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  1. TopTop #4591
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Times They Are A-Changin


    Come gather 'round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You'll be drenched to the bone
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin'
    Then you better start swimmin'
    Or you'll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin'


    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won't come again
    And don't speak too soon
    For the wheel's still in spin
    And there's no tellin' who
    That it's namin'
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin'


    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don't stand in the doorway
    Don't block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There's a battle outside
    And it is ragin'
    It'll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin'


    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don't criticize
    What you can't understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin'
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can't lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’


    - Bob Dylan
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  3. TopTop #4592
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    unwritten summer poem




    digs underground to five feet, skirts a 33-degree Fahrenheit aquifer and turns
    left at a mole crossing


    hides in mushroom-and-lichen-lined tunnel where millipede and ferret
    wrestle, disturbing the peace


    probes northwest where three badgers and a chipmunk make competing
    offers on groundhog two-bedroom


    questions decision to stay below for the long haul


    does a 180 to upward trajectory in hope that air will give clarity


    breaks into open and implores convocation of irises to suggest an identity:
    sonnet? villanelle? haiku? other?


    they request 11 unrhymed lines, the longest having 35 words and the
    shortest, two -- oh, and five question marks


    knows writing is hard enough without those absurd requirements


    burrows down again to rest and think: travel all the way to earth's core where
    silence should be complete and poetry unneeded or rise again to surface and
    in spite of everything get to work?


    heads up again to chance


    the light.


    - David Beckman
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  5. TopTop #4593
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    None Can Breathe

    In Memory of George Floyd

    Murdered by those hired to protect him: May 25, 2020


    When any one of us can’t breathe
    None of us can
    When the knee crushes the neck
    We are all crushed by tyranny
    The knee is the clapper stolen from
    Freedom’s bell

    His cry, I can’t breathe
    Is your own wretched cry
    See Me
    Hear Me
    Love me for who I am
    Love my soul for that is
    All that I am

    His call for Mama, Mama
    Is your own cry for Mama
    Mama Gaia, Pachamamaå
    Hold us, support us
    Mama Ishtar, Isis,
    Kuan Yin, Kali,
    Bast, Brigid
    Protect us
    Mama Shekinah
    Be with us always
    Mama Tara
    Free us

    Mama, help me breathe
    You have 8 minutes and 46 seconds
    Before it’s too late
    Blow breath into the blue
    Lips of the baby

    Blow breath into the
    Broken hearted mamas whose
    Children have died at the rope,
    The baton, the gun, the knee
    Blow breath into every closed
    Blue uniformed heart

    Don’t think it can’t
    Be your neck
    And don’t you dare believe
    It can’t be your knee
    We all have within us
    Illumined wisdom
    And wounded souls

    For all of us
    All that our aggrieved souls
    Need are just two words
    I’m sorry
    I’m sorry
    I am so sorry!

    If it is not said to you
    When you need it most
    Take your own tender heart
    Into your hands
    And whisper
    I’m sorry my heart
    I’m sorry my friend
    Please Forgive
    Please Love
    Please

    - Sally Churgel
    Last edited by Barry; 06-22-2020 at 01:59 PM.
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  7. TopTop #4594
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    We Who Dream Know There Are No Borders

    “ . . . my cells, which are my stars . . .” Frida Kahlo

    Spring Lake, Santa Rosa, CA

    Haloed by redwoods, a vulture sky,
    and plump, comical geese,
    the soul-body of Guadalupe shimmers.

    North on our backs, around our necks,
    in our skin, snuggled in suitcases,
    constant in cages, flowing underground.

    With September’s feathered heat and bountiful
    barbeques. Tunneling cold tickles
    our legs through the water’s massage.

    Girls and boys play-fight for swan, burger, and
    unicorn floats. Reborn in dream-water
    lovers cradle one another, kids scream.

    Late afternoons a breeze from the Pacific.
    Geese gabble in, splash down with cartoon faces.
    Without wings we made it. Lost a few. Lost a lot.

    Among thorns roses, food trucks, vineyards,
    hoodies woven with sweat and song, spirit-
    water blessings, fresh sweet miracles,
    we who dream know there are no borders.

    - Gwynn O’Gara
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  9. TopTop #4595
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Acres of Ancestry


    For the descendants of Africans living in the USA pursuing justice for 1.5 million acres of Black-owned land.
    As long as I have a pig and garden, no one can tell me what to do.
    —Fannie Lou Hamer


    Mine our lineages
    You will find fortitude and insistence
    I grew up on Heirs Property
    A family blessing and a United States problem


    Took 15 years for me to come back down
    My granddaddy’s dirt road and see
    His wild green field free
    And Black like me


    Secretly purchased marshland
    From his father who was born a sharecropper
    My daddy tells me how my grandma and granddaddy
    Turned a swamp into firm land for a house


    Hogs, cows, vegetables, broom grass, and chickens
    How Granddaddy Silas did this with mental
    And soul injuries on brown and Pall Mall since age 13
    How Grandma Lizzie listened to neighbor stories on the porch


    How her children and granddaddy watched fields reap
    How she prayed over our family
    How they knew the land like God
    Now


    I’m thinking about the Combahee River Raid and Ma Tubman
    How she kept saying:
    My people ARE free
    Now


    My mind is jumping loops of Grandma Thelma boiling pine


    “Trust a doctor for who?”


    How one day the police pulled up the drive and I watched
    With eight-year-old eyes as granddaddy said, “Get the Hell
    Off this land” No blink


    How my kin and the Earth ground me
    Make me ask what’s 12
    When I’m seeing 20/20
    And the neon sign of stars read:


    Sankofa: The Land says return to me
    Sankofa: The Land says return to me
    Sankofa: Mine your lineage for fortitude


    I insist


    Ain’t nothing wrong with us
    But we been contortin’ and bendin’ Black
    To earn our way to freedom
    But these days


    The little one and I are outside
    Growing squash and sage in grandma and granddaddy’s field
    We watch the birds
    We sway with the pine


    Seem like every time
    I go outside I find
    An artifact
    Smooth blue glass, oyster shells, and brick


    The USDA got rules and regulations
    We mine our lineages for fortitude and insistence
    In this place of European land grants
    Black codes and unjust generational wealth


    We are a listening people
    Who know without having to speak
    And we don’t mind watching the wind do work
    Clear as day, in a vision, my Granddaddy Silas comes to me:


    Chile, who you asking for freedom?
    Don’t you know how to aim?
    How to grow?
    Don’t you know you Black as God
    As the dirt all green grows up out of?
    Don’t you know buildings go up and down every day?
    Nature can takeover all dem ting dem folk
    Worshippin’ and you ain’t a thing beggin’ to be seen, chile, BREATHE
    You was born free


    - Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul
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  11. TopTop #4596
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Sometimes

    Sometimes things don't go, after all,
    from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
    faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
    sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.


    A people sometimes will step back from war;
    elect an honest man, decide they care
    enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
    Some men become what they were born for.


    Sometimes our best efforts do not go
    amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
    The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
    that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.


    - Sheenagh Pugh
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  13. TopTop #4597
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Hymn To Time


    Time says “Let there be”
    every moment and instantly
    there is space and the radiance
    of each bright galaxy.


    And eyes beholding radiance.
    And the gnats’ flickering dance.
    And the seas’ expanse.
    And death, and chance.


    Time makes room
    for going and coming home
    and in time’s womb
    begins all ending.


    Time is being and being
    time, it is all one thing,
    the shining, the seeing,
    the dark abounding.


    - Ursula K. Le Guin
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  15. TopTop #4598
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The North Star


    When ritual bonds fracture,
    handshakes endanger;
    When veneer peels, reveals
    the sudden care
    for the jailed, the homeless,
    as mere self-protection;
    When our rulers rule clueless,
    no skill but deception,
    jockeys for advantage
    regard-less, care-less,
    while their murdochs*
    disgrace the fourth estate;
    When factions war
    in the uncivil twilight
    like fissured siblings
    at their father’s funeral;


    When our economic engine
    of consumer consumption
    lurches us sputtering
    down the bouldered cliff,
    while, all out
    of touch,
    mad men at the wheel
    scheme to give us
    the business
    as usual,
    Hit the gas raving “Go Go Go!”—
    that’s all they know—


    What will we do?
    What will it take, this obscure future
    that abruptly demands us?
    Where should we start but to find
    our own center, deeply in touch,
    One by one. Together.



    - Paul DeMarco


    *Murdoch - a Scottish term for describing a man who is “a selfish old beast”
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  17. TopTop #4599
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Waiting on the Mayflower


    “what, to the american slave, is your 4th of july?”—Frederick Douglass



    i. august 1619

    arrived in a boat, named
    and unnamed, twenty, pirated

    away from a portuguese
    slaver, traded for victuals.

    drowned in this land of fresh,
    volatile clearings and folk

    with skin like melted
    cowrie shells. soon shedding

    servitude. soon reaping
    talents sown on african soil.

    after indenture, christians,
    colonists. not english, but

    not yet not-white. antoney
    and isabella, whose marriage

    stretched the short shadows
    of america’s early afternoon

    into the dusky reaches of evening,
    whose conjugal coitus spent

    first the choice coin of africa
    on rough virginian citizenship,

    baptized their son, william,
    into the church of england.


    ii. december 1638

    fear must have shuddered
    into boston on the backs

    of true believers—men and
    women of an unadorned god—

    deep in the heavy black fabric
    of their coats and dresses like

    a stench. black a mark of
    pride they wore as if branded,

    never dreaming they could
    take it off. envy anticipated

    their advent. glittered at them,
    settling in, from the knife

    blades of the massachusetts.
    seeped like low-pitched

    humming from the fur
    lining the natives’ warm

    blankets. but desire docked
    in 1638. in from the harbor

    flocked a people whose eyes
    sparked like stars, even near

    death. whose hair promised
    a mixture of cotton and river

    water and vines, a texture
    the fingers ached for. who

    wholly inhabited a skin the
    midnight color of grace

    that clarified the hue of the
    pilgrims’ woolen weeds. fear

    and envy claimed pride of place,
    put desire’s cargo to good use.


    iii. march 1770

    that night, crispus attucks
    dreamed. how he’d attacked

    his would-be master and fled
    in wild-eyed search of self-

    determination. discarded
    virginia on the run and ran

    out of breath in salt-scented
    boston. found there, if not

    freedom, fearlessness. a belief
    in himself that rocked things

    with the uncontrolled power
    of the muscular atlantic, power

    to cradle, to capsize. awoke
    angry again at the planter

    who’d taken him for a mule
    or a machine. had shouldered

    a chip the size of concord
    by the time the redcoat dared

    to dare him. died wishing he’d
    amassed such revolutionary

    ire in virginia. died dreaming
    great britain was the enemy.


    iv. july 4th: last
    but not least

    17-, 18-, 19-76 and still
    this celebration’s shamed

    with gunpowder and words
    that lie like martyrs in cold

    blood. africa’s descendents,
    planting here year after year

    the seeds of labor, sweating
    bullets in this nation’s warts,

    have harvested the rope,
    the rape, the ghetto, the cell,

    the fire, the flood, and the
    blame for you-name-it. so

    today black folks barbeque
    ribs and smother the echoes

    of billie’s strange song in
    sauces. drink gin. gladly

    holiday to heckle speeches
    on tv. pretend to parade.

    turn out in droves for distant
    detonations, chaos, controlled

    as always, but directed
    away from us tonight. stare

    into the mirror of the sky
    at our growing reflection,

    boggled by how america
    gawks at the passing pinpoints

    of flame, but overlooks the vast,
    ebony palm giving them shape

    - Evie Shockley
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  19. TopTop #4600
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Antilamentation


    Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
    to the end just to find out who killed the cook, not
    the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
    in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication, not
    the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
    the one you beat to the punch line, the door or the one
    who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
    that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
    Not the nights you called god names and cursed
    your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
    chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
    You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
    over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
    across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
    coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
    You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
    you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
    of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
    when the lights from the carnival rides
    were the only stars you believed in, loving them
    for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.



    - Dorianne Laux
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  21. TopTop #4601
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What We Need Is Here


    Geese appear high over us,
    pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
    as in love or sleep, holds
    them to their way, clear
    in the ancient faith: what we need
    is here. And we pray, not
    for new earth or heaven, but to be
    quiet in heart, and in eye,
    clear. What we need is here.


    - Wendell Berry
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  23. TopTop #4602
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Darkness and Light, Dueling


    Jimmy Santiago Baca examines shades of darkness.
    Perhaps those who christened the mourning cloak
    butterfly saw hope in that glowing yellow hem.
    I always had my own interpretation for the classic
    terra cotta heart, determinedly sprouting
    blooms and new growth, despite being wrapped
    in pain. We are formed from star stuff –
    how could we not be filled with light?
    Tender in this uncertain time, we dart uneasily
    between the loneliness of the darkest woods and
    the intermittent and blinding bright lure of hope.


    The differences, degrees of loss, of angst, are
    pored over. Penned and parsed. The difficulties
    are infinitely more daunting for some,
    with inequalities shamefully unmasked.
    That annoying salvo that “We are all in the same
    boat.” causes fury that from your grand yacht,
    you don’t have to see those struggling
    for a grip on a piece of driftwood.
    None of these dialogues or diatribes may matter.
    Hopefully, they will galvanize some into action.
    Even we optimists will allow for some fear,
    as well as an excruciating deep sorrow.
    The cost of so many souls. And then the anger
    stockpiled by generations of ancestors.
    Prayers for timely antidotes.


    - pamela warren williams
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    M/M
  25. TopTop #4603
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Antidotes To Fear Of Death

    Sometimes as an antidote
    To fear of death,
    I eat the stars

    Those nights, lying on my back,
    I suck them from the quenching dark
    Til they are all, all inside me,
    Pepper hot and sharp.

    Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
    Into a universe still young,
    Still warm as blood:

    No outer space, just space,
    The light of all the not yet stars
    Drifting like a bright mist,
    And all of us, and everything
    Already there
    But unconstrained by form.

    And sometime it’s enough
    To lie down here on earth
    Beside our long ancestral bones:

    To walk across the cobble fields
    Of our discarded skulls,
    Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
    Thinking: whatever left these husks
    Flew off on bright wings.

    - Rebecca Elson
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  27. TopTop #4604
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson


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  29. TopTop #4605
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    'Colored’


    The Spanish cognate ‘colorado
    looks like it means ‘colored’
    but in reality means ‘red’
    and triggers images of love,
    perhaps, maybe of blood.
    Applied to the skin this color
    used to mean, ‘an Indian’,
    another racist designation that
    has fallen out of use which now
    means ‘a person born in India’.

    Native Americans did in fact
    come here from Asia, an origin
    that until recently could get
    them classified as ‘yellow peril’,
    understood to be referring
    to ‘people from the Far East’,
    actually, from here, far West.

    Some original indigenous
    tribes migrated farther south
    into the world we know
    as Latin America, although
    the language this implies
    is not what’s spoken there
    by the inhabitants called ‘brown’
    —by some, ‘the noble race’—
    indeed, ‘people of the earth’.

    Tellingly, however, none
    of these groups self-identify
    by the colors Europeans
    from the other side of Iceland
    painted them.
    Consider how
    our forefathers flee hunger,
    persecution, write treatises
    and speak sin-cere-ly about
    freedom…then found it on
    white privilege…whereupon
    the shackling roots of slavery
    reach deeper into every mind.

    In my lifetime ‘black’ people
    worked hard to counter many
    ‘evil’ connotations of their color
    and they affirmed it’s ‘beautiful’.
    Alas. It keeps on meaning,
    ‘I can’t breathe.’

    But finally today, we are bearing
    witness to a moment that our newly
    great George Floyd has given us

    when Martin Luther King’s content
    of character stands forth from its granite
    as if quickening his Dream of Promise
    so I say here and now to you that

    I believe we will get there

    to where the knee of justice

    on the neck of brutality

    breaks the back of racism

    with liberty once and for all

    thus together let us get to work.


    - Bill Greenwood
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  31. TopTop #4606
    wisewomn's Avatar
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Would you cite your source, please?

    https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/where-native-americans-come

    https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.o...americans-come


    Quote mabbott wrote: View Post
    No, Bill, Native Americans did not come from Asia. Origin stories and research in the past decade has proven that.
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  33. TopTop #4607
    podfish's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Quote mabbott wrote: View Post
    No, Bill, Native Americans did not come from Asia. Origin stories and research in the past decade has proven that.
    you're going to leave it there ???? where did they come from, then?
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  35. TopTop #4608
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    "next to of course god america i


    love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh


    say can you see by the dawn's early my


    country 'tis of centuries come and go


    and are no more what of it we should worry


    in every language even deafanddumb


    thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gory


    by jingo by gee by gosh by gum


    why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-


    iful than these heroic happy dead


    who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter


    they did not stop to think they died instead


    then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"


    He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water


    - e. e. cummings
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  37. TopTop #4609
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Real Work


    What I would say in one sentence is that, for Americans, the real work is becoming native to North America. The real work is becoming native in your heart, coming to understand we really live here, that this is really the continent we're on and that our loyalties are here, to these mountains and rivers, to these plant zones, to these creatures. The real work involves developing a loyalty that goes back before the formation of any nation state, back billions of years and thousands of years into the future. The real work is accepting citizenship in the continent itself.


    - Gary Snyder
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  39. TopTop #4610
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Awakening


    the best thinking
    in self and others
    causes much deliberation
    between sisters and brothers
    when thinking and feelings
    get in the ring
    and when they are apart
    each does its own thing.


    It’s not hard to arrive
    at the point of inception
    as we weave through the vibes
    to avoid frustration
    but even when we’re cool and collected
    a moment comes – we feel rejected
    sparks fly and suddenly
    it’s not the expected.


    This speaks of the human condition
    obsessions, addictions, divisions
    we cry for benedictions as we hack.
    A tale of being split, that’s our stint
    but check the glint in the crack.


    All things considered
    what is the mission
    why do we think, how is it we feel
    we’re on the brink of a revolution
    in need of a new deal
    oh but don’t keel, a wind comes,
    the sails move, imagine, create
    culture shift – our next meal.


    - Jayro Dyer


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