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  1. TopTop #4201
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Solstice

    Nothing has hindered
    the advance of summer -
    Not remains of fire
    or fear of more,
    Not crying children
    or deportations,
    Not nuclear proliferation
    or lies
    or murders
    or the tearing apart
    of our country at its core.

    We are bound by nature,
    a force as large within us
    as around us.
    We are one with it.
    We are nature itself.

    So when the rose greets us
    let us feel renewed.
    And when the lavender fields
    are in full bloom,
    let us, like the bees,
    sing in harmony.
    And let us drink the fruit of the vines
    through centuries, perfected.

    Let joy creep into our souls
    and celebrate
    that we have no control
    of the seasons,
    that summer still comes
    and brings its warmth
    and joys and fullness,
    and carries us on its path
    into the future, into the light,
    into the sun.

    - Sherrie Lovler
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  3. TopTop #4202
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A poem sent today by William Rain, a gardner in Boulder:

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  5. TopTop #4203
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Ripe Fig

    Now that you live in my chest,
    anywhere we sit is a mountaintop.

    Those other things that entice people,
    like porcelain dolls from China,
    which have made people weep for centuries,
    even those are changing now.

    What used to be pain is now a lovely bench
    where we sit under the roses.

    A left hand has become a right.
    a black wall, a window,
    a cushion in a heel of a shoe,
    a leader of an assembly.

    Intelligence and silence.
    What we say is poison to some,
    nourishing to others.

    What we say is a ripe fig,
    but not all birds that fly eat figs.

    - Jellaludin Rumi
    (translation by Coleman Barks)
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  7. TopTop #4204
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ghost Road Song
    for my father, 11/19/1927 – 6/27/2009

    I need a song.
    I need a song like a river, cool and dark and wet,
    like a battered old oak; gnarled bark,
    bitter acorns,
    a song like a dragonfly:
    shimmer - hover - swerve -
    like embers, too hot to touch.

    I need a song like my father’s hands:
    scarred, callused, blunt,
    a song like a wheel,
    like June rain, seep of solstice,
    tang of waking earth.

    I need a song like a seed:
    a hard and shiny promise,
    a song like ashes:
    gritty, fine, scattered;
    a song like abalone, tough as stone,
    smooth as a ripple at the edge of the bay.

    I need a song so soft, it won’t sting my wounds,
    so true, no anger can blunt it,
    so deep, no one can mine it.

    I need a song with a heart wrapped in barbed wire.

    I need a song that sheds no tears,
    I need a song that sobs.
    I need a song that skates along the edge of black ice,
    howls with coyotes,
    a song with a good set of lungs,
    a song that won’t give out, give up,
    give in, give way:
    I need a song with guts.

    I need a song like lightning, just one blaze of insight.

    I need a song like a hurricane,
    spiraled winds of chaos,
    a snake-charming song,
    a bullshit-busting song,
    a shut-up-and-listen-to-the-Creator song.
    I need a song that rears its head up like a granite peak
    and greets the eastern sky.

    I need a song small enough to fit in my pocket,
    big enough to wrap around
    the wide shoulders of my grief,
    a song with a melody like thunder,
    chords that won’t get lost,
    rhythm that can’t steal away.
    I need a song that forgives me my lack of voice.

    I need a song that forgives my lack of forgiveness.

    I need a song so right
    that the first note splinters me like crystal,
    spits the shards out into the universe
    like sleek seedlings of stars; yes,
    that’s the song
    I need,

    the song to accompany you
    on your first steps
    along the Milky Way,
    that song with ragged edges,
    a worn-out sun;
    the song that lets a burnt red rim
    slip away into the Pacific,
    leaves my throat
    healed at last.

    - Deborah Miranda
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  9. TopTop #4205
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

    I am a feather on the bright sky
    I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
    I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
    I am the shadow that follows a child
    I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
    I am an eagle playing with the wind
    I am a cluster of bright beads
    I am the farthest star
    I am the cold of dawn
    I am the roaring of the rain
    I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
    I am the long track of the moon in a lake
    I am a flame of four colors
    I am a deer standing away in the dusk
    I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
    I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
    I am the hunger of a young wolf
    I am the whole dream of these things
    You see, I am alive, I am alive
    I stand in good relation to the earth
    I stand in good relation to the gods
    I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
    I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte
    You see, I am alive, I am alive

    - N. Scott Momaday
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  11. TopTop #4206
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet


    Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that bottle of pop.

    Turn off that cellphone, computer, and remote control.

    Open the door, then close it behind you.

    Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.

    Give it back with gratitude.

    If you sing it will give your spirit lift to fly to the stars’ ears and back.

    Acknowledge this earth who has cared for you since you were a dream planting itself precisely within your parents’ desire.

    Let your moccasin feet take you to the encampment of the guardians who have known you before time, who will be there after time. They sit before the fire that has been there without time.

    Let the earth stabilize your postcolonial insecure jitters.

    Be respectful of the small insects, birds and animal people who accompany you.
    Ask their forgiveness for the harm we humans have brought down upon them.

    Don’t worry.
    The heart knows the way though there may be high-rises, interstates, checkpoints, armed soldiers, massacres, wars, and those who will despise you because they despise themselves.

    The journey might take you a few hours, a day, a year, a few years, a hundred, a thousand or even more.

    Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the thieves of time.

    Do not hold regrets.

    When you find your way to the circle, to the fire kept burning by the keepers of your soul, you will be welcomed.

    You must clean yourself with cedar, sage, or other healing plant.

    Cut the ties you have to failure and shame.

    Let go the pain you are holding in your mind, your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet. Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.

    Ask for forgiveness.

    Call upon the help of those who love you. These helpers take many forms: animal, element, bird, angel, saint, stone, or ancestor.

    Call your spirit back. It may be caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse.

    You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return.

    Speak to it as you would to a beloved child.

    Welcome your spirit back from its wandering. It may return in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together. They will be happy to be found after being lost for so long.

    Your spirit will need to sleep awhile after it is bathed and given clean clothes.

    Now you can have a party. Invite everyone you know who loves and supports you. Keep room for those who have no place else to go.

    Make a giveaway, and remember, keep the speeches short.

    Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark.

    - Joy Harjo
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  13. TopTop #4207
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In the Boboli


    The summer has not yet arrived

    and is already departing, time claims --

    time that has seen everything, that turns

    all history on its ruthless lathe. Time

    has not bent down to the blades of grass

    or touched its wrist to the fountain water.

    Watch a pigeon dancing, turning around

    and around. Leaves in late spring

    are still until they lift in the wind.

    Time might know the waste of autumn

    as just one point in an inescapable now

    when birth and destruction cannot be pried apart,

    but a sparrow comes to a piece of apple

    and for this small bird, each taste of it is abundance.


    - Kevin Pryne
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  15. TopTop #4208
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Because


    Because the world is being broken

    into allotments of dollars and loss

    We will plant our fruit trees and lilies

    in the cracks between paving stones.

    Because the world is rinsed scarlet with blood

    we will take our own reds of passion and heart

    and place them in hearths and love’s look,

    knowing their potential for healing fire.

    Because the world’s spirit is being torn

    we will mend our own webs of connection,

    that fine lace, stretching between us,

    connecting us into all life in every direction.

    Because the sky is being clouded over

    with smoke and dirt and armored stars

    we will stand in the dark of mountains, in backstreet alleyways

    and in deserts to call out the old names of the starry ones,

    The sky dancers: Astarte, Arianrhod, Venus, Aditi, our eyes shining,

    Our eyes shining with hope.


    - Rose Flint
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  17. TopTop #4209
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Fathers

    The sail is up and the white boat smooths the river’s skin
    steady as it makes down the river to the bay as though
    an engine drew it, which perhaps it does.

    Fathers are such craft. We do not know what drives them.
    All we know is the glamour of our attention.

    The white boat gives no answer, too far off for us to hear an engine go.
    But fathers, like a prayer, move by a mute murmur past
    and far. We relish them. We do not know them. We see
    their back bend as they rustle leaves for chestnuts
    the rats have not consumed, and we
    find the shavings in the white sink odd.
    We wonder at their idiocy, constancy, strength.
    We wonder where their past lives went, so far gone
    not one stain remains to tarnish and enliven them.

    Did they play with toys? Wet their pants? Did they run and scream?
    Fathers? Unimaginable.
    Because all we see we admire.

    We admire with big hearts, with hearts of awe.
    We are ready to approve without doubt
    the genius and the mystery of the male that made our
    bread.

    - Bruce Moody
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  19. TopTop #4210
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ancestors & Angels

    I write words to catch up to the ancestors
    An angel told me the only way
    to walk through fire
    without getting burned
    is to become fire.
    Some days angels whisper
    In my ear as I walk
    Down the street and I fall in love
    With every person I meet,
    And I think, maybe this
    Could be a bliss
    Like when Dante met
    Beatrice.
    Other days all I see
    is my collusion
    with illusion.
    Ghosts of projection
    masquerading
    as the radiant angel
    of love.
    You know I feel like
    the ancestors
    brought us together.
    I feel like the ancestors
    Brought us here and they
    Expect great things.
    They
    expect us to say what
    we think and
    live how
    we feel and follow the hard paths
    that bring us near joy.
    They expect us
    to nurture
    all the children.

    I write poems to welcome angels
    and conjure ancestors.
    I pray to the angels of politics
    and love.
    I pray for justice sake
    not to be relieved of my frustrations,
    at the same time burning sage
    and asking for patience.
    I march with the people
    to the border
    between nations
    where
    everything stops
    except
    the greed of corporations.

    Thoughts like comets
    calculating the complexity
    of the complicity.

    There is so much noise in the oceans
    the whales can’t hear each other.
    We’re making them crazy,
    driving dolphins insane.
    What kind of ancestors
    are we?

    Thoughts like comets
    leaving craters
    in the landscape of my consciousness.

    I pray to the ancestors and angels.

    Meet me in the garden.
    Meet me where spirit walks softly
    in the cool of the evening.
    Meet me in the garden
    under the wings of the bird
    of many colors.
    Meet me
    in the garden
    of your longing.

    Every breath
    is a pilgrimage.

    Every
    breath
    is a pilgrimage
    to you.

    I pray
    to be
    a conduit.

    An angel told me:

    The only way
    to walk through fire—

    become fire.

    - Drew Dellinger
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  21. TopTop #4211
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Appointed Rounds
    At first, he refused to deliver junk mail because it was stupid, all those deodorant ads, money-making ideas and contests.
    Then he began to doubt the importance of the other mail he carried.
    He began to randomly select first class mail for non-delivery.
    After he had finished his mail route each day he would return home with his handful of letters and put them in attic.
    He didn’t open them and never even looked at them again.
    It was as if he were an agent of Fate, capricious and blind.
    In the several years before he was caught, friends vanished, marriages failed, business deals fell through.
    Toward the end he became more and more bold, deleting houses, then whole blocks from his route.
    He began to feel he’d been born in the wrong era.
    If only he could have been a Pony Express rider galloping into some prairie town with an empty bag,
    or the runner from Marathon collapsing in the streets of Athens, gasping, “No news.”
    - Louis Jenkins
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  23. TopTop #4212
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Belonging

    Secrets vibrate in my veins.
    Courage of white buffalo woman
    joins cousin named Cortez,
    No harmony or gold for me,
    just disappointment and blood stains on my hands.

    Foremother saber-tooth tiger’s
    feral gold eyes say
    Sink your teeth
    into what makes you come alive,
    Stalk what you love.

    A clutch of speckled eggs
    waiting in their nest,
    as mother finch’s warbling song
    calls out to her feathered family
    enfleshed through dinosaur apocalypse,

    Our kind at risk
    in this uncharted time.
    Waters rise.
    Fires burn.
    Species go away.

    Life, death, and resurrection
    belong to each other,
    pathway of Creation,
    primordial, ever-present,
    transformation via traumatic endings.

    Part of me in all of it,
    complicit in losses,
    conspiring to set things right
    on the cusp
    of everything.

    - Sally Singingtree
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  25. TopTop #4213
    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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  27. TopTop #4214
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Immigrant Picnic

    It's the Fourth of July, the flags
    are painting the town,
    the plastic forks and knives
    are laid out like a parade.

    And I'm grilling, I've got my apron,
    I've got potato salad, macaroni, relish,
    I've got a hat shaped
    like the state of Pennsylvania.

    I ask my father what's his pleasure
    and he says, "Hot dog, medium rare,"
    and then, "Hamburger, sure,
    what's the big difference,"
    as if he's really asking.

    I put on hamburgers and hot dogs,
    slice up the sour pickles and Bermudas,
    uncap the condiments. The paper napkins
    are fluttering away like lost messages.

    "You're running around," my mother says,
    "like a chicken with its head loose."

    "Ma," I say, "you mean cut off,
    loose and cut off being as far apart
    as, say, son and daughter."

    She gives me a quizzical look as though
    I've been caught in some impropriety.
    "I love you and your sister just the same," she says,
    "Sure," my grandmother pipes in,
    "you're both our children, so why worry?"

    That's not the point I begin telling them,
    and I'm comparing words to fish now,
    like the ones in the sea at Port Said,
    or like birds among the date palms by the Nile,
    unrepentantly elusive, wild.

    "Sonia," my father says to my mother,
    "what the hell is he talking about?"
    "He's on a ball," my mother says.

    "That's roll!" I say, throwing up my hands,
    "as in hot dog, hamburger, dinner roll...."

    "And what about roll out the barrels?" my mother asks,
    and my father claps his hands, "Why sure," he says,
    "let's have some fun," and launches
    into a polka, twirling my mother
    around and around like the happiest top,

    and my uncle is shaking his head, saying
    "You could grow nuts listening to us,"

    and I'm thinking of pistachios in the Sinai
    burgeoning without end,
    pecans in the South, the jumbled
    flavor of them suddenly in my mouth,
    wordless, confusing,
    crowding out everything else.

    - Gregory Djanikian
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  28. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  29. TopTop #4215
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Blessing

    For the graduates of the University of Arizona.

    This morning we gather in gratitude for all aspects of sacredness:
    the air, the warmth of fire, bodies of water, plants, the land,
    and all animals and humankind.
    We gather to honor our students who have achieved the extraordinary
    accomplishment of earning doctoral or master's degrees.
    We gather to honor their parents, grandparents, children,
    family members, and friends who have traveled with them
    on their path to success. They have traveled far distances to be here
    this morning: we honor their devotion.

    May we remember that holiness exists in the ordinary elements of our lives.

    We are grateful for a homeland that has always thrived
    on a glorious array of people and their diverse cultures, histories,
    and beliefs. We acknowledge the generosity of the Tohono O'odham
    in granting this land on which we learn, teach, celebrate
    accomplishments, and sometimes mourn losses.

    May we always cherish our ancestors as we prepare for the days ahead.
    May we remember that we exist because of their prayers and their faith.

    We are blessed with distinct and melodious tongues.
    Our languages are treasures of stories, songs, ceremonies, and memories.
    May each of us remember to share our stories with one another,
    because it is only through stories that we live full lives.

    May the words we speak go forth as bright beads
    of comfort, joy, humor, and inspiration.
    We have faith that the graduates will inspire others
    to explore and follow their interests.

    Today we reflect a rainbow of creation:
    Some of us came from the east, where bright crystals of creativity reside.
    They are the white streaks of early morning light when all is born again.
    We understand that, in Tucson, the Rincon Mountains are our inspiration
    for beginning each day. The Rincons are everlasting and always present.

    Those who came from the south embody the strength of the blue
    mountains that encircle us. The Santa Ritas instill in us
    the vigorous spirit of youthful learning.

    Others came from the west; they are imbued with the quiet, yellow glow of dusk.
    They help us achieve our goals. Here in the middle of the valley, the ts'aa',
    the basket of life, the Tucson Mountains teach us to value our families.

    The ones from the north bring the deep, restorative powers of night's darkness;
    their presence renews us. The Santa Catalina Mountains teach us that,
    though the past may be fraught with sorrow, it was strengthened
    by the prayers of our forebearers.
    We witnessed the recent fires the mountains suffered,
    and in their recovery we see ourselves on our own journeys.
    We understand that we are surrounded by mountains, dziił,
    and thus that we are made of strength, dziił, nihí níhídziił.
    We are strong ourselves. We are surrounded by mountains
    that help us negotiate our daily lives.

    May we always recognize the multitude of gifts that surround us.
    May our homes, schools, and communities be filled with the wisdom
    and optimism that reflect a generous spirit.

    We are grateful for all blessings, seen and unseen.

    May we fulfill the lives envisioned for us at our birth. May we realize
    that our actions affect all people and the earth. May we live in the way
    of beauty and help others in need. May we always remember that
    we were created as people who believe in one another. We are grateful,
    Holy Ones, for the graduates, as they will strengthen our future.

    All is beautiful again.
    Hózhǫ́ nááhasdłíí’.
    Hózhǫ́ nááhasdłíí’.
    Hózhǫ́ nááhasdłíí’.
    Hózhǫ́ nááhasdłíí’.

    - Luci Tapahanso

    (Luci Tapahanso is the inaugural poet laureate of the Navajo Nation)
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  30. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  31. TopTop #4216
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When She’s Gone

    Hades paces.
    He doesn’t like it
    when she’s gone.
    It’s not that he envies
    her summer reveries,
    the company she keeps,
    or the blossoms and fruit of
    the sunshine world.
    No, he’s made
    his comfort here
    in the mist realm,
    but he feels unsettled,
    unbalanced, drained
    without her.

    The dead drift by
    in their bland uniformity.
    Maybe it's color
    that he misses.
    Maybe it’s the fragrance
    of flowers she is always
    wrapped in, exudes,
    even here.

    He drums his fingernails
    on the cold slate table.
    He paces.
    This is what he misses,
    here among the gray
    and boring dead -
    her aliveness,
    her very life.

    - Maya Spector
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  32. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  33. TopTop #4217
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Brazilian singer and composer João Gilberto died on Saturday.
    He wrote the score for the film "Black Orpheus". The photo illustrating this poem is of Marpessa Dawn the actress who played Eurydice.

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    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    When She’s Gone

    Hades paces.
    He doesn’t like it
    when she’s gone.
    It’s not that he envies
    her summer reveries,
    the company she keeps,
    or the blossoms and fruit of
    the sunshine world.
    No, he’s made
    his comfort here
    in the mist realm,
    but he feels unsettled,
    unbalanced, drained
    without her.

    The dead drift by
    in their bland uniformity.
    Maybe it's color
    that he misses.
    Maybe it’s the fragrance
    of flowers she is always
    wrapped in, exudes,
    even here.

    He drums his fingernails
    on the cold slate table.
    He paces.
    This is what he misses,
    here among the gray
    and boring dead -
    her aliveness,
    her very life.

    - Maya Spector
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  34. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  35. TopTop #4218
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Poem for a Friend

    I want to speak about that quiet thing
    that does not leave
    not with the graying of hair
    or the fine lines creeping from the corner of an eye
    not with an affair
    or an unplanned stop
    or even when the deep pink flowers
    fade in the cooling air

    I want to speak about that quiet thing
    that stays
    and allows the moon to hang in a deep black sky
    on a crisp winter's night
    that thing that stays
    and allows a smile to return
    after a long time hiding
    beneath the depths of a private sorrow

    I want to speak about the love that remains
    in the face of a child
    and in the touch of a friend
    and in the quiet of an evening when you feel held
    even if you are alone

    I want to speak because I want a voice
    for that thing that isn't frightened by our deepest cry
    that thing that doesn't tire with our endless longings
    that thing that is more beautiful
    than even the best we've ever had

    I want to speak about that timeless seed
    inside of time
    about the way it holds itself in both its flowering
    and in its falling into something else
    I want to speak about the commitment
    to becoming

    I want to tell you that your days are a graceful offering
    on the alter of a full life

    I want to say you are a garden
    and your bounty isn't measured by what is taken and what is given
    It is measured by that rare beauty
    that has followed you through all the cycles of your growth


    I want to say
    that beyond our notions of perfection
    there is wisdom
    And that wisdom has weaved itself into something
    magnificent

    in you

    - Shonna Wells
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  36. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  37. TopTop #4219
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Love Is Not All

    Love is not all.
    To hold that Love is all
    Burdens Love.
    But Love is foolish -
    Love will labor
    To meet demands
    It cannot fathom or survive.
    To place all hope in Love
    Brings it to its knees.

    And Love is not light,
    But it is the color in light.
    Love is not the bread of Life,
    It is the yeast that raises it up.

    Love is the sweet elixir
    That murmurs and flows
    Among and between
    All in its care.
    Love suffuses all
    That is given in Love.

    When two humans are in love,
    And they are awash in Love,
    They drown in bliss,
    They drift in tides of wonder
    Until true Love lifts them up.


    They surface, they breathe,
    They come to their senses.
    They see each other truly.
    Still dripping with bliss,
    They board their little boat together.
    They raise their sails,
    And Love fills them.


    - DC Darling
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  38. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  39. TopTop #4220
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    It Could Have Been A Dream

    The fun began at the Gratitude Garage
    as I rode away to Poets Park
    on a rented bike named
    Astonishment

    There on the edge of Blackwater Pond
    Rumi and Neruda, like little boys
    laughed as they swiped some of
    Mary Oliver's Peonies

    Mary, distracted by wild geese
    tripped on some fallen branches
    as she journeyed into the world

    She waved me on as I careened past a red barn
    where Wendell Barry argued with Galway Kennel
    something about Galway’s pigs running loose
    in Wendell’s apple orchard.

    Robert Bly and William Stafford
    blocked my path as they
    exchanged morning poems about
    snowy fields and parading elephants

    Pumping up the hill past The House of Belonging
    I noticed David Whyte hard at work
    returning borrowed metaphors
    to Rilke and Machado
    Riding out beyond the field of right doing and wrong doing
    there on red brocade pillows, under a weeping willow,
    an Arab Sheppard and a Jewish Father
    were eating fresh dates with Naomi Nye

    I was so excited I nearly missed
    Yehuda Amichai’s lost goat
    drinking from the Sultan's pool

    I did see Lisel Mueller giggling with Monet
    something about his myopic eyesight
    as he finished a painting in the park

    On my way back
    I bought a few golden apples
    from Yates’ fruit stand
    and hurried along

    At the Gratitude Garage sharing apples
    with Alison Luterman she gently said
    she would help me find my lost mind

    I said, "No Alison, I lost my camel."

    She said, "No Doug. It was your mind, but it's ok."

    - Doug von Koss
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  40. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  41. TopTop #4221
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Poem about My Rights

    Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
    my head about this poem about why I can’t
    go out without changing my clothes my shoes
    my body posture my gender identity my age
    my status as a woman alone in the evening/
    alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
    the point being that I can’t do what I want
    to do with my own body because I am the wrong
    sex the wrong age the wrong skin and
    suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/
    or far into the woods and I wanted to go
    there by myself thinking about God/or thinking
    about children or thinking about the world/all of it
    disclosed by the stars and the silence:
    I could not go and I could not think and I could not
    stay there
    alone
    as I need to be
    alone because I can’t do what I want to do with my own
    body and
    who in the hell set things up
    like this
    and in France they say if the guy penetrates
    but does not ejaculate then he did not rape me
    and if after stabbing him if after screams if
    after begging the bastard and if even after smashing
    a hammer to his head if even after that if he
    and his buddies fuck me after that
    then I consented and there was
    no rape because finally you understand finally
    they fucked me over because I was wrong I was
    wrong again to be me being me where I was/wrong
    to be who I am
    which is exactly like South Africa
    penetrating into Namibia penetrating into
    Angola and does that mean I mean how do you know if
    Pretoria ejaculates what will the evidence look like the
    proof of the monster jackboot ejaculation on Blackland
    and if
    after Namibia and if after Angola and if after Zimbabwe
    and if after all of my kinsmen and women resist even to
    self-immolation of the villages and if after that
    we lose nevertheless what will the big boys say will they
    claim my consent:
    Do You Follow Me: We are the wrong people of
    the wrong skin on the wrong continent and what
    in the hell is everybody being reasonable about
    and according to the Times this week
    back in 1966 the C.I.A. decided that they had this problem
    and the problem was a man named Nkrumah so they
    killed him and before that it was Patrice Lumumba
    and before that it was my father on the campus
    of my Ivy League school and my father afraid
    to walk into the cafeteria because he said he
    was wrong the wrong age the wrong skin the wrong
    gender identity and he was paying my tuition and
    before that
    it was my father saying I was wrong saying that
    I should have been a boy because he wanted one/a
    boy and that I should have been lighter skinned and
    that I should have had straighter hair and that
    I should not be so boy crazy but instead I should
    just be one/a boy and before that
    it was my mother pleading plastic surgery for
    my nose and braces for my teeth and telling me
    to let the books loose to let them loose in other
    words
    I am very familiar with the problems of the C.I.A.
    and the problems of South Africa and the problems
    of Exxon Corporation and the problems of white
    America in general and the problems of the teachers
    and the preachers and the F.B.I. and the social
    workers and my particular Mom and Dad/I am very
    familiar with the problems because the problems
    turn out to be
    me
    I am the history of rape
    I am the history of the rejection of who I am
    I am the history of the terrorized incarceration of
    myself
    I am the history of battery assault and limitless
    armies against whatever I want to do with my mind
    and my body and my soul and
    whether it’s about walking out at night
    or whether it’s about the love that I feel or
    whether it’s about the sanctity of my vagina or
    the sanctity of my national boundaries
    or the sanctity of my leaders or the sanctity
    of each and every desire
    that I know from my personal and idiosyncratic
    and indisputably single and singular heart
    I have been raped
    be-
    cause I have been wrong the wrong sex the wrong age
    the wrong skin the wrong nose the wrong hair the
    wrong need the wrong dream the wrong geographic
    the wrong sartorial I
    I have been the meaning of rape
    I have been the problem everyone seeks to
    eliminate by forced
    penetration with or without the evidence of slime and/
    but let this be unmistakable this poem
    is not consent I do not consent
    to my mother to my father to the teachers to
    the F.B.I. to South Africa to Bedford-Stuy
    to Park Avenue to American Airlines to the hardon
    idlers on the corners to the sneaky creeps in
    cars
    I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
    My name is my own my own my own
    and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
    but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
    my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
    may very well cost you your life

    - June Jordan
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  42. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  43. TopTop #4222
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    My Father’s Boots Say Amen, Amen, Amen


    Late August, over the horizon the clouds came
    Dark, rumbly gray creeping over the tops of the mulberry grove
    The air was deathly silent
    Mother called to us, hastily, not quietly
    “Down in the cellar now”
    Huddling in the dark, dank dirt cave
    My young heart cried out silently
    “What about Dad”
    From the depths we heard the thundering roar of wind, imagined the lightening, listened to the icy downpour
    Now silence
    Emerging we see the landscape had changed
    Between the wind and the hail the stateliness of the cornfield was gone
    Alfalfa, purple with readiness flattened
    The destruction overwhelmed me
    My young heart cried out silently
    “What about Dad”
    From the vista of our hilltop house
    I waited
    Sitting on the open porch floor
    Facing the driveway
    Legs swinging in nervous desperation
    Awaiting his arrival
    I heard the sound of his boots approaching
    I did not move
    Did not look up
    Did not say anything
    My father stood beside me
    In the silence
    Surveying the devastation of the fields
    He did not say a word
    But he didn't need to
    Whatever I needed to hear
    Whatever questions needed answers
    Were conveyed silently
    My young heart knew
    He was ok
    I was ok
    Life would go on
    The world is a safe place
    As he turned and walked away
    My young heart was comforted by this sound

    My father’s boots saying, amen, amen, amen.

    - Rebecca Evert
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  45. TopTop #4223
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Space—
    through the eye of the Hubble

    I

    I caught her eye—
    for a split second—
    deep and black as space,
    as she caught mine
    and spoke the words, “Thank you.”
    And in that instant, in that blackness, I saw the universe,
    as if my eye were Hubble itself,
    looking deep to the very edge of things,
    as if I had no choice but see her sorrow,
    her beauty, as she saw mine—
    in an instant.

    II

    It was imperfect, at first,
    the Hubble and one might argue, still,
    as the images it receives and passes on
    bend and stretch our psyches
    as if we too were made of light,
    push us into that cloud of unknowing
    where words fall weightless
    and awe is all
    there is—
    and mystery.
    And so we feel
    the beginning,
    we feel
    our heart
    break open.

    III

    It was the most mundane of encounters.
    I had held the door for the wheelchair bound
    elderly man, I took to be her husband—
    nothing strange, what anyone might do.
    But the moment was not ordinary.
    We were coming, all of us, from the same place.
    And though we were strangers
    and likely to never see one another again,
    we had shared an hour
    that left us, at once,
    profoundly different
    and exactly the same.
    We had born witness
    to the birth of stars—
    star nurseriesthey were called,
    giant nebula given ancient names like Carina,
    the ship keel constellation of the southern sky
    within which mountains and canyons
    of frozen gas and dust might rise or fall
    near twenty trillion miles—
    one called Mystic Mountain
    whose double spires
    are topped by infant stars
    flinging their signature streamers of gas
    untold distances into the heavens . . .
    oh, my . . . oh, my . . . how even this attempt
    to restore a speck of weight to our words falls short
    and we are left, as if our hearts were supernovae
    blown wide open and brilliant
    before fading toward death.

    IV

    And so it was as we left the theater,
    my dear companion weeping
    and I nearly so,
    stood in the corridor
    unable to move
    toward the stairs
    when a group
    approached,
    led by the
    fallen patriarch,
    pushed in his wheelchair
    by one I thought to be his daughter,
    flanked and followed by several others
    and finally the wife and mother
    whose small stature belied
    the universe I found
    in her eyes.


    - Bill Denham
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  46. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  47. TopTop #4224
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    My Mother's Van

    Even now it idles outside the houses
    where we failed to get better at piano lessons,
    visits the parking lot of the ballet school

    where my sister and I stood awkwardly
    at the back. My mother's van was orange
    with a door we slid open to reveal
    beheaded plastic dragons and bunches

    of black, half-eaten bananas; it was where
    her sketchbooks tarried among
    abandoned coffee cups and

    science projects. She meant to go places
    in it: camp in its back seat
    and cook on its stove while

    painting the coast of Nova Scotia,
    or capturing the cold beauty of the Blue Ridge
    mountains at dawn. Instead, she waited
    behind its wheel while we scraped violins,

    made digestive sounds
    with trumpets, danced badly at recitals
    where grandmothers recorded us

    with unsteady cameras. Sometimes, now,
    I look out a window and believe I see it,
    see her, waiting for me beside a curb,

    under a tree, and I think I could open the door,
    clear off a seat, look at the drawing in her lap,
    which she began, but never seemed to finish.

    - Faith Shearin
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  49. TopTop #4225
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I am asked as Poet


    I am asked as Poet Laureate of the city
    to recite a poem on the children,
    mothers, fathers separated, jailed,
    caged, tortured in concentration camps
    on the southern border.
    How to put into song the suffering, the cries,
    the terror, the fright of the children snatched
    from their mothers', their fathers' arms
    by rough hands, in harsh voices
    in a tongue they do not understand?
    How to tell their sleep of nightmares
    exhausted by crying, not wrapped
    in blankets of cotton & wool smelling of comfort
    but in space blankets metallic & cold on the floor
    of a cage? How to sing their deaths?
    How to sing the anguish of the mothers,
    the fathers for their little sons, little daughters?
    How cry the pain & rage, protest
    the cruelty of the villains in the White House,
    the Congress, the Supreme Court of the land?
    The muses grow mute; here the limits
    of poetry. Only resistance will do,
    revolution — that will be our poem.
    There is no other.

    - Rafael Jesús González


    Se me pide como poeta

    Se me pide como poeta laureado de la ciudad
    que recite un poema sobre [email protected] niñ@s,
    madres, padres separados, encarcelados,
    enjaulados, torturados en centros
    de concentración en la frontera del sur.
    ¿Cómo poner en canto el sufrir, el llanto,
    el terror, el espanto de los niños arrebatados
    de [email protected] [email protected] de sus madres, sus padres
    por manos bruscas, en voces rudas
    en lengua que no comprenden?
    ¿Cómo decir su dormir de pesadillas
    exhaustos de llorar, no envueltos
    en cobijas de algodón y lana oliendo a consuelo
    sino en mantas isotérmicas metálicas y frías
    en el suelo de una jaula? ¿Cómo cantar sus muertes?
    ¿Cómo cantar la angustia de las madres,
    los padres por sus hijitos, hijitas?
    ¿Cómo gritar el dolor y la rabia, protestar
    la crueldad de los canallas en la Casa Blanca,
    el Congreso, la Corte Suprema del país?
    Enmudecen las musas; aquí los límites
    de la poesía. Sólo servirá la resistencia,
    revolución — esta será nuestro poema.
    No hay otro.

    - Rafael Jesús González
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  51. TopTop #4226
    Dorothy Friberg's Avatar
    Dorothy Friberg
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Sometimes a poem is a dirge.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    I am asked as Poet
    ...
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  53. TopTop #4227
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Wade in the Water
    for the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters

    One of the women greeted me.
    I love you, she said. She didn't
    Know me, but I believed her,
    And a terrible new ache
    Rolled over in my chest,
    Like in a room where the drapes
    Have been swept back. I love you,
    I love you, as she continued
    Down the hall past other strangers,
    Each feeling pierced suddenly
    By pillars of heavy light.
    I love you, throughout
    The performance, in every
    Handclap, every stomp.
    I love you in the rusted iron
    Chains someone was made
    To drag until love let them be
    Unclasped and left empty
    In the center of the ring.
    I love you in the water
    Where they pretended to wade,
    Singing that old blood-deep song
    That dragged us to those banks
    And cast us in. I love you,
    The angles of it scraping at
    Each throat, shouldering past
    The swirling dust motes
    In those beams of light
    That whatever we now knew
    We could let ourselves feel, knew
    To climb. O Woods—O Dogs—
    O Tree—O Gun—O Girl, run—
    O Miraculous Many Gone—
    O Lord—O Lord—O Lord—
    Is this love the trouble you promised?

    - Tracy K. Smith
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  54. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  55. TopTop #4228
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Summer of the Moon Landing
    for Ina and Kiku


    A hundred of us dancing
    at the good buddies’ ball,
    but after lights-out, and
    at the first irritation,
    one is alone again…


    – Jacques Brel


    moon light
    i arrived at age twenty despite so many stuttered repetitions of carbon paper self
    a whole summer turning over a fresh leaf of butcher paper
    a new-to-me metropolis ocean and city splashing against each other
    colored shipping containers stacked in a rubik’s cube rearranging the world


    three little maids from school braided together like the French braiding
    of each other’s hair


    half full
    arches flattened hiking in flats the elevator shaft hills walking for work
    we could walk to mattresses on the basement floor kosher wine like bruised pears
    peanut butter rationed onto co-op bread nori slap in the face at ocean’s edge

    moon dark
    a pending lottery boys our age under glass the chance to enact their own
    underage death scenes hearts stretched around my skeleton made of glass
    humans landed on the moon we watched through soot and ice
    grown men hopscotching planting a flag ina said isn’t that just like
    our country go someplace new unspoiled immediately litter?

    moon with her tiny new flag tattoo a blank-faced marble bust of earth
    a round powdered loaf companions sharing this bread


    half empty
    summer friendships like parenthetical expressions easily deleted
    come august (come, the rest of my life) kiku stayed ina and i
    and two flash-frozen salmon flew as far as chicago meaning to take one fish apiece
    but they had frozen inseparable


    twangs of woodstock radiating from the radio me stuffing my stuff
    into semester-abroad-suitcase


    decades later a yellow alley light another summer night metal staircase still volcanic
    on our warming globe the same moon glides stutters through her phases




    encircled again breaking bread again alone again broken again

    - Phyllis Meshulam
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  56. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  57. TopTop #4229
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Praise What Comes


    Surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven't deserved
    of days and solitude, your body's immoderate good health
    that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise
    talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books
    that are your food and your hunger; nightfall and walks
    before sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps
    you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
    you never intended. At the end there may be no answers
    and only a few very simple questions: did I love,
    finish my task in the world? Learn at least one
    of the many names of God? At the intersections,
    the boundaries where one life began and another
    ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
    possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
    did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?

    - Jeanne Lohmann
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  58. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  59. TopTop #4230
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Whales Weep Not!


    They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
    the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.


    All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge
    on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
    The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers
    there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of
    the sea!


    And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages
    on the depths of the seven seas,
    and through the salt they reel with drunk delight
    and in the tropics tremble they with love
    and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.
    Then the great bull lies up against his bride
    in the blue deep bed of the sea,
    as mountain pressing on mountain, in the zest of life:
    and out of the inward roaring of the inner red ocean of whale-blood
    the long tip reaches strong, intense, like the maelstrom-tip, and
    comes to rest
    in the clasp and the soft, wild clutch of a she-whale's
    fathomless body.


    And over the bridge of the whale's strong phallus, linking the
    wonder of whales
    the burning archangels under the sea keep passing, back and
    forth,
    keep passing, archangels of bliss
    from him to her, from her to him, great Cherubim
    that wait on whales in mid-ocean, suspended in the waves of the
    sea
    great heaven of whales in the waters, old hierarchies.


    And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale-
    tender young
    and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of
    the beginning and the end.


    And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring
    when danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood
    and range themselves like great fierce Seraphim facing the threat
    encircling their huddled monsters of love.
    And all this happens in the sea, in the salt
    where God is also love, but without words:
    and Aphrodite is the wife of whales
    most happy, happy she!


    and Venus among the fishes skips and is a she-dolphin
    she is the gay, delighted porpoise sporting with love and the sea
    she is the female tunny-fish, round and happy among the males
    and dense with happy blood, dark rainbow bliss in the sea.


    - D.H. Lawrence
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  60. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

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