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  1. TopTop #4711
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,

    On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798

    Five years have past; five summers, with the length

    Of five long winters! and again I hear

    These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs

    With a soft inland murmur.—Once again

    Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,

    That on a wild secluded scene impress

    Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect

    The landscape with the quiet of the sky.

    The day is come when I again repose

    Here, under this dark sycamore, and view

    These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,

    Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,

    Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves

    'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see

    These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines

    Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,

    Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke

    Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!

    With some uncertain notice, as might seem

    Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,

    Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire

    The Hermit sits alone.

    These beauteous forms,

    Through a long absence, have not been to me

    As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:

    But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din

    Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,

    In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,

    Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;

    And passing even into my purer mind

    With tranquil restoration:—feelings too

    Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,

    As have no slight or trivial influence

    On that best portion of a good man's life,

    His little, nameless, unremembered, acts

    Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,

    To them I may have owed another gift,

    Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,

    In which the burthen of the mystery,

    In which the heavy and the weary weight

    Of all this unintelligible world,

    Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,

    In which the affections gently lead us on,—

    Until, the breath of this corporeal frame

    And even the motion of our human blood

    Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

    In body, and become a living soul:

    While with an eye made quiet by the power

    Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,

    We see into the life of things.

    If this

    Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft—

    In darkness and amid the many shapes

    Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir

    Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,

    Have hung upon the beatings of my heart—

    How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,

    O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods,

    How often has my spirit turned to thee!

    And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,

    With many recognitions dim and faint,

    And somewhat of a sad perplexity,

    The picture of the mind revives again:

    While here I stand, not only with the sense

    Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts

    That in this moment there is life and food

    For future years. And so I dare to hope,

    Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first

    I came among these hills; when like a roe

    I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides

    Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,

    Wherever nature led: more like a man

    Flying from something that he dreads, than one

    Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then

    (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days

    And their glad animal movements all gone by)

    To me was all in all.—I cannot paint

    What then I was. The sounding cataract

    Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,

    The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,

    Their colours and their forms, were then to me

    An appetite; a feeling and a love,

    That had no need of a remoter charm,

    By thought supplied, nor any interest

    Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,

    And all its aching joys are now no more,

    And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this

    Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts

    Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,

    Abundant recompense. For I have learned

    To look on nature, not as in the hour

    Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes

    The still sad music of humanity,

    Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power

    To chasten and subdue.—And I have felt

    A presence that disturbs me with the joy

    Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

    Of something far more deeply interfused,

    Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

    And the round ocean and the living air,

    And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:

    A motion and a spirit, that impels

    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

    And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still

    A lover of the meadows and the woods

    And mountains; and of all that we behold

    From this green earth; of all the mighty world

    Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create,

    And what perceive; well pleased to recognise

    In nature and the language of the sense

    The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,

    The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul

    Of all my moral being.

    Nor perchance,

    If I were not thus taught, should I the more

    Suffer my genial spirits to decay:

    For thou art with me here upon the banks

    Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,

    My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch

    The language of my former heart, and read

    My former pleasures in the shooting lights

    Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while

    May I behold in thee what I was once,

    My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,

    Knowing that Nature never did betray

    The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,

    Through all the years of this our life, to lead

    From joy to joy: for she can so inform

    The mind that is within us, so impress

    With quietness and beauty, and so feed

    With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,

    Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,

    Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all

    The dreary intercourse of daily life,

    Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb

    Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold

    Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon

    Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;

    And let the misty mountain-winds be free

    To blow against thee: and, in after years,

    When these wild ecstasies shall be matured

    Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind

    Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,

    Thy memory be as a dwelling-place

    For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,

    If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,

    Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts

    Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,

    And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance—

    If I should be where I no more can hear

    Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams

    Of past existence—wilt thou then forget

    That on the banks of this delightful stream

    We stood together; and that I, so long

    A worshipper of Nature, hither came

    Unwearied in that service: rather say

    With warmer love—oh! with far deeper zeal

    Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,

    That after many wanderings, many years

    Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,

    And this green pastoral landscape, were to me

    More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

    - William Wordsworth

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  2. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  3. TopTop #4712
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Called By The Fire

    Called by fire blazing in leaves,
    wandering like Aengus into the beauty,
    ambling a dappled circle,
    tracing the cycle of my life.

    Monkey mind names them:
    Maidenhair, turkey, spicebush.
    Sink into the beauty:
    Awesome, fantastic, magnificent.
    Words not enough.
    Deeper to sounds, a protolanguage
    of feeling.
    No mediation: ooh! gasp! Aaahhhh!
    Finally pure awe, basking in stillness.

    40 years in this place,
    once, all enthusiasm and ideas,
    so much to do,
    time seemingly unlimited.

    Now, in my own autumn,
    slowly trodding a leafy Persian carpet of gold,
    red grace notes ascatter,
    I see my whole life around me.

    Past and future - together.

    Saplings abound -
    Maple, hickory, beech.
    Land becomes its true self,
    hidden so long under ax and plow.

    Nut to tree,
    surging through leaf mold,
    life rising from death.

    Fallen white oak,
    leaves curled brown,
    on its path of return
    to the nurturing earth.
    Surrendering wholly to source,
    as I will do in time.
    Compost and foxfire,
    a fading glow,
    lighting a path for those to come.

    - Alan Cohen

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  4. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  5. TopTop #4713
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I keep thinking
    of the madrone leaves
    that crackle with a hush
    when they are hit with first sunlight
    on the hillside at the place
    I call
    Celebration Bend

    and the way that our
    called the Hub
    looks so different
    when the first damp
    and overcast
    autumn evening
    like a nest
    among the
    calm and gathering

    but I don't walk much
    towards Celebration Bend
    these days

    and we don't gather
    at the Hub
    you know


    and other things

    I want things

    even my
    most intimate
    and memories

    I keep thinking

    - Amy Elizabeth Robinson

    This poem was written shortly before Amy’s home and 12 of the 13 homes in her intentional community Monan’s Rill were lost to the Glass Fire. This community, founded in the 1970s, has been the hub of so much of Sonoma County’s peace, justice, watershed ecology, and forest stewardship work over many years. If any of you feel called to help these wonderful people out in this time please go to

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  6. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  7. TopTop #4714
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    On Taking the Measure of Your Book

    for Michael Franco

    there must be a way
    to enter your poetry
    the way your words turn
    into meaning after meaning
    into the depths of memory
    into the silence of the beach
    which of course is never silent
    but it seems so when I am there alone
    and then the birds come
    over the dunes
    the tiny sandpipers,
    silent in sand
    creating the rhythm
    of your poem
    and far out beyond my eyes
    the great white pelicans
    and as I watch them I see
    how I must enter your poetry
    wings folded against the wind
    as I slice again and again
    into the measure of your ocean
    there where silence is translated
    into language

    - Fran Claggett-Holland

    Fran’s poem was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye for the New York Times Magazine.
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  9. TopTop #4715
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Big Picture

    I try to look at the big picture.
    The sun, ardent tongue
    licking us like a mother besotted

    with her new cub, will wear itself out.
    Everything is transitory.
    Think of the meteor

    that annihilated the dinosaurs.
    And before that, the volcanoes
    of the Permian period — all those burnt ferns

    and reptiles, sharks and bony fish —
    that was extinction on a scale
    that makes our losses look like a bad day at the slots.

    And perhaps we’re slated to ascend
    to some kind of intelligence
    that doesn’t need bodies, or clean water, or even air.

    But I can’t shake my longing
    for the last six hundred
    Iberian lynx with their tufted ears,

    Brazilian guitarfish, the 4
    percent of them still cruising
    the seafloor, eyes staring straight up.

    And all the newborn marsupials —
    red kangaroos, joeys the size of honeybees — steelhead trout, river dolphins,
    all we can save

    so many species of frogs
    breathing through their
    damp permeable membranes.

    Today on the bus, a woman
    in a sweater the exact shade of cardinals,
    and her cardinal-colored bra strap, exposed

    on her pale shoulder, makes me ache
    for those bright flashes in the snow.
    And polar bears, the cream and amber

    of their fur, the long, hollow
    hairs through which sun slips,
    swallowed into their dark skin. When I get home,

    my son has a headache and, though he’s
    almost grown, asks me to sing him a song.
    We lie together on the lumpy couch

    and I warble out the old show tunes, “Night and Day”…
    “They Can’t Take That Away from Me”… A cheap
    silver chain shimmers across his throat

    rising and falling with his pulse. There never was
    anything else. Only these excruciatingly
    insignificant creatures we love.

    - Ellen Bass
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  10. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  11. TopTop #4716
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Daily Acts For the Foreseeable Present

    There still are some simple truths.
    The sun does rise, so to speak,
    Surrounded each day by a greater or lesser
    Intensity of color! It does still set
    Over all manner of geography,

    Even the dimming stars are still here,
    A witness of light across the heavens, the sun and moon
    Moving with us, as we too change with the seasons.

    The cosmos is vast and often incomprehensible.
    There are still questions we are fortunate to ask,
    With answers that are not large enough for us.
    Our holy beginnings are shrouded in story. Yet

    It is still a good rule of thumb to tell the truth
    Rather than lie, to practice the golden rule,
    To have a little humility, to use common sense,
    To plant a garden, mindful of all that we love,
    To exercise, to delight in daily acts,
    To value the God-given differences which make us,
    And life interesting. This is what we teach children.

    Meanwhile, while so many species are vanishing,
    And light pollution obscures the primordial,
    the force that has long held existence in existence
    Is still keeping the beavers busy weaving their dams
    Keeping giraffes, with their many necklaces,
    Elegant and awkward! Rhinos still lumber roly-poly
    With pigs and countless kids, into the mud.
    The foxes and anteaters are keeping their
    Noses to the ground, for a while, they still
    Can’t get enough off the smell of existence.

    - Judith Stone
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  13. TopTop #4717
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson


    I voted.

    I voted for the rainbow.

    I voted for the cry of a loon.

    I voted for my grandfather’s bones
    that feed beetles now.

    I voted for a singing brook that sparkles
    under a North Dakota bean field.

    I voted for salty air through which the whimbrel flies
    South along the shores of two continents.

    I voted for melting snow that returns to the wellspring
    of darkness, where the sky is born from the earth.

    I voted for daemonic mushrooms in the loam,
    and the old democracy of worms.

    I voted for the wordless treaty that cannot be broken
    by white men or brown, because it is made of star semen,
    thistle sap, hieroglyphs of the weevil in prairie oak.

    I voted for the local, the small, the brim
    that does not spill over, the abolition of waste,
    the luxury of enough.

    I voted for the commonwealth of the ancient forest,
    a larva for every beak, a wing-tinted flower
    for every moth’s disguise, a well-fed mammal’s corpse
    for every colony of maggots.

    I voted for open borders between death and birth.

    I voted on the ballot of a fallen leaf of sycamore
    that cannot be erased, for it becomes the dust and rain,
    and then a tree again.
    I voted for more fallow time to cultivate wild flowers,
    more recess in schools to cultivate play,
    more leisure, tax free, more space between days.

    I voted to increase the profit of evening silence
    and the price of a thrush song.

    I voted for ten million stars in your next inhalation.

    - Alfred K. LaMotte
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  14. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  15. TopTop #4718
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson


    It’s autumn in the market—
    not wise anymore to buy tomatoes.
    They’re beautiful still on the outside,
    some perfectly round and red, the rare varieties
    misshapen, individual, like human brains covered in red oilcloth—
    Inside, they’re gone. Black, moldy—
    you can’t take a bite without anxiety.
    Here and there, among the tainted ones, a fruit
    still perfect, picked before decay set in.
    Instead of tomatoes, crops nobody really wants.
    Pumpkins, a lot of pumpkins.
    Gourds, ropes of dried chilies, braids of garlic.
    The artisans weave dead flowers into wreaths;
    they tie bits of colored yarn around dried lavender.
    And people go on for a while buying these things
    as though they thought the farmers would see to it
    that things went back to normal:
    the vines would go back to bearing new peas;
    the first small lettuces, so fragile, so delicate, would begin
    to poke out of the dirt.
    Instead, it gets dark early.
    And the rains get heavier; they carry
    the weight of dead leaves.
    At dusk, now, an atmosphere of threat, of foreboding.
    And people feel this themselves; they give a name to the season,
    harvest, to put a better face on these things.
    The gourds are rotting on the ground, the sweet blue grapes are finished.
    A few roots, maybe, but the ground’s so hard the farmers think
    it isn’t worth the effort to dig them out. For what?
    To stand in the marketplace under a thin umbrella, in the rain, in the cold,
    no customers anymore?
    And then the frost comes; there’s no more question of harvest.
    The snow begins; the pretense of life ends.
    The earth is white now; the fields shine when the moon rises.
    I sit at the bedroom window, watching the snow fall.
    The earth is like a mirror:
    calm meeting calm, detachment meeting detachment.
    What lives, lives underground.
    What dies, dies without struggle.

    - Louise Gluck
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  17. TopTop #4719
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    October Salmon

    He’s lying in poor water, a yard or so depth of poor safety,
    Maybe only two feet under the no-protection of an outleaning
    small oak,
    Half-under a tangle of brambles.

    After his two thousand miles, he rests,
    Breathing in that lap of easy current
    In his graveyard pool.

    About six pounds weight,
    Four years old at most, and hardly a winter at sea –
    But already a veteran,
    Already a death-patched hero. So quickly it’s over!

    So briefly he roamed the gallery of marvels!
    Such sweet months, so richly embroidered into earth’s
    Her life-robe –
    Now worn out with her tirelessness, her insatiable quest,
    Hangs in the flow, a frayed scarf –

    An autumnal pod of his flower,
    The mere hull of his prime, shrunk at shoulder and flank,

    With the sea-going Aurora Borealis of his April power –
    The primrose and violet of that first upfling in the estuary –
    Ripened to muddy dregs,
    The river reclaiming his sea-metals.

    In the October light
    He hangs there, patched with the leper-cloths.

    Death has already dressed him
    In her clownish regimentals, her badges and decorations,
    Mapping the completion of his service,
    His face a ghoul-mask, a dinosaur of senility, and his whole body
    A fungoid anemone of canker –

    Can the caress of water ease him?
    The flow will not let up for a minute.

    What change! from that covenant of Polar Light
    To this shroud in a gutter!
    What a death-in-life – to be his own spectre!
    His living body become death’s puppet,
    Dolled by death in her crude paints and drapes
    He haunts his own staring vigil
    And suffers the subjection, and the dumbness,
    And the humiliation of the role!

    And that is how it is,
    That is what is going on there, under the scrubby oak tree,
    hour after hour,
    That is what the splendour of the sea has come down to,
    And the eye of ravenous joy – king of infinite liberty
    In the flashing expanse, the bloom of sea-life,

    On the surge-ride of energy, weightless,
    Body simply the armature of energy
    In that earliest sea-freedom, the savage amazement of life,
    The salt mouthful of actual existence
    With strength like light –

    Yet this was always with him. This was inscribed in his egg.
    This chamber of horrors is also home.
    He was probably hatched in this very pool.

    And this was the only mother he ever had, this uneasy
    channel of minnows
    Under the mill-wall, with bicycle wheels, car-tyres, bottles
    And sunk sheets of corrugated iron.
    People walking their dogs trail their evening shadows across him.
    If boys see him they will try to kill him.

    All this, too, is stitched into the torn richness,
    The epic poise
    That holds him so steady in his wounds, so loyal to his doom,
    so patient
    In the machinery of heaven.

    - Ted Hughes

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  18. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  19. TopTop #4720
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    And Will They Ever Com

    And will they ever come, days of forgiveness and grace,
    when you’ll walk in the fields, simple wanderer,
    and your bare soles will be caressed by the clover,
    or the wheat-stubble will sting your feet, and its sting will be sweet?

    Or the rainfall will catch you, its downpour pounding
    on your shoulders, your breast, your neck, your head.
    And you’ll walk in the wet fields, quiet widening within
    like light on the cloud’s rim.

    And you’ll breathe in the scent of the furrow, full and calm,
    and you’ll see the sun in the rain-pool’s golden mirror,
    and all things are simple and alive, you may touch them,
    and you are allowed, you are allowed to love.

    You’ll walk in the field. Alone, unscorched by the blaze
    of the fires, along roads stiffened with blood and terror.
    And true to your heart you’ll be again humble and softened,
    as one of the grass, as one of humankind.

    - Lea Goldberg

    (translated from the Hebrew
    by Rachel Tzvia Back)
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  20. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  21. TopTop #4721
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson


    after a line from William Stafford

    When the leaves are about to yellow and fall
    ask me then how I tried to hold on to what was green,
    how I thought perhaps I was different,
    how everything I thought I knew about gold
    turned brittle and brown. Ask me what it was like
    to fall then. Sometimes the world’s workings feel transparent
    and we know ourselves as the world. Sometimes
    the only words that can find our lips are thank you,
    though the gifts look nothing like anything
    we ever thought we wanted. Sometimes, gratitude
    arrives in us, not because we are willing,
    but because it insists on itself, like a weed,
    like a wind, like change.

    - Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
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  22. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  23. TopTop #4722
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Late Night Prayer

    Within this silence may a true voice dawn
    as smoothly as the heron flies,
    the wings unfold from that slender silhouette
    and a great power is unfurled.
    This still form can transform itself into flight -
    So can we all.
    May out of this quiet time come wisdom.
    May in this silence emerge sound.
    May this sound hold the secret of many things,
    the balm to soothe our torment,
    the elixir to lift us out of the slime.

    We are stuck in the muck,
    our shoes too heavy to lift us out
    we need a miracle.
    We need a spirit like a
    Great Blue Heron
    picking us out of this quagmire
    like the stork delivers the baby
    to its eagerly awaiting parents--
    parents ready to spill out love to their
    long awaited child, as if that child
    were all the children of this earth.

    Deliver us oh great spirit,
    heal this wound that bleeds into the sky
    turning it yellow, turning it red,.
    We are inside the earth’s blister –
    a yellow orange oozing from our pain,
    slipping out of our hands
    out of our control.
    We have nothing left.

    Please heal us, make us whole
    allow our sincere wish
    to push away the clouds and smoke
    allow our words to spread wings
    to billow out like giant cumulus white
    clouds with edges definition clarity
    against a blue sky
    Allow our words our wishes our hopes
    to stretch out their arms
    like the wings of the heron as she lifts her great long body off the earth
    as if it were nothing.
    nothing but a thought
    a wish
    a hope
    for blue skies.

    - Basha
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  25. TopTop #4723
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Lesson Of The Falling Leaves

    the leaves believe
    such letting go is love
    such love is faith
    such faith is grace
    such grace is god
    i agree with the leaves

    - Lucille Clifton
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  26. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

    Dre, M/M
  27. TopTop #4724
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson


    Winter will be lovely this year,
    Glorious, even.
    Rain will soothe,
    Winds excite,
    And the dark ends of days will lead to unexplored,
    Interior caverns, still and vast.

    Some of the birds will stay
    And I will befriend them,
    Appreciate our mutual magic.

    Other people and I will know
    When we see each other on the street
    That our bodies beneath the coats and scarves all have a bit of longing,

    Only partially satisfied with the hot soup
    And dense, warm bread.

    This longing leads us to find joy everywhere:
    On the pavement,
    Within the storm,
    New green showing off these smooth hills,
    Each other.

    One glowing candle will be enough
    To light the way

    To dancing,
    Songs of worlds,
    Real love,
    A kind of Justice we knew all along.

    - Sue Stephenson
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  28. Gratitude expressed by:

  29. TopTop #4725
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Blessing the Bones

    Mist curls through bushes and trees,
    veils a woman on her knees to a river
    that carries her words to the sea.
    Eyes flashing like a wild dark night,
    she speaks with the majesty of a Goddess,
    the ardor of a Priestess, the urgency of a Mother.

    The words float downstream and enter the Pacific
    where they seep into white caps and shimmering cobalt.
    Sunlight quickens every syllable sent to bless
    the bones of Earth made bare by human malice,
    the bones of Being born to skin and fur
    to leaf and feather, root and scale, hoof and claw.

    As the blessing weaves through equatorial islands,
    bones beckon like shadows in bright cascades of foliage.
    Driftwood beckons from gleaming shores -- tree bones
    soothed by rhythms of the tides
    From Hiroshima and Nagasaki come whispers like flames,
    as if vaporized bones are a ghost fire,
    a haunting that will ever abide as the ultimate abuse
    of humanity’s power to create.

    Across the Eurasian landmass they beckon --
    the bones of homicide, genocide, ecocide
    the bones of scattered mountain tops
    of butterflies ground into grasslands
    of wetlands dried and commodified.

    From the Atlantic, bones beckon in beats of relief
    at being tossed from slave ships.
    In the Americas, they beckon from vanished villages,
    from dusty drawers sequestered in museums,
    from plantations, prairies, mines, and oil fields,
    from once primal forests and ancient ceremonial grounds.

    On days of the full moon, the woman returns
    to the river that carried her blessing.
    Black hair drapes her shoulders like a mantle of Creation
    Her eyes shine with the tears of a planet
    and the light of a star.
    Some days she hears bells and a soft drum
    It’s then the birds come.

    - Cynthia Poten
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  30. Gratitude expressed by:

  31. TopTop #4726
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    At the Window

    I was at the window
    when a fly near the latch
    was on its back spinning—
    legs furious, going nowhere.

    I thought to swat it
    but something in its struggle
    was too much my own.

    It kept spinning and began to tire.
    Without moving closer, I exhaled
    steadily, my breath a sudden wind,
    and the fly found its legs,
    rubbed its face
    and flew away.

    I continued to stare at the latch
    hoping that someday, the breath
    of something incomprehensible
    would right me and
    enable me to fly.

    - Mark Nepo

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  32. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  33. TopTop #4727
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Autumn Passage

    On suffering, which is real.
    On the mouth that never closes,
    the air that dries the mouth.

    On the miraculous dying body,
    its greens and purples.
    On the beauty of hair itself.

    On the dazzling toddler:
    “Like eggplant,” he says,
    when you say “Vegetable,”

    “Chrysanthemum” to “Flower.”
    On his grandmother’s suffering, larger
    than vanished skyscrapers,

    September zucchini,
    other things too big. For her glory
    that goes along with it,

    glory of grown children’s vigil,
    communal fealty, glory
    of the body that operates

    even as it falls apart, the body
    that can no longer even make fever
    but nonetheless burns

    florid and bright and magnificent
    as it dims, as it shrinks,
    as it turns to something else.

    - Elizabeth Alexander
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  34. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  35. TopTop #4728
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    October 2020

    I don’t wish to dwell
    on the oppressive heat, incessant smoke, and
    uncertainty about whether to hang clothes in the closet, or
    stuff them into a suitcase

    Words can’t begin
    to salve the pain of isolation
    from family
    dear companions

    I can’t complain for myself
    when others lose their jobs and homes
    endure the collapse of social services
    suffer the pain and humiliation of poverty

    I do however notice who benefits
    when the infernal machine
    of insatiable economics
    buoys the stock market
    ignores unemployment, foreclosures, hunger, and health

    Priorities become obvious when
    the disarrayed government
    no longer a lifeline against disaster
    fails to halt the agonizing slide
    into debt and despair

    Political charade carries the farce forward

    Beyond the coffins of our hopes and dreams

    we see dimly, by the flickering bonfire of old promises
    our tattered reputation and flag
    lying at the feet of the powerful

    - Karl Frederick
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  36. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  37. TopTop #4729
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The swan does not care
    if I think
    it is beautiful.
    The platypus is indifferent
    to my laugh or scorn.

    My great granddaughter--
    "great" "grand" "daughter"--
    what an odd and awe
    inspiring succession
    of words--
    makes her 10 month old
    will be known
    over the tiniest
    of indignations:
    that piece of cheese
    this book
    pick me up
    put me down.
    I do not want
    to break her spirit.
    I can only show her
    the swan and
    the platypus,
    the blue dragonflies mating over the pond,
    the soft forest floor beneath the redwoods,
    the crash of the ocean's waves,
    the pelicans that glide above them.
    I can only hope
    that she will use
    that fierce will
    to protect
    the natural world
    and her place
    in it.

    - Richard Bloom
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