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  1. TopTop #1381
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Vegetables Are So Sneaky


    They grow huge before our eyes
    but we can't see the growing.
    We keep inventing them daily,
    don’t we, these elaborate edible sculptures?


    Presenting themselves to us new,
    each morning our imaginings
    are more potent than we realize.
    How little we comprehend!


    Ah, vitamins
    (and by extension calories)
    aren't real!
    They are constructs.
    (Even if you can dine on them.)

    There is just so much invention.
    It is all around.
    The mystery is everywhere.


    - Judith Stone
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  3. TopTop #1382
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Time to (B)e Very Purpose(ful)
    or Why I Will Actively Support President Obama’s Re-election
    This has been a season
    for the well-dressed to sit in plush red seats, and cheer
    the deaths of the sentenced and uninsured […]

    For the rich to proclaim themselves virtuous by virtue of their riches.
    For the powerful to speak the brave new truth that money is speech […]

    There was a time to be born – poor, in the 20s, in the South –
    without a birth certificate. This year this may mean you may not vote […]

    There is a time for laying words out carefully like a Scrabble player
    And a time for releasing one’s voice as from a shook bottle […]

    I do not think there is time to dilute our meaning with blood […]

    Freedom has still allowed a band on 7th Street
    to play “the Saints Go Marching In.”
    (A fellow in a fedora borrowed my umbrella to dance along.)
    There’s time, it seems, to dance on the courthouse steps
    in front of the keystone arch, and three stonewall cops […]

    But do you sense a Gulf spill of money erupting?
    Do you not feel a shiver in your soft true belly
    that a swift fleet of boats is coming to attack [..?]


    – Phyllis Meshulam
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  5. TopTop #1383
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Way of Attention


    Buddha says that 3 actions determine life
    First - Breath
    The wise woman conserves her breath
    Follows it as the shadow follows the body
    She is reserved
    Speaks when necessary
    Her speaking follows four imperatives
    kind - truthful - helpful - necessary
    Otherwise, she keeps her own counsel
    This is mastery of thought

    Two - Impressions
    The wise woman observes impressions without judgment or clinging impersonally
    The way the sun shines on all living things without favor
    She guards the impressions she leaves with others
    Showing only those feathers suitable to the occasion
    She shows all her feathers to birds of her own kind
    Everything in its season
    This is mastery of mood

    Three- Sensations
    The wise woman observes her body
    Studies its functions
    And tames them as a hunter tames a good dog to follow her lead
    Taming the senses she is freed of excess
    Practices moderation in all things
    No need to indulge in drifting thoughts, mood or the shifting desires of the body
    This is mastery of the form

    Buddha says that the total sensation of the 3 actions defines death
    The wise woman who has mastered tongue, mood and form
    Is said to have mastered attention
    Over which death has no dominion
    She alone is free


    - Red Hawk
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  7. TopTop #1384
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    What Work Is


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


    - Phillip Levine
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  9. TopTop #1385
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Fawns of Spring

    Spotted fawns
    of spring
    have lost
    their charm.

    Turned away
    by testy does,
    they are left
    to wander about
    nuzzling
    the dry stubble
    of harvest
    for a taste
    of scarcity.

    - Patrice Warrender
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  11. TopTop #1386
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Halleluiah


    Everyone should be born into this world happy
    and loving everything.
    But in truth it rarely works that way.
    For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
    Halleluiah, anyway I'm not where I started!


    And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
    almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
    and how miraculously kind some people can be?
    And have you too decided that probably nothing important
    is ever easy?
    Not, say, for the first sixty years.


    Halleluiah, I'm sixty now, and even a little more,
    and some days I feel I have wings.


    - Mary Oliver
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  13. TopTop #1387
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Dear poetry lovers,
    I will be traveling in Bhutan for the next few weeks and unable to send out the daily poems again until October 9. I do apologize for any disappointment this may cause. Many blessings to you all.
    Larry




    Say I Am You


    I am dust particles in sunlight,
    I am the round sun.


    To the bits of dust I say, Stay.
    To the sun, Keep moving.


    I am morning mist,
    and the breathing of evening.


    I am wind in the top of the grove,
    and surf on the cliff.


    Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel,
    I am also the coral reef they founder on.


    I am a tree with a trained parrot in it's branches.
    Silence, thought, and voice.


    The musical air coming through a flute,
    a spark of a stone, a flickering


    in metal. Both candle,
    and the moth crazy around it.


    Rose, and the nightingale
    lost in the fragrance.


    I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy,
    the evolutionary intelligence, the lift,


    and the falling away. What is,
    and what isn't. You who know


    Jelaluddin, You the one
    in all, say who


    I am. Say I
    am YOU.


    - Jelalludin Rumi
    (Translated by Coleman Barks)
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  15. TopTop #1388
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Stone


    Go inside a stone
    That would be my way.
    Let somebody else become a dove
    Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
    I am happy to be a stone.
    From the outside the stone is a riddle:
    No one knows how to answer it.
    Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
    Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
    Even though a child throws it in a river;
    the stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
    To the river bottom
    Where the fishes come to knock on it
    And listen.
    I have seen sparks fly out
    When two stones are rubbed,
    So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
    Perhaps there is a moon shining
    From somewhere, as though behind a hill–
    Just enough light to make out
    The strange writings, the star-charts
    On the inner walls.


    - Charles Simic
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  17. TopTop #1389
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Something Taken Away
    (for George)

    Age diminishes us piece by piece
    even as it builds something within, gives
    with one hand, shortens our lease
    on the body with the other as long as it lives.

    To get at George's lung, the oncologist took a rib today.
    What the hell, we've got 24, 12 pairs
    so i guess it's no big deal you could say.
    24-23 more or less, who cares,

    but each mortal piece, no matter how small
    reminds us that the body is on short-term loan.
    We can remember then that this body is not all
    there is of us; something much finer can be known

    not directly, but as wind is known by the flutter in the trees,
    or as unseen love brings a strong man to his knees.

    - Red Hawk
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  19. TopTop #1390
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I Know Three Things
    I know three things:
    That which is will be.
    That which will be was.
    That which was is.

    I dreamed I was awake.
    The hair on my head grew grey
    And the flesh sagged on my bones.
    I turned on my side
    Tucking into myself like a mother
    Curls around her baby
    And found another dream.

    Yesterday my beehive erupted.
    The old queen left with the restless ones,
    Those who yearned for
    A land just beyond the imagination.
    Those who stayed will make a new queen
    From the sweet nectar of their bodies.

    Sometimes the Ancestors visit me.
    They’re always happy to come.
    We talk about old things
    To see if they matter anymore.

    - Nancy Binzen
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  21. TopTop #1391
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Wondrous

    I’m driving home from school when the radio talk
    turns to E.B. White, his birthday, and I exit
    the here and now of the freeway at rush hour,
    travel back into the past, where my mother is reading
    to my sister and me the part about Charlotte laying her eggs
    and dying, and though this is the fifth time Charlotte
    has died, my mother is crying again, and we’re laughing
    at her because we know nothing of loss and its sad math,
    how every subtraction is exponential, how each grief
    multiplies the one preceding it, how the author tried
    seventeen times to record the words She died alone
    without crying, seventeen takes and a short walk during
    which he called himself ridiculous, a grown man crying
    for a spider he’d spun out of the silk thread of invention —
    wondrous how those words would come back and make
    him cry, and, yes, wondrous to hear my mother’s voice
    ten years after the day she died — the catch, the rasp,
    the gathering up before she could say to us, I’m ok.


    - Sarah Freligh
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  23. TopTop #1392
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Weaving Fire
    (For Max and Michaela, September 22, 2012)


    How do you weave together
    two strands of fire?
    One, a blazing flame ofartistry and emotion,
    the other a bright flash of beauty and determination.
    Equal forces, met.
    Equal passion evoked.

    This is how you go –

    Very slowly and carefully,
    one interlacing at a time.
    A small compromise,
    A gesture of love,
    A cultivation of patience,
    A deft and tender touch.

    Two fires joined must be contained
    or damage can occur.
    But tended diligently,
    each flame distinct,
    yet burning entwined,
    a brilliant radiance results.

    So, let us all hold out our hands
    to bless these two,
    to offer a bit of water when needed,
    a safe patch of earth on which to take refuge,
    a gentle fan to foster a flickering flame.

    The Navajos say -
    “In beauty it’s begun.”
    Rumi says -
    “Let the beauty you love be what you do.”
    The elders say –
    “When fire burns down to glowing embers,
    its beauty changes and deepens.”
    Do not be afraid to go there.
    Beauty is at the heart
    of this union.
    This weaving of light,
    crafted carefully over time,
    will dazzle the world.

    - Maya Spector
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  25. TopTop #1393
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    BLESSING BHUTAN: a mandala in seven movements



    SPINNING


    Pelela pass
    wooden spindle whirling
    sheep wool yak wool
    bus wheels rolling rolling
    round the chorten
    wrap around bowstring
    plaid gho
    feet stomping dancers
    black hats Tshechu twirling
    prayer wheels turning round and round
    humble hands round and round spinning wheels
    water falling

    FALLING
    water pouring down cliffs canyons
    powerful hydro
    pungent splats of betel juice
    feudal reign falls
    reborn baby strapped on mother’s back
    sliding sidewise his eyes crusty cracks

    CRACKING
    sidewalks roads
    sides of the roads
    overhangs cracking
    stacks of straw burning running
    skull cracking brains open raptor food
    psyche cracking
    deities demons delusions spill inside outside
    Bhutan cracking open rocks crashing stories erupting
    ancient lore stretching over reality canvas
    spinning and falling portals flapping

    FLAPPING
    prayer flags astrological hues 108 blending
    bright then fading
    fluttering from hills bridges gossamer
    spirits wafting among
    daphne pulp porous through screens
    fingers stack paper on
    shutters snapping capture
    orange chartreuse rice fields waving
    buckwheat amaranth chilis
    eagles magpie wings flapping high
    blue dot butterfly fluttering low low

    BLOWING
    bronze horns rumble deep
    out of earth little children sing anthems
    tourists blow a mound of marijuana buds
    suck hard small flame
    black plastic smoking sky over
    fractal forests
    help and thank you
    monks chant on and on
    hungry ghosts opening throats
    each breath a prayer

    TAPPING
    woodpecker staccato against blue pine
    baby monk blesses with wooden phallus
    light raps on head
    Silther taps on window
    hiking poles pony hooves clop to Tiger’s Nest
    thanka painter dips brush into orange
    onto the god of epilepsy
    huge canvas explodes in color
    finger holds steads
    precision
    steady

    STILLNESS
    target embraces its arrow
    dragon tongue
    bus stops
    white bellied heron lands
    dogs silent
    just this moment
    vast meditation
    dead center of the wheel
    spokes whirling out in five dimensions
    most mysterious

    - Sharon Bard
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  27. TopTop #1394
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    SEVEN BRIEF NOTES ON HARMONY


    1.
    A bit out of sorts
    while driving yesterday,

    I began to harmonize aloud
    with the solo voice on the CD.
    Happy surprise: I suddenly
    felt whole!


    Can it be so simple to find
    one's true place in the Great Chord?


    2.
    The laughter of children,
    the song of a lark,
    the roar of a freight train
    bringing us what we need,
    all part of the Great Symphony,


    but so too are newspaper notices of suicides,
    the whiz of bullets, the thunder and bite of bombs
    and the cry of a rape victim.


    We are counterpoint
    to people across the globe
    who are going to sleep as we wake.


    We play a staccato chord
    with every being
    we pass on the street.


    3.
    Once in awhile, the Invisible
    puts a hand on my shoulder
    and reminds me—“You are Music!”


    Then she shows me
    how to become
    a run of notes
    as happy as a trout
    swimming downstream.


    4.
    When I pull my harmonica
    out of my pocket
    and play an old standard,
    “I Only Have Eyes for You” or
    “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face”,


    I feel the notes going out and up,
    joining an immortal
    melody in the sky.


    Having been
    a vehicle for this,
    I feel more real.


    5.
    I know I’m surrounded by Mysteries:
    the music of the spheres is
    Cosmic Law set dancing,
    You, Universal Mother,
    and Your circles within circles of Light,
    interpenetrating down here on Earth.
    It is You who compassionately
    taps my shoulder
    as a reminder.


    6.
    Once, arriving early at a gathering,
    I felt anxious waiting
    for the event to start.


    Hearing someone ask for a volunteer
    to operate an ancient lift
    that ferried people up from the lobby,
    I jumped at the mindless job.


    and the rest of the evening
    enjoyed a role as Greeter,
    solid part in the Song.


    7.
    All that any of us seek:
    to find our true
    and solid part in the Song.


    - Max Reif
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  29. TopTop #1395
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Seven Parts of Love

    1.

    A man leaves for work,
    gets stuck in traffic and ruminates
    on a grudge closing his heart like a trap.

    Love is how he laughs it off.

    2.

    A dog loses his family
    and walks 30 miles to find it.

    Love is his thirst at mile 20,
    a hidden stream near the woods
    and the water as he drinks;

    stamina and the thing opposing it.

    3.

    A bird sits on a wire,
    its impulse to migrate
    wooing its impulse not to.

    Love is when the bird decides;

    journey, destination
    and the strength to make the trip.

    4.

    A child breaks a leg,
    fear turning her mouth dry,
    pain invading her like poison.


    Love is a nurse’s hand on her
    shoulder;

    an x-ray and the lightbox behind it.



    5.

    At three a.m. a man wrestles with
    his conscience.

    Love is the contest, and the clamminess
    of his sheets.

    At four he dreams himself down a
    bending street to a yellow house,
    through a half-open door and into a room.

    His father sits upright in a chair and
    his mother bends near.

    Love is his willingness to be a boy again,
    crying, angry at the world

    hot food on the table after
    and a fire in the fireplace.

    6.

    A prison rises from a valley floor,
    lights making razor wire shine like fake silver.

    In a cell a young man burns with remorse
    while a thousand miles away a
    victim flails in the net of anger.

    Love is the prisoner awake at night
    craving to fray that net.

    7.

    Love is lilac and the one who
    smells it;

    hunger and the ability to wait;

    desire and the will to chose it.

    - David Beckman
    (from “Language Factory of the Mind,” Finishing Line Press, 2011)
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  31. TopTop #1396
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Hanging Bhutanese Prayer Flags at Yotongla Pass 3300 meters


    The clouds are dropping
    down below the mountains.
    We are still above, but descending
    with them from the higher pass.
    The wind has carried these clouds
    to make a way for us with prayers
    blown from its lapping mouth.
    Clouds spilling like a waterfall
    moving from the higher places
    back to this place, where a Bengal tiger
    has killed a cow herder in search
    of his bull. We live at the pleasure
    of such wild forces, even as we clothe
    these mountains and the mountains beyond
    and even down to the seas with prayer.


    - Judith Stone
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  33. TopTop #1397
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Forty Egrets


    This morning
    cloudy and gray
    as I drove the highway
    in white shirt and business tie
    from my left at ten o'clock high


    arose a flock
    of forty egrets
    from the area I knew
    as a rookery in summer


    forty egrets
    arising as one
    heading south, knowing
    somehow, today was the day,
    and now was the time


    lifting as they had
    for millennia
    some for their first time
    and some for their last time


    all feeling the same impulse
    gathering within them
    some irresistible instinct
    propelling them up
    into something unknown
    but so right


    and I knew
    somehow that instinct is within me
    that universal force is me
    as it is all of us
    and that someday


    I will know
    today is the day
    and now is the time
    and I will rise from wherever I am
    toward where I know I must go


    lifted
    and guided
    by forty egrets.


    - Scott O'Brien
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  35. TopTop #1398
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Birds


    And when, dear one, you are so weary
    you are ready to give up,
    think then of the Canada Geese-
    the way all day
    they shout back at the beating, broken
    heart of the world
    "I am lonely too.
    Keep flying. Keep flying.
    I am lonely too."


    - Lisa Starr

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    If You Knew


    What if you knew you’d be the last
    to touch someone?
    If you were taking tickets, for example,
    at the theater, tearing them,
    giving back the ragged stubs,
    you might take care to touch that palm,
    brush your fingertips
    along the life line’s crease.

    When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
    too slowly through the airport, when
    the car in front of me doesn’t signal,
    when the clerk at the pharmacy
    won’t say Thank you, I don’t remember
    they’re going to die.

    A friend told me she’d been with her aunt.
    They’d just had lunch and the waiter,
    a young gay man with plum black eyes,
    joked as he served the coffee, kissed
    her aunt’s powdered cheek when they left.
    Then they walked half a block and her aunt
    dropped dead on the sidewalk.

    How close does the dragon’s spume
    have to come? How wide does the crack
    in heaven have to split?
    What would people look like
    if we could see them as they are,
    soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
    reckless, pinned against time?

    - Ellen Bass
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  37. TopTop #1399
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    God In The Room Next Door


    The deep thunder of your shuffling feet
    has kept me awake now for hours!
    You and your party angels,
    eating apples from Eden,
    and drunk on gallons of ambrosia.


    The constant singing is driving me mad!
    You and your heavenly chorus, and those
    long songs all about what a great guy you are!
    Songs that crash through every boundary made in a lifetime,
    and every wall so carefully built, brick by brick.


    Every wall, that is, except the one that separates us now.
    You in your room, and I in mine.
    The wall I pound on to get you to stop!
    Shut the fuck up! And turn the volume down!
    I'm trying to sleep, damn it!


    I can see now why you don't return my calls.
    Never send a text. Reply to my long, lonely letters.
    I laugh with bitter tears at tales that god is dead!
    Dead drunk is what I would say!
    You and your friends...who don't include me.


    My fists beat against the rhythm, my voice hoarse.
    Are you deaf? That alone must certainly draw your attention!
    That muffled arrhythmia. My constant cries.


    But, no....
    The angels come and go,
    the chorus like an ocean's surge.
    The walls fall, one by one.
    Except for this one.
    The one that separates us now.


    Turn the damn music down!
    It's opening my heart....


    - Jon Jackson
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  39. TopTop #1400
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Say Yes Quickly


    Forget your life. Say "God is Great." Get up.
    You think you know what time it is. It's time to pray.
    You've carved so many little figurines, too many.
    Don't knock on any random door like a beggar.
    Reach your long hands out to another door, beyond where
    you go on the street, the street
    where everyone says, "How are you?"
    and no one says "How aren't you?"
    Tomorrow you'll see what you've broken and torn tonight,
    thrashing in the dark. Inside you
    there's an artist you don't know about.
    He's not interested in how things look different in moonlight.
    If you are here unfaithfully with us,
    you're causing terrible damage.
    If you've opened your loving to God's love,
    you're helping people you don't know
    and have never seen.
    Is what I say true? Say yes quickly,
    if you know, if you've known it
    from before the beginning of the universe.


    - Jellaludin Rumi
    (Version by Coleman Barks)
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  40. Gratitude expressed by:

  41. TopTop #1401
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When Great Trees Fall


    When great trees fall,
    rocks on distant hills shudder,
    lions hunker down
    in tall grasses,
    and even elephants
    lumber after safety.


    When great trees fall
    in forests,
    small things recoil into silence,
    their senses
    eroded beyond fear.


    When great souls die,
    the air around us becomes
    light, rare, sterile.
    We breathe, briefly.
    Our eyes, briefly,
    see with
    a hurtful clarity.
    Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
    examines,
    gnaws on kind words
    unsaid,
    promised walks
    never taken.


    Great souls die and
    our reality, bound to
    them, takes leave of us.
    Our souls,
    dependent upon their
    nurture,
    now shrink, wizened.
    Our minds, formed
    and informed by their
    radiance,
    fall away.
    We are not so much maddened
    as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
    of dark, cold
    caves.


    And when great souls die,
    after a period peace blooms,
    slowly and always
    irregularly. Spaces fill
    with a kind of
    soothing electric vibration.
    Our senses, restored, never
    to be the same, whisper to us.
    They existed. They existed.
    We can be. Be and be
    better. For they existed.


    - Maya Angelou
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  42. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  43. TopTop #1402
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    after my daughter explained darth vader
    is necessary to balance the force




    your children
    so frail & sturdy & beautiful—
    you’d die for them,
    do anything to stop tears,
    bring sunshine & singing bird flocks
    to their smile


    torpedo two-headed wart-nosed ogres
    sometimes inhabit your body, missiles
    of fiendish words & irrational punishments,
    limits of barbed wire & twisted slogans
    —is spit running from your chin
    or toxic sludge


    when they came from your parents’ mouths,
    mutilated the rise of your head
    from neck to clouds,
    you knew you would never never never
    say be do like that.
    when you hear them flying in your own voice
    & see the sorrow in your children’s
    flinch


    one day you understand
    you can not can not can not
    protect your children from anything
    that still hurts you


    only when you have redeemed
    every error made by parent,
    grandparent, invisible ancient forebear,
    are your children safe


    only when the hateful do their worst
    & your smile emerges from radiance,
    the bedrock love of your
    own unimpeachable
    sacred worth


    only when you have sent the
    bickering slobber-toothed hags
    down to the market to try on
    pretty dresses & tip generously


    only when you have kissed every
    warring perfect hero prince
    back to the garden
    eating delicious flies,
    a shy, content & modest toad


    only when all your monsters
    sit around the lovely mahogany
    table in your board room,
    discard their many masks &
    contribute intelligently to
    your vital success


    only when you are as safe as that
    are your children safe


    otherwise they’d better be
    gladiator tough & you’d
    better have a big bowl of
    apologies to hand out
    abundantly—
    trick or treat


    - Sandy Eastoak
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  45. TopTop #1403

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    I wonder if this was offered in memory of Russell Means. Or perhaps it was for George McGovern. Two great trees falling hours apart....

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    When Great Trees Fall


    When great trees fall,
    rocks on distant hills shudder,
    lions hunker down
    in tall grasses,
    and even elephants
    lumber after safety.


    When great trees fall
    in forests,
    small things recoil into silence,
    their senses
    eroded beyond fear.


    When great souls die,
    the air around us becomes
    light, rare, sterile.
    We breathe, briefly.
    Our eyes, briefly,
    see with
    a hurtful clarity.
    Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
    examines,
    gnaws on kind words
    unsaid,
    promised walks
    never taken.


    Great souls die and
    our reality, bound to
    them, takes leave of us.
    Our souls,
    dependent upon their
    nurture,
    now shrink, wizened.
    Our minds, formed
    and informed by their
    radiance,
    fall away.
    We are not so much maddened
    as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
    of dark, cold
    caves.


    And when great souls die,
    after a period peace blooms,
    slowly and always
    irregularly. Spaces fill
    with a kind of
    soothing electric vibration.
    Our senses, restored, never
    to be the same, whisper to us.
    They existed. They existed.
    We can be. Be and be
    better. For they existed.


    - Maya Angelou
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  46. TopTop #1404
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Ritual To Read To Each Other

    If you don't know the kind of person I am
    and I don't know the kind of person you are
    a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
    and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

    For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
    a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
    sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
    storming out to play through the broken dyke.

    And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
    but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
    I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
    to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

    And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
    a remote important region in all who talk:
    though we could fool each other, we should consider--
    lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

    For it is important that awake people be awake,
    or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
    the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
    should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.


    - William Stafford
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  47. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  48. TopTop #1405
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Death


    It's a shopping mall exit, unseen
    until we take a short-cut.
    A side-door we have passed a thousand times
    becomes a threshold.


    Knee-trembling sex is practiced between such doors.
    Near the exit, life is sweeter. Creamy babies are furnished
    in bare corridors.


    Some passage-ways are so big
    they go un-policed and unnoticed.
    If you pass through them
    not a cat will note your death.
    Not even the cat-like angel of death
    who records every door you should have opened.
    A person can disappear, then the Universe
    has to put you together again
    from the smithereens of minor sins.


    Jesus said: I Am The Door.
    He meant, I am every door marked 'Do not enter,'
    knowing we would go through,
    because that's how the Universe expands.
    The unknown is an empty shopping cart
    and the store is on fire.


    Yesterday I went through another wrong door.
    I will probably crash through more today.
    The chipmunk that lives under my apartment
    is digging his own way,


    and the hawk in a nearby tree
    is its threshold.


    - Eric Ashford
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  49. TopTop #1406
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Prayer

    Someone or something is leaning close to me now
    trying to tell me the one true story of my life:

    one note,
    low as a bass drum, beaten over and over:

    It’s beginning summer,
    and the man I love has forgotten my smell

    the cries I made when he touched me, and my laughter
    when he picked me up

    and carried me, still laughing, and laid me down,
    among the scattered daffodils on the dining room table.

    And Jane is dead,
    and I want to go where she went,
    where my brother went,

    and whoever it is that whispered to me

    when I was a child in my father’s bed is come back now:
    and I can’t stop hearing:
    This is the way it is,
    the way it always was and will be --

    beaten over and over -- panicking on street corners,
    or crouched in the back of taxicabs,

    afraid I’ll cry out in jammed traffic, and no one will know me or
    know where to bring me.

    There is, I almost remember,
    another story:

    It runs alongside this one like a brook beside a train.
    The sparrows know it; the grass rises with it.

    The wind moves through the highest tree branches without
    seeming to hurt them.

    Tell me.
    Who was I when I used to call your name?


    - Marie Howe
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  50. Gratitude expressed by:

  51. TopTop #1407
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Ice Melt


    The ice melt leaves the walrus
    homeless and thousands
    climb out of the sea
    onto Arctic beaches.
    If only the heart could stay open
    and warm, the earth's great ice
    would gather itself every winter
    as it has for eons. If only
    each of us carried our
    own dark stones, held them close,
    called them by name and blamed
    no one, we could set our burdens
    down together to sing
    prayers and praises
    for the sea ice and the walrus,
    for the caribou calving, for the
    sheltering trees and the red squirrels
    in the morning, and the world would spin
    its seasons, wealthy with its own
    ever-becoming.
    - Elizabeth Herron
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  52. Gratitude expressed by:

  53. TopTop #1408
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Buddha’s Last Instruction


    “Make of yourself a light,”
    said the Buddha,
    before he died.
    I think of this every morning
    as the east begins
    to tear off its many clouds
    of darkness, to send up the first
    signal – a white fan
    streaked with pink and violet,
    even green.
    An old man, he lay down
    between two sala trees,
    and he might have said anything,
    knowing it was his final hour.
    The light burns upward,
    it thickens and settles over the fields.
    Around him, the villagers gathered
    and stretched forward to listen.
    Even before the sun itself
    hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
    I am touched everywhere
    by its ocean of yellow waves.
    No doubt he thought of everything
    that had happened in his difficult life.
    And then I feel the sun itself
    as it blazes over the hills,
    like a million flowers on fire –
    clearly I’m not needed,
    yet I feel myself turning
    into something of inexplicable value.
    Slowly, beneath the branches,
    he raised his head.
    He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.


    - Mary Oliver
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  54. TopTop #1409
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Fires in California

    Smoke of a dozen fires
    drives us into inland caves
    whose walls depict bison
    mating with two-headed snakes
    like stick-figure firefighters
    trailing hoses.
    Claustrophobic, reticent,
    we revert to pagan prayers
    and whispered pleas
    for cool and rain
    as coastal redwoods go up
    like Roman candles.

    Where firefighter faces heat,
    fire, with crackling and hiss,
    curses its bad luck
    and like a beaten gladiator
    stands one last time to
    twirl above its head
    a net of flames.

    Finally comes blue sky
    and we leave cover
    to breathe freely again
    and, being evolved bipeds in search
    of meat, climb smartly
    into cars and turn ignition keys
    so that sparks ignite compressed
    mixtures of gasoline and air and we
    drive at speeds equaled by racing camels
    or hunting cheetahs to Whole Foods,
    powered, in our 6 cylinders,
    by a thousand small fires.

    - David Beckman
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  55. TopTop #1410
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Return


    A little too abstract, a little too wise,
    It is time for us to kiss the earth again,
    It is time to let the leaves rain from the skies,
    Let the rich life run to the roots again.
    I will go down to the lovely Sur Rivers
    And dip my arms in them up to the shoulders.
    I will find my accounting where the alder leaf quivers
    In the ocean wind over the river boulders.
    I will touch things and things and no more thoughts,
    That breed like mouthless May-flies darkening the sky,
    The insect clouds that blind our passionate hawks
    So that they cannot strike, can hardly fly.
    Things are the hawk’s food and noble is the mountain,
    Oh noble
    Pico Blanco, steep sea-wave of marble.


    - Robinson Jeffers
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