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  1. TopTop #4651
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    We Have Come to Be Danced


    We have come to be danced
    not the pretty dance
    not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
    but the claw our way back into the belly
    of the sacred, sensual animal dance
    the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
    the holding the precious moment in the palms
    of our hands and feet dance

    We have come to be danced
    not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
    but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
    the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
    the slap the apology from our posture dance

    We have come to be danced
    not the monkey see, monkey do dance
    one, two dance like you
    one two three, dance like me dance
    but the grave robber, tomb stalker
    tearing scabs & scars open dance
    the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance’’[‘]’]’’]];.;
    ;,

    We have come to be danced
    not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
    but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
    shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
    the strip us from our casings, return our wings
    sharpen our claws & tongues dance
    the shed dead cells and slip into
    the luminous skin of love dance

    We have come to be danced
    not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
    but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
    the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
    the mother may I?
    yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
    the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
    the everyone can come to our heaven dance

    We have come to be danced
    where the kingdom’s collide
    in the cathedral of flesh
    to burn back into the light
    to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
    to root in skin sanctuary
    We have come to be danced
    WE HAVE COME

    - Jewel Mathieson
    (1958-2020)
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  3. TopTop #4652
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Initiation Song from the Finders' Lodge


    Please bring strange things.
    Please come bringing new things.
    Let very old things come into your hands.
    Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
    Let desert sand harden your feet.
    Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
    Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
    and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
    Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
    and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
    May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
    May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
    May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
    May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
    Walk carefully, well loved one,
    walk mindfully, well loved one,
    walk fearlessly, well loved one.
    Return with us, return to us,
    be always coming home.


    - Ursula LeGuin
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  5. TopTop #4653
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The News

    The big country beat the little country up
    like a schoolyard bully,
    so an even bigger country stepped in
    and knocked it on its ass to make it nice,
    which reminds me of my Uncle Bob’s
    philosophy of parenting.

    It’s August, I’m sitting on the porch swing,
    touching the sores inside my mouth
    with the tip of my tongue, watching the sun
    go down in the west like a sinking ship,
    from which a flood of stick orange bleeds out.

    It’s the hour of meatloaf perfume emanating from the houses.
    It’s the season of Little League practice
    and atonal high school band rehearsals.
    You can’t buy a beach umbrella in the stores till next year.
    The summer beauty pageants are all over,
    and no one I know won the swimsuit competition.

    This year illness just flirted with me,
    picking me up and putting me down
    like a cat with a ball of yarn,
    so I walked among the living like a tourist,
    and I wore my health uneasily, like a borrowed shirt,
    knowing I would probably have to give it back.

    There are the terrible things that happen to you
    and the terrible things that you yourself make happen,
    like Frank, who gave his favorite niece
    a little red sports car
    for her to smash her life to pieces in.

    And the girl on the radio sings,
    You know what I’m talking about. Bawhoop, awhoop.

    This year it seems like everyone is getting tattoos—
    Great White sharks and Chinese characters,
    hummingbirds and musical notes—
    but the only tattoo I would want to get
    is of a fist and a rose.

    But I can’t tell how they will fit together on my shoulder.
    If the rose is inside the fist, it will be crushed or hidden;
    if the fist is closed, as a fist by definition is,
    it cannot reach out to the rose.

    Yet the only tattoo I want this year
    is of a fist and rose, together.
    Fist, that helps you survive.
    Rose, without which
    you have no reason to live.



    - Tony Hoagland
    Last edited by Barry; 08-15-2020 at 12:25 PM.
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  7. TopTop #4654
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    2020 Walk to Salt Water

    When they go low, we go high. Michele Obama
    How low can you go? Chubby Checker

    I.
    A spring-loaded clip
    unchains the first gate.
    Our path heads for
    a grey volcanic outcrop,
    reminder that this bay
    marks the fault line
    at our country’s edge.

    What relief to leave behind
    the morning paper stories
    of this small “p” president.
    Of how he’s sending troops.
    More troops to guard against
    assemblies of his citizens
    petitioning their government.

    No, this afternoon we navigate
    the gopher-riddled pasture ground
    among pot-bellied angus, huge
    quadrupeds that prance away
    from us on tiny hooves.
    II.
    We come to the second gate
    encrusted on both sides
    by poison oak a well-oiled
    green the red is overtaking.
    My hand threads around
    the post, unhooks the snap
    and the gate swings wide.
    Buttercups are humming
    gold, color of truth.

    Unwittingly the mind snags
    on the contrast with this
    very small “p” president;
    he who made the Limbo
    the Official White House
    Dance by simply standing
    there in place and speaking;
    he who fabricates alternate facts
    repronounced by the invertebrate
    and/or blind loyalists he dupes
    with nanoscopic honesty;
    he who does- or can-
    not read and yet rewrote the book
    on lies told while in office.
    III.
    The third gate clip missing
    its spring wants fiddling with.
    We take note of and sidestep
    bobcat or mountain lion scat
    and hew to the trail’s contour
    along the landscape slope.
    A light wind carries my attention
    across the field to purple asters,
    yes, color of kings and queens.

    What grand irony how this
    smallest of all possible “p’s”
    president tells the world over
    and over that he’s the greatest
    creature in the sea of life
    when he is but blubber.

    Nevertheless, this year again
    he’s poisoning the well,
    ranting how his opposition
    schemes to cheat him out
    of his imagined reelection.
    Thus he delegitimizes ballots
    that could well be delivered
    by the US Postal Service
    which he works to unravel
    and thereby steal the vote.
    IV.
    The early fog is lifting
    off the ridge―sky blue
    infinity comes into focus.
    We look upon salt water
    although I refuse to weep.
    Today’s gift of clarity moves me
    to ask, with all humility,
    O Lord, if one there be:

    Grant that this imposter fin-al-ly
    be made to go stand someplace else,
    anyplace besides the office he holds
    down with bogus bone-spurred feet;
    Grant that every single eligible
    person registers to vote;
    and when the time does come
    Grant that they do.

    - Bill Greenwood
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  9. TopTop #4655
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Waking


    Get up from your bed,
    go out from your house,
    follow the path you know so well,
    so well that you now see nothing
    and hear nothing
    unless something can cry loudly to you ,
    and for you it seems
    even then
    no cry is louder than yours
    and in your own darkness
    cries have gone unheard
    as long as you can remember.


    These are hard paths we tread
    but they are green
    and lined with leaf mould
    and we must love their contours
    as we love the body branching
    with its veins and tunnels of dark earth.


    I know that sometimes
    your body is hard like a stone
    on a path that storms break over,
    embedded deeply
    into that something that you think is you,
    and you will not move
    while the voice all around
    tears the air
    and fills the sky with jagged light.


    But sometimes unawares
    those sounds seem to descend
    as if kneeling down into you and you listen strangely caught
    as the terrible voice moving closer
    halts,
    and in the silence
    now arriving
    whispers


    Get up, I depend
    on you utterly.
    Everything you need
    you had
    the moment before
    you were born.


    - David Whyte
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  11. TopTop #4656
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To Susan B. Anthony on her eightieth birthday






    To Susan B. Anthony
    on her eightieth birthday
    February 15, 1900


    I


    My honored friend, I’ll ne’er forget,
    That day in June, when first we met:
    Oh! would I had the skill to paint
    My vision of that “Quaker Saint”:
    Robed in pale blue and silver gray,
    No silly fashions did she essay:
    Her brow so smooth and fair,
    ‘Neath coils of soft brown hair:
    Her voice was like the lark, so clear,
    So rich, and pleasant to the ear:
    The “‘Prentice hand,” on man oft tried,
    Now made in her the Nation’s pride!


    II


    We met and loved, ne’er to part,
    Hand clasped in hand, heart bound to heart.
    We’ve traveled West, years together,
    Day and night, in stormy weather:
    Climbing the rugged Suffrage hill,
    Bravely facing every ill:
    Resting, speaking, everywhere;
    Oft-times in the open air;
    From sleighs, ox-carts, and coaches,
    Besieged with bugs and roaches:
    All for the emancipation
    Of the women of our Nation.


    III


    Now, we’ve had enough of travel.
    And, in turn, laid down the gavel,—
    In triumph having reached four score,
    We’ll give our thoughts to art, and lore.
    In the time-honored retreat,
    Side by side, we’ll take a seat,
    To younger hands resign the reins,
    With all the honors, and the gains.
    United, down life’s hill we’ll glide,
    What’er the coming years betide;
    Parted only when first, in time,
    Eternal joys are thine, or mine.


    - Elizabeth Cady Stanton
    (1815-1902)

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  13. TopTop #4657
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Woman Speaks


    Moon marked and touched by sun
    my magic is unwritten
    but when the sea turns back
    it will leave my shape behind.
    I seek no favor
    untouched by blood
    unrelenting as the curse of love
    permanent as my errors
    or my pride
    I do not mix
    love with pity
    nor hate with scorn
    and if you would know me
    look into the entrails of Uranus
    where the restless oceans pound.


    I do not dwell
    within my birth nor my divinities
    who am ageless and half-grown
    and still seeking
    my sisters
    witches in Dahomey
    wear me inside their coiled cloths
    as our mother did
    mourning.


    I have been woman
    for a long time
    beware my smile
    I am treacherous with old magic
    and the noon's new fury
    with all your wide futures
    promised
    I am
    woman
    and not white.


    - Audre Lorde
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  15. TopTop #4658
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    If, On Account Of The Political Situation




    If, on account of the political situation,


    there are quite a number of homes without roofs, and men


    Lying about in the countryside neither drunk nor asleep,


    If all sailings have been cancelled till further notice,


    If it's unwise now to say much in letters, and if,


    Under the subnormal temperatures prevailing,


    The two sexes are at present the weak and the strong,


    That is not at all unusual for this time of year.


    If that were all, we should know how to manage. Flood, fire,


    The dessication of grasslands, restraint of princes,


    Piracy on the high seas, physical pain and fiscal grief,


    These are after all our familiar tribulations,


    And we have been through them all before, many, many times.


    As events which belong to the natural world where


    The occupation of space is the real and final fact


    And time turns round itself in an obedient circle,


    They occur again and again but only to pass


    Again and again into their formal opposites,


    From sword to ploughshare, coffin to cradle, war to work,


    So that, taking the bad with the good, the pattern composed


    By the ten thousand odd things that can possibly happen


    Is permanent in a general average way.


    Till lately we knew of no other, and between us we seemed


    To have what it took -- the adrenal courage of the tiger,


    The chameleon's discretion, the modesty of the doe,


    Or the fern's devotion to spatial necessity:


    To practice one's peculiar civic virtue was not


    So impossible after all; to cut our losses


    And bury our dead was really quite easy. That was why


    We were always able to say: "We are children of God,


    And our Father has never forsaken His people."


    But then we were children: That was a moment ago,


    Before an outrageous novelty had been introduced


    Into our lives. Why were we never warned? Perhaps we were.


    Perhaps that mysterious noise at the back of the brain


    We noticed on certain occasions -- sitting alone


    In the waiting room of the country junction, looking


    Up at the toilet window -- was not indigestion


    But this Horror starting already to scratch Its way in?


    Just how, just when It succeeded we shall never know:


    We can only say that now It is there and that nothing


    We learnt before It was there is now of the slightest use,


    For nothing like It has happened before. It's as if


    We had left our house for five minutes to mail a letter,


    And during that time the living room had changed places


    With the room behind the mirror over the fireplace;


    It's as if, waking up with a start, we discovered


    Ourselves stretched out flat on the floor, watching our shadow


    Sleepily stretching itself at the window. I mean


    That the world of space where events reoccur is still there,


    Only now it's no longer real; the real one is nowhere


    Where time never moves and nothing can ever happen:


    I mean that although there's a person we know all about


    Still bearing our name and loving himself as before,


    That person has become a fiction; our true existence


    Is decided by no one and has no importance to love.


    That is why we despair; that is why we would welcome


    The nursery bogey or the winecellar ghost, why even


    The violent howling of winter and war has become


    Like a juke-box tune that we dare not stop. We are afraid


    Of pain but more afraid of silence; for no nightmare


    Of hostile objects could be as terrible as this Void.


    This is the Abomination. This is the wrath of God.


    - W.H. Auden
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  17. TopTop #4659
    Roland Jacopetti's Avatar
    Roland Jacopetti
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Larry Robinson: View Post
    Hi, Larry. Thanks for the Auden.
    Roland
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  18. TopTop #4660
    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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  20. TopTop #4661
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Inheritance


    around the table
    each taking a turn
    they described how everything was lost
    when the fire roared through


    speaking last, the 74 year old grandmother ...
    well, that fire did me a favor
    those lousy kids of mine
    didn't want that house or my stuff
    four generations of it
    so
    the fire saved me
    a lot of trouble trying to figure out
    what to do with it


    hate to say it
    but those three of mine
    turned out to be
    mean insensitive people
    and they can go to hell


    i've already moved into a furnished apartment
    and am doing quite well
    but when i think back to watching it burn
    my god, it still hurts yes. it does.


    - Richard Retecki


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  22. TopTop #4662
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What We Packed at 3 A.M.



    The dog

    the drugs


    The cash

    the cards


    The elder neighbors who couldn’t drive


    We packed our fear

    though it couldn’t be contained


    We crawled in our cars

    as the fire raced


    through its feast

    of everything


    of everyone

    or everyone’s dreams


    Everywhere we looked

    RED RED


    We called friends in the hills

    No answer


    We cried Jesus Christ!

    No answer


    The fire jumped and morphed

    and ate some more


    Garage doors wouldn’t open

    Trees blocked the roads


    The red sky

    grew wider and taller


    and shot its off-springs

    into the air


    to ignite their own

    smorgasbords


    We unpacked our prayers

    to all the gods


    we don’t believe in

    And when we reached safety


    we watched our phones

    (we packed those, too)


    for news and it

    wasn’t good.


    Yes, we had each other.

    Yes, we were alive.


    But our world,

    our beautiful Sonoma County world


    What we packed

    wasn’t the mountains


    wasn’t the deer

    the coyotes, the quail


    wasn’t the mountain lions

    or mountain lakes


    wasn’t Willi’s

    or Fountaingrove


    wasn’t Coffey Park

    or the field of larks


    or the knowledge

    it would take two weeks


    to get back home

    or that home would still


    be there

    or that the gorgeous golden grass


    just outside our windows

    would change overnight


    into candles waving

    their virgin wicks


    - Katherine Hastings
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  24. TopTop #4663
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ashes Among the Remains


    My father responded
    Just throw them away
    I did not nor did I cast them into
    ocean or bay where we’d fished
    flounder and fluke nor strew them
    over the golf courses where he’d hit
    multistage rockets rising from half an inch
    then to a foot above fairways
    to summarily explode
    hundreds of yards into the future
    other worldly fireworks released
    by his elegantly compact fury.

    Instead I left them in their box
    a golden shiny tin ossuary
    next to my mother’s on the top shelf
    of my bedroom closet
    where I did not have to make decisions
    and I incidentally could visit them daily
    until our house burned down
    in the California wildfires
    October Ninth 2017

    I don’t intend here to dwell upon
    the nightmare that fire is
    I will not detail the feelings we had
    as we evacuated in one of our cars
    along with the family terrier and nothing else
    though later we did contemplate
    Dad’s and Mom’s remains further
    consumed by 1500 degree flames
    extending their years-earlier incineration
    in an oven at the crematorium near Petaluma.

    Were it not that my parents lived well into
    their nineties I so sick depressed and barely 74
    might feel prepared to let go of the tangible rim
    to the bottomless jar of all that remains
    to the what or the where or the not.



    - Ed Coletti
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  26. TopTop #4664
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Letter to My Great-Grandchildren


    Dear Chance and Aurora,


    Maybe your grandparents
    told you about this, maybe not.
    When they were a young couple
    raising your mom & dad
    the world changed overnight.


    One day we hiked the yellow hills
    danced to jam bands
    marched by the thousands in protest.
    We lounged in cafes & hugged our friends
    just the way you do now.


    But the world changed overnight.
    It was like a war
    everyone fighting the enemy of illness.
    We had to stay at home &
    walk six feet apart.


    The stores were shuttered
    & the theaters boarded up.
    Restaurants closed because
    they couldn’t pay the rent.
    The enemy was a virus that knew how to kill.


    At first we cried, shocked
    with grief & fear.
    Then the clocks melted.
    We bit our nails & held our children close.
    Some folks died, others used words to comfort us.


    Gradually, we came to our senses
    & did what we could.
    We found new ways to visit
    read poems to our neighbors
    over fences, played music in empty lots.


    Though parks were closed, we still went on walks.
    Everywhere, there were masked faces.
    The dogs thought it funny that humans were muzzled.
    The trees sighed deep sighs & the wildflowers
    bloomed in shades we’d never seen.


    - Sande Anfang
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  28. TopTop #4665
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Kindness


    Before you know what kindness really is
    you must lose things,
    feel the future dissolve in a moment
    like salt in a weakened broth.
    What you held in your hand,
    what you counted and carefully saved,
    all this must go so you know
    how desolate the landscape can be
    between the regions of kindness.
    How you ride and ride
    thinking the bus will never stop,
    the passengers eating maize and chicken
    will stare out the window forever.

    Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
    you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
    lies dead by the side of the road.
    You must see how this could be you,
    how he too was someone
    who journeyed through the night with plans
    and the simple breath that kept him alive.

    Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
    you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
    You must wake up with sorrow.
    You must speak to it till your voice
    catches the thread of all sorrows
    and you see the size of the cloth.

    Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
    only kindness that ties your shoes
    and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
    only kindness that raises its head
    from the crowd of the world to say
    it is I you have been looking for,
    and then goes with you every where
    like a shadow or a friend.

    - Naomi Shihab Nye
    Last edited by Barry; 08-26-2020 at 03:02 PM.
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  30. TopTop #4666
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    This is a most important poem for our time--extending kindness, even to those whom we disagree with. Larry Robinson is indeed our poet laureate, who must spend much time most days reading poems and then sharing them with us.

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Larry Robinson: View Post
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    Dre, M/M
  32. TopTop #4667

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Always happy to see this poem, and always try to pass it on as much as I can.
    I agree it's one of the most important, most universal poems of our time...
    the most "Medicine" in a short poem, that I can think of...a gift for literally EVERYONE who sees or hears it.
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  34. TopTop #4668
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Returning to Kindness


    I am returning to kindness
    a place where I am strong in my softness
    I will start by kissing all of my scars
    and washing them in rain
    collecting dust from long journeys off my feet.

    The way they carry weariness

    from crossing rivers that should
    have had bridges.
    I will return to build crossing

    paths over waters
    that reminded me to

    be kind


    - Tapiwa Mugabe


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  36. TopTop #4669
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Some Girls


    Some girls can’t help it; they are lit sparklers,
    hot-blooded, half naked in the depths of winter,
    tagging moving trains with the bright insignia of their
    fury.
    I’ve seen their inked torsos: falcons, swans, meteor
    showers.
    And shadowed their secret rendezvous,
    walking and flying all night over paths traced like veins
    through the deep body of the forest
    where they are trying on their new wings,
    rising to power with a ferocious mercy
    not seen before in the cities of men.
    Having survived slander, abuse, and every kind of exile,
    they’re swooping down even now
    from treetops where they were roosting,
    wearing robes woven of spider webs and pigeon
    feathers.
    They have pulled the living child out of the flames
    and are prepared to take charge through the coming
    apocalypse.
    I have learned that some girls are boys; some are birds,
    some are oases ringed with stalking lions. See,
    I cannot even name them,
    although one of them is looking out through my eyes
    right now,
    one of them
    is writing all this down with light-struck fingers.


    - Alison Luterman

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  38. TopTop #4670

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    This is WONDERFUL! It says all I feel and have always felt about "some girls"!
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  39. TopTop #4671
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Prayer for the Post Office


    This is a non-partisan prayer
    about something as mundane as mail,
    as gentle as the swish of a letter
    falling to the floor by the door.

    This is a prayer
    for stamps and stamp collectors,
    the quietest of hobbies;
    for pen-pals and thank you card writers,
    for grandparents who always remember your birthday,
    and love letters from the war,
    kept at the bottom of a drawer.

    This is a prayer
    for the quiet dignity of the blue mailbox
    standing like a sentinel on the corner,
    portal to anywhere, for just the cost of a stamp.

    Walking to the mailbox
    down the block and around the corner
    was my daughter’s first independent adventure,
    the responsibility of an envelope,
    addressed and ready in her small, serious hand.
    Her nervous departure from the front door, alone,
    and her triumphant return minutes later.
    “I did it mama, I mailed the letter all by myself!”

    Do you remember, the wonder of it?
    Dropping a letter in one place,
    mouth of the box swinging open and shut,
    eating the envelope like cookie monster,
    only to have that same letter reappear, days later,
    in another place?
    It is a mundane miracle.

    When I was a teenager, learning how to drive
    my mother set up garbage cans in front of our house
    so I could practice parallel parking.
    Our mailman, swinging by from house to house
    stopped with a big smile to shout,
    “turn the wheel! Cut it hard, that’s right, now straighten it out!”
    His brown arm waving in circles
    as we both grinned with the joy of it.
    A simple thing, feeling like part of something -
    a community, maybe - where mail carriers
    and teenage drivers were all part of the same world.
    I remember how quickly he would run up and down the front steps, even in the hot and humid summer.

    “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
    This is a prayer for the carriers on their routes
    The clerk at the window
    The backroom sorters and the delivery truck drivers
    Moving mountains one piece at a time.
    Passing along that which was entrusted to them:

    Electric bills,
    bank statements,
    birthday cards
    …ballots.

    Hear us, God of the taken-for-granted things,
    Divine mystery of overnight delivery,
    Spirit of Civic Life,
    may we preserve this minor magic
    of letter and stamp, scale and package,
    sorting machine and postbox,
    so that our children do not shake their heads
    and wonder at all the things we allowed to slip away.




    - Rev. Julia Hamilton
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  41. TopTop #4672
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Green Apples

    In August we carried the old horsehair mattress
    To the back porch
    And slept with our children in a row.
    The wind came up the mountain into the orchard
    Telling me something:
    Saying something urgent.
    I was happy.
    The green apples fell on the sloping roof
    And rattled down.
    The wind was shaking me all night long;
    Shaking me in my sleep
    Like a definition of love,
    Saying, this is the moment,
    Here, now.

    - Ruth Stone
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  42. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  43. TopTop #4673
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Bullet Points

    I will not shoot myself
    In the head, and I will not shoot myself
    In the back, and I will not hang myself
    With a trash bag, and if I do,
    I promise you, I will not do it
    In a police car while handcuffed
    Or in the jail cell of a town
    I only know the name of
    Because I have to drive through it
    To get home. Yes, I may be at risk,
    But I promise you, I trust the maggots
    Who live beneath the floorboards
    Of my house to do what they must
    To any carcass more than I trust
    An officer of the law of the land
    To shut my eyes like a man
    Of God might, or to cover me with a sheet
    So clean my mother could have used it
    To tuck me in. When I kill me, I will
    Do it the same way most Americans do,
    I promise you: cigarette smoke
    Or a piece of meat on which I choke
    Or so broke I freeze
    In one of these winters we keep
    Calling worst. I promise if you hear
    Of me dead anywhere near
    A cop, then that cop killed me. He took
    Me from us and left my body, which is,
    No matter what we’ve been taught,
    Greater than the settlement
    A city can pay a mother to stop crying,
    And more beautiful than the new bullet
    Fished from the folds of my brain.

    - Jericho Brown
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  45. TopTop #4674
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Earthseed


    There is no end
    To what a living world
    Will demand of you.



    When apparent stability disintegrates,
    As it must —
    God is Change —
    People tend to give in
    To fear and depression,
    To need and greed.
    When no influence is strong enough
    To unify people
    They divide.
    They struggle,
    One against one,
    Group against group,
    For survival, position, power.
    They remember old hates and generate new ones,
    They create chaos and nurture it.
    They kill and kill and kill,
    Until they are exhausted and destroyed,
    Until they are conquered by outside forces,
    Or until one of them becomes
    A leader
    Most will follow,
    Or a tyrant
    Most fear.



    When vision fails
    Direction is lost.


    When direction is lost
    Purpose may be forgotten.


    When purpose is forgotten
    Emotion rules alone.


    When emotion rules alone,
    Destruction… destruction.



    Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
    To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
    To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
    To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
    To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
    To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.


    Are you Earthseed?
    Do you believe?
    Belief will not save you.
    Only actions
    Guided and shaped
    By belief and knowledge
    Will save you.
    Belief
    Initiates and guides action —
    Or it does nothing.



    Kindness eases Change.


    - Octavia Butler
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  46. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  47. TopTop #4675
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Anthropocene

    Even the word feels claustrophobic
    Like endless lines and crowds
    Of one color only. A species

    Alone without context.
    How lonely we have made
    Ourselves, how poor.

    It is not survival,
    But greed that guides, drives
    Us, leaves us lonely

    On a denuded plain,
    Without the container, the completion
    Of other life to embrace us.

    What will we do when only people
    Populate our planet, our poems?
    Who will we be

    When we’ve forgotten our companions,
    The oak, the fox, the prairie grass and
    The hen hidden within.

    Who will we be when
    All around us
    Are mirrors and madness?


    - Rebecca del Rio
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  49. TopTop #4676
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Bearing Witness

    Sometimes we are asked to stop and bear witness:
    this, the elephants say to me in dreams
    as they thunder through the passageways
    of my heart, disappearing
    into a blaze of stars. On the edge
    of the 6th mass extinction, with species
    vanishing before our eyes, we’d be a people
    gone mad, if we did not grieve.

    This unmet grief,
    an elder tells me, is the root
    of the root of the collective illness
    that got us here. His people
    stay current with their grief—
    they see their tears as medicine—
    and grief a kind of generous willingness
    to simply see, to look loss in the eye,
    to hold tenderly what is precious,
    to let the rains of the heart fall.

    In this way, they do not pass this weight on
    in invisible mailbags for the next generation
    to carry. In this way, the grief doesn’t build
    and build like sets of waves, until,
    at some point down the line—
    it simply becomes an unbearable ocean.

    We are so hungry when we are fleeing
    our grief, when we are doing all
    we can to distract ourselves
    from the crushing heft of the unread
    letters of our ancestors.
    Hear us, they call. Hear us.

    In my dreams, the elephants stampede
    in herds, trumpeting, shaking the earth.
    It is a kind of grand finale, a last parade
    of their exquisite beauty. See us, they say.
    We may not pass this way again.

    What if our grief, given as a sacred offering,
    is a blessing not a curse?
    What if our grief, not hidden away in corners,
    becomes a kind of communion where we shine?
    What if our grief becomes a liberation song
    that returns us to our innocence?
    What if our fierce hearts
    could simply bear witness?

    - Laura Weaver

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  50. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  51. TopTop #4677
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ovid in Tears


    Love is like a garden in the heart, he said.
    They asked him what he meant by garden.
    He explained about gardens. “In the cities,” he said,
    “there are places walled off where color
    and decorum are magnified into a civilization.
    Like a beautiful woman,” he said.
    How like a woman they asked. He remembered their wives
    and said garden was just a figure of speech,
    then called for drinks all around. Two rounds later
    he was crying. Talking about how Charlemagne
    couldn’t read, but still had made a world. About Hagia
    Sofia and putting a round dome on a square
    base after nine hundred years of failure.
    The hand holding him slipped, and he fell.
    “White stone in the while sunlight,” he said
    as they picked him up. “Not the
    great fires burning at the edge of the world.” His voice grew
    fainter as they carried him away. “Both the melody
    and the symphony. The imperfect dancing
    in the beautiful dance. The dance most of all.”




    - Jack Gilbert
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  53. TopTop #4678
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Day is Coming


    A day is coming
    in which misery will end.
    A day is coming
    in which poverty
    will open bank accounts
    in every nation.
    A day is coming.
    I hear it coming.
    A day is coming
    in which the
    campesino
    will gather his children a green spring
    and go on vacations.
    I believe it.
    I see it.
    A day is coming
    in which a soldier will be
    decorated
    for helping
    instead of killing
    his poor brother.
    A day is coming
    in which lovers
    will serve themselves from large bowls
    warm love and faithfulness.
    A day is coming
    in which the Christ who returns
    is the Christ who never left.
    A day is coming
    in which the father will ask the son
    for friendship
    instead of respect.
    A day is coming
    in which the student
    and a poor laborer
    will be half and half.
    A day is coming
    in which the prisoners
    come out
    running in the fields and shouting
    about their freedom.
    A day is coming,
    I see it coming.


    - Lalo Delgado
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  54. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  55. TopTop #4679
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Field That Prays



    Prayer weaves its colorful strands
    As we wander around the field
    Inside the circle we cast in awe
    Of the center where nothing resides.

    We imagine our souls go there
    After we die alone or perhaps
    We land in this empty field
    To dream of wild black horses

    While we are asleep.
    The young ones wonder
    If we elders will survive.
    Why not? The goddess has plans

    For us, even as we stand here
    And wait to see what will happen.
    This field unites us as we watch
    Dry lightning and thunder meet.

    The trees dance and the winds
    Insist we change. Will the fires
    Teach us to walk outside the path
    Of amazement? While inside

    This field, ancient stones cascade,
    Inscribing the events of our tumbling
    Lives. All that matters now is

    The field’s magnetic force. “This is
    My body and my blood,” they say.
    “We receive and give to you our all.”
    What if this wait is of our own making?

    Surely the facts will not lead us out
    Of this morass. We are part of something
    Far greater than ourselves. Winding around
    The field’s edge, we stumble into the realm

    Of prayer. Outside the field is the fire,
    Inside prayer, the flowing vessel of love.
    We wait, engulfed by feelings, the emotions
    Not of our own making.

    The prayers are making us.



    - Patria Brown


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  56. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  57. TopTop #4680
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What Work Is

    We stand in the rain in a long line
    waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
    You know what work is—if you’re
    old enough to read this you know what
    work is, although you may not do it.
    Forget you. This is about waiting,
    shifting from one foot to another.
    Feeling the light rain falling like mist
    into your hair, blurring your vision
    until you think you see your own brother
    ahead of you, maybe ten places.
    You rub your glasses with your fingers,
    and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
    narrower across the shoulders than
    yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
    that does not hide the stubbornness,
    the sad refusal to give in to
    rain, to the hours of wasted waiting,
    to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
    a man is waiting who will say, “No,
    we’re not hiring today,” for any
    reason he wants. You love your brother,
    now suddenly you can hardly stand
    the love flooding you for your brother,
    who’s not beside you or behind or
    ahead because he’s home trying to
    sleep off a miserable night shift
    at Cadillac so he can get up
    before noon to study his German.
    Works eight hours a night so he can sing
    Wagner, the opera you hate most,
    the worst music ever invented.
    How long has it been since you told him
    you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
    opened your eyes wide and said those words,
    and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
    done something so simple, so obvious,
    not because you’re too young or too dumb,
    not because you’re jealous or even mean
    or incapable of crying in
    the presence of another man, no,
    just because you don’t know what work is.

    - Phillip Levine
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