el sanar
    a los enfermos;
    techos a los desamparados;


    que estropean los mares,
    que destruyen los bosques
    y los desiertos,
    violan la tierra?


    Afabilidad en los labios
    de la furia justa
    es pecado y blasfemia
    de la cual no seré culpable.

    - Rafael Jesús González
    Last edited by Barry; 01-20-2020 at 12:54 PM.
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  24. TopTop #4423
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Once We Were Witches


    Once we were witches
    We drew all things
    Within the circle
    Because all things,
    Including No things, are
    Within the circle.
    We drew all into
    The magical corridor
    Between the heart and the
    Belly. We allowed all and
    No things to whisper
    Their true names
    In their many languages.
    All and no things told us
    Stories in pictures,
    That pierced
    The veil of dreaming,
    The dream of secrets,
    Not secrets after all, but
    Life hidden in plain and
    Perfect sight.


    Once we were witches
    And told the stories
    Given us in that magic
    Corridor, between heart and belly,
    To heal and soothe
    All and no things which
    Include beings, human and
    Others. But our sight,
    Made dim or blinded


    By other stories,
    Shouted by those who
    Wanted the circle
    Made smaller. Our sight
    Went dark in their fires’
    Dense, deadly smoke.
    The voices choked, silenced,
    and we, who once were


    Witches came to believe the circle
    Small, a place of precious few,
    While outside, the many asked
    For alms, believed the stories
    Told between the eyes.


    Still, all and no things,
    Of which we are part,
    Find their insistent way to
    That place between heart
    And belly. Whispering,
    They remind us of what
    We fear to see, lest the burning
    Begin again.


    - Rebecca del Rio
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  26. TopTop #4424
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Refugee

    She comes inside, in her rain gear.
    "I could use a hand," she says, "with the little deer."
    "I’m already late for work," I say,
    then, "O.K."

    In the rain
    I ease my shovel beneath its damp
    grey-brown flanks, as hers
    lifts the head of the fawn,

    who had taken shelter beneath a
    redwood tree, two days ago, near our home,
    its legs curled beneath, its tall ears flickering,
    as we had departed for the weekend, and yet

    on our return, by the dimming flashlight, she found it
    still there, nearly gone, in the dark and rain.
    Thought she also saw something hovering, rippling
    just above, and a shadow keeping vigil, in the trees behind..

    We lay the small, now lifeless
    form gently into the wheel barrow,
    and, guided strangely
    by uncertainty,

    we head off into the forest,
    know to find the place,
    and cover it loosely with fallen boughs.
    Vultures will complete the cycle.

    In awed silence, we walk back together. Soon
    I begin my daily drive, out the gravel road, and into the world.

    All day long I stand in the woods,
    the rain still is falling.

    - Scott O'Brien
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  28. TopTop #4425
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Listen


    Words can only
    Carry the perfume
    Of the Mystery.


    Will you listen anyway,
    With your heart?


    The way a mother
    Listens for the cry
    Of her child


    A lover, for the voice
    Of his beloved.


    Let the perfume
    Beckon you inward
    To discover the sweetness of Being
    To hear the language of the soul.


    - Kathleen Rose McTeigue
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  30. TopTop #4426
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Buna


    Wasted feet, cursed earth,
    the interminable gray morning
    as Buna smokes corpses through industrious chimneys.


    A day like every other day awaits us.
    The terrible whistle shrilly announces dawn:
    "You, O pale multitudes with your sad, lifeless faces,
    welcome the monotonous horror of the mud ...
    another day of suffering has begun."


    Weary companion, I see you by heart.
    I empathize with your dead eyes, my disconsolate friend.
    In your breast you carry cold, hunger, nothingness.
    Life has broken what's left of the courage within you.


    Colorless one, you once were a strong man,
    A courageous woman once walked at your side.
    But now you, my empty companion, are bereft of a name,
    my forsaken friend who can no longer weep,
    so poor you can no longer grieve,
    so tired you no longer can shiver with fear.


    O, spent once-strong man,
    if we were to meet again
    in some other world, sweet beneath the sun,
    with what kind faces would we recognize each other?

    - Primo Levi
    (translation by Michael R. Burch)


    Note: Buna was the largest Auschwitz sub-camp.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-24-2020 at 11:40 AM.
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  32. TopTop #4427
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Something


    for the children of the Holocaust and the Nakba


    Something inescapable is lost—
    lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
    vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
    immeasurable and void.


    Something uncapturable is gone—
    gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
    scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
    and remembrance.


    Something unforgettable is past—
    blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
    and finality has swept into a corner where it lies
    in dust and cobwebs and silence.


    - Michael R. Burch
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  34. TopTop #4428
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Letter to America


    America I still love you
    in spite of the hateful rhetoric
    that spews from every street corner
    in each forgotten city
    while millions lose jobs
    they once thought were theirs
    and mothers work a multitude of jobs
    well into the night just to feed their starving children


    America I still love you
    while fires burn uncontrollably
    taking away homes
    from those too poor to replace them
    scattered homeless now displaced when once
    they drove shiny cars and wore gold chains
    factory workers strung out on opioids
    tattered brains no longer care about
    the America of long ago when our soldiers
    came home from World War II and we
    welcomed them with the GI bill, a new home
    and jobs with pensions
    what a comfortable life that used to be


    America I still love you
    while refugees grace our land who once
    were welcomed with open arms
    now they’re separated from their children
    who then are locked in cages
    and never seen again


    America I’m getting frustrated
    with promises of universal healthcare
    while our environment rots at the core
    and more of us are struck with cancer
    each and every year


    America I’m losing hope
    in escaping gun violence
    when so many are allowed to openly carry
    their semi-automatics and shoot innocent
    children or those practicing their religions
    in church or synagogues
    dying for what? to prove they’re some type of hero
    on Social Media sites?
    to give their families something to be proud of?


    America I’m dying
    because of poison air
    filthy, lying politicians
    not being able to leave my home
    for fear of what’s around the corner
    waiting to end my life
    forever


    - Marsha Johansen
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  35. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  36. TopTop #4429
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Among The Ruins, The Wildflowers Grow


    Arbeit Macht Frei,
    “Work Makes Free”
    inscribed on top of the gate
    and Auschwitz opens its doors.


    In a collective chill
    to a rhythm of soft sobs,
    we enter the gate of death
    some of us holding hands
    not daring to look at each other
    we walk in
    and hope to understand.


    “If I must see, please God, hold my hand.”
    Hand in hand
    we march on the train tracks
    the beat of my pace confused with
    the roar of human cattle trains
    packed with children’s terrorized hearts
    we walk, God’s hand still in mine,
    just as He walked with those terrorized hearts
    when they bartered with death,
    for God is everywhere, so they say…


    Acres and acres and acres
    of nazi commerce—the business of death.
    They had blueprints,
    Skilled electricians and engineers
    who washed off the stench of burned flesh
    and night after night sat for a warm meal
    with their golden children of blue sight


    Why? I ask
    with my fist against the sky.
    Why?
    and the wind gently answers
    with a faint smell of singed flesh.
    The path changes color as we walk
    from gray—
    oh God, whose ashes are we walking on?—
    to dark red…
    Is the blood rising from the ground?
    We are walking on earth that God forgot.
    Faraway, a voice with no face,
    A tour guide speaks German,
    for a moment
    a raging agony collapses time
    now and then become one
    rendering God ineffectual.


    Suddenly a woman’s burning scream
    rips the heat of the sun
    and in that cry, we hear the six million.


    Facing the ovens
    Michael prays El Male Rachamim
    the prayer “Oh God of mercy”—
    and among the ruins
    the landscape of corpses,
    huddled together even in death,
    reveals itself among the wild flowers
    and golden grass.


    Still wandering forlorn on earth that God forgot
    we cross the gateway of help
    into dark barracks filled with homeless prayers
    where Jews lay famished
    one on top of another, month after month.


    A ray of light
    filters through a crack
    stealing a piece of sky.


    Someone runs out of the barrack to throw up outside


    Names on the bricks, scratched with fingernails
    reveal themselves through the dark—
    Sara, Esther, Golde…--
    and inside my head I hear myself scream
    Grandma, where is your name?!


    Drowned in holocaust
    we turn to return


    Our safe bus is waiting for us…
    Amiram picks up and clutches a stone
    shedding tears through the sweat in his hand.
    How can we leave?
    Beloved ones, how can we leave you here?!
    And the birds perched on the entrance door
    Where Arbeit Macht Frei
    continue singing


    - Jana Liba Klenburg
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  37. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  38. TopTop #4430
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Auschwitz-Birkenau


    To awaken here
    Is to hear silence
    Shrieking in cold,
    Empty corridors, to awaken


    In a heart hewn
    By fear, a darkness
    Closed to compassion.
    Any kindness


    Is all kindness--a treachery
    We must enter, allow to enter us--
    Ask us, "who are you here
    In this hallowed hell?"


    No where to step
    Where ash hasn't fallen,
    Where cruelty hasn't walked,
    Fed on our tender fear.


    Who am I in this
    Enormous evil?
    A dog waiting at a platform?
    Or the child terrified of dogs,


    Clutching a brother's hand?
    A boy alive forever,
    Forever frightened so we
    Will know what we can do.


    I move through ghosts, numb.
    Like others, I am dumb,
    In respectful, awful silence,
    Save for voices screaming,


    Who I am? Am I
    The selfless priest crammed
    In a standing cell, dying
    For a stranger who survived?


    Who am I here in history's
    Hall of horrors? Walls lined
    With visages, victims
    Who haven't yet imagined


    What we can do--will do.


    Not Nazis, not
    Germans, but humans
    Did this. We
    Do this now.


    To awaken here is
    To see that casual blue
    Chip in the sky's
    Somber gray soul,


    Innocent opening
    letting light flow down,
    Bless this damned,
    Degraded place.


    To awaken here,
    Is to know one's
    Darkness, and not
    Turning from it, see that light.


    - Rebecca del Rio
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  39. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  40. TopTop #4431
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    After


    after you fell
    to your death
    I kept falling
    and in that
    there was a great hush
    and concentric circles formed
    of my thoughts
    from the agonizing moment
    we had to stop searching
    the circular possibilities


    I always knew you were free
    that I could feel
    and even celebrate


    then three years


    clean, broken skeleton
    recovered
    brought down the massive mountain
    on the rhythmic back
    of a black horse


    For a little while
    I lived to bring those bones home
    to lay them down
    one by one
    I cradled
    your crushed skull
    in my hands
    I held your hand in mine
    and I gave you
    a final goodbye
    this time with my body
    and yours
    in attendance


    The drenched dreams
    of your future earthly life
    wrung dry


    - Erin RileyAfter
    Last edited by Barry; 01-29-2020 at 02:14 PM.
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  41. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  42. TopTop #4432
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Not for Him the Fiery Lake of the False Prophet


    "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.... They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
    -  Donald Trump, June 16, 2015


    They woke him up by pissing in his face. He opened his mouth
    to scream in Spanish, so his mouth became a urinal at the ballpark.


    Scott and Steve: the Leader brothers, celebrating a night at Fenway,
    where the Sox beat the Indians and a rookie named Rodríguez spun
    the seams on his changeup to hypnotize the Tribe. Later that night,
    Steve urinated on the door of his cell, and Scott told the cops why
    they did it: Donald Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported.


    He was a Mexican in a sleeping bag outside JFK station on a night
    in August, so they called him a wetback and emptied their bladders
    in his hair. In court, the lawyers spoke his name: Guillermo Rodríguez,
    immigrant with papers, crop-picker in the fields, trader of bottles
    and cans collected in his cart. Two strangers squashed the cartilage
    in his nose like a can drained of beer. In dreams, he would remember
    the shoes digging into his ribcage, the pole raked repeatedly across
    his cheekbones and upraised knuckles, the high-five over his body.


    Donald Trump was right, said Scott. And Trump said: The people
    that are following me are very passionate. His hands fluttered
    as he spoke, a demagogue’s hands, no blood under the fingernails,
    no whiff of urine to scrub away. He would orchestrate the chant
    of Build That Wall at rally after rally, bellowing till the blood rushed
    to his face, red as a demagogue in the grip of masturbatory dreams:
    a tribute to the new conquistador, the Wall raised up by Mexican hands,
    Mexican hair and fingernails bristling in the brick, Mexican blood
    swirling in the cement like raspberry syrup on a vanilla sundae.
    On the Cinco de Mayo, he leered over a taco bowl at Trump Tower.


    Not for him the fiery lake of the false prophet, reddening
    his ruddy face. Not for him the devils of Puritan imagination,
    shrieking in a foreign tongue and climbing in the window
    like the immigrant demons he conjures for the crowd.
    Not even for him ten thousand years of the Leader brothers,
    streaming a fountain of piss in his face as he sputters forever.


    For him, Hell is a country where the man in a hard hat
    paving the road to JFK station sees Guillermo and dials 911;
    Hell is a country where EMTs kneel to wrap a blanket around
    the shivering shoulders of Guillermo and wipe his face clean;
    Hell is a country where the nurse at the emergency room
    hangs a morphine drip for Guillermo, so he can go back to sleep.
    Two thousand miles away, someone leaves a trail of water bottles
    in the desert for the border crossing of the next Guillermo.


    We smuggle ourselves across the border of a demagogue’s dreams:
    Confederate generals on horseback tumble one by one into
    the fiery lake of false prophets; into the fiery lake crumbles
    the demolished Wall. Thousands stand, sledgehammers in hand,
    to await the bullhorns and handcuffs, await the trembling revolvers.
    In the full moon of the flashlight, every face interrogates the interrogator.
    In the full moon of the flashlight, every face is the face of Guillermo.


    - Martin Espada
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  44. TopTop #4433
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Continuum


    I was deeply comforted by Jung’s statement
    that: “Everything is defined by its opposite.”

    Thereafter I began to think
    in terms of the continuum
    that connects
    opposing sides,
    the soft grey running bears
    between black/white battle lines.

    They taught me that everything
    is also contained within its opposite.

    How could it be otherwise.

    In old age the amygdalae shake hands
    with the frontal lobes.
    The oldest and youngest parts
    of the human brain
    finally realize
    the true value of their relationship.

    Together they blend
    pattern recognition and raw emotion
    into a savory complex
    of fine spices
    to enhance the grownup feast
    of life and death
    that awaits every old soul.

    - Rabon Saip
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  45. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  46. TopTop #4434
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Unites States Welcomes You


    Why and by whose power were you sent?

    What do you see that you may wish to steal?

    Why this dancing? Why do your dark bodies

    Drink up all the light? What are you demanding

    That we feel? Have you stolen something? Then

    What is that leaping in your chest? What is

    The nature of your mission? Do you seek

    To offer a confession? Have you anything to do

    With others brought by us to harm? Then

    Why are you afraid? And why do you invade

    Our night, hands raised, eyes wide, mute

    As ghosts? Is there something you wish to confess?

    Is this some enigmatic type of test? What if we

    Fail? How and to whom do we address our appeal?

    - Tracy K. Smith
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  47. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  48. TopTop #4435
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Redwood Forest Yoga



    Eighteen pairs of muddy boots
    Kicked in a jumbled pile
    Puddle by the door
    Far from the fire


    Eighteen well-worn jackets
    Male odors mingling
    Drip on the knotty pine floor
    Out of the rain at last


    Eighteen glowing bodies
    Stretch their edges by the fire
    Upward facing dogs
    Under the sheltering roof


    Eighteen visions of God
    Held on an inward breath
    Tear blind me
    With their beauty

    - Doug von Koss
    Last edited by Barry; 02-02-2020 at 01:33 PM.
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  49. Gratitude expressed by:

  50. TopTop #4436
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Brief For The Defense


    Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
    are not starving someplace, they are starving
    somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
    But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
    Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
    be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
    be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
    at the fountain are laughing together between
    the suffering they have known and the awfulness
    in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
    in the village is very sick. There is laughter
    every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
    and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
    If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
    we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
    We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
    but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
    the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
    furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
    measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
    If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
    we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
    We must admit there will be music despite everything.
    We stand at the prow again of a small ship
    anchored late at night in the tiny port
    looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
    is three shuttered cafes and one naked light burning.
    To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
    comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
    all the years of sorrow that are to come.


    - Jack Gilbert
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  51. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  52. TopTop #4437
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    If wheat grows from my soil


    If wheat grows from my soil,
    The bread you bake will make you drunk.

    Both dough and baker are crazy.
    The oven recites a drunken poem.

    If you visit my grave,
    My tomb will make you dance.

    Be sure to bring a tambourine.
    Don’t be sad at God’s festival.

    My chin is shut, within the grave, asleep,
    My mouth gnawing on bittersweet love.

    If you rip apart my shroud,
    A drunken man will unravel your soul.

    From all sides, sounds of war and drunken harps,
    Empty tasks become fruitful works.

    God created me from love’s wine.
    I’m still that love even as death wears me down.

    I’m the drunken man. My essence is the wine of love.
    What do you expect from wine but drunkenness?

    I will never rest until my soul flies
    To the towering soul of Shams of Tabriz.

    - Jellaludin Rumi
    (Translated by Brad Gooch and Maryam Mortaz)
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  53. Gratitude expressed by:

  54. TopTop #4438
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Kindergarten Justice

    an anvil sits on the heart of America
    her breath labored through a mouth wide open
    in a frozen scream of boundless rage for justice


    and we, blinded by tears, implore the goddess
    to remove her blindfold before escape from this madness
    is too late and sense by sense our country, coursing wildly
    with no fulcrum to steady her compass, be sucked away


    ruins of this metal wind, this breathless insanity
    challenge our balance to stay upright
    justice is abandoned, a rumble of unimaginable trouble
    growls from behind doors we thought could never open


    age has shortened our stride,
    but how did our younger sense of fairness
    get lost in our older hearts


    before we began to make histories of our lives,
    our polished cheeks brimming with innocence,
    we knew when something wasn’t right,
    we had the certainty of kindergarten justice,
    the resolute declaration of “that’s not fair!”


    stand up, act out, throw a tantrum,
    join the voices of awareness reciting
    the courage of our memory,
    even if pitted against all odds
    we can exhume the body of justice


    once the battle is joined,
    we will never have to
    fumble in our pockets
    for evidence of resistance


    - Jo Ann Smith
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  55. TopTop #4439

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT. NEWS THAT STAYS NEWS! Larry has his pulse on the Present Moment. This poetry, in the face of an absurd parody of "Justice" in the US, is HOT with vitality! As long as there are poems like this, attesting to the truth you can feel in your breath and blood, we can never get totally lost!

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Larry Robinson: View Post
    Kindergarten Justice

    an anvil sits on the heart of America
    her breath labored through a mouth wide open
    in a frozen scream of boundless rage for justice...
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  56. Gratitude expressed by:

    Dre
  57. TopTop #4440

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    It's been a week or two since you posted this poem, Larry, but I really want to share what happened.
    I pasted the poem onto a certain spiritual poetry Facebook page, one devoted to a great and well-known modern Sage. One person vociferously objected that I would put such "gross language" on this sacred page. I replied, WHAT IS OBSCENE IS NOT THE DESCRIPTION! WHAT IS OBSCENE IS WHAT THESE PEOPLE DID TO THIS MAN!
    He didn't get it, at all...ended with a note "I'm saddened to see this here on this page..." to which I did not reply (having already shared what I capitalized above.) Keep 'em coming, Larry!

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Larry Robinson: View Post
    Not for Him the Fiery Lake of the False Prophet


    "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.... They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
    -  Donald Trump, June 16, 2015


    They woke him up by pissing in his face. He opened his mouth
    to scream in Spanish, so his mouth became a urinal at the ballpark.


    Scott and Steve: the Leader brothers, celebrating a night at Fenway,
    where the Sox beat the Indians and a rookie named Rodríguez spun
    the seams on his changeup to hypnotize the Tribe. Later that night,
    Steve urinated on the door of his cell, and Scott told the cops why
    they did it: Donald Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported...
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

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