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  1. TopTop #4441
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Now is the Time


    Now is the time to know
    That all that you do is sacred.


    Now, why not consider
    A lasting truce with yourself and God.


    Now is the time to understand
    That all your ideas of right and wrong
    Were just a child's training wheels
    To be laid aside
    When you finally live
    With veracity
    And love.


    Hafiz is a divine envoy
    Whom the Beloved
    Has written a holy message upon.


    My dear, please tell me,
    Why do you still
    Throw sticks at your heart
    And God?


    What is it in that sweet voice inside
    That incites you to fear?


    Now is the time for the world to know
    That every thought and action is sacred.


    This is the time for you to compute the impossibility
    That there is anything
    But Grace.


    Now is the season to know
    That everything you do
    Is sacred.


    -Hafiz
    (translated by Daniel Ladinsky)
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  3. TopTop #4442
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Writing A Lesson

    I spend so much time
    Writing a lesson
    I'm a teacher you know
    A Licensed Teacher at that
    I try to impart wisdom
    Cloaked often in humor
    Wrap it all up in a twenty minute package
    Tie on a blow of blessing
    To hope that at least one person
    Is nudged toward personal healing.
    But Hafiz
    Oh Hafiz
    In less than thirty short lines
    Gives a more complete
    Lesson
    Than all the teachers
    Who have come before
    Yet I will continue to sing my song
    Bathed in the melody
    Of Hafiz


    - David McNair
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  5. TopTop #4443
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Plea in a Foreign Tongue

    The Spanish moss streaming off
    the branches of a hillside of black oaks
    like olive sheets of rain,
    a wailing of ancestral grief
    brings real tears to my eyes.
    They have seen and felt so much, these trees.
    Through their roots:
    They have felt how we have thinned
    and poisoned the soil;
    how our anger and greed for power
    has scorched the earth with the flame of drought.
    Through the tips of their branches:
    How we have sullied the air
    with the smoke of delusion.
    They grieve for the loss of the great trees,
    the grizzly, the herds of elk,
    the thick flocks of birds,
    who lived and worshipped in their branches,
    and for the people who knew their place,
    and did not set themselves
    apart from nature.
    Who loved the land
    as they loved themselves.

    There is not much time they seem to say.
    They are not afraid, but they mourn.
    Perhaps we only have weeks to learn
    their language, so ancient and
    undecipherable to us.
    We cannot go back you say.
    But we cannot go forward without
    reimagining who we are.


    - Barry Vesser
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  7. TopTop #4444
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

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  9. TopTop #4445
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Immigrants in Our Own Land


    We are born with dreams in our hearts,

    looking for better days ahead.

    At the gates we are given new papers,

    our old clothes are taken

    and we are given overalls like mechanics wear.

    We are given shots and doctors ask questions.

    Then we gather in another room

    where counselors orient us to the new land

    we will now live in. We take tests.

    Some of us were craftsmen in the old world,

    good with our hands and proud of our work.

    Others were good with their heads.

    They used common sense like scholars

    use glasses and books to reach the world.

    But most of us didn’t finish high school.



    The old men who have lived here stare at us,

    from deep disturbed eyes, sulking, retreated.

    We pass them as they stand around idle,

    leaning on shovels and rakes or against walls.

    Our expectations are high: in the old world,

    they talked about rehabilitation,

    about being able to finish school,

    and learning an extra good trade.

    But right away we are sent to work as dishwashers,

    to work in fields for three cents an hour.

    The administration says this is temporary

    So we go about our business, blacks with blacks,

    poor whites with poor whites,

    chicanos and indians by themselves.

    The administration says this is right,

    no mixing of cultures, let them stay apart,

    like in the old neighborhoods we came from.



    We came here to get away from false promises,

    from dictators in our neighborhoods,

    who wore blue suits and broke our doors down

    when they wanted, arrested us when they felt like,

    swinging clubs and shooting guns as they pleased.

    But it’s no different here. It’s all concentrated.

    The doctors don’t care, our bodies decay,

    our minds deteriorate, we learn nothing of value.

    Our lives don’t get better, we go down quick.



    My cell is crisscrossed with laundry lines,

    my T-shirts, boxer shorts, socks and pants are drying.

    Just like it used to be in my neighborhood:

    from all the tenements laundry hung window to window.

    Across the way Joey is sticking his hands

    through the bars to hand Felipé a cigarette,

    men are hollering back and forth cell to cell,

    saying their sinks don’t work,

    or somebody downstairs hollers angrily

    about a toilet overflowing,

    or that the heaters don’t work.



    I ask Coyote next door to shoot me over

    a little more soap to finish my laundry.

    I look down and see new immigrants coming in,

    mattresses rolled up and on their shoulders,

    new haircuts and brogan boots,

    looking around, each with a dream in their heart,

    thinking they’ll get a chance to change their lives.



    But in the end, some will just sit around

    talking about how good the old world was.

    Some of the younger ones will become gangsters.

    Some will die and others will go on living

    without a soul, a future, or a reason to live.

    Some will make it out of here with hate in their eyes,

    but so very few make it out of here as human

    as they came in, they leave wondering what good they are now

    as they look at their hands so long away from their tools,

    as they look at themselves, so long gone from their families,

    so long gone from life itself, so many things have changed.


    - Jimmy Santiago Baca
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  11. TopTop #4446
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Nothing


    Now all the truth is out,
    Be secret and take defeat
    From any brazen throat,
    For how can you compete,
    Being honor bred, with one
    Who were it proved he lies
    Were neither shamed in his own
    Nor in his neighbors' eyes;
    Bred to a harder thing
    Than Triumph, turn away
    And like a laughing string
    Whereon mad fingers play
    Amid a place of stone,
    Be secret and exult,
    Because of all things known
    That is most difficult.


    - William Butler Yeats
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  13. TopTop #4447
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph


    Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wings on,
    testing that strange little tug at his shoulder blade,
    and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn
    of the labyrinth. Think of the difference it made!
    There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
    and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
    and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well:
    larger than a sail, over the fog and the blast
    of the plushy ocean, he goes. Admire his wings!
    Feel the fire at his neck and see how casually
    he glances up and is caught, wondrously tunneling
    into that hot eye. Who cares that he fell back to the sea?
    See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down
    while his sensible daddy goes straight into town.

    - Anne Sexton

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  15. TopTop #4448
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In Memory of W. B. Yeats



    I

    He disappeared in the dead of winter:
    The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
    And snow disfigured the public statues;
    The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
    What instruments we have agree
    The day of his death was a dark cold day.

    Far from his illness
    The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests,
    The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays;
    By mourning tongues
    The death of the poet was kept from his poems.

    But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
    An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
    The provinces of his body revolted,
    The squares of his mind were empty,
    Silence invaded the suburbs,
    The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers.

    Now he is scattered among a hundred cities
    And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections,
    To find his happiness in another kind of wood
    And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
    The words of a dead man
    Are modified in the guts of the living.

    But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
    When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the bourse,
    And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed
    And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom
    A few thousand will think of this day
    As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.

    What instruments we have agree
    The day of his death was a dark cold day.


    II

    You were silly like us; your gift survived it all:
    The parish of rich women, physical decay,
    Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
    Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still,
    For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
    In the valley of its making where executives
    Would never want to tamper, flows on south
    From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
    Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
    A way of happening, a mouth.


    III

    Earth, receive an honoured guest:
    William Yeats is laid to rest.
    Let the Irish vessel lie
    Emptied of its poetry.

    In the nightmare of the dark
    All the dogs of Europe bark,
    And the living nations wait,
    Each sequestered in its hate;

    Intellectual disgrace
    Stares from every human face,
    And the seas of pity lie
    Locked and frozen in each eye.

    Follow, poet, follow right
    To the bottom of the night,
    With your unconstraining voice
    Still persuade us to rejoice;

    With the farming of a verse
    Make a vineyard of the curse,
    Sing of human unsuccess
    In a rapture of distress;

    In the deserts of the heart
    Let the healing fountain start,
    In the prison of his days
    Teach the free man how to praise.

    - W. H. Auden

    Last edited by Barry; 02-12-2020 at 02:03 PM.
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  17. TopTop #4449
    Roland Jacopetti's Avatar
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Hi, Larry. One of the all-time greats. Thank you. Roland

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    In Memory of W. B. Yeats...
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  18. TopTop #4450
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Stardust Lounge

    My mother came for a visit
    even though she died last spring.
    She was standing by the foot of my bed
    releasing vowels from the afterlife
    smelling of moss and spring rain
    on the tarmac.
    Here we go again, old recipes and lectures,
    I thought, stumbling out the door into the back yard
    while the history of all forgotten things
    was leaking out of her apron pockets
    like the Andromeda strain or the Milky
    Way filled with impossible features of dead stars.
    All she really wanted was for me to follow
    her lead in this shuffle-foot shim-sham, this
    millennial foxtrot of flesh turning into
    stardust, that long unwinding road
    pale as beer made from wheat where
    we all crowd into a room and wait for
    the unmarked bus to transport us into the highlands
    of the forever lands. This is the way it feels
    when she presses her hand against the small of my back.
    The valley gorge that rests between my hips and heart
    wakes up and smiles and even the smallest bones
    like the swing when she says anything is possible
    and I want to answer her but am lifted off my feet
    shucking the chrysalis of my life, resurrecting the
    boogie-woogie, dancing in the midnight arms
    of her Stardust Lounge.


    - Devreaux Baker

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  20. TopTop #4451
    Roland Jacopetti's Avatar
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Larry - Another fabulous offering! Thanks so much. Roland

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Stardust Lounge...
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  21. TopTop #4452
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Whale’s Song



    I am the last gray—
    the last ocean bottom farmer
    beyond lonely,
    lost,
    terrified.

    I swim in waters too warm
    for my ancestors and kin,
    pickings so slim
    we starve.

    We have danced
    in the depths for eons,
    the ocean’s moods and moons
    embedded in our bones
    and mottled skin.

    I bear her barnacles
    and
    grief.

    Our surging into the deep—
    that constant churning
    kept the planet’s plankton
    balance.

    How will you live now
    young, foolish species?

    I am the last gray—
    wailing.

    - Raphael Block
    Last edited by Barry; 02-14-2020 at 02:43 PM.
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  23. TopTop #4453
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For Love


    for Bobbie


    Yesterday I wanted to
    speak of it, that sense above
    the others to me
    important because all


    that I know derives
    from what it teaches me.
    Today, what is it that
    is finally so helpless,


    different, despairs of its own
    statement, wants to
    turn away, endlessly
    to turn away.


    If the moon did not ...
    no, if you did not
    I wouldn’t either, but
    what would I not


    do, what prevention, what
    thing so quickly stopped.
    That is love yesterday
    or tomorrow, not


    now. Can I eat
    what you give me. I
    have not earned it. Must
    I think of everything


    as earned. Now love also
    becomes a reward so
    remote from me I have
    only made it with my mind.


    Here is tedium,
    despair, a painful
    sense of isolation and
    whimsical if pompous


    self-regard. But that image
    is only of the mind’s
    vague structure, vague to me
    because it is my own.


    Love, what do I think
    to say. I cannot say it.
    What have you become to ask,
    what have I made you into,


    companion, good company,
    crossed legs with skirt, or
    soft body under
    the bones of the bed.


    Nothing says anything
    but that which it wishes
    would come true, fears
    what else might happen in


    some other place, some
    other time not this one.
    A voice in my place, an
    echo of that only in yours.


    Let me stumble into
    not the confession but
    the obsession I begin with
    now. For you


    also (also)
    some time beyond place, or
    place beyond time, no
    mind left to


    say anything at all,
    that face gone, now.
    Into the company of love
    it all returns.


    - Robert Creely
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  25. TopTop #4454
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Dakini Speaks


    My friends, let's grow up.
    Let's stop pretending we don't know the deal here.
    Or if we truly haven't noticed, let's wake up and notice.
    Look: Everything that can be lost, will be lost.
    It's simple - how could we have missed it for so long?
    Let's grieve our losses fully, like human ripe beings.
    But please, let's not be so shocked by them.
    Let's not act so betrayed,
    As though life had broken her secret promise to us.


    Impermanence is life's only promise to us,
    And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.


    To a child, she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
    And her compassion exquisitely precise.
    Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
    She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
    This is the true ride - let's give ourselves to it!
    Let's stop making deals for a safe passage -
    There isn't one anyway, and the cost is too high.
    We are not children anymore.


    The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost.
    Let's dance the wild dance of no hope.


    - Jennifer Wellwood
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  27. TopTop #4455
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Visiting an Old Teacher
    For Dr. Robert Hall


    The light I used to see in your eyes
    Has gone somewhere else.
    It's odd, isn't it?
    What goes and what stays.


    When you spoke at the meditation center,
    I felt your kindness.
    You talked about resting, just resting.
    A door opened in my heart then.
    I did rest. I breathed easily.


    I thought of all the love
    I had received in my life, including from you.
    I felt a wave of gratitude break in my body.
    It almost reached my eyes.
    I asked myself,
    "Would I cry, in Mexico?"
    For you, or for myself?


    Afterwards, you sat in the bright sun on the patio.
    I asked you if you wanted to go out for coffee or a walk,
    You smiled and said, "Oh, I don't do that, anymore."
    Okay.


    Your partner helped you down the stone steps
    to your car.
    It's odd, isn't it? What goes and what stays.


    You've been with me, this long.
    - Geo Taylor
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  29. TopTop #4456
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Dear Teacher


    I see you now, deep diver, spear
    Gun hidden close to your body,
    Hunter, you plant hooks, piercing
    Fragile flesh of the female psyche


    Save other tools for men,
    Your troop of sleeping eunuchs,
    Lulled by stories of awakening.
    They drift on your charm, the charisma of one
    Who feigns wisdom so well.


    You feign humility well too,
    Perhaps you fool even yourself.


    The first time I saw
    Your shadow throw its
    Cold arms around an elderly woman
    I excused you, my sight
    Wanting what you claimed,
    You feigned to offer.


    The first, for me, but not
    The first, exodus, you casually
    Betrayed yourself, waving goodbye
    To those you wounded,
    Behind a watery apology,
    Weakened by charming excuses
    Of over-enthusiasm. Clever.


    Ignoring the apparent,
    Indulging in your attention
    We allowed you to penetrate
    Our minds, plant poisonous
    Images along with nourishment.


    Your spear spiked hearts,
    Opening all to love
    You. You, who may know
    An idea of larger love,
    But are incapable
    Of individual love, specific Empathy.
    Speaking of compassion, you are immune
    To compassion for the bleeding
    In your home.


    Always aiming for the sex
    Watching for the awakening
    Of desire. You hunt with
    Bait: flattery, focus and soft,
    Cunningly placed kindnesses.
    A net cast wide, your wandering
    Eye. You capture whatever
    Heart and body opens first.


    Moving like the sleeping shark,
    Never fully awake
    Nor asleep in peace,
    You hunger,
    A hungry ghost, you
    Feed on fear, growing fat on
    Our attention. Growing thin and
    Never sated.


    My heart would break
    For the unloveliness of
    You, who won’t be seen,
    But there’s precious few
    Places left, most taken
    By your broken and
    Healing sisters.


    - Rebecca del Rio
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  31. TopTop #4457
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Burning of the Books

    When the Regime

    commanded the unlawful books to be burned,
    teams of dull oxen hauled huge cartloads to the bonfires.


    Then a banished writer, one of the best,
    scanning the list of excommunicated texts,
    became enraged: he’d been excluded!


    He rushed to his desk, full of contemptuous wrath,
    to write fiery letters to the morons in power—
    Burn me! he wrote with his blazing pen—
    Haven’t I always reported the truth?
    Now here you are, treating me like a liar!
    Burn me!


    - Bertolt Brecht


    (translation by Michael R. Burch)
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  33. TopTop #4458
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In Muir Woods


    Last night, a giant redwood fell

    either from old age, disease, or
    "sometimes they just give up," the ranger said.

    Listen, I was in the woods, I
    heard it too, like my own death
    falling inside me.

    Here in the last of the old growth forests
    where some trees are still virginal,
    some older than Moses,

    I thought, then, of you. You are not the one
    dying, you said to me,
    and I quoted to you from Montaigne

    that death was not a proper object of fear
    but only the end of life.
    What is a proper object of fear, you asked,

    and I said death of the heart.
    But life, you said, was
    everything. And you were in love

    with that beautiful lie.
    Sometimes these trees send out
    all their sap at once
    making them vulnerable, sometimes,

    they grow burls of anxiety
    Look, the ranger said to us,
    the bark is so wet because the tree
    drinks hundreds of gallons of water a day

    from the fog that rolls in
    over the Golden Gate Bridge.
    That bridge which is so beautiful and which

    holds such promise for tomorrow
    with its blue shimmering bay.
    Every day when I see the fog now,

    I think of you and then I can almost
    feel the fog cover me with
    that enveloping mist, can almost feel

    the branches of the redwood
    being kissed by its cold
    ministrations. I would, if I could,

    stand here all day like these trees, but my
    heart is so sore, it is almost ready to burst,
    and I am filled, suddenly,

    with a wild and insatiable thirst.

    - June Besich
    Last edited by Barry; Today at 04:07 PM.
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