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  1. TopTop #4561
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In Praise of Four-Letter Words


    We yell shit
    when the egg carton slips
    and the ivory globes
    splatter on blue tile.
    And when someone leaves you
    bruised as a dropped pear, you spit
    that fucker, fucking bastard, motherfucker.
    And if you just got fired, the puppy
    swallowed a two-inch nail, or
    your daughter needs another surgery,
    you might walk around murmuring
    fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck
    under your breath like reciting a rosary.


    Cock and cunt — we spew them out
    as though they were offal,
    as though that vulnerable
    bare skin of the penis, that swaying it does
    like a slender reed in a pond, the vulva
    with its delicate mauve or taupe
    or cinnamon fluted petals were the worst
    things we know. You’d think we despise
    the way they slide together,
    can’t bear all those nerves
    bunched up close as angels
    seething on the head of a pin.


    And suck, our yes
    to the universe, first hunger, whole
    mammalian tribe of damp newborns
    held in contempt for the urgent rooting,
    the nubbly feel of the nipple in the mouth,
    fine spray on the soft palate.


    What does it mean
    to bring another’s body
    into our body, whether through our mouth
    or that other mouth — to be taken in?
    When life cracks us
    like a broken tooth,
    when it wears us down
    like the tread of old tires,
    when it creeps over us
    like shower mold, isn’t this
    what we cry for?


    Maybe all that shouting
    is shouting to God, to the universe,
    to anyone who can hear us.
    In lockdown within our own skins
    we’re banging on the bars with tin spoons,
    screaming in the only language strong
    enough to convey the shock
    of our shameful need. Fuck! —
    we look around us in terrified amazement —
    Goddamn! Goddamn! Holy shit!


    - Ellen Bass
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  3. TopTop #4562
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Hello, How Are You?


    Tears without knowing why
    Grief, deep grief for all the dark
    the shadow side of humankind that
    ends up spewing their disbeliefs on
    my being and the being of my beloveds


    Grief, for all the wars and all
    the epidemics and all the human
    throwaways...the un-important, the poor, the brown
    the native, the jew, the muslim..


    Grief for all that comes upon the shores
    of our lives on this precious planet
    that we are so readily destroying
    out of greed, ignorance and self centeredness.
    It is not my problem, it is their problem
    Who is the they if not us
    Grief, leaving this planet to my children and grand children


    I want clear skies
    I want equity for women, for workers, for justice
    I want good food raised without pesticides
    I want health care that is honest and not
    in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies


    Grief for all that is unseen and seen
    It is mirrored in my heart.
    Just these tears that don’t seem to have a label
    an origin, a reason...some deep pool of dark that arises
    faces of the homeless reflected
    faces of the abandoned reflected
    faces of soldiers in foreign countries killing each other
    faces of families in mourning
    I am in mourning
    That is the source of my tears
    I want a global resurrection and reincarnation
    of cooperation
    of loving one another
    of caring for each other
    for non judgments
    for kindness
    for a sincere Hello
    How are you?


    - Corlene Van Sluizer
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  5. TopTop #4563
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Only A Pawn In Their Game

    A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ blood
    A finger fired the trigger to his name
    A handle hid out in the dark
    A hand set the spark
    Two eyes took the aim
    Behind a man’s brain
    But he can’t be blamed
    He’s only a pawn in their game

    A South politician preaches to the poor white man
    “You got more than the blacks, don’t complain
    You’re better than them, you been born with white skin,” they explain
    And the Negro’s name
    Is used it is plain
    For the politician’s gain
    As he rises to fame
    And the poor white remains
    On the caboose of the train
    But it ain't him to blame
    He’s only a pawn in their game

    The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
    And the marshals and cops get the same
    But the poor white man’s used in the hands of them all like a tool
    He’s taught in his school
    From the start by the rule
    That the laws are with him
    To protect his white skin
    To keep up his hate
    So he never thinks straight
    'Bout the shape that he’s in
    But it ain't him to blame
    He’s only a pawn in their game

    From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
    And the hoof beats pound in his brain
    And he’s taught how to walk in a pack
    Shoot in the back, with his fist in a clinch
    To hang and to lynch
    To hide 'neath the hood
    To kill with no pain
    Like a dog on a chain
    He ain't a-got no name
    But it ain't him to blame
    He’s only a pawn in their game

    Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
    They lowered him down as a king
    But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
    That fired the gun
    He’ll see by his grave
    On the stone that remains
    Carved next to his name
    His epitaph plain
    Only a pawn in their game

    - Bob Dylan
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  7. TopTop #4564

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Nobel Prize for his poetry (lyrics) RICHLY deserved!


    A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ blood
    A finger fired the trigger to his name
    A handle hid out in the dark
    A hand set the spark
    Two eyes took the aim
    Behind a man’s brain
    But he can’t be blamed
    He’s only a pawn in their game
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    M/M
  9. TopTop #4565
    M/M's Avatar
    M/M
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Dylan's latest, Murder Most Foul, adds Light....

    Annotated lyrics for a deeper delve into our history:
    https://genius.com/Bob-dylan-murder-most-foul-lyrics

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  11. TopTop #4566
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Pilgrim



    I bow to the lark
    and its tiny
    lifted silhouette
    fluttering
    before infinity.

    I promise myself
    to the mountain
    and to the foundation
    from which
    my future comes.

    I make my vow
    to the stream
    flowing beneath,
    and to the water
    falling
    toward all thirst,

    and
    I pledge myself
    to the sea
    to which it goes
    and to the mercy
    of my disappearance,

    and though
    I may be
    left alone
    or abandoned by
    the unyielding present
    or orphaned
    in some far
    unspoken place,

    I will speak
    with a voice
    of loyalty
    and faith
    to the far shore
    where everything
    turns to arrival,

    if only in the sound
    of falling waves
    and I will listen
    with sincere
    and attentive eyes and ears
    for a final invitation,

    so that I can
    be that note half-heard
    in the flying lark song,
    or that tint
    on a far mountain
    brushed with the subtle
    grey of dawn...

    A river gone by,
    still looking
    as if it hasn’t …


    - David Whyte
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  13. TopTop #4567
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Variation on a Theme




    Thank you my life long afternoon
    late in this spring that has no age
    my window above the river
    for the woman you led me to
    when it was time at last the words
    coming to me out of mid-air
    that carried me through the clear day
    and come even now to find me
    for old friends and echoes of them
    those mistakes only I could make
    homesickness that guides the plovers
    from somewhere they had loved before
    they knew they loved it to somewhere
    they had loved before they saw it
    thank you good body hand and eye
    and the places and moments known
    only to me revisiting
    once more complete just as they are
    and the morning stars I have seen
    and the dogs who are guiding me


    - W. S. Merwin
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  14. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

    Dre, M/M
  15. TopTop #4568
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Morning’s News

    The morning’s news drives sleep out of the head
    at night. Uselessness and horror hold the eyes
    open to the dark. Weary, we lie awake
    in the agony of the old giving birth to the new
    without assurance that the new will be better.
    I look at my son, whose eyes are like a young god’s,
    they are so open to the world.
    I look at my sloping fields now turning
    green with the young grass of April. What must I do
    to go free? I think I must put on
    a deathlier knowledge, and prepare to die
    rather than enter into the design of man’s hate.
    I will purge my mind of the airy claims
    of church and state. I will serve the earth
    and not pretend my life could better serve.
    Another morning comes with its strange cure.
    The earth is news. Though the river floods
    and the spring is cold, my heart goes on,
    faithful to a mystery in a cloud,
    and the summer’s garden continues its descent
    through me, toward the ground.

    - Wendell Berry
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  17. TopTop #4569
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Cure At Troy

    Human beings suffer,
    They torture one another,
    They get hurt and get hard.
    No poem or play or song
    Can fully right a wrong
    Inflicted and endured.

    The innocent in gaols
    Beat on their bars together.
    A hunger-striker's father
    Stands in the graveyard dumb.
    The police widow in veils
    Faints at the funeral home.

    History says, don't hope
    On this side of the grave.
    But then, once in a lifetime
    The longed-for tidal wave
    Of justice can rise up,
    And hope and history rhyme.

    So hope for a great sea-change
    On the far side of revenge.
    Believe that further shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracle
    And cures and healing wells.

    Call miracle self-healing:
    The utter, self-revealing
    Double-take of feeling.
    If there's fire on the mountain
    Or lightning and storm
    And a god speaks from the sky

    That means someone is hearing
    The outcry and the birth-cry
    Of new life at its term.

    - Seamus Heaney’s translation of
    "The Philoctetes," by Sophocles
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  18. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  19. TopTop #4570

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    So relevant now!
    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    The Cure At Troy

    Human beings suffer,
    They torture one another,
    They get hurt and get hard.
    No poem or play or song
    Can fully right a wrong
    Inflicted and endured.
    ...
    Last edited by Barry; 06-04-2020 at 11:26 AM.
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  20. TopTop #4571
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Wake Up U.S. America!


    When a ball player kneels upon the turf
    to protest for justice when a bar-room song
    made sacred is played, he is vilified
    & fired. But when police take their knees
    to the necks of their victims or shoot them,
    more often than not it is called
    "In the line of duty." Do we not see
    because we sleep or are we blind
    like we like to portray justice?
    Unbind her eyes that she may see
    that her scales are out of balance,
    that she is not color-blind & if she is
    to correct it. In the vision of the Tao
    black & white are equal, one no more
    of value than the other but her scales
    are weighted to the white, all shades of black
    not counting for much. Is it because we sleep?
    If it is only sleep, Wake up U.S. America!
    If it is that we refuse to see, may the gods help us.



    - Rafael Jesús González




    ¡Despierta EE.UU. América!


    Cuando un jugador de pelota se hinca sobre la hierba
    para protestar por la justicia cuando se toca
    una canción de cantina hecha sagrada, se le denigra
    y despide. Pero cuando la policía ponen la rodilla
    al cuello de sus víctimas o les disparan,
    más veces que no se le llama
    "Cumpliendo su deber." ¿No vemos
    porque dormimos o somos ciegos
    como nos gusta representar a la justicia?
    Quitémosle la venda de los ojos para que vea
    que su báscula está fuera de balance,
    que no es daltónica y si lo es
    que lo corrija. En la visión del Tao
    lo negro y lo blanco son equivalentes, uno no más
    de valor que el otro pero su báscula
    se desequilibra a favor de lo blanco, todo matiz de negro
    no contando por mucho. ¿Será porque dormimos?
    Si solamente es que dormimos ¡Despierta EE.UU. América!
    Si es que nos negamos a ver ¡Que nos ayuden los dioses!



    - Rafael Jesús González
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  21. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  22. TopTop #4572
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I look at the World


    I look at the world
    From awakening eyes in a black face—
    And this is what I see:
    This fenced-off narrow space
    Assigned to me.


    I look then at the silly walls
    Through dark eyes in a dark face—
    And this is what I know:
    That all these walls oppression builds
    Will have to go!


    I look at my own body
    With eyes no longer blind—
    And I see that my own hands can make
    The world that's in my mind.
    Then let us hurry, comrades,
    The road to find.


    - Langston Hughes
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  23. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  24. TopTop #4573
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    It Is I Who Must Begin


    It is I who must begin.

    Once I begin, once I try —

    here and now,

    right where I am,

    not excusing myself

    by saying things

    would be easier elsewhere,

    without grand speeches and

    ostentatious gestures,

    but all the more persistently

    — to live in harmony

    with the “voice of Being,” as I

    understand it within myself

    — as soon as I begin that,

    I suddenly discover,

    to my surprise, that

    I am neither the only one,

    nor the first,

    nor the most important one

    to have set out

    upon that road.

    Whether all is really lost

    or not depends entirely on

    whether or not I am lost.

    - Václav Havel
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  25. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  26. TopTop #4574
    M/M's Avatar
    M/M
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    It Is I Who Must Begin

    - Václav Havel
    Beautiful, thank you! Some more wisdom from Václav Havel... who lived what he wrote....
    https://www.goodreads.com/author/quo...1.V_clav_Havel
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  27. TopTop #4575
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The looters came to my town
    Rounded us like animals
    Tore our families
    Chained us in mass
    Stuffed us in boats across the sea
    Sold us like cattle,
    Branded our skin


    The looters came to my town
    We grew the sugar for their fine tea
    Grew their cotton
    paved their roads
    Raised their children
    While ours were gone
    They handed us freedom
    In segregated worlds
    Built jails for our young boys


    The looters came to my town
    They came to my hood
    They stopped me on the street
    They took my freedom,
    Shot me from behind
    Yet they are mad about haircuts


    The looters came to my town
    Their views made laws
    Fear within
    I wrote a check,
    A knee crushing me
    I am on the ground
    I am through, officer
    I can’t breathe


    - Ana Horta
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  28. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  29. TopTop #4576
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Crack


    Beyond the insular shell

    Marking recent existence,

    A crack has been made

    Where the seed of soul is sprouting,

    Opening wide.

    There stands

    Weeping in recognition

    Of what it was unable to see

    Imprisoned in a shell

    That blocked the light of truth

    From illuminating

    The shared sorrows

    Of the Great Heart.

    It weeps in gratitude

    At the hints of a forgotten togetherness,

    Weeping of the Original Community

    From which it’s been sheltered

    For so long.

    There it weeps

    In remembrance

    Of abandoned kin

    Songs never to be heard

    that once resonated in all.

    Songs sung

    By the old growth forests

    And rivers

    By the Rhinos

    And passenger pigeons,

    By another indigenous language

    Lost each week.

    Waters flow once more.

    This time

    A knowing

    That all rivers

    Reach the sea,

    Where what was

    Once forgotten

    Is now remembered

    And separateness dissolves

    Into those streaming waters

    Rolling down the cheeks

    Of the world

    In the direction of the Heart,

    Spreading thin and becoming

    Part of the song

    Where it recognizes that

    All tears

    Pour

    From the same set of eyes.


    - Devin Jenkins
    Last edited by Barry; 06-08-2020 at 12:03 PM.
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  30. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  31. TopTop #4577
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    America: A Prophecy (excerpt)


    The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
    The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;
    The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk & dry'd.
    Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing! awakening!
    Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst;

    Let the slave grinding at the mill, run out into the field:
    Let him look up into the heavens & laugh in the bright air;
    Let the inchained soul shut up in darkness and in sighing,
    Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years;
    Rise and look out, his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open.
    And let his wife and children return from the opressors scourge;
    They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream.
    Singing. The Sun has left his blackness, & has found a fresher morning
    And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night;
    For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease.

    For Everything that lives is holy. For Everything that lives is holy.
    - William Blake
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  32. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  33. TopTop #4578
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A New National Anthem




    The truth is, I’ve never cared for the National
    Anthem. If you think about it, it’s not a good
    song. Too high for most of us with “the rockets’
    red glare” and then there are the bombs.
    (Always, always there is war and bombs.)
    Once, I sang it at homecoming and threw
    even the tenacious high school band off key.
    But the song didn’t mean anything, just a call
    to the field, something to get through before
    the pummeling of youth. And what of the stanzas
    we never sing, the third that mentions “no refuge
    could save the hireling and the slave”? Perhaps
    the truth is that every song of this country
    has an unsung third stanza, something brutal
    snaking underneath us as we blindly sing
    the high notes with a beer sloshing in the stands
    hoping our team wins. Don’t get me wrong, I do
    like the flag, how it undulates in the wind
    like water, elemental, and best when it’s humbled,
    brought to its knees, clung to by someone who
    has lost everything, when it’s not a weapon,
    when it flickers, when it folds up so perfectly
    you can keep it until it’s needed, until you can
    love it again, until the song in your mouth feels
    like sustenance, a song where the notes are sung
    by even the ageless woods, the shortgrass plains,
    the Red River Gorge, the fistful of land left
    unpoisoned, that song that’s our birthright,
    that’s sung in silence when it’s too hard to go on,
    that sounds like someone’s rough fingers weaving
    into another’s, that sounds like a match being lit
    in an endless cave, the song that says my bones
    are your bones, and your bones are my bones,
    and isn’t that enough?


    - Ada Limón



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  35. TopTop #4579

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Certainly echoes my sentiments. I tried to promote "This Land Is Your Land" as a new national anthem, a few years back. And I designed a new flag, too. It had people's faces on it, all ethnicities, all ages...
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  37. TopTop #4580
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Anthem


    The birds they sang at the break of day
    "Start again", I heard them say:
    Don't dwell on what has passed away
    or what is yet to be.


    Ah, the wars they will be fought again,
    the holy dove, she will be caught again,
    bought and sold and bought again
    the dove is never free.


    We asked for signs, the signs were sent
    the birth betrayed, the marriage spent,
    Yeah, the widowhood of every government
    signs for all to see.


    I can't run no more with that lawless crowd
    while the killers in high places say their prayers out loud,
    but they've summoned, they've summoned up a thundercloud
    and they're going to hear from me.


    You can add up the parts, you won't have the sum,
    you can strike up the march, there is no drum,
    Every heart, every heart to love will come
    but like a refugee.


    Ring the bells that still can ring,
    forget your perfect offering,
    there is a crack, a crack in everything
    that's how the light gets in.


    That's how the light gets in,
    that's how the light gets in.


    - Leonard Cohen
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  38. TopTop #4581

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Name:  Leonard Cohen building.jpg
Views: 952
Size:  28.9 KB
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  39. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  40. TopTop #4582

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    And even greater on this video, I think...right now, it feels as if this is the greatest 8-minutes of video I've ever seen. The WONDERFUL humanity of Mr. Cohen, and his harmony with his ensemble and gratitude to them...and the incredible SOUL of the song itself...made, if possible, even MORE poignant by current events!
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  41. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  42. TopTop #4583
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To Change The World Enough


    To change the world enough
    you must cease to be afraid
    of the poor.
    We experience your fear as the least pardonable of
    humiliations; in the past
    it has sent us scurrying off
    daunted and ashamed
    into the shadows.
    Now,
    the world ending
    the only one all of us have known
    we seek the same
    fresh light
    you do:
    the same high place
    and ample table.
    The poor always believe
    there is room enough
    for all of us;
    the very rich never seem to have heard
    of this.
    In us there is wisdom of how to share
    loaves and fishes
    however few;
    we do this everyday.
    Learn from us,
    we ask you.
    We enter now
    the dreaded location
    of Earth's reckoning;
    no longer far
    off
    or hidden in books
    that claim to disclose
    revelations;
    it is here.
    We must walk together without fear.
    There is no path without us



    - Alice Walker
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  44. TopTop #4584
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    You Must Cease
    gratitude to Alice Walker for “to Change the World Enough”… and for her lines “you must cease to be afraid” and “fresh… high place”, “to change the world” which inspired


    You must cease to be afraid
    or your life will stay small and trembling
    and what you have to give
    will shrivel and finally be
    as if it never was.
    To truly live,
    to live your part that the mystery needs
    in order to change the world,
    you must enlarge your heart
    to its definition of courage.
    You must hold hands with your trembling child
    and walk together with every hand
    every size and shape and color
    every hand of our one human race
    towards the fresh high place
    where we all belong
    and where the light there
    makes us all see
    and all be bravely known

    - Kathleen Kraemer
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  45. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  46. TopTop #4585
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Bridges


    The past didn't go anywhere.
    It's right here, right now.

    I always thought that anybody who told me I couldn't live in the past was trying to get me to forget something that if I remembered would get them in serious trouble.

    That packaging of time is a journalistic convenience that they use to trivialize and to dismiss important events and important ideas.

    I defy that.

    Time is an enormous long river
    And I'm standing in it just as you're standing in it.

    My elders were the tributaries and everything they thought and every struggle they went through and everything they gave their lives to and every song they created and every poem that they laid down flows down to me.

    And if I take the time to ask, and if I take the time to see, if I take the time to reach out,
    I can build that bridge between my world and theirs.
    I can reach down into that river and take out what I need to get through this world.

    Bridges from my time to your time
    As my elders from their time to my time.

    And we all put into the river
    And we let it go
    And it flows away from us, and away from us

    Until it no longer has our name on it, our identity;
    it has its own utility, it own use.

    And people will take what they need and make it part of their lives.


    - Utah Philips
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  47. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  48. TopTop #4586
    wisewomn's Avatar
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    So wonderful to hear the Golden Voice of the Great Southwest again, Larry! Thank you for this.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Bridges
    ...

    - Utah Philips
    Last edited by Barry; 06-15-2020 at 02:42 PM.
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  49. TopTop #4587
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Bees

    In the street outside a school
    what the children learn
    possesses them.
    Little boys yell as they stone a flock of bees
    trying to swarm
    between the lunchroom window and an iron grate.
    The boys sling furious rocks
    smashing the windows.
    The bees, buzzing their anger,
    are slow to attack.
    Then one boy is stung
    into quicker destruction
    and the school guards come
    long wooden sticks held out before them
    they advance upon the hive
    beating the almost finished rooms of wax apart
    mashing the new tunnels in
    while fresh honey drips
    down their broomsticks
    and the little boy feet becoming expert
    in destruction
    trample the remaining and bewildered bees
    into the earth.


    Curious and apart
    four little girls look on in fascination
    learning a secret lesson
    and trying to understand their own destruction.
    One girl cries out
    “Hey, the bees weren’t making any trouble!”
    and she steps across the feebly buzzing ruins
    to peer up at the empty, grated nook
    “We could have studied honey-making!”



    - Audre Lorde
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  51. TopTop #4588
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Threshold

    It has happened.
    You thought you had some control
    of your life
    and that you were in a place
    you understood
    in a time that moved
    from a past you knew
    to a future that followed
    in a more or less straight line.
    But here you are at the edge
    of a shore, the shallow waves
    washing over your feet
    taking the sand you stand on
    away and suddenly you wonder
    if all the ground beneath you
    is disappearing.
    You have stepped through the threshold.
    The door closed and locked behind you.
    You are on the other side.
    You try to forget it, distract yourself,
    but nothing works.
    You check your messages.
    The doctor’s office left a number
    on your phone.
    Is it is a blood test result,
    survival rate for treatment,
    or days left to live?
    Now you are alone.
    After the panic subsides you stand there
    looking around.
    Everything is fresh,
    colors are vivid,
    you can smell scents,
    even subtle ones,
    and your hearing is sharp.
    You feel the breeze on your skin
    and the tickle of hairs moving
    across your brow.
    You are pierced through
    with the inexplicable joy
    at having nothing.
    The sand forms around your foot
    and the water wipes out all traces of your path.
    Everywhere you turn there is something new
    and the space around you
    holds you gently
    as it spills out and becomes
    a part of the expanding world.
    So many things are remarkable now.
    Here is the freedom that always frightened you.
    You have forgotten your name
    and it does not matter.

    - Newton Smith
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  53. TopTop #4589
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Freedom's Plow


    When a man starts out with nothing,
    When a man starts out with his hands
    Empty, but clean,
    When a man starts to build a world,
    He starts first with himself
    And the faith that is in his heart-
    The strength there,
    The will there to build.


    First in the heart is the dream-
    Then the mind starts seeking a way.
    His eyes look out on the world,
    On the great wooded world,
    On the rich soil of the world,
    On the rivers of the world.


    The eyes see there materials for building,
    See the difficulties, too, and the obstacles.
    The mind seeks a way to overcome these obstacles.
    The hand seeks tools to cut the wood,
    To till the soil, and harness the power of the waters.
    Then the hand seeks other hands to help,
    A community of hands to help-
    Thus the dream becomes not one man’s dream alone,
    But a community dream.
    Not my dream alone, but our dream.
    Not my world alone,
    But your world and my world,
    Belonging to all the hands who build.


    A long time ago, but not too long ago,
    Ships came from across the sea
    Bringing the Pilgrims and prayer-makers,
    Adventurers and booty seekers,
    Free men and indentured servants,
    Slave men and slave masters, all new-
    To a new world, America!


    With billowing sails the galleons came
    Bringing men and dreams, women and dreams.
    In little bands together,
    Heart reaching out to heart,
    Hand reaching out to hand,
    They began to build our land.
    Some were free hands
    Seeking a greater freedom,
    Some were indentured hands
    Hoping to find their freedom,
    Some were slave hands
    Guarding in their hearts the seed of freedom,
    But the word was there always:
    Freedom.


    Down into the earth went the plow
    In the free hands and the slave hands,
    In indentured hands and adventurous hands,
    Turning the rich soil went the plow in many hands
    That planted and harvested the food that fed
    And the cotton that clothed America.
    Clang against the trees went the ax into many hands
    That hewed and shaped the rooftops of America.
    Splash into the rivers and the seas went the boat-hulls
    That moved and transported America.
    Crack went the whips that drove the horses
    Across the plains of America.
    Free hands and slave hands,
    Indentured hands, adventurous hands,
    White hands and black hands
    Held the plow handles,
    Ax handles, hammer handles,
    Launched the boats and whipped the horses
    That fed and housed and moved America.
    Thus together through labor,
    All these hands made America.


    Labor! Out of labor came villages
    And the towns that grew cities.
    Labor! Out of labor came the rowboats
    And the sailboats and the steamboats,
    Came the wagons, and the coaches,
    Covered wagons, stage coaches,
    Out of labor came the factories,
    Came the foundries, came the railroads.
    Came the marts and markets, shops and stores,
    Came the mighty products moulded, manufactured,
    Sold in shops, piled in warehouses,
    Shipped the wide world over:
    Out of labor-white hands and black hands-
    Came the dream, the strength, the will,
    And the way to build America.
    Now it is Me here, and You there.
    Now it’s Manhattan, Chicago,
    Seattle, New Orleans,
    Boston and El Paso-
    Now it’s the U.S.A.


    A long time ago, but not too long ago, a man said:
    ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL-
    ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR
    WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS-
    AMONG THESE LIFE, LIBERTY
    AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
    His name was Jefferson. There were slaves then,
    But in their hearts the slaves believed him, too,
    And silently took for granted
    That what he said was also meant for them.
    It was a long time ago,
    But not so long ago at that, Lincoln said:
    NO MAN IS GOOD ENOUGH
    TO GOVERN ANOTHER MAN
    WITHOUT THAT OTHER’S CONSENT.
    There were slaves then, too,
    But in their hearts the slaves knew
    What he said must be meant for every human being-
    Else it had no meaning for anyone.
    Then a man said:
    BETTER TO DIE FREE
    THAN TO LIVE SLAVES
    He was a colored man who had been a slave
    But had run away to freedom.
    And the slaves knew
    What Frederick Douglass said was true.


    With John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, Negroes died.
    John Brown was hung.
    Before the Civil War, days were dark,
    And nobody knew for sure
    When freedom would triumph
    'Or if it would,' thought some.
    But others new it had to triumph.
    In those dark days of slavery,
    Guarding in their hearts the seed of freedom,
    The slaves made up a song:
    Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
    That song meant just what it said: Hold On!
    Freedom will come!
    Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
    Out of war it came, bloody and terrible!
    But it came!
    Some there were, as always,
    Who doubted that the war would end right,
    That the slaves would be free,
    Or that the union would stand,
    But now we know how it all came out.
    Out of the darkest days for people and a nation,
    We know now how it came out.
    There was light when the battle clouds rolled away.
    There was a great wooded land,
    And men united as a nation.


    America is a dream.
    The poet says it was promises.
    The people say it is promises-that will come true.
    The people do not always say things out loud,
    Nor write them down on paper.
    The people often hold
    Great thoughts in their deepest hearts
    And sometimes only blunderingly express them,
    Haltingly and stumblingly say them,
    And faultily put them into practice.
    The people do not always understand each other.
    But there is, somewhere there,
    Always the trying to understand,
    And the trying to say,
    'You are a man. Together we are building our land.'


    America!
    Land created in common,
    Dream nourished in common,
    Keep your hand on the plow! Hold on!
    If the house is not yet finished,
    Don’t be discouraged, builder!
    If the fight is not yet won,
    Don’t be weary, soldier!
    The plan and the pattern is here,
    Woven from the beginning
    Into the warp and woof of America:
    ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.
    NO MAN IS GOOD ENOUGH
    TO GOVERN ANOTHER MAN
    WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.
    BETTER DIE FREE,
    THAN TO LIVE SLAVES.
    Who said those things? Americans!
    Who owns those words? America!
    Who is America? You, me!
    We are America!
    To the enemy who would conquer us from without,
    We say, NO!
    To the enemy who would divide
    And conquer us from within,
    We say, NO!
    FREEDOM!
    BROTHERHOOD!
    DEMOCRACY!
    To all the enemies of these great words:
    We say, NO!


    A long time ago,
    An enslaved people heading toward freedom
    Made up a song:
    Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
    The plow plowed a new furrow
    Across the field of history.
    Into that furrow the freedom seed was dropped.
    From that seed a tree grew, is growing, will ever grow.
    That tree is for everybody,
    For all America, for all the world.
    May its branches spread and shelter grow
    Until all races and all peoples know its shade.
    KEEP YOUR HAND ON THE PLOW! HOLD ON!


    - Langston Hughes
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  54. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  55. TopTop #4590
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Emancipation

    Fling out your banners, your honors be bringing,

    Raise to the ether your paeans of praise.
    Strike every chord and let music be ringing!
    Celebrate freely this day of all days.


    Few are the years since that notable blessing,
    Raised you from slaves to the powers of men.
    Each year has seen you my brothers progressing,
    Never to sink to that level again.


    Perched on your shoulders sits Liberty smiling,
    Perched where the eyes of the nations can see.
    Keep from her pinions all contact defiling;
    Show by your deeds what you're destined to be.


    Press boldly forward nor waver, nor falter.
    Blood has been freely poured out in your cause,
    Lives sacrificed upon Liberty's alter.
    Press to the front, it were craven to pause.


    Look to the heights that are worth your attaining
    Keep your feet firm in the path to the goal.
    Toward noble deeds every effort be straining.
    Worthy ambition is food for the soul!


    Up! Men and brothers, be noble, be earnest!
    Ripe is the time and success is assured;
    Know that your fate was the hardest and sternest
    When through those lash-ringing days you endured.


    Never again shall the manacles gall you
    Never again shall the whip stroke defame!
    Nobles and Freemen, your destinies call you
    Onward to honor, to glory and fame.


    - Paul Laurence Dunbar
    Last edited by Barry; 06-19-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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