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  1. TopTop #4051
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To Step off a Hundred Foot Pole

    The koan asks: If you can step forward and reveal yourself fully, there will be no place where you are called dishonorable. So, right now, tell me. How do you step forward from the top of the hundred-foot pole?

    Start your day with
    Three assumptions: you are
    Safe. You have enough.
    You cannot get life wrong.
    Now, step out and live.

    Foolish, I know. Knowing that
    Danger, like dragons
    Waits for so many,
    Knowing hunger is inheritance to
    Too many. Missteps must be
    Avoided lest vulnerability
    Be exposed. Still too many

    With plenty
    Start days with
    Three assumptions: danger
    Is all around. More is needed.
    You will likely
    Get life wrong, make mistakes
    Expose vulnerability.

    It is to those, I say,
    Start your day with
    Three assumptions: strangers
    Are ones you haven’t yet met.
    You have enough to share.
    Life itself can’t be wrong.

    It’s to those I say,
    Safe, you’ll find
    Those unlike you more
    Like you. Satisfied
    With enough, the grip
    Of greed loosens, generosity
    Becomes routine, normal.
    Mistakes will reveal themselves
    As unlocked doors.

    Safe, satisfied, secure
    We are able to step off
    That hundred foot pole,
    Feel the wind wave
    Through our one body.

    So to you I say, Start your day
    Knowing you are safe,
    You have enough,
    You cannot get life wrong.
    Now take that step.
    The universe is here to hold you.

    - Rebecca del Rio
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  3. TopTop #4052
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    There is a community of the spirit.

    Join it, and feel the delight
    of walking in the noisy street
    and being the noise.

    Drink all your passion
    and be a disgrace.

    Close both eyes
    to see with the other eye.

    Open your hands,
    if you want to be held.

    Sit down in this circle.

    Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
    the shepherd's love filling you.

    At night, your beloved wanders.
    Don't accept consolations.

    Close your mouth against food.
    Taste the lover's mouth in yours.

    You moan, "She left me." "He left me."
    Twenty more will come.

    Be empty of worrying.
    Think who created thought!

    Why do you stay in prison
    when the door is so wide open?

    Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
    Live in silence.

    Flow down and down in always
    widening rings of being.

    - Jelalludin Rumi
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  5. TopTop #4053
    eddierosenthal's Avatar
    eddierosenthal
    Supporting Member

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I can hear Coleman Barks in my minds voice. ( was that the translator?) On my list of 100 to read i have the masnavi, will i live that long...

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    There is a community of the spirit.

    Join it, and feel the delight
    of walking in the noisy street
    and being the noise.
    ...
    - Jelalludin Rumi
    Last edited by Barry; 02-09-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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  7. TopTop #4054
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Cleaning Up After the Poetry Salon

    It's not always easy.

    Proper nouns are manageable.
    They stack well.
    Biggest on the bottom -
    The Great Plains, Idaho, Mt. Rainier -
    then the smaller stuff left behind -
    Boxcars, photographs, you know.

    Adjectives are remarkably tough to clean up.
    The dry ones catch on the furniture,
    bury themselves in cracks
    hide in the pocket of an old sweater.
    They crumble to awkward, ungainly,
    unmanageable, yes fragile
    pieces …that somehow cunningly avoid
    the shedding broom some poet has
    left behind.
    And wet ones like sticky and slimy - yikes!

    Cleaning up the leavings of Wendell Berry?
    it's a grange meeting hall.
    Rich black dirt everywhere,
    corn stalks, the lingering thick odor of
    compost and just a hint of cow manure
    on your shoes and your best carpet.

    And Jesus! Those poems about stars -
    the poets have no idea.
    Whole constellations left behind -
    Watch it with the Pleides, they have sharp points
    And yes, the Dog Star does bite.

    My rule would be -
    you brought 'em, you take 'em home.

    Food is good in a poem.
    Mom's apple pie and romantic dinners for two
    are usually digested by the salon - no leftovers.
    It's the ethnic dishes with strange names
    luedafisk, sauerkraut, gefiltafish
    and anything made with hot peppers
    Well, you know.

    Poets - a little consideration -
    slip in some sponges, maybe
    a mop or really - just a mouthful of food,
    a spoonful -
    yes, spoons for everybody.

    And come on,
    no animals bigger than a cat or small dog.
    polar bears and coyotes are disasters.

    Oh I could go on…
    mixed metaphors sliding
    down the walls and tangled
    in the drapes.

    Cliches hiding their heads in the corners.
    shy, embarrassed marmots standing by dead seals.
    stinking sea weed and sharks behind the sofa
    And fish - fish beyond number -
    flopping on the floor.

    Verbs are easy - they move around
    so much - just
    open the door and they
    take care of themselves.

    But poets,
    It's the birds left behind…
    Egret, Robin, wrens, a flock of seagulls,
    a murder of crows…
    For God's sake leave a window open.

    But eagle, oh my friends, the eagle
    he glowers there
    from the chandelier
    Royally pissed!
    A moment in a poem
    then forgotten
    in the closed room.

    I know, I know.
    I'm making a new mess now -
    I'll need some help here with
    Idaho and that eagle.

    For the rest
    I brought 'em.
    I'll take 'em home.

    - Doug von Koss
    Last edited by Barry; 02-10-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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  9. TopTop #4055
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How It Happens


    The sky said I am watching

    to see what you

    can make out of nothing

    I was looking up and I said

    I thought you

    were supposed to be doing that

    the sky said Many

    are clinging to that

    I am giving you a chance

    I was looking up and I said

    I am the only chance I have

    then the sky did not answer

    and here we are

    with our names for the days

    the vast days that do not listen to us



    - W.S. Merwin
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  11. TopTop #4056
    eddierosenthal's Avatar
    eddierosenthal
    Supporting Member

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    There are a few that make something out of nothing and even without punctuation
    one of the newer experiments poets are imitating from ws merwin

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    How It Happens
    ...
    - W.S. Merwin
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  13. TopTop #4057
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Name:  How-It-Happens.jpg
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    Background image taken one evening from the Jr. College's Maginni Hall's 3rd floor.

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    How It Happens ...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Barry; 02-12-2019 at 10:34 AM.
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  15. TopTop #4058
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    If They Should Come for Us

    these are my people & I find

    them on the street & shadow
    
through any wild all wild
    
my people my people
a dance of strangers in my blood
    
the old woman’s sari dissolving to wind

    bindi a new moon on her forehead
    
I claim her my kin & sew
the star of her to my breast
    
the toddler dangling from stroller
hair a fountain of dandelion seed
    
at the bakery I claim them too
    
the sikh uncle at the airport
    who apologizes for the pat
    
down the muslim man who abandons
    his car at the traffic light drops
    
to his knees at the call of the azan
    
& the muslim man who sips
    
good whiskey at the start of maghrib
    
the lone khala at the park
    
pairing her kurta with crocs
    
my people my people I can’t be lost
    
when I see you my compass
    
is brown & gold & blood

    my compass a muslim teenager
    
snapback & high-tops gracing
the subway platform
    
mashallah I claim them all

    my country is made
    
in my people’s image

    if they come for you they
    
come for me too in the dead

    of winter a flock of

    aunties step out on the sand
    
their dupattas turn to ocean

    a colony of uncles grind their palms
    
& a thousand jasmines bell the air

    my people I follow you like constellations

    we hear the glass smashing the street
    
& the nights opening their dark
    
our names this country’s wood
    
for the fire my people my people
    
the long years we’ve survived the long
    
years yet to come I see you map

    my sky the light your lantern long
    
ahead & I follow I follow

    - Fatimah Asghar
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  17. TopTop #4059
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Mortician in San Francisco

    This may sound queer,
    but in 1985 I held the delicate hands
    of Dan White:
    I prepared him for burial; by then, Harvey Milk
    was made monument—no, myth—by the years
    since he was shot.

    I remember when Harvey was shot:
    twenty, and I knew I was queer.
    Those were the years,
    Levi’s and leather jackets holding hands
    on Castro Street, cheering for Harvey Milk—
    elected on the same day as Dan White.

    I often wonder about Supervisor White,
    who fatally shot
    Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk,
    who was one of us, a Castro queer.
    May 21, 1979: a jury hands
    down the sentence, seven years—

    in truth, five years—
    for ex-cop, ex-fireman Dan White,
    for the blood on his hands;
    when he confessed that he had shot
    the mayor and the queer,
    a few men in blue cheered. And Harvey Milk?

    Why cry over spilled milk,
    some wondered, semi-privately, for years—
    it meant “one less queer.”
    The jurors turned to White.
    If just the mayor had been shot,
    Dan might have had trouble on his hands—

    but the twelve who held his life in their hands
    maybe didn’t mind the death of Harvey Milk;
    maybe, the second murder offered him a shot
    at serving only a few years.
    In the end, he committed suicide, this Dan White.
    And he was made presentable by a queer.

    - Randall Mann
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  19. TopTop #4060
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Love Letter from Baghdad


    Call me Rabia. I was
    named for the Sufi Saint.
    Blood pumps through the four
    chambers of my heart,
    swift and scarlet with joy or slow
    and bruised black with sorrow.
    We are the same.

    This morning, as I pin up wash
    in my rubbled court yard,
    the long fingers of the sun reach
    over the desert and sting my sleepless
    eyes like dust, like diesel fumes.
    There’s an explosion.
    Did you hear it?

    My neighbor sinks to the ground
    in the folds of her burka,
    a dark flower, rocking and keening,
    her bloodied grandchild in her arms.
    The earth trembles with
    the terrible sound of her grief.
    We are the same.

    I want to share sweet memories
    with you, of date palm and pomegranate,
    the hay fragrance of saffron, the song
    of the nightingale. I invite you
    to share yours with me.
    We are the same.

    Come sister, let’s raise our arms
    and begin. We’ll spin
    and dance like the Sufis.
    It will take as many turns
    as there are stars
    to make this right.
    We do not yet know the steps.

    - Gail Barker
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  21. TopTop #4061
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Brief History of Love

    The first-born of Mother Chaos, it is said,

    was Eros of the piercing, life-giving darts.
    & then through eons & eons of Cosmic turmoil
    was born Earth who in union with the Sun
    through eons & eons of gestation
    gave birth to Life. Through more eons & eons
    of calamity, catastrophe & trial,
    Life grew sentient —colors & sounds,
    smells, tastes, the feel of things.
    And later after eons & eons
    (though far less) it grew conscious
    of wonder & of myth, of history & science,
    strange mixtures of love & fear,
    curiosity, invention, & awry desires,
    until Tonantzin, the Great Mother
    is wounded by us, her wayward children.

    Awaking to what is
    now we must defend the Earth
    from ourselves
    with a fierce love.

    - Rafael Jesús González


    Breve historia del amor

    El primogénito de Madre Caos, se dice,
    fue Eros de las saetas penetrantes, dadoras de vida.
    Y luego a través de eones y eones de agitación Cósmica
    nació la Tierra que en unión con el Sol
    a través de eones y eones de preñez
    dio luz a la Vida. A través más eones y eones
    de calamidad, catástrofe y prueba,
    la Vida se hizo sensible —colores y sonidos,
    olores, sabores, tacto de las cosas,
    Y más tarde después de eones y eones
    (aunque muchos menos) se hizo consciente
    de asombro y de mito, de historia y ciencia,
    extrañas mixturas de amor y de miedo,
    curiosidad, invención y torcidos deseos
    hasta que ahora Tonantzin, la Gran Madre
    es herida por nosotros, sus hijos desviados.

    Despertando a lo que es
    ahora tendremos que defender a la Tierra
    de nosotros mismos
    con un amor feroz.

    - Rafael Jesús González
    Last edited by Barry; 02-15-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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  23. TopTop #4062
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Parkland



    Consider the red-boned manzanita

    for years its seeds patient

    buried beneath parent shade

    until acres of trees blazed

    bright on sway-backed hills

    then fell like dark snow—

    a blanket of blackened ash.



    But that heat released the sleeping seeds

    cracked open tight seed coats, awoke

    a generation to germination

    now stretching down sturdy roots

    now pushing up strong shoots

    green arms breaking through

    burnt and crusted soil—

    now a bright reminder

    of what youth can do


    - Lisa Shulman
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  25. TopTop #4063
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

    Is God our Father dear,

    And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

    Is man, His child

    and care.


    For Mercy has a human heart,

    Pity, a human face,

    And Love, the human form divine,

    And Peace, the human dress.


    - William Blake
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    Dre, M/M
  27. TopTop #4064
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Tale of Noah

    Imagine Noah at the end of the Ice Age.
    The glaciers are melting, seas rising.
    Atlantis has gone underwater.
    Civilizations are drowning, or learning to swim.
    Everything is changing, new maps drawn.
    His sons report warmer weather
    All over the known world.

    An ocean of water sits high above the valley.
    Its icy lip thinning as danger looms.
    He wants to save his animals from the flood.
    So, he builds a boat that will only float.
    His daughters report dying crops.
    Men all around call him mad.

    One day, the ice rim cracks, the frigid water
    Sitting poised, ready to fill the void.
    It is time. He leads his animals
    Into the massive zoo, meticulously tailored.
    His men report imminent disaster.
    The ice rim cracks again.

    At the foot of the valley is a stone wall, miles long,
    Solid, firm, two hundred yards high.
    It was made by men to keep strangers out.
    But today, it will also keep the water in.
    His animals report anxious dis-ease.
    And the flooding begins.


    The first torrent slams the heavy door shut.
    The huge vessel spins like a top.
    Men are thrown overboard into violent waves.
    The border wall holds, the village is destroyed.
    They all hear reports of snapping trees.
    As the vessel lifts and floats.

    For days they drift ever closer to the wall.
    The new lake breaches, creating waterfalls.
    Outside, all see the bobbing ship high above,
    Expecting it to fall, come crashing down.
    Soldiers report evacuations.
    All hangs tense and beautiful.

    Finally, a tunnel through the wall gives way.
    The drain begins, a new river rushes out.
    What was old washes away, destroyed.
    But the huge wall stands firm, strong.
    The shamans report sunny skies
    As everything changes.

    Weeks later, the water is only slightly down.
    The boat is grounded on the valley’s arm.
    All is intact, no one else has died.
    Noah finally opens the door as silence abounds.
    His wife reports that she is pregnant.
    And the sky is a new strange blue.

    - Jon Jackson
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  29. TopTop #4065
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Borderland

    As we zig zag the
    US and Canada border
    from Maine to Seattle
    and into Alaska

    We travel through Native lands
    families and friends separated
    long lines of cars and trucks
    on land and bridges
    close communities
    divided

    Passports to be shown
    sunglasses off
    those with a DUI
    cannot cross over
    even as passengers
    or ever again
    I heard it said

    Sometimes it’s a long trek
    other times not
    Reservations and Reserves
    two separate lands
    on one border
    or another

    Veteran Elders come
    to participate
    at Eagle Staff gatherings
    some well into their 90’s

    Regalia and bundles
    inside the car
    the border patrol
    depending who you get
    know better now
    to not go through them

    Officers with good training
    have learned to respect
    the ways and traditions
    different from theirs

    Indigenous men
    women and children
    come to participate
    in a pow wow
    a celebration
    a sacred circle
    on the other side

    First Nations go south
    Native Americans go north
    First Alaskans go east
    Northern First Nations go west

    To participate and celebrate
    to give thanks for each other
    the earth
    the land and waters
    animals and trees
    stories from another time

    Everything done in a circle
    intricately sewn regalia
    headdresses, jingle dresses
    made with feathers, beads
    and the hide of buffalo
    caribou, deer, and seal

    Songs and traditions
    from long ago
    to say we are one
    in a circle

    with no borders


    - Ziibinkokwe, Turtle Clan (Patricia LeBon Herb)
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  31. TopTop #4066
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Time to be the fine line of light

    between the blind and the sill, nothing
    really. There are so many things

    that destroy. To think solely of them
    is as foolish and expedient as not

    thinking of them at all. All I want
    is to be the river though I return

    again and again to the clouds.
    All I want is to stop beginning sentences

    with All I want. No—no really all
    I want is this morning: my daughter

    and my son saying “Da!” back and forth
    over breakfast, cracking each other up

    while eating peanut butter toast
    and raspberries, making a place for

    the two of them I will, eventually,
    no longer be allowed to enter. Time to be

    the fine line. Time to practice being
    the line. And then maybe the darkness.

    - Carrie Fountain
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  33. TopTop #4067
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Batter My Heart, Transgender’d God

    Batter my heart, transgender’d god, for yours
    is the only ear that hears: place fear in my heart
    where faith has grown my senses dull & reassures
    my blood that it will never spill. Show every part
    to every stranger’s anger, surprise them with my drawers
    full up of maps that lead to vacancies & chart
    the distance from my pride, my core. Terror, do not depart
    but nest in the hollows of my loins & keep me on all fours.
    My knees, bring me to them; force my head to bow again.
    Replay the murders of my kin until my mind’s made new;
    let Adam’s bite obstruct my breath ’til I respire men
    & press his rib against my throat until my lips turn blue.
    You, O duo, O twin, whose likeness is kind: unwind my confidence
    & noose it round your fist so I might know you in vivid impermanence.

    - Meg Day
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  35. TopTop #4068
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Untitled

    The Soul
    a seasoned wise man
    sits on solid ground
    without desire
    free of fire
    no hint of resistance.

    While the personality
    an insistent
    teenager on espresso
    bounces around
    furiously from anger
    to joy doubt
    to hubris fear
    to depression.
    It yearns to be noticed
    to be taken
    seriously
    to be loved
    all the while
    leaving a trail
    of dirty laundry.

    The Soul could care less.
    When the personality
    is ready the Soul will be
    waiting like a peaceful
    Buddha with an inviting smile.
    Without words it will say
    I’ve been expecting you.

    Whether in the early morning
    of life or the dead of night
    the Soul will be there
    receiving
    accepting.
    It owns no clocks.


    - Clara Rosemarda
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  37. TopTop #4069
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Caution: Can a half-ass Buddhist have nearly as many spiritual ancestors as a very wise roshi?

    I

    Unless you’re dead, my friend
    you’re wounded, ten thousand times mangled,
    blood seeping, pus oozing.

    Then again, if you’re already dead, you’re a ghost.
    Doesn’t even matter whether ghosts exist,
    now or never.

    My Zen teacher’s teacher died a few weeks ago. In the Zendo, on our alter beneath the photograph of Bernie Glassman,
    Roshi’s spiritual ancestor, a thread of yellow tape
    with the word caution printed across.

    What’s there to be cautious about?
    Perhaps a spiral descent,
    releasing iron-clad fixed identity,
    face time encounter with your own private stash
    of greed, anger and ignorance, mask upon mask
    peeled off your face, only the moment
    and an organizing principle left
    flapping like flesh
    in the wind.

    Do you equate death with absence of consciousness,
    life null and void?

    After leaving the Zen Center
    where Roshi Enkyo suggested
    I write a poem about depression; I head towards Think Coffee,
    Ethiopian Blend and a croissant,
    while workmen dig holes ten feet from the cafe door--
    yellow construction tape warning customers:
    CAUTION.

    Why?
    Danger ahead: unless you honor your ancestors,
    they’ll seek revenge and burn your ass crisp as toast.
    Still., they are only part of a flame that never subsides
    until you’re dead


    II

    This poem, like existence,
    Is full of detours
    and unanswered questions,
    a patchwork quilt multi-colored
    stitched with random impressions.

    111

    Our spiritual ancestors need not be Gods or holy men.
    Often they’re objects or character traits,
    gifts that seem like curses,
    handed down by neurotic parents.
    (in my case Anne and Nat)
    leaving me blindsided
    by cynicism, materialism, fear.

    Mom thought I would die if I severed a thumb,
    explored the world on my own or aroused another’s ire.

    While I wished nothing more
    than growing up free of failure.

    Dad sensed
    I never would be tough as nails,
    nor a flashy dresser like him,
    always remaining
    a dark weight
    hanging from his heart.


    I, on the other hand,
    wished nothing more
    than absence of anxiety.

    At 77
    embracing experience
    and language,
    images and aphorisms
    freeing me to define my universe
    while accepting the terrors of randomness,
    I know my fears can never be less that of my spiritual ancestors,
    than the greats and the ghosts: Henry Miller, Emily Dickinson, Willie Mays, Eugene V Debs, Basho and Richard Pryor.

    In the fifth Grade Alfred Murphy
    asked what part of my face I wanted punched
    hard as hard ever was
    and I began to cry.

    Now,
    (like the turn in a poem)
    I box for pleasure
    throwing hooks and uppercuts with abandon.

    Maybe this poem
    will continue
    until the day I die
    and only you,
    my friend, will be left to judge
    the fragments.

    - Barry Denny
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  38. TopTop #4070
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To My Ancestors

    To you, whom I did not know,
    To you, who took the steps
    to create your future
    to carve a new path as your world
    turned upside down.

    To you, who left your country,
    your soil,
    to brave the seas
    and take a chance on life—
    to start over
    to have hope
    to linger in thoughts and dreams and aspirations.

    To you, who created the footsteps
    to continue life
    to want more
    to nurture and bring forth a new generation.

    To you, who let me be born
    out of the desire of the human soul,

    I thank you.

    - Sherrie Lovler
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  40. TopTop #4071
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Green, Green is My Sister’s House

    Don’t you dare climb that tree
    or even try, they said, or you will be
    sent way to the hospital of the
    very foolish, if not the other one.
    And I suppose, considering my age,
    it was fair advice.

    But the tree is a sister to me, she
    lives alone in a green cottage
    high in the air and I know what
    would happen, she’d clap her green hands,
    she’d shake her green hair, she’d
    welcome me. Truly.

    I try to be good but sometimes
    a person just has to break out and
    act like the wild and springy thing
    one used to be. It’s impossible not
    to remember wild and not want to go back. So

    if someday you can’t find me you might
    look into that tree or—of course
    it’s possible—under it.

    - Mary Oliver
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  42. TopTop #4072
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In Defense Of Those Who Harbor Terrible Ideas At Tax Time



    It must have seemed like a good idea at the time.
    Like so many others. Sleeping with that guy.
    Not checking the address. Letting him put it in
    without a condom just the once. Who hasn’t done
    all that and worse, is what I was thinking,
    driving to H&R Block to get my taxes done
    and listening to the radio where everyone keeps talking about
    the young black gay actor who orchestrated
    a fake hate crime against himself.
    It must have seemed like such a good idea to him
    at the time, I think, clutching to my chest
    the scattered bits of our financial life—
    receipts and pay stubs, the record of all I’ve spent
    on poetry contests and that workshop
    on musical theater—enough
    to buy a hot tub, a cheap used one, anyway,
    on Craigslist—and that might
    or might not be a disaster, too, you never know.
    I’ve booked an appointment
    with the nicest CPA in the world—Dennis—
    who says to me, “You’re not a cookie-cutter person.
    Don’t be ashamed of your life.” Really, he should be a therapist
    instead of an accountant, but I hope he stays at this job forever,
    smoothing out my crumpled 1099s, recording
    the five hundred dollars I made coaching
    for Poetry Out Loud, the thousand
    from that one contest I did win, and then all the bills
    when our old home’s ancient plumbing gave up the ghost.
    It’s more than I can face head-on, this evidence
    of how we live and earn and spend and waste
    our lives, and I heard that the young man, an actor, staged the crime
    against himself because he felt he wasn’t being paid enough—
    though I bet he was paid more than a poet—
    well, who isn’t? And who, in the end, doesn’t feel
    attention must be paid? Although few would go
    to such lengths to get it. I’ve had my share
    of Bad Ideas, God knows, and all of them seemed Good to me
    at the time, and so have you, I bet, and so has everyone.
    It’s the human condition, after all, to be assailed by a million thoughts
    a day, most of them insane—I remember I once thought
    of becoming a dominatrix, for example—that didn’t last long,
    then I thought maybe I’d write a play
    about a woman who becomes a dominatrix
    in late middle age, to pay the bills—and well,
    you see where all this is heading.
    I have to forgive this young man his terrible
    idea, I have to because, in my own way, I’ve been him.
    And while we’re at it all those others
    whose freakazoid fancies must have seemed brilliant
    to them for a minute, the way all our eurekas do at three a.m.—
    gleaming like fool’s gold … haven’t we all
    chased them like magical butterflies
    through the meadowlands of imagination,
    only to end up empty-handed and chagrined,
    and far from home?

    - Allison Luterman
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  44. TopTop #4073
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Moment


    Oh, the coming-out-of-nowhere moment

    when, nothing

    happens

    no what-have-I-to-do-today-list


    maybe half a moment

    the rush of traffic stops.

    The whir of I should be, I should be, I should be

    slows to silence,

    the white cotton curtains hanging still.

    - Marie Howe
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  45. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  46. TopTop #4074
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How to Triumph Like a Girl

    I like the lady horses best,
    how they make it all look easy,
    like running 40 miles per hour
    is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
    I like their lady horse swagger,
    after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
    But mainly, let’s be honest, I like
    that they’re ladies. As if this big
    dangerous animal is also a part of me,
    that somewhere inside the delicate
    skin of my body, there pumps
    an 8-pound female horse heart,
    giant with power, heavy with blood.
    Don’t you want to believe it?
    Don’t you want to lift my shirt and see
    the huge beating genius machine
    that thinks, no, it knows,
    it’s going to come in first.

    - Ada Limón
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  47. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  48. TopTop #4075
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The More Loving One



    Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
    That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
    But on earth indifference is the least
    We have to dread from man or beast.


    How should we like it were stars to burn
    With a passion for us we could not return?
    If equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.


    Admirer as I think I am
    Of stars that do not give a damn,
    I cannot, now I see them, say
    I missed one terribly all day.


    Were all stars to disappear or die,
    I should learn to look at an empty sky
    And feel its total dark sublime,
    Though this might take me a little time.


    - W.H. Auden
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  49. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  50. TopTop #4076
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Renunciation

    There will always be voices that promise you greatness and glory:
    They call out from the worldly marketplace;
    They call out from the spiritual marketplace;
    They call out from the fill-your-holes-marketplace;
    They call out from the bigger-better-more marketplace.

    Do not buy their false promises, or purchase their ephemeral wares;
    What fulfills for a moment is not worth the price of your soul.
    There are heights that will lift you, but not when you try to ascend them;
    There are powers that will fill you, but not when you make them your own.
    There are treasures, and there are imitations of treasures.
    If you have lost your true gold, at least turn away from the glitter.

    Want only what is true.
    This will lead you to the well of your deepest sorrows.
    Follow that passageway, all the way down;
    Become the dark emptiness of your absent core.
    Be still. Don't measure the waiting.
    Be still. Let the waiting become a fire.
    Be still. Let the fire show you its secret heart:
    A strand of clear light running through you.
    Gather yourself there, and the luminous universe opens.
    In that vast expanse, fathomless, infinite ocean of light,
    Lose yourself, and find yourself, and become what you already are.

    - Jennifer Welwood
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  51. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  52. TopTop #4077
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Of Eons and Epics


    I.
    We wake with arrowheads—
    our hands clamped around dreams,
    dreams of hummocky bodies
    glacial names tattooed
    on each blue-rivered forearm.
    What does it mean to hunger
    for shards,
    a glossary to story us?


    I tell it this way:
    the sculpting,
    the whittle-form of earth—
    say kettle with a hard k.
    Something is always taken,
    something left behind;
    it becomes you—literally.
    You tombolo, you esker.
    We are all debris—
    our story a remnant
    of what moved across us.
    What bounteousness!
    We are glacial terrain,
    marked pathways—myth.


    What does it mean for my fingers, eyes, tongue?
    to brim with a telling,
    the silk-voiced dream
    of one body moving against another?


    II.
    Sometimes the story is simple:
    the etched back of Turtle that holds us—
    it asks only belief.
    Earthdivers one and all—sleek
    water bodies surfacing,
    emerge to sing on holy ground.


    But the way they tell it
    we are land animals,
    humanity a paradise of aloneness:
    a solved mystery, a locked garden
    a departure—
    that story the walking away.
    The way they tell it
    the flood always recedes
    from impossible watery origins.


    But who fixes the science of meaning?
    The truth is:
    awake and asleep we betray our small selves
    wander beyond borders—
    is water bird a metaphor?


    III.
    I tell it this way:
    The diving for survival
    (mahng, amik, nigig
    together with mink and Nanaboozho).
    Their feathered and furred bodies.
    Ours. Gathering tiny grains of copper—
    sand and sky’s minstrel breath;
    Noodin whirling from four directions,
    until this:
    small magic we call earth.


    But feel the fire and flexing beneath us—
    the rumble-voiced pulse of this planet,
    the vibration of our tectonic bodies?
    Remember, we too are still motion—
    burning wet and storied,
    mythic like Turtle Island.


    Imagine with me metamorphic becoming,
    each miraculous emergence:
    tetrapod limbs
    from gelatinous tadpole bodies,
    oceans and islands
    rising receding rising
    in their dance with volcanic force.
    Our lives, too, servant to the alchemy
    to the carving gusts of wind and water,
    time—and telling.


    IV.
    Sing me again the saga of sin
    and separation,
    of humans and hierarchies;
    I’ll sing you
    the ballad of glacial bodies
    of many creatures made of water and belief—
    the one about transformations
    about eons and epics—
    these sacred cycles and everyday survivals.


    The truth is:
    we amphibious, we minstrel-born
    wear the spiraling path of legends
    on each whorled fingertip.
    Like the trace of time on the clay of earth—
    the drumlin swarms, the conical hills;
    we too rise new each day from sleep
    to storied lives—to archetypes and anthems,
    to the spectacular castings of destiny.
    Recite with me each rhapsody history or rumor—
    our ancient epic inked now
    pigment on rock-face, carbon on parchment,
    memory on skin.


    - Kimberley Blaeser
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  54. TopTop #4078
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Becoming the Listening Fields

    In the end is the Word and the Word is story – our story, soft as the womb,
    silent as sun rays sipping sea mist, loud as sonic booms and atom bombs.

    Our story, sacred and profane, ever beginning, ever ending
    and the ending that is Now, that is our doing and our undoing,

    a post-biblical flood of torn multitudes seeking refuge on dispirited shores,
    history's catastrophes, seeded when Word left the breath to grow cold on the page.

    Yet even as Now explodes, smoke fumes consuming the air, our story grows:
    Plums ripening in the over-bright aftermath of alphabets' fall from grace

    Endgames defiling holy writ, end flames of creed and greed, energies blasted from
    primal bonds, forged into pawns of godless purpose -- weapons, poison, junk.

    Still our stories ripen. Spirit fruit. Courage beyond the lash on naked flesh, beyond
    the ropes of scar, the chains of disdain, the rabid feral tortures, the drone infernos.

    Stories pour from us now, wine pressed into the page, libations for the goddess
    gods within, for the children lean and staring through refugee fences, hungry

    or over-plump and mirthless, staring at flickering screens. Libations for all the lined
    faces, the colonized eyes, jailed and enslaved in thoughts so perverse they blind Self

    and devour Other, the ever-fertile over-flowing Other, weaving scented air with
    whisper leaves, with rippling feathers and fur, flashing horns and thorns, pulsing in

    in petals and pollen, in glimmer vein wings, the One and the All, breathing each to
    each, as it was in The Beginning, vibrations intertwining, forming harmony's web.

    We entered as echoes, melodies from the Milky Way, star chords ebbing and
    flowing, finding words in the listening fields, becoming the listening fields.

    - Cynthia Poten
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  55. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  56. TopTop #4079
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Frost on Fire

    A thing that melts can also burn: like a
    Thicket of ice in the pond, the cold net
    Of stars, even the hard white ax of the
    Heart. A man can freeze without getting wet

    Just as he can lose without being lost,
    But winter finds everyone, even though
    We spend our whole lives eluding it. Frost
    Reminds us of what is to come — the snow,

    The sky, the trees, the skin, the sleet, the sleep.
    How often have I woken in fear, blind
    In my unknowing? The woods are dark and deep,
    Even in the day; still the mind will find

    Its way into the light, into the bright
    Thaw of this life, where we, both flake and flame,
    Fire and fall through. Let sun daze, let night
    Show day how to blaze, let death drop its name.
    A thing that melts can also burn: like a
    Thicket of ice in the pond, the cold net
    Of stars, even the hard white ax of the
    Heart. A man can freeze without getting wet

    Just as he can lose without being lost,
    But winter finds everyone, even though
    We spend our whole lives eluding it. Frost
    Reminds us of what is to come — the snow,

    The sky, the trees, the skin, the sleet, the sleep.
    How often have I woken in fear, blind
    In my unknowing? The woods are dark and deep,
    Even in the day; still the mind will find

    Its way into the light, into the bright
    Thaw of this life, where we, both flake and flame,
    Fire and fall through. Let sun daze, let night
    Show day how to blaze, let death drop its name.

    - Dean Rader



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  57. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  58. TopTop #4080
    Ronaldo's Avatar
    Ronaldo
     

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I've added a little of my art work, hopefully enhancing the poem. I'll be sending it to friends in wintery climes.

    Name:  Frost-on-Fire.png
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