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  1. TopTop #4681
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I Think Continually of Those


    I think continually of those who were truly great.
    Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
    Through corridors of light where the hours are suns,
    Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
    Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
    Should tell of the spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
    And who hoarded from the spring branches
    The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.


    What is precious is never to forget
    The delight of the blood drawn from ancient springs
    Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth;
    Never to deny its pleasure in the simple morning light,
    Nor its grave evening demand for love;
    Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
    With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.


    Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
    See how these names are fêted by the waving grass,
    And by the streamers of white cloud,
    And whispers of wind in the listening sky;
    The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
    Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
    Born of the sun, they traveled a short while towards the sun,
    And left the vivid air signed with their honor.


    - Stephen Spender
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  3. TopTop #4682
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Fire's Pieta



    Sitting legs open wide on the black ground
    she cradles the burned llama
    against the fullness of her body.


    An officer with a shotgun
    approaches in the lower left,
    come to perform a final, brutal mercy.


    She waits.
    Her eyes are lowered.

    I imagine she is rocking,
    crooning.


    - Ruah Bull



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  5. TopTop #4683
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    September Meditation


    I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
    nights by which we count time remember their own passing.
    I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
    remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.
    I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall's gathering or if the
    bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.
    I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers
    the moon.
    I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
    the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.
    Perhaps that is the reason for our births - to be the memory for
    creation.
    Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.
    Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
    "What can you tell me about September?"

    - Burton D. Carley
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  7. TopTop #4684
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Waiting for the Fire



    Not just the temples, lifting

    lotuses out of the tangled trees,

    not the moon on cool canals,

    the profound smell of the paddies,

    evening fires in open doorways,

    fish and rice the perfect end of wisdom;

    but the small bones, the grace, the voices like

    clay bells in the wind, all wasted.


    If we ever thought of the wreckage

    of our unnatural acts,

    we would never sleep again

    without dreaming a rain of fire:

    somewhere God is bargaining for Sodom,

    a few good men could save the city; but

    in that dirty corner of the mind

    we call the soul

    the only wash that purifies is tears,

    and after all our body counts,

    our rape, our mutilations,

    nobody here is crying; people who would weep

    at the death of a dog

    stroll these unburned streets dry-eyed.


    But forgetfulness will never walk

    with innocence; we save our faces

    at the risk of our lives, needing

    the wisdom of losses, the gift of despair,

    or we could kill again.


    Somewhere God is haggling over Sodom:

    for the sake of ten good people

    I will spare the land.

    Where are all those volunteers

    to hold back the fire? Look:

    when the moon rises over the sea,

    no matter where you stand,

    the path of the light comes to you.


    - Philip Appleman

    Last edited by Barry; 09-11-2020 at 12:56 PM.
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  9. TopTop #4685
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Leap

    A couple leaped from the south tower, hand in hand. They reached for each other and their hands met and they jumped.

    Jennifer Brickhouse saw them falling, hand in hand.

    Many people jumped. Perhaps hundreds. No one knows. They struck the pavement with such force that there was a pink mist in the air.

    The mayor reported the mist.

    A kindergarten boy who saw people falling in flames told his teacher that the birds were on fire. She ran with him on her shoulders out of the ashes.

    Tiffany Keeling saw fireballs falling that she later realized were people. Jennifer Griffin saw people falling and wept as she told the story. Niko Winstral saw people free-falling backwards with their hands out, like they were parachuting. Joe Duncan on his roof on Duane Street looked up and saw people jumping. Henry Weintraub saw people “leaping as they flew out.” John Carson saw six people fall, “falling over themselves, falling, they were somersaulting.” Steve Miller saw people jumping from a thousand feet in the air. Kirk Kjeldsen saw people flailing on the way down, people lining up and jumping, “too many people falling.” Jane Tedder saw people leaping and the sight haunts her at night. Steve Tamas counted fourteen people jumping and then he stopped counting. Stuart DeHann saw one woman’s dress billowing as she fell, and he saw a shirtless man falling end over end, and he too saw the couple leaping hand in hand.

    Several pedestrians were killed by people falling from the sky. A fireman was killed by a body falling from the sky.

    But he reached for her hand and she reached for his hand and they leaped out the window holding hands.

    I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead and the harrowed families of the dead and the screaming souls of the murderers but I keep coming back to his hand and her hand nestled in each other with such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.

    Their hands reaching and joining are the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against such evil hourly evidence that love is why we are here.

    No one knows who they were: husband and wife, lovers, dear friends, colleagues, strangers thrown together at the window there at the lip of hell. Maybe they didn’t even reach for each other consciously, maybe it was instinctive, a reflex, as they both decided at the same time to take two running steps and jump out the shattered window, but they did reach for each other, and they held on tight, and leaped, and fell endlessly into the smoking canyon, at two hundred miles an hour, falling so far and so fast that they would have blacked out before they hit the pavement near Liberty Street so hard that there was a pink mist in the air.

    Jennifer Brickhouse saw them holding hands, and Stuart DeHann saw them holding hands, and I hold onto that.

    - Brian Doyle
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  10. TopTop #4686
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing

    The light along the hills in the morning
    comes down slowly, naming the trees
    white, then coasting the ground for stones to nominate.
    Notice what this poem is not doing.
    A house, a house, a barn, the old
    quarry, where the river shrugs--
    how much of this place is yours?
    Notice what this poem is not doing.
    Every person gone has taken a stone
    to hold, and catch the sun. The carving
    says, "Not here, but called away."
    Notice what this poem is not doing.
    The sun, the earth, the sky, all wait.
    The crowns and redbirds talk. The light
    along the hills has come, has found you.
    Notice what this poem has not done.


    - William Stafford






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  12. TopTop #4687
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
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    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Photograph from September 11


    They jumped from the burning floors—
    one, two, a few more,
    higher, lower.


    The photograph halted them in life,
    and now keeps them
    above the earth toward the earth.


    Each is still complete,
    with a particular face
    and blood well hidden.


    There’s enough time
    for hair to come loose,
    for keys and coins
    to fall from pockets.


    They’re still within the air’s reach,
    within the compass of places
    that have just now opened.


    I can do only two things for them—
    describe this flight
    and not add a last line.


    - Wislawa Szymborska
    (Translated by Clare Cavanagh)

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  14. TopTop #4688
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Walk


    My eyes already touch the sunny hill,
    going far ahead of the road I have begun.
    So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
    it has its inner light, even from a distance--


    and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
    into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are;
    a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave. . .
    but what we feel is the wind in our faces.


    - Rainer Maria Rilke
    ( translated by Robert Bly)




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  16. TopTop #4689
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ron Rozewski and Tom Bissinger hiking in Olympali State Park 2018. Tom is a fan of Robert Bly.

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  18. TopTop #4690
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Time of Waking

    It is a time of waking with morning tears
    and a time of mourning.

    It is a time of waking to the smell of death
    in smoke filled air.

    A smell so strong it penetrates the waters
    and arises within the waters.

    It is a death so vast it will not have a name on this earth but only beyond in the reaches of time and space.

    It is a death that is now hollowing out what is in our vision, leaving a thinning veil of the beauty of life we have known.

    It is a death that will now be known to the young.

    It is a death with sorrows that no well can hold.

    It is a death that visits the poverty of the mind and is known to the lingering spirits that live in the forever world.

    It is a time of waking with morning tears and a time of mourning.



    - Jeff Rooney
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  19. TopTop #4691
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Control Burn

    What the Indians
    here
    used to do, was,
    to burn out the brush every year.
    in the woods, up the gorges,
    keeping the oak and pine stands
    tall and clear
    with grasses
    and kitkitdizzie under them,
    never enough fuel there
    that a fire could crown.

    Now, manzanita,
    (a fine bush in its right)
    crowds up under the new trees
    mixed up with logging slash
    and a fire can wipe out all.

    Fire is the old story.
    I would like,
    with a sense of helpful order,
    with respect for laws
    of nature,
    to help my land
    with a burn, a hot clean
    burn
    …..(manzanita seeds will only open
    …..after a fire passes over
    …..or once passed through a bear)
    And then
    it would be more
    like,
    when it belonged to the Indians

    Before.



    - Gary Snyder
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  21. TopTop #4692
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Poetry reading at Ft. Ross, 2019

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  23. TopTop #4693
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Correction, 2013

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  25. TopTop #4694
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Winter in Wisconsin


    Let me tell you about winter in Wisconsin.
    How the sun struggles to make an appearance at all
    before it gives up and slinks from the sky,
    leaving the school kids to tote their heavy backpacks
    home in darkness.
    How the nights stretch and stretch
    like some cruel magician’s trick
    where the rope of scarves never ends,
    and month after frigid month
    stumbles forward on frost-bitten feet.


    Suddenly, one morning, the light feels less meek.
    The mercury wills its way past 40
    and the mounds of sooty snow begin to sweat.
    Children and puppies explode out doors
    like champagne corks,
    while translucent men strip their shirts
    and gleam in the startling sunlight.
    Young girls – goose pimples be damned! –
    pull their shorts from the bottom of the drawer.
    The lawns fill with Frisbees and runners and the laughter
    of a carnival, or collective madness.


    In a way, we are all enduring winter in Wisconsin now:
    Hunkered down in our homes,
    we read or watch movies.
    We bake and clean out the back closet,
    paint the living room,
    biding our time, biding our time,
    while anticipation churns like a gathering storm
    as we wait, impatiently, for spring.


    - Melissa Kelley
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  27. TopTop #4695
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How the Land Talks

    I am the Keeper of the Mysteries.
    What I know is only understood in the imaginal realms, hence I often keep still.
    I know why the seasons turn and how truth is not fathomed in clean, neat prose.
    I have held the mysteries in myself. I contain multitudes.
    I embrace opposites.
    I am formed from paradox.
    I rein in the mysteries.
    Life, death, and rebirth are the steps of my dance.
    Metaphor is my landscape.
    I am the vast canvas maintaining the space where beings offer themselves to each other.
    I clasp all the dry trees of my chaparral savannah in its red, crusty soil.
    Madrone and manzanita ruled among knob cone pine, luxurious in youth, scraggly with age.
    The tan oaks scatter acorns all over the rolling hills.
    Under me is where the deep water flows. It is hard water, packed with minerals.
    I am the One whose forms receive the fire and rain, the earthquake and plague.
    My depths take in ash pits, smoldering leaves, and embers falling from the forest’s canopy.
    I am the One who charts the Great Migrations.
    I open with the Sun, who radiates on the trees of life the beauty that captivates all beings.
    I am the One whose meadows uphold slender legs adorned with golden brown skin.
    My canyons carry paws that slink silently, echoing the limestone’s stark face.
    I am the One whose duff is stampeded with others, close, connected in my sweet, dusty face.
    My ridges hold a travel that goes farther than humans could ever understand.



    - Patria Brown



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  29. TopTop #4696
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When Great Trees Fall


    When great trees fall,
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    rocks on distant hills shudder,
    lions hunker down
    in tall grasses,
    and even elephants
    lumber after safety.
    When great trees fall
    in forests,
    small things recoil into silence,
    their senses
    eroded beyond fear.
    When great souls die,
    the air around us becomes
    light, rare, sterile.
    We breathe, briefly.
    Our eyes, briefly,
    see with
    a hurtful clarity.
    Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
    examines,
    gnaws on kind words
    unsaid,
    promised walks
    never taken.
    Great souls die and
    our reality, bound to
    them, takes leave of us.
    Our souls,
    dependent upon their
    nurture,
    now shrink, wizened.
    Our minds, formed
    and informed by their
    radiance,
    fall away.
    We are not so much maddened
    as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
    of
    dark, cold
    caves.
    And when great souls die,
    after a period peace blooms,
    slowly and always
    irregularly. Spaces fill
    with a kind of
    soothing electric vibration.
    Our senses, restored, never
    to be the same, whisper to us.
    They existed. They existed.
    We can be. Be and be
    better. For they existed.

    - Maya Angelou
    Last edited by Barry; 09-19-2020 at 01:07 PM.
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  30. TopTop #4697
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

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  32. TopTop #4698
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Smoke


    Moon sinks orange.
    Sky dims.
    A shade drawn.
    A curtain.
    A blind.


    Smoke is gone.
    Maybe.


    Occluded sky cries Pomo words:
    dacha:la (sun,)-da- (moon,)- thothol (star.)


    And, the broken sun rises phosphorescent,
    blood spilled, red as abuse.


    And, stars suck breath from earth.
    Fall into another eternity.


    And, waves roll backwards sweeping the sea.
    Fish, mammals, birds swallowed.


    What if we never escape?


    If waves keep rolling backwards?


    Horizon dissolves like a wound
    inside a body
    dead on a steel table.




    - Pamela Stone Singer
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  33. TopTop #4699
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Book Of Life

    The local gossip is of the last hummingbird.
    For a moment
    at sunset
    the tulip poplar
    stood wistfully holding its ragged leaves.
    The last
    or almost the last
    sailboat against the eastern shore.
    It was cold this morning.
    In mid-August
    there were seven hummingbirds
    sparring at the feeder.
    Now, alone on his bench
    above the brittle cliff,
    nursing an old-fashioned,
    this picaro
    remembers barefoot frolicking
    on childhood’s bright sand.
    He loves the gossip.

    The gossip of hummingbirds in a season of
    political
    mendacity, the book of life barely
    open, is at least
    the acknowledgement that a good
    woman lived her eighty-seven
    years
    with grace & determination, wit, a sharp-
    edged
    steady
    commitment to what, as the sun wraps up its
    picnic
    blanket, appears so damned
    obvious: we are called, as the book of life opens,
    to love one another & hummingbirds
    & the bay’s slow threnody.

    The book of life opens and written is her name,
    Ruth
    & the truth of her life is

    that wisdom can be witty & elegant & tough.
    Enough politics! Supreme

    over all powers is love after all. Ruth dreamed of
    love, our Ruth & her namesake,

    they would not take less from the world, & founded,
    grounded
    themselves on what is sound, good,

    the durable strong wood of trees with deep roots,
    Ruth.


    - John Copley Alter



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  35. TopTop #4700
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Once Only


    almost at the equator
    almost at the equinox
    exactly at midnight
    from a ship
    the full


    moon


    in the center of the sky.




    - Gary Snyder
    (Sappa Creek near Singapore)
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  37. TopTop #4701
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Snyder at Ft Ross in 2013, Nasa moon photo at Arlington VA, 2015— Photoshop merges time and space.

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  39. TopTop #4702
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Eavesdropping on angels


    Yesterday, just as Rosh Hashanah was ending,
    I managed to slip through the dream time and
    heard R.B.G.’s two guardian angels chatting. Said
    one: “Oy gevalt, those humans are slow to get it;
    a Tzadik’s life, like all lives is scripted for greatness,
    but some beings grasp the plan with a fervor that
    only gods and angels manifest.” “Oy gatinu” said
    the other. “We infuse humans with sacred teachings
    and stories that not only the life, but also the death
    of such beings becomes a rarified shofar blast that
    jolts humankind.” Now we all really get it. We feel it
    humming in the rarified air of change within moments
    of her passing, we sense it now as the donations swell,
    and lesser beings run for cover and choke on their
    hypocrisy. Most of all we saw it, and remember with
    broken hearts, the subtle impish smile on the face
    of this tiny giant as she broke barriers that persisted
    for centuries. We sense this rare presence and decorate
    it with initials like F.D.R., M.L.K., and of now, R.B.G.
    We ask: what doth the lord require of thee but to do
    justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy god.
    And pump iron at age 85.


    - Bruce Silverman
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