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  1. TopTop #1081
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Faces at Braga

    In monastery darkness
    by the light of one flashlight
    the old shrine room waits in silence

    While above the door
    we see the terrible figure,
    fierce eyes demanding, "Will you step through?"

    And the old monk leads us,
    bent back nudging blackness
    prayer beads in the hand that beckons.

    We light the butter lamps
    and bow, eyes blinking in the
    pungent smoke, look up without a word,

    see faces in meditation,
    a hundred faces carved above,
    eye lines wrinkled in the hand held light.

    Such love in solid wood!
    Taken from the hillsides and carved in silence
    they have the vibrant stillness of those who made them.

    Engulfed by the past
    they have been neglected, but through
    smoke and darkness they are like the flowers

    we have seen growing
    through the dust of eroded slopes,
    then slowly opening faces turned toward the mountain.

    Carved in devotion
    their eyes have softened through age
    and their mouths curve through delight of the carvers hand.

    If only our own faces
    would allow the invisible carver's hand
    to bring the deep grain of love to the surface.

    If only we knew
    as the carver knew, how the flaws
    in the wood led his searching chisel to the very core,

    we would smile, too
    and not need faces immobilized
    by fear and the weight of things undone.

    When we fight with our failing
    we ignore the entrance to the shrine itself
    and wrestle with the guardian, fierce figure on the side of good.

    And as we fight
    our eyes are hooded with grief
    and our mouths are dry with pain.

    If only we could give ourselves
    to the blows of the carvers hands,
    the lines in our faces would be the trace lines of rivers

    feeding the sea
    where voices meet, praising the features
    of the mountain and the cloud and the sky.

    Our faces would fall away
    until we, growing younger toward death
    every day, would gather all our flaws in celebration

    to merge with them perfectly,
    impossibly, wedded to our essence,
    full of silence from the carver's hands.

    - David Whyte

    (Where Many Rivers Meet)
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  3. TopTop #1082
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Given

    The trees presenting their offerings,
    the rumple of weeds like children
    hanging on the neck of the brook,
    the host that pours through the city
    are not merely here,
    not simply stumbled upon,
    I have given them to you.

    This day, its delights, its troubles,
    your whole life, your death,
    this moment,
    are not happenstance or imposed,
    they are what I wear.

    What you encounter in this world
    is not here of its own accord
    or for its own sake,
    it is how I give myself to you.

    - Steve Garnaas-Holmes
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  4. TopTop #1083
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Timbered Choir

    Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,
    for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
    of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted.
    Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.

    I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned
    at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories
    where the machines were made that would drive ever forward
    toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw
    the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley;
    I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city.
    I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered
    footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.

    Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments
    of those who had died in pursuit of the objective
    and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according
    to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget
    that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective
    as if nobody ever had pursued it before.

    The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective.
    the once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free
    to sell themselves to the highest bidder
    and to enter the best paying prisons
    in pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies,
    which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects,
    which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress,
    to the completed sale, to the signature
    on the contract, which was to clear the way
    to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go home
    would ever get there now, for every remembered place
    had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.

    Every place had been displaced, every love
    unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant
    to make way for the passage of the crowd
    of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless
    with their many eyes opened toward the objective
    which they did not yet perceive in the far distance,
    having never known where they were going,
    having never known where they came from.

    - Wendell Berry
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  6. TopTop #1084
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Morning Poem

    Every morning
    the world
    is created.
    Under the orange

    sticks of the sun
    the heaped
    ashes of the night
    turn into leaves again

    and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
    and the ponds appear
    like black cloth
    on which are painted islands

    of summer lilies.
    If it is your nature
    to be happy
    you will swim away along the soft trails

    for hours, your imagination
    alighting everywhere.
    And if your spirit
    carries within it

    the thorn
    that is heavier than lead ---
    if it's all you can do
    to keep on trudging ---

    there is still
    somewhere deep within you
    a beast shouting that the earth
    is exactly what it wanted ---

    each pond with its blazing lilies
    is a prayer heard and answered
    lavishly,
    every morning,

    whether or not
    you have ever dared to be happy,
    whether or not
    you have ever dared to pray.

    - Mary Oliver
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  7. TopTop #1085
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Monk's Robe

    The push
    The pull
    The black garment must be
    Just so.
    A fold
    A tie
    Pulled across his
    Strong back
    It drapes
    It flows
    But still can't hide
    The man
    With a shaved head
    And a clean heart
    Who knows --
    Karma is not the same
    As destiny
    And everything is
    One's self
    Who knows --
    The body and the mind
    Are one
    Single thing
    Yet if you love somebody
    And separate
    You will suffer.

    - Doug von Koss
    Abano Terme, Italy, November 1995
    After a lecture by Tokuda Ryotan
    Of the International Buddhist Institute of Latin America
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  8. TopTop #1086
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Learning from History

    They said, my saints, my slogan-sayers sang,
    Be good, my child, in spite of all alarm.

    They stood, my fathers, tall in a row and said,
    Be good, be brave, you shall not come to harm.

    I heard them in my sleep and muttering dream,
    And murmuring cried, How shall I wake to this?

    They said, my poets, singers of my song,
    We cannot tell, since all we tell you is

    But history, we speak but of the dead.
    And of the dead they said such history

    (Their beards were blazing with the truth of it)
    As made of much of me a mystery.

    - David Ferry
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  9. TopTop #1087
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Snowflakes

    Ecclesiastes says “for everything there is a season.”
    You say “It’s tax season;
    it’s baseball season; it’s allergy season;
    I’ve got to season the steak on the barbie;
    besides, I don’t have time to change the world.”

    Goethe tells us of the genius, power and magic in boldness.
    You say “What can I do, anyway?
    The foxes are guarding the henhouse;
    the juggernaught is out of control;
    we’re all just snowflakes in a windstorm.”

    The mountain asks “Which snowflake, falling,
    will be the one to send down the avalanche
    to change this entire landscape?”

    - Larry Robinson
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  11. TopTop #1088
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Cure

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Seamus Heaney's translation of
    "The Philoctetes," by Sophocles
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  13. TopTop #1089
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Thought Machine

    Its little eye stares “On” in its forehead
    by its maker’s name. They say it anticipates
    its memories and holds “Eureka!” tight
    in little wheels so sure that all steel
    hardens when incorporated in it.
    The only Please it knows is, Be Correct;
    but it can tolerate mistakes.

    You tell your troubles to it, how your letters
    all came back with no acknowledgment
    and all you wanted was assurance all was known.
    It tugs its collar; its little eye glows on.
    You tell about the woman at the corner
    ringing the bell to bring Jesus and his weather.
    That is long ago.

    You tell of the hill that never attracted the deer;
    you think it frightened them, a fear place,
    where you always had to go to listen—it was
    for your town and for the world; it was for…—
    and you are back there, listening again:
    the little eye goes kind; the forehead
    has the noble look that hill had.

    And the world whirls into vision; in Tibet
    a prayer wheel turns for you; an Eskimo
    by such a northern fire lives that you live so,
    touching only important things;
    you see that all machines belong;
    the deer are safe;
    a letter has reached home.

    - William Stafford
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  14. TopTop #1090
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Manifesto: Mad Farmer Liberation Front

    Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
    vacation with pay. Want more
    of everything ready made. Be afraid
    to know your neighbors and to die.
    And you will have a window in your head.
    Not even your future will be a mystery
    any more. Your mind will be punched in a
    card
    and shut away in a little drawer.
    When they want you to buy somethin
    they will call you. When they wnat you
    to die for profit they will let you know.
    So, friends, every day do something
    that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
    Love the world. Work for nothing.
    Take all that you have and be poor.
    Love someone who does not deserve it.
    Denounce the government and embrace
    the flag. Hope to live in that free
    republic for which it stands.
    Give your approval to all you cannot
    understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
    has not encountered he has not destroyed.
    Ask the questions that have no answers.
    Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
    Say that your main crop is the forest
    that you did not plant,
    that you will not live to harvest.
    Say that the leaves are harvested
    when they have rotted into the mold.
    Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
    Put your faith in the two inches of humus
    that will build under the trees
    every thousand years.
    Listen to carrion - put your ear
    close, and hear the faint chattering
    of the songs that are to come.
    Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
    Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
    though you have considered all the facts.
    So long as women do not go cheap
    for power, please women more than men.
    Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
    a woman satisfied to bear a child?
    Will this disturb the sleep
    of a woman near to giving birth?
    Go with your love to the fields.
    Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
    in her lap. Swear allegiance
    to what is nighest your thoughts.
    As soon as the generals and the politicos
    can predict the motions of your mind,
    lose it. Leave it as a sign
    to mark the false trail, the way
    you didn’t go. Be like the fox
    who makes more tracks than necessary,
    some in the wrong direction.
    Practice resurrection.

    - Wendell Berry
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  16. TopTop #1091
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Parowan Canyon

    When granite and sandstone begin to blur
    and flow, the eye rests on cool white aspen.
    Strange, their seeming transparency.
    How as in a sudden flash one remembers
    a forgotten name, so the recollection. Aspen.
    With a breeze in them, their quiet rhythms,
    shimmering, quaking. Powder on the palm.
    Cool on the cheek. Such delicacy
    the brittle wood, limbs snapping
    at a grasp, whole trees tumbling in the winds.
    Sweet scent on a swollen afternoon.
    Autumn, leaves falling one upon another, gold
    rains upon a golden earth. How at evening
    when the forest darkens, aspen do not.
    And a white moon rises and silver stars
    point toward the mountain, darkness
    holds them so pale.
    They stand still, very still.


    - David Lee
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  18. TopTop #1092
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    At a Certain Age

    We wanted to confess our sins but there were no takers.
    White clouds refused to accept them, and the wind
    Was too busy visiting sea after sea.
    We did not succeed in interesting the animals.
    Dogs, disappointed, expected an order,
    A cat, as always immoral, was falling asleep.
    A person seemingly very close
    Did not care to hear of things long past.
    Conversations with friends over vodka or coffee
    Ought not be prolonged beyond the first sign of boredom.
    It would be humiliating to pay by the hour
    A man with a diploma, just for listening.
    Churches. Perhaps churches. But to confess there what?
    That we used to see ourselves as handsome and noble
    Yet later in our place an ugly toad
    Half-opens its thick eyelid
    And one sees clearly: "That's me."

    - Czeslaw Milosz
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  19. TopTop #1093
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Please and Thank You

    Gracias, Chacho, short all your life,

    barrel-chested chieftan of the grill

    on Mendocino Boulevard. Not the one

    featuring soupbowl margaritas

    and singles karaoke on Friday nights,

    where a dog in a dingleball sombrero

    urges us inside, ˇandale, arriba!

    I mean the one up the block, across

    from the Vista Motel, with windows

    whitewashed against afternoon sun;

    the one I bike to, thirsty in August,

    from all the way across town, because

    I have two dollars and still no job.


    I will push open the door and walk

    my bike into the merciful cool,

    up to the counter where I lay

    my limp dinero down

    and ask your brotherfor the special,

    con pollo y frijoles negros.

    And if instead of a Coca-Cola

    I fill and refill a plastic cup

    with ice water while I wait,

    because every nickel counts,

    there is no problem with that.


    No problem, even though

    this sweaty, heat-pink gabacho

    will never be poor, and knows

    nothing of the last dollar;

    even though my independence,

    my desperation, is voluntary,

    like a second language

    I am ashamed to speak here.


    I will lay down whatever

    baggage I carry, and when

    the food arrives, I won't know

    why I am hungry, only that I am.

    At the table I will feast, in bliss,

    on a flour tortilla enormous with rice

    and chicken and black beans, food

    enough to live on. It doesn't matter

    what makes us hungry, Chacho,

    only that there is hunger, that there

    is food, and that for now

    I am a guest in your home

    and I will eat what you feed me.

    - Yosha Bourgea
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  20. TopTop #1094
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Shopping
    for my mother

    Now that you are gone
    I know what you have made me

    shrewd hands feeling tomatoes
    looking for flaws
    pinching them till they hurt
    (you never know what they try to sell you)
    you never know until you feel them)

    and your careful scanning eyes
    on the tilted
    gossipy
    horizon

    looking for the thing that is wrong
    in hems, coats, facial tics
    (you can't imagine what some of them do
    you never know what some of them are hiding)

    your world is bright and round
    it has oranges, melons, flowers
    and small repeatable scandals
    like the neighbor, Mrs. Grey, who
    beat her children on their bare behinds
    in plain sight
    and the drama teacher, Mrs. Rice, who
    ran over a child and kept saying,
    as they took her away,
    all I will ever see is that little blond head

    the voice that broke my ears
    the arms that never held me

    never mind that

    it's your hands,
    after all,
    and your small, inquisitive eyes,

    that take me shopping.

    - Thaisa Frank
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  21. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  22. TopTop #1095
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Better looking at a river



    I think what interests in a river is

    persistence in change,

    something always about to have been

    curving toward you.



    Also trout.



    I like the glimpse.

    Or watching their shadows slide

    sidling over gravel,

    flukes and fins responding

    but upstream head held motionless

    by trouty practice or craft.



    And it's nice to swallow river,

    trickle down a different curve.

    Also trout – cooked

    since it's never too early to begin

    where transformation is concerned



    though I've come to see that

    river watches keep no time

    and early seems not far from late.



    What interests in a river at first

    is that thing of sneaking up on beauty, how it hurts,

    then the one about time and death,

    then the long cool drink,

    then the trout.



    I walk richer from a river

    collecting lots of interest there.

    And better looking, too, I think,

    for it becomes me.

    - David Oates
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  24. TopTop #1096
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Where the World is One

    My smallest grandson does not understand yet what big means.
    Those chickens are big, and he is going so close.
    Oh the imagination is a dreadful thing.
    My neighbors’ grandson was pecked by a rooster.
    Flew at him for no reason

    That rooster was big! Tore open the back of the boy’s head,
    He went to the hospital for so many stitches.
    His father went for the shotgun and killed that rooster dead.

    This story looms now like a storm cloud.

    I have taken you to buy eggs with me,
    And we were invited to wander
    As long as we like, out toward the hen house.
    All that clucking rocks you like a lullaby.
    You run on your little legs that still wobble,
    You love the indescribable crowing of the roosters.
    All the chickens running free in the yard, all those
    Silky reds and shiny blacks, the streaks of gold
    Holding light, combs as crimson as blood.
    Some hens scratching their beaks on the ground,
    as if sharpening a razor on a strap of leather,
    back and forth they twist those beaks.
    You go too close, too close in your curiosity.

    They flap their wings and strut,
    While I try to look really big, arms out
    As if they were mountain lions. You are so happy

    And oblivious, living in that innocent space we soon
    pass out of. Where there is no mortal wound.
    It is a place like the Book of Revelation promises
    Where there are no more tears and sighing,
    And all fears are gone, burned away in a lake of fire

    That burns away all but that connection we are still searching for.
    I hear you laughing with delight. You are in the garden

    I have left, and angels, we are told, protect
    that garden with a flaming sword.
    I can look back through you, but cannot go back,
    and there is this terrible grief
    that you will have to leave.
    and join us here East of Eden.

    - Judith Stone
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  25. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  26. TopTop #1097
    Sara S's Avatar
    Sara S
    Auntie Wacco

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Well, this reminded me of the family story (I was too young to remember) about when one of my parents' roosters pecked me in the butt; my dad didn't take the time to get a gun--he just ran out and wrung the rooster's neck. Don't imagine that he got very poetic about it, either.

    Sara








    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Where the World is One

    My smallest grandson does not understand yet what big means.
    Those chickens are big, and he is going so close.
    Oh the imagination is a dreadful thing.
    My neighbors’ grandson was pecked by a rooster.
    Flew at him for no reason

    That rooster was big! Tore open the back of the boy’s head,
    He went to the hospital for so many stitches.
    His father went for the shotgun and killed that rooster dead.

    This story looms now like a storm cloud.

    I have taken you to buy eggs with me,
    And we were invited to wander
    As long as we like, out toward the hen house.
    All that clucking rocks you like a lullaby.
    You run on your little legs that still wobble,
    You love the indescribable crowing of the roosters.
    All the chickens running free in the yard, all those
    Silky reds and shiny blacks, the streaks of gold
    Holding light, combs as crimson as blood.
    Some hens scratching their beaks on the ground,
    as if sharpening a razor on a strap of leather,
    back and forth they twist those beaks.
    You go too close, too close in your curiosity.

    They flap their wings and strut,
    While I try to look really big, arms out
    As if they were mountain lions. You are so happy

    And oblivious, living in that innocent space we soon
    pass out of. Where there is no mortal wound.
    It is a place like the Book of Revelation promises
    Where there are no more tears and sighing,
    And all fears are gone, burned away in a lake of fire

    That burns away all but that connection we are still searching for.
    I hear you laughing with delight. You are in the garden

    I have left, and angels, we are told, protect
    that garden with a flaming sword.
    I can look back through you, but cannot go back,
    and there is this terrible grief
    that you will have to leave.
    and join us here East of Eden.

    - Judith Stone
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  27. TopTop #1098
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    October

    O hushed*October*morning mild,
    Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
    Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
    Should waste them all.
    The crows above the forest call;
    Tomorrow they may form and go.
    O hushed*October*morning mild,
    Begin the hours of this day slow.
    Make the day seem to us less brief.
    Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
    Beguile us in the way you know.
    Release one leaf at break of day.
    At*noon*release another leaf;
    One from our trees, one far away.
    Retard the sun with gentle mist;
    Enchant the land with amethyst.
    Slow, slow!
    For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
    Whose leaves already are burnt with*frost,
    Whose clustered fruit must else be lost -
    For the grape' sake along the wall.*

    - Robert*Frost
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  28. TopTop #1099
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    October Arriving

    I only have a measly ant
    To think with today.
    Others have pictures of saints,
    Others have clouds in the sky.

    The winter might be at the door,
    For he’s all alone
    And in a hurry to hide.
    Nevertheless, unable to decide

    He retraces his steps
    Several times and finds himself
    On a huge blank wall
    That has no window.

    Dark masses of trees
    Cast their mazes before him,
    Only to erase them next
    With a sly, sea-surging sound.

    -*Charles Simic
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  29. TopTop #1100
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In Praise of Earth

    We kept on dancing last summer though the dancing had been called subversive.
    We weren't alone at the end of this particular world and knew
    it wouldn't be the last world, though wars
    had broken out on all sides.
    We kept on dancing and with us were the insects who had gathered at the grounds
    in the grasses and the trees. And with us were the stars and
    a few lone planets who had been friends
    with the earth for generations.
    With us were the spirits who wished to honor this beloved earth in any beautiful
    manner. And with us at dawn was the Sun who took the lead
    and then we broke for camp, for stickball
    and breakfast.
    We all needed praise made of the heart's tattoo as it inspired our feet or wings,
    someone to admire us despite our tendency to war, to terrible
    stumbles. So does the red cliff who is the heart
    broken to the sky.
    So do the stones who were the first to speak when we arrived. So does the flaming
    mountain who harbors the guardian spirits who refuse to abandon
    us. And this Earth keeps faithfully to her journey, carrying us
    around the Sun,
    All of us in our rags and riches, our rages and promises, small talk and suffering.
    As we go to the store to buy our food and forget to plant, sing so
    that we will be nourished in turn. As we walk out
    into the dawn,
    With our lists of desires that her gifts will fulfill, as she turns our tears
    into rivers of sweet water, we spiral between dusking and
    dawn, wake up and sleep in this lush palace of creation,
    rooted by blood, dreams, and history.
    We are linked by leaf, fin, and root. When we climb through the sky to each
    new day our thoughts are clouds shifting weather within us.
    When we step out of our minds into ceremonial language we are humbled and amazed,
    at the sacrifice. Those who forget become the people of stone who guard
    the entrance to remembering. And the Earth keeps up her
    dancing and she is neither perfect nor exactly in time.
    She is one of us.
    And she loves the dance for what it is. So does the Sun who calls the Earth
    beloved. And praises her with light.

    - Joy Harjo
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  30. Gratitude expressed by:

  31. TopTop #1101
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    All Hallow’s Eve, 2001

    Above the deep-piled carpet of maple leaves
    the madrones are slipping free
    of summer’s brown paper wrapping,
    eager to show off their new winter coats.

    The afternoon rain still drips
    from the canopy of oak, fir and pine.
    Across the creek a turkey chuckles
    as a woodpecker beats a drum.

    The light is passing swiftly now,
    passing from the face of this land.
    Shadows are lengthening everywhere,
    reaching out across our lives.

    Should we not, then, dare to love boldly,
    more boldly than ever before -
    as if the fate of the Earth itself
    depended upon our loving?

    And still the stars will surely rise,
    revealing the Soul’s deep secret:
    that the eye can see farther in the dark of night
    than ever it could by day.

    - Larry Robinson
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  32. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  33. TopTop #1102
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Samhain
    (The Celtic Halloween)

    In the season leaves should love,
    since it gives them leave to move
    through the wind, towards the ground
    they were watching while they hung,
    legend says there is a seam
    stitching darkness like a name.

    Now when dying grasses veil
    earth from the sky in one last pale
    wave, as autumn dies to bring
    winter back, and then the spring,
    we who die ourselves can peel
    back another kind of veil

    that hangs among us like thick smoke.
    Tonight at last I feel it shake.
    I feel the nights stretching away
    thousands long behind the days
    till they reach the darkness where
    all of me is ancestor.

    I move my hand and feel a touch
    move with me, and when I brush
    my own mind across another,
    I am with my mother's mother.
    Sure as footsteps in my waiting
    self, I find her, and she brings

    arms that carry answers for me,
    intimate, a waiting bounty.
    "Carry me." She leaves this trail
    through a shudder of the veil,
    and leaves, like amber where she stays,
    a gift for her perpetual gaze.

    - Annie Finch
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  34. Gratitude expressed by:

  35. TopTop #1103
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    All Souls
    A few of us—Hillary Clinton, Vlad Dracula,
    Oprah Winfrey, and Trotsky—peer through
    the kitchen window at a raccoon perched
    outside on a picnic table where it picks

    over chips, veggies, olives, and a chunk of pâte.
    Behind us others crowd the hallway, many more
    dance in the living room. Trotsky fusses with the bloody
    screwdriver puttied to her forehead.

    Hillary Clinton, whose voice is the rumble
    of a bowling ball, whose hands are hairy
    to the third knuckle, lifts his rubber chin to announce,
    “What a perfect mask it has!” While the Count

    whistling through his plastic fangs says, “Oh,
    and a nose like a chef.” Then one by one
    the other masks join in: “Tail of a gambler,”
    “a swashbuckler’s hips,” “feet of a cat burglar.”

    Trotsky scratches herself beneath her skirt
    and Hillary, whose lederhosen are so tight they form a codpiece,
    wraps his legs around Trotsky’s leg and humps like a dog.
    Dracula and Oprah, the married hosts, hold hands

    and then let go. Meanwhile the raccoon squats on
    the gherkins, extracts pimentos from olives, and sniffs
    abandoned cups of beer. A ghoul in the living room
    turns the music up and the house becomes a drum.

    The windows buzz. “Who do you love? Who do you love?”
    the singer sings. Our feathered arms, our stockinged legs.
    The intricate paws, the filleting tongue.
    We love what we are; we love what we’ve become.

    - Michael Collier
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  36. TopTop #1104
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Haunted Houses

    All houses wherein men have lived and died
    Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
    The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
    With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

    We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
    Along the passages they come and go,
    Impalpable impressions on the air,
    A sense of something moving to and fro.

    There are more guests at table than the hosts
    Invited; the illuminated hall
    Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
    As silent as the pictures on the wall.

    The stranger at my fireside cannot see
    The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
    He but perceives what is; while unto me
    All that has been is visible and clear.

    We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
    Owners and occupants of earlier dates
    From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
    And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

    The spirit-world around this world of sense
    Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
    Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
    A vital breath of more ethereal air.

    Our little lives are kept in equipoise
    By opposite attractions and desires;
    The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
    And the more noble instinct that aspires.

    These perturbations, this perpetual jar
    Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
    Come from the influence of an unseen star
    An undiscovered planet in our sky.

    And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
    Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light,
    Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
    Into the realm of mystery and night,—

    So from the world of spirits there descends
    A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
    O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
    Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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  37. TopTop #1105
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Hope

    Hope is with you when you believe
    The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
    That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
    That all things you have ever seen here
    Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

    You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there.
    Could we but look more clearly and wisely
    We might discover somewhere in the garden
    A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

    Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
    That there is nothing, just a seeming,
    These are the ones who have no hope.
    They think that the moment we turn away,
    The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
    As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.

    - Czeslaw Milosz
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  38. Gratitude expressed by:

  39. TopTop #1106
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Occupy

    Let all the heroes come
    Let all the spirits and ancestors join us now

    When the veil is thin

    Let William Blake and Oscar Wilde

    lead an army

    of starving Irish peasants

    to take back their land

    from the English Lords who stole it.

    All the great writers join minds

    Tolstoy, Marx, Jung, and Camus

    Come marching through my sleeping neighborhood

    Jonathan Swift come with Seamus Heaney

    Join Richard Wright at the White House

    And take off our President’s mask

    Abe Lincoln sit Bill O’Reilly on your knee

    Tell him to spend his time reading

    The Complete Works of Frederick Douglas

    Who also might have a few words for

    Barack Obama whose own ancestors

    are out of their minds in rage

    over his collusion with Wall Street

    Let Aragorn awaken the Dead

    Let the Ents and Trees march on the Banks,

    The Pentagon, the Trump Towers,

    Rupert Murdoch’s empire, the Wells Fargo building

    Housing Sheriff Joe Arpolo.

    Tear the foundations of greed down to the earth.

    Let Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Che Guevara

    Take Mr. Arpolo into the desert

    Leave him naked and waterless

    With Leslie Silko’s Almanac of the Dead

    To show him how perverse he is.

    Awaken Ronald Reagan for breakfast with

    Brian Wilson and the ghosts your Contras

    And Death Squads murdered in Latin America.

    All are invited, Adoph, Joseph, Mao,

    All the Kings, Queens of old Europe

    George Washington, Thomas Jefferson,

    Benjamin Franklin—Come Occupy

    Break bread with Abraham, Martin, John,

    And Bobby along with the hundreds of millions

    Murdered, lynched, tortured people of color

    In this land of the free and home of the brave.

    Give the spirit of Osama a snare drum and permanent

    Spot in the eardrum of George Bush

    Come you Holocaust spirits to Israel

    Bring sweets for Rachel Cory and the

    Tortured Palestinians she fought for.

    Come Pythagoras, Athena, Hermes, and Homer

    Come initiates of the mystery schools

    Lead the children out from our dead schools

    Occupy the schools of America

    Come Druids, Arthur, Merlin

    Take the boys and young men

    Into the forests, teach them to hunt

    And protect the trees, the water, the land

    Come Artemis, Joan of Arc, Rachel Carson

    Lead the girls to the forest too

    Occupy their hearts, souls, minds

    Give them back their bodies for themselves

    Gandhi, Buddha, Genghis Khan, Hannibal

    Rumi, Mohammed, Hafiz, Patton

    Occupy the gangs of lost young men

    Hold the space for their pain and rage to erupt.

    It’s all comin down, the veil is thin

    Come William Butler Yeats

    Now is the time when the center can no longer hold

    Come all you spirits and ancestors

    Pour through the cracks

    Of this very fucked up world.

    Occupy, occupy, occupy.

    - Brian McSweeney
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  40. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  41. TopTop #1107
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Florence in September


    In my younger days I walked
    the streets of Florence as if I belonged
    here. I was familiar at the Uffizi,
    had a place at the bar at the foot of
    Ponte Vecchio. Younger men on
    scooters would wave to me, women
    would go out of their way to give me
    a smile, knowing I was soaking in their
    beauty, loving that someone was.

    Returning to my old haunts
    I came upon a completely different
    world. Young, dark haired boys
    in sunglasses, standing
    on street corners begging for
    attention. Older, sad looking men
    hanging at Santa Croce in hopes
    of being noticed one last time.

    The tourists still flock to see this
    treasure trove as they have
    for centuries -- David in his splendor,
    the works of Michelangelo. The
    boys of the Pitti Palace will
    fade as summer heat in October.

    - Stefan Merken
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  42. TopTop #1108
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    missed connection


    I'm with a friend.
    and excuse myself
    “I'll only be a moment”
    step outside—
    cellphone call—
    from the plumber
    or another friend
    my back is turned
    solely for an instant
    or maybe two

    as Life glides by



    the sparrow and
    the tree shiver
    the dog's high-pitched
    yelp sails over
    “what! I can't hear you!”
    the redwood fence
    and roof eaves shudder
    the very foundations
    gasp at
    Her magnificence.

    - Raphael Block


    A KISS OF FALL & MORE

    Join us for a joyous evening with Bhavani's and Ananda's music set to the sounds of Raphael's words. Judith Tucker Bhavani plays guitar, keyboard, percussion and harmonium, and Michael Ananda Coffman effortlessly dazzles on a variety of transverse and Native flutes.

    Raphael Block is the author of Songs from a Small Universe, and is seeking publication for his second poetry book, Spangling Darkness. You can listen to his work at www.raphaelblock.com

    Many Rivers Books & Tea, 130 South Main, Sebastopol
    Friday, November 11th at 7:30 pm


    For more info go to www.manyriversbooks.com or tel: (707) 829-8871.
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  43. TopTop #1109
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Farmer

    Each day I go into the fields
    to see what is growing
    and what remains to be done.
    It is always the same thing: nothing
    is growing, everything needs to be done.
    Plow, harrow, disc, water, pray
    till my bones ache and hands rub
    blood-raw with honest labor—
    all that grows is the slow
    intransigent intensity of need.
    I have sown my seed on soil
    guaranteed by poverty to fail.
    But I don’t complain—except
    to passersby who ask me why
    I work such barren earth.
    They would not understand me
    if I stooped to lift a rock
    and hold it like a child, or laughed,
    or told them it is their poverty
    I labor to relieve. For them,
    I complain. A farmer of dreams
    knows how to pretend. A farmer of dreams
    knows what it means to be patient.
    Each day I go into the fields.

    - W. D. Ehrhart
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  45. TopTop #1110
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    We Who Prayed and Wept

    We who prayed and wept
    for liberty from kings
    and the yoke of liberty
    accept the tyranny of things
    we do not need.
    In plenitude too free,
    we have become adept
    beneath the yoke of greed.

    Those who will not learn
    in plenty to keep their place
    must learn it by their need
    when they have had their way
    and the fields spurn their seed.
    We have failed Thy grace.
    Lord, I flinch and pray,
    send Thy necessity.

    - Wendell Berry
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