Jim Moonan

Owner/Artistic Director, NorthWind Education


This conversation is closed.

What poems are most powerful to you?

I am astonished at how powerful poetic writing can be - yet poetry remains out of the reach of so many people today.

My hope is to collect here some of those poems that mean so much to people so that others can share the transcendant feeling that good poetry brings.

I would also like to know where others find their poetry - where are the best places to hear it, what are the publications that print it, the courses that teach how to read it, etc.

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      May 7 2011: Confirmation that our lives are meaningful...
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          May 8 2011: Confirmation that we want our lives to be meaningful.

          Sappho's little ditty seems to be suggesting that we derive that meaning from others' perception of our lives.

          Also, that whatever you do and are has some resonance somewhere and somehow with someone or something. That's enough for me.
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      May 8 2011: That Sappho just gave me the chills
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    May 8 2011: The silence is better when I'm with Yeats.
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    May 20 2011: With just hours to go I thought I would share one of my own poems.

    Seasons of Heaven and Earth

    Just when the ground was so long stilled
    No evidence of life or pulse remained
    And hope deferred was a sickness of the heart.
    When the ear perceived nothing
    But the howling desolation
    And eye saw only darkly
    The grey and empty barrenness.
    When the teeth of the wind tore tender flesh
    That wondered at its deserving
    Then nestled closer to cold pain
    To hope it was alive
    Wounds too constricted to bleed.
    And the sap of life so clotted
    It seemed never to have throbbed-
    Just then-
    A miracle eternal,
    But wholly denied, proved
    To the frost bitten soul
    The myth made real:
    You are my spring.
    The thaw that comes after the hard deep freeze of winter
    The miracle that catches up the breath
    As I thought to sublimate to mist
    And vanish vanquished by void without end.
    The hope that pushes up through petrified wood
    And through the frozen compost and soil
    That surges new life
    And new hope through the fragile branches
    In a glutted pounding tide
    To urge forth the delicate bud.
    A zephyr’s kiss turned rampaging wind that stirs the blood
    And defies the past.
    And leaves such a tumult of life in its wake
    That the soul pants for respite
    And the mind cannot contain the brightness and the volume
    But the body urges: even more…
    And the spirit prays: Deo volente ..more…
    Oh, Do not give me respite.
    Never give me respite
    Until the ripeness of seasons calls true winter forth
    And winter claims my body and releases my soul
    To the only heaven greater.
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      May 21 2011: Your roots run deep... beautiful, quiet poem!
  • May 16 2011: Gunga Din!
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      May 17 2011: Gunga Din is for me nothing less than profound. It puts the colonial era thinking up for scrutiny and makes its point with elegance.
  • May 11 2011: Personally, the most thought provoking poem I have ever been fortunate enough to read is "the lesson of the moth" by Don Marquis:

    i was talking to a moth
    the other evening
    he was trying to break into
    an electric light bulb
    and fry himself on the wires

    why do you fellows
    pull this stunt i asked him
    because it is the conventional
    thing for moths or why
    if that had been an uncovered
    candle instead of an electric
    light bulb you would
    now be a small unsightly cinder
    have you no sense

    plenty of it he answered
    but at times we get tired
    of using it
    we get bored with the routine
    and crave beauty
    and excitement
    fire is beautiful
    and we know that if we get
    too close it will kill us
    but what does that matter
    it is better to be happy
    for a moment
    and be burned up with beauty
    than to live a long time
    and be bored all the while
    so we wad all our life up
    into one little roll
    and then we shoot the roll
    that is what life is for
    it is better to be a part of beauty
    for one instant and then cease to
    exist than to exist forever
    and never be a part of beauty
    our attitude toward life
    is come easy go easy
    we are like human beings
    used to be before they became
    too civilized to enjoy themselves

    and before i could argue him
    out of his philosophy
    he went and immolated himself
    on a patent cigar lighter
    i do not agree with him
    myself i would rather have
    half the happiness and twice
    the longevity

    but at the same time i wish
    there was something i wanted
    as badly as he wanted to fry himself
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        May 13 2011: More Kathy! Keep writing!
      • Sri G

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        May 13 2011: Reminded me of something I wrote few months ago:

        My heart is so stubborn, it won’t listen to my caution
        It is racing for you without any preparation
        says you are the most beautiful thing in the whole creation.
        how stupid is this heart of mine,
        to lust after the love of thine!
        That silly insect which flies right into the fire,
        is laughing at the futility of my desire!
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      May 13 2011: Connor, this is a fascinating poem, thank you.!We are tempted so often in this life to do exactly what the moth does. We spend our time learning how to defend against the compulsion to go mad (as Richard and Birdia say earlier in this conversation)
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      May 14 2011: But it is next to impossible not to get burned.
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    May 9 2011: My father and I. (by Richard Sanders)

    My rock, my friend, my teacher, now bend,
    My dad, my example, my leader, now spend,

    Vision of health, strength and form,
    Cancer in his blood, now he's worn.

    Chemo yet again, he hides his pain,
    Still my hero when, there's nothing left to gain.

    Recognition forms, I know where from,
    My silent tears, I am my father's son.
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        May 10 2011: Thank you for this! It is beautiful and my day has been changed.
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        May 10 2011: After viewing the video of the piece "Father and Son" Birdia shared above I was flooded with feelings. It had been so long since I had listened to it... then I found this video below of the same song performed decades later and was floored by the beauty of it. Everything about it: the staging, the enraptured audience, the venue - everything.

        Please take a look; but I would suggest watching Birdia's first, then this one below immediately following.

        (Thankuthankuthanku Birdia)

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    May 9 2011: When i was in primary, high school and even university, teachers always asked us to resite poems. I did not understand what the poem means until one day I myself have the same situation as the poet. It was then I had the same feeling with you. I guess one of the best places about poetic writing is our real life.
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    May 7 2011: How can I choose..................Anything by Kahlil Gibran and Leaves of Grass....Walt Whitman
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    May 7 2011: A Sonnet for a father watching his little girl grow up all too fast:


    As a Butterfly takes wing into the sky
    And leaves behind the comfort of her past.
    And you, like morning rain begin to cry
    For fear of letting go; the wind is oh so fast.
    Be brave and know that I am by your side,
    Adventure is the joy that children ride,
    I’ll always be a step or two behind,
    If you should need me, call, I’ll be your guide.
    One day you’ll spread your wings and you will fly
    Just like a Butterfly, into the sky,
    And I, like morning rain will softly cry,
    With joy, with sorrow, and with pride.
    But until then we’ll talk a gentle sigh
    And you will always be my Butterfly.
  • May 7 2011: "If" by Rudyard Kiping

    "If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too:
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same:.
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
    And never breathe a word about your loss:
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!"

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    May 7 2011: Here is a poem by Mary Oliver that always takes my breath away...

    Wild Geese

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.
  • May 7 2011: I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
    or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
    I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that never blooms
    but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
    thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
    risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
    so I love you because I know no other way

    than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
    so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

    The English translation of a Spanish poem by Pablo Neruda.
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    May 20 2011: My last contribution as it appears the discussion will close soon.
    A poem in four parts.
    Fathers flimsy faith (a poem by Richard Sanders)
    Part 1.

    Upon the woolly waves of wanting,
    weaved a withered whimsy waif,
    winged and wondrous without flaunting,
    he worked his fathers flimsy faith.

    This orphaned little lanky lad,
    works the wispy weathered cloth,
    and sails the sails once run by dad.
    which freed the boy from feeding troth.

    Where once he toiled the wind swept farm,
    as slave to uncle's ill formed mood,
    he now owns, late father's charm,
    of canvas, tar and weathered wood.

    Drilled by uncle's toughest teaching,
    his physique was taught to yield,
    to pain and harm, without reaching,
    for protection of the body's shield.

    Upon the woolly waves of wanting,
    weaved a withered whimsy waif,
    winged and wondrous without flaunting,
    he worked his fathers flimsy faith.

    The little boy never knew his kindred,
    Left at birth, his mother dead,
    His father ran to oceans winded,
    to sail the seas and thus forget.

    By aunt and uncle the boy was taken,
    to work the farm for food and board,
    his health was ever tender, shaken,
    by violent, frequent foul discord.

    But when his father died of drinking,
    he left his son his only charm,
    his ship "My Faith" and with a thinking,
    he'd done his son a lot of harm.

    --- to be continued
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      May 20 2011: Wow

      Richard, what a tale you've told here!

      I have a question for you: Have the poems you've shared been written in one big gust of poetic inspiration?? It is such a geyser of expression and emotion....

      I have a friend who had never written a line of poetry in his life who began to send me poetry he had written. He said he had no idea what had driven him to write, but that it was pouring out of him. It lasted only a short time. A couple of weeks as I recall. I haven't heard from him in a long time. You remind me of him.

      All the best in you journey. Keep writing!
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        May 20 2011: Hi Jim,

        What I've written does indeed come in one big flow although this one spanned two days. I don't think I'm like your friend though.
        I've had inspiration in literary form since youth. I never took time to do something with it. I started writing a novel three times so far but never followed through.
        Poetry is new to me though. It's a drastic change in personal character and world views over the last few years that have opened this world to me.
        I don't think I'll stop writing poetry any time soon. I really got a taste for it now.
        I actually think that in about a year, if I keep putting out poem after poem like this, I might even try to have a poetry bundle published.
        But then... who knows how things turn out. We'll see.
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      May 20 2011: I absolutely love this poem Richard!
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        May 20 2011: Thanks Meher.
        Your feedback is much appreciated.

        Richard D.
        Same goes for you of course.
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    May 19 2011: To the Land of Ever Better Plans

    Let us gather as the children that we are
    For lives of exploration,
    Unfurl the Golden Sails to catch the winds of these, our better spirits,
    And sail for the Land of Ever Better Plans, where the Golden Rule,
    applied by ever better spirits, to ever more experience,
    Defines and redefines all things,
    Where some day, so very far, far away, (but soon enough when measured by eternity)
    We might yet stand upon the Ground of Reason,
    The Good,
    And know Heaven.
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    May 18 2011: Sonnet 130
    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.

    I'm not sure if the Great Bard came up much in this discussion but I am a huge fan. This is among my favorites of his sonnets, it has an ironic sense to it, poetry, especially love poems, tend towards hyperbolic idealizations of the objects of affection, but in this sonnet he offers a genuine authentic and original perspective on the love poem.
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    May 18 2011: I always thought that poetry was not for everybody because I didn’t feel anything particular about it, I didn’t like it or dislike it, it just didn’t touch me, but, things changed when I read this poem that I found in an unusual way. It happened during my last year at school, as I was studying Literature. I took the course Literature and New Technologies and at a certain moment, we needed to explore some hypermedia works and there was this work by an unknown artist (unknown to me, at that point) and this happened to be a poem, a very old poem by French author Baudelaire, called L’Horloge (The Clock). Well, I told myself – who doesn’t know Baudelaire? – I thought this was just another poem more. I had probably read it before, just in black and white from a book. The hypermedia work was composed by 7 web pages that were changing constantly as the poem was read. There was not reader, just music so that I was able to read it to myself as I followed it with the images and the music and this way of reading a poem combining these 3 elements: image, text and sound, gave it another aesthetic effect and a brand new meaning to me. This time, I was in total immersion and for the first time ever, I felt something with a poem, I cannot tell what, but it was something that touched me really deeply and had the power to keep me going back for more.

    Here is the link with the hypermedia work

    And, here we can see the poem translated to English, in 3 different English versions
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        May 18 2011: Nice poem, Nice subject. Here's my diddy.

        Time (by Richard Sanders)

        What is this fickle thing that defines our pace,
        which moves in leaps and bounds,
        which flies though joyful space,
        and crawls though our toughest rounds,
        which grows our bones and creases our skins,
        which allows us our loss and bring us our wins,
        which exists only as a single spot,
        and speaks of what was and is silent of what was not.
        What is this thing we can not miss, but always do,
        This fleeting thing we are always short of and out of too.
        That thing that makes us live, and makes us die,
        That thing that helps us move and even fly,
        That without which we'd never laugh or even cry.
        and which allows us always a second try,
        That which moves only in straightest line,
        and to universe ties us, my master, time.
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        May 18 2011: And how better to spend our precious time then with...

        Passion. (by Richard Sanders)

        Heated blood, raging, burning,
        Faces flushed, yours and mine,
        Firery breath, mingling, merging,
        seething, frantic, poised and fine,

        Fingers dance, on your skin, my skin,
        lips and tongue and nape of neck,
        intensely soft, round and curving,
        warm and moist and arch of back.

        Pleasure, whispers, furtive, moaning,
        hardly words, more breath and heat,
        gain momentum, worlds are turning,
        louder now our hearts do beat.

        More breath, breathing, more blood, seething, more heat, burning, time elapse,
        more you, arching, more me, thrusting, more us, merging, then collapse.
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      May 18 2011: Veronica, your story about how poetry reached you.... this is what I was hoping for when I intitiated the conversation. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you...

      I opened the hypermedia link your gave before reading anything in english (Is it a Baudelaire poem? I really don't care... As you said, the image, text and sound overwhelmed me and I wrote this poem below as a way of trying to interpret what it was saying and what I was feeling)

      Mediation on the Unknown

      Numbers rise
      Vaporize into thin air
      The body beats
      The wine is spilt
      The song repeats
      And repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats repeats
      The dragonfly is sacrificed
      Life goes on.
      The song repeats.

      Life measured in time
      In spoons
      In love
      In lines
      In appointments and
      Scheduled and
      In rituals of the dead.

      Day and night
      Night and day
      Tug and pull
      Ebb and flow
      Sun and moon
      The rhythm plays
      A discordant song
      Bats and birds
      Flowers and clouds
      Sky and earth
      Rising and setting
      Rhythm and song
      Time and numbers.

      World without end
      Hands to play
      Blood to suck
      Unknown seas
      Embark on the dark voyage
      Cross into the unknown.

      Play your hand
      You will never get another
      Take my hand
      Said the stranger
      And from her sleeve she pulled

      Jim Moonan
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        May 18 2011: Thanks Jim. You guys are amazing! You came with your own poems about time. So much wonderful poetry!

        I love your interpretation of the poem. I think you got to the same point I did when I first opened the link: I didn’t really read it and just let myself go, carried by the music and images.
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      May 18 2011: "When I do count the clock that tells the time"

      When I do count the clock that tells the time,
      And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
      When I behold the violet past prime,
      And sable curls, all silver'd o'er with white;
      When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
      Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
      And summer's green all girded up in sheaves,
      Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard;
      Then of thy beauty do I question make,
      That thou among the wastes of time must go,
      Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake,
      And die as fast as they see others grow;
      And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
      Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

      Billy the Great Bard Shakespeare
  • May 17 2011: From Blossoms
    --Li-Young Lee

    From blossoms comes
    this brown paper bag of peaches
    we brought from the boy
    at the bend in the road where we turned toward
    signs painted Peaches.

    From laden boughs, from hands,
    from sweet fellowship in the bins,
    comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
    peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
    comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

    O, to take what we love inside,
    to carry within us an orchard, to eat
    not only the skin, but the shade,
    not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
    the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
    the round jubilance of peach.

    There are days we live
    as if death were nowhere
    in the background; from joy
    to joy, to joy, from wing to wing,
    from blossom to blossom to
    impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
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      May 17 2011: Nice addition, Luisa, Lovely and fragrant!
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      May 17 2011: A bittersweet poem...
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    May 16 2011: Misunderstood (by Richard Sanders).

    She's two years old and she looking at me,
    Grown people are talking and they do not see,
    That she has been thinking and has something to say,
    But her words are to small they are oh, ah, and ay,
    the party drones on and I think no one would,
    understand as I do, how she feels misunderstood.
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        May 17 2011: Poor guy ;) I feel for sorry for you. To feel so misunderstood as an adult must be even more painful.
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  • May 16 2011: jabberwocky....it's probably cliche, but I don't care.
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    May 15 2011: Sorry for the partial repost.

    Broken Child (by Richard Sanders)

    Broken Child (verse 1) Tribute to War Child International

    Beyond the withered weeds out yonder,
    without the screaming youth of spring,
    walks a child without the wonder,
    knowing what today will bring,
    crying tears from heart's desponder,
    for the death of metal wing.

    Months of sound in loudest tone,
    dulled her bleeding ears and eyes,
    each day claiming flesh and bone,
    bringing mother's ill demise,
    She recalls that deathly moan,
    that made her prematurely wise.

    When a spell the bombs stop falling,
    she looks up with those vacant eyes,
    none can hear her desolate calling,
    mouthing words that look like cries,
    wordless screams for violence stalling,
    to stop the soldiers, taking lives.

    Who will catch her spirit failing,
    who will voice her breaking heart,
    who will stop her mind from wailing,
    who will help her heal her smart,
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    May 15 2011: Broken Child (verse 2) Tribute to War Child International

    Her voice, her breath fall short her pleading,
    Her brother dear dares take up arms,
    she fear she'll lose him despite of needing,
    each others strength, and comforting arms,
    Yet all he knows is need for feeding,
    which he can't from the failing farms.

    For food and lodging the army pays,
    with some to spare for sister dear,
    This path is all, that now stays,
    he has to take it despite his fear.
    She pleads to look for other ways,
    He dons the colours, so proud appears.

    Months have passed when they come calling,
    She knows before she sees them right,
    Her last of kin, to war has fallen,
    Her brother's soul has left her side,
    Her stature slumped, she almost crawling,
    Her eyes now dead, lost all their light.

    Who will catch her spirit failing,
    who will voice her breaking heart,
    who will stop her mind from wailing,
    who will help her heal her smart,
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    May 15 2011: Broken Child (verse 3) Tribute to War Child International

    Now she toils for springtime seeding,
    her silent tears have long since dried,
    her wounds have all but stopped their bleeding,
    now both the sides has ceased their fight,
    dogs of war have stopped their feeding,
    still her life she is denied.

    She never will be free that feeling,
    The falling bombs, they took their toll,
    broken heart no chance of healing,
    Her loving kindred, by bombs they stole,
    still never thinks of vengeance dealing,
    no one ever will fill their role.

    She wakes at night her voice still screaming,
    these horrors cruel are never lost,
    Before the war her eyes where beaming,
    that light's now killed by perma-frost.
    her eyes sometimes regain some gleaming,
    far to rare and at great cost,

    Who will catch her spirit failing,
    who will voice her breaking heart,
    who will stop her mind from wailing,
    who will help her heal her smart,
    I ask you WHO will play that part.
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        May 15 2011: Thanks for reading them and sure, you can send them on.
        I'm pleased you like them enough to do so.
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      May 17 2011: i like this one to :) it`s great...and i want to say something about you`r comment quot Richard " thinking you have no influence will make you fail without trying" It`s not that i think so , it`s more that you as a person , just as a person nothing more , not like a group or so , can influence the bad thinks that happen just in your family or in your society environment not but you can`t do great changes on the mind and on the happenings at large society , i mean you can try it but , crime and evil will exist as long es the good exist ( like the opposite of it ). It`s just my opinion but anyway great work ( about the poem).
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        May 18 2011: Hi Taulant,

        Thanks for the feedback on the poem, I'm glad you like it.

        As for changing things on large scale. I think change always starts in your small environment en ripples out without you knowing it until it reaches critical mass and behold a big surprise the world has changed. Though it might not even be clear you instigated the change.
        Or just as likely the change was caused by many people starting on the same path each in their own little environment and collectivelly it causes the large change.

        So you see, I never allow myself to think I don't influence the big picture. I always consider myself the stone cast in the pool and causing at least a part of the ripple effect.
        But each to his own. I have my views and you have your's and I won't say one is better then the other.
        Perhaps I'm just a naive optimist with a superiority complex. ;) Who knows. :)
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    May 15 2011: Times from Ecclesiastes is so simple yet so moving.Love it:

    American King James Version

    1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
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    May 15 2011: Let me put you on Game

    Don't you know that I run this place,
    And I've begun this race,
    Must I rerun this pace?
    I'm the reason its become this way
    And their love for it is the reason I have become this praised
    hey love my darkness,
    I make them heartless,
    And in return, the have become my martyrs,
    I've been in the poem of many a poet,
    And I reside in the art of many a artist
    Some of your smartest have tried to articulate
    My whole part in this
    But they're fruitless in their harvesting
    The drow grows from my footsteps
    I'm the one that they follow,
    I am the one that they march with
    Through the back alleys
    And the black markets,
    The Oval Offices,
    Crack houses and apartments
    Through the mazes of the queens,
    The pages of the sages
    And the Chambers of The Kings
    Through the veins-es of the fiends,
    A paper chaser's pager,
    I'm famous on the scene
    One of the oldest, most ancient-est of things
    Speak every single language on the planet, y'all mean?
    I am the American dream,
    The rape of Africa
    The undying machine,
    The overpriced medicine,
    The murderous regime,
    The tough guy's front,
    And the one behind the scene
    I am the blood of this city,
    It's gas, water, and electricity,
    I'm it's gym, and it's math, and it's history,
    The gunshots in the class
    And you can't pass if you're missin, G.
    I taught them better than that
    I taught them aim for the head
    And hope they never come back
    I'm glad your daddy's gone, baby,
    Hope he never comes back,
    I hope he's with your mother,
    With my hustlers high in my trap
    I hope you die in his trash,
    I can't help it all I hear when you're crying is laughs
    I'm sure somebody find you tied up in this bag,
    Behind the hospital little baby,
    Crack addicts had
    Then maybe you can grow up to be a stripper,
    A welfare-receiving prostitute
    And gold digger,
    You can watch on TV,
    How they should properly depict you,
    The rivers should flow with liquor,
    Quench your thirst on my elixers ,
    I am the safe haven for the rebel runaway and the resistor
    The trusted miss leader,
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    May 15 2011: The number one defender,
    And from a throne of their bones I rule,
    These fools are my fuel
    So I make them Cool
    Baptize them in the water out of Scarface pool,
    And feed 'em from the table that held Corleone's food,
    If you die, tell them that you played my game
    I hope your bullet holes become mouths that say my name,
    'Cause I'm the...

    This and that under it are in the lyrics from Lupe Fiasco`s Let me put you on game and i think that ( even if it`s not a poem) it shows the dark side of our society with some facts that really happens every day...
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        May 15 2011: If you mean the rage , to be make it short and be honestly with you , i think you can`t do nothing. It happens and it will continue so. Tell me if you think i`m wrong
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          May 15 2011: Hi Taulant,

          This thinking you have no influence will make you fail without trying.
          I would advocate a positive view of your own influence on the world around you.
          To quote from my own work:

          This is what bewilders me,
          while we're searching for the key,
          to unlock the secrets held so close,
          to universe's chest, I still pose,
          we may have more than common fate,
          we might yet wipe, clean our slate,
          and find that we are the gods in time,
          that reality shapes by will of mind.
          So pick up the gauntlet, brandish your sword,
          perhaps you'll strike that rarest chord.
          That nerve that forms the minds of men,
          and make them shout, YES WE CAN.
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    May 15 2011: The weather
    Or not
    Changes a prospective
    Of the vane of the soul
    Points North,to the cold
    South,to the warmth
    East,for the old
    West,for the new

    Need some moral grease
    Keep the vane square,true
    To allow to be seized,and rusted
    Is to allow elements
    To deteriorate upon you

    P.Q. 051311

    John W. Raccasi
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    May 15 2011: Stone by Stone

    by Rachel Ramey

    I have a wall you cannot see
    Because it's deep inside of me.
    It blocks my heart on every side
    And helps emotions there to hid.
    You can't reach in;
    I can't reach out.
    You wonder what it's all about.

    The wall I built that you can't see
    Results from insecurity.
    Each time my tender heart was hurt
    The scars within grew worse and worse.
    So stone by stone
    I built a wall
    That's now so thick it will not fall.

    Please understand that it's not you;
    Continue trying to break through.
    I want so much to show myself,
    And love from you will really help;
    So bit by bit
    Chip at my wall,
    'Til stone by stone it starts to fall.

    I know the process will be slow;
    It's never easy to let go
    Of hurts and failures long ingrained
    Upon one's heart from years of pain.
    I'm so afraid
    To let you in;
    I know I might get hurt again.

    I try so hard to break the wall,
    But seem to get nowhere at all.
    For stone upon each stone I've stacked
    And left between them not a crack.
    The only way
    To make it fall
    Is imperfections in the wall.

    I did the best I could to build
    A perfect wall, but there are still
    A few small flaws, which are the key
    To breaking through the wall to me.
    Please use each flaw
    To cause a crack
    To knock a stone off of the stack.

    For just as stone by stone was laid
    With every hurt, with every pain,
    So stone by stone the wall will break,
    As love replaces every ache.
    Please be the one
    Who cares enough
    To find the flaws, no matter what.
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      May 15 2011: EXCELLENT...excellent work,I think I built right next to you...
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    May 15 2011: I love this poem by Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi:

    "For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
    From within, I couldn't decide what to do.
    Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
    Then I walked outside.

    The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
    Don't go back to sleep.
    You must ask for what you really want.
    Don't go back to sleep.
    People are going back and forth across the doorsill
    where the two worlds touch.
    The door is round and open.
    Don't go back to sleep."
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    May 15 2011: I was going through my books, and came to a pretty strange realization. I have so much poetry on patriotism and religion that its almost disgusting. these too subjects completely dominate my collection. I've been trying to figure out why I've gravitated towards these themes in poetry, and this is what I've got so far. The emotions elicited from these subjects seems to be exerted in such a forceful way. Patriotism for instance is so poetically fascinating to me because it highlights how willfully delusional people can be and how passionate they are towards those delusions. Poems from the battlefield I find to be particularly charged with the lunacy of loyalty, that people will die for and kill for ideas they don't even understand.
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    May 14 2011: Poetry is music,with the voice as the instrument...
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      May 14 2011: I guess that's spoken word poetry Else I'd say the keyboard (or pen) is the instrument if you take it literal.
      I'd rather say the instrument is your heart and soul. That's where my "music" comes from.

      come to think of it...

      Poetry is the sound of strings,
      the beat of drums and other things,
      The notes are forged in man's rich heart,
      with soul to add the depth to thwart,
      a critics foul derision sting,
      to life more thought and meaning bring,
      So voice your soul at hearts content,
      and hope it's material is never spend.

      - by Richard Sanders.
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    May 13 2011: I will start with a simple phrase: 'I am a very old-fashioned person.' I stil think that 'There's more to travel than the destination. It used to be called a JOURNEY.' I travel a lot, preferably by train and on board I read poems. One of my favourites is by Theodore Roethke and is called THE WAKING. This poem says so much and still is very short, compared to some other works. I believe that the best time for poems to be heard/read is late evening, with fire in the fireplace and some classical music on LPs.

    The Waking

    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
    I learn by going where I have to go.

    We think by feeling. What is there to know?
    I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Of those so close beside me, which are you?
    God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
    And learn by going where I have to go.

    Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
    The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

    Great Nature has another thing to do
    To you and me, so take the lively air,
    And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

    This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
    What falls away is always. And is near.
    I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
    I learn by going where I have to go.
  • May 13 2011: yes
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      May 14 2011: Yes
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          May 14 2011: (Believe it or not, it took me a long time to come up with an answer to Min... I'm waiting patiently for a response ;)
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          May 14 2011: There is a passage in James Joyce's "Ullysses". It's Molly Bloom's "Yes" soliloquy that ends the story. Have you read it? Amazing writing. I'll see if I can dig up the excerpt.
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          May 14 2011: I don't mean to sound so scholarly (not). Just a word worshiper. Just looking for fun...

          Joyce was one of the best at writing "stream of consciousness" prose and this is his shinning example. If you want some background/context go to Wikipedia and search "Molly Bloom's soliloquy"".

          Here is the text of Molly Bloom's thoughts. It begins and ends with an emphatic "Yes".

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          May 15 2011: Joyce's "Ullysses" was banned for years in the U.S.A. When it comes to sex, our society has always been (and still is) puritan. In that excerpt Molly's mind is racing while at the same time she is making love to Leopold, her estranged husband.... Might be the world's first documentation of proof that women are the best actors in bed.Here is another "yes" story: John Lennon had just met Yoko Ono and was intrigued by her. She told him to come to her art exhibit in Soho. He arrived and saw nothing but a tall ladder in the middle of the room. He climbed to the top and there, on the ceiling, written on a small piece of paper, in small handwriting, was the word, "yes".
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          May 15 2011: I tried to give you a thumbs up Birdia but it appears that you have been particularly brilliant and insightful this week because I got at 'bink" and the message that I had maxed out on thumbs up for you!
          So KUDOS instead.
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          May 15 2011: I don't know if Leopold ever learned such a skill.... It's women who possess that ability ;)

          True, the US has a slew of embarrassing problems it wears on it's sleeve for everyone to see. I'm just glad to be living here rather than many other places because so many of them harbor even worse.

          (Debra, the same thing happened to me! Long live Birdia....)

          I hope there's no God that's watching. That would just ruin everything and make the afterlife very uncomfortable for me.
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          May 16 2011: Kathy! You absolutely take the cake! I lubbed it!
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        May 16 2011: (Once more)



        ...................Thrice blessed.
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    May 13 2011: I have been one acquainted with the night.
    I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
    I have outwalked the furthest city light.

    I have looked down the saddest city lane.
    I have passed by the watchman on his beat
    And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

    I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
    When far away an interrupted cry
    Came over houses from another street,

    But not to call me back or say good-bye;
    And further still at an unearthly height,
    O luminary clock against the sky

    Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
    I have been one acquainted with the night.

    Acquainted With the Night by Robert Frost
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      May 13 2011: I think life would be far less meaningful without the sense of sadness that can sometimes was over me. I am genetically optimistic, yet am drawn to sadness.

      MP, Thanks for more Frost. Love it.
  • May 13 2011: A short part from "Commentary" by Antonio Machado (translated by Robert Bly)

    The wind, one brilliant day,
    called to my soul with an odor of jasmine

    "In return for my jasmine odor,
    I'd like all the odor of your roses."

    "I have no roses; all of the flowers
    in my garden are dead."

    "Well then, I'll take the withered petals,
    the yellow leaves, and the waters of the fountain."

    The wind left, and I wept, and I said to my self:
    "what have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?"

    I find some decent poems and some good commentary in Poetry magazine and in APR (American Poetry Review), and some of the best in good anthologies. One of the best is "The Rag And Bone Shop Of The Heart", Bly, Hillman, Meade, editors. Copper Canyon Press publishes some of the best contemporary work. Good critics give good commentary: Robert Pack's "Belief and Uncertainty in the Poetry of Robert Frost" is fascinating and educative. Harold Bloom is good on content, meaning, and connection across time, he's poor on the actual craft and art. My prejudice is often for poets (usually dead, unfortunately) who have stood the test of time and whose work survives the gamut of a few decades of the most committed editors.
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      May 13 2011: Yes, the test of time. Birdia started this conversation with a similar thought from Sappho. The test of time... The test of time.... The test of time....

      But I must say that I am often blown away by someone's obscure poem that comes at me like a frieght train. "There are diamonds in the mine" it is said. What a thrill to find them and pocket them !
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    May 12 2011: We never knew his fantastic head,
    in which eye-apples ripened. yet
    his torso, like a lamp, still glows
    with his gaze which, although turned down low,

    Lingers and shines. Else the prow of his breast
    couldn't dazzle you, nor in the slight twist
    of his loins could a smile run free
    through that center which held fertility.

    else this stone would stand defaced and squat
    under shoulder' diaphanous dive
    and not glisten like a predator's coat;

    and not from every edge explode
    like from a star: for there is no spot

    which doesn't see you. You must change your

    (edit) Archaic Torso of Apollo
    R.M. Rilke
    translated by H. Landman
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    May 11 2011: Broken Child (by Richard Sanders)

    I wrote this today as my tribute to an organization I shall not name here in case it is reason to be edited out.
    I hope it touches some hearts.
    Again, for me as amateur poet all feedback is welcome.

    Broken Child (by Richard Sanders)

    Beyond the withering weeds out yonder,
    without the screaming youth of spring,
    walks a child without the wonder,
    knowing what today will bring,
    crying tears from heart's desponder,
    for the death of metal wing.

    Months of sound in loudest tone,
    dulled her bleeding ears and eyes,
    each day claiming flesh and bone,
    bringing mother's ill demise,
    She recalls that deathly moan,
    that made her prematurely wise.

    When a spell the bombs stop falling,
    she looks up with those vacant eyes,
    none can hear her desolate calling,
    mouthing words that look like cries,
    wordless screams for violence stalling,
    to stop the soldiers, taking lives.

    Who will catch her spirit failing,
    who will voice her breaking heart,
    who will stop her mind from wailing,
    who will help her heal her smart,

    Her voice, her breath fall short her pleading,
    her silent tears have long since dried,
    her wounds have all but stopped their bleeding,
    now either side has ceased their fight,
    dogs of war have stopped their feeding,
    still her life she is denied.

    She never will be free that feeling,
    The falling bombs, they took their toll,
    broken heart no chance of healing,
    Her loving parent, by bombs they stole,
    still never thinks of vengeance dealing,
    no one ever will fill their role.

    She wakes at night her voice still screaming,
    these horrors cruel are never lost,
    Before the war her eyes where beaming,
    that light's now killed by perma-frost.
    her eyes sometimes regain some gleaming,
    but to rare and at great cost,

    Who will catch her spirit failing,
    who will voice her breaking heart,
    who will stop her mind from wailing,
    who will help her heal her smart,
    I ask you WHO will play that part.
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        May 12 2011: Thanks Richard,
        For me it's not about being appreciated though. For me it's all about growth and evolution, as a person and as a poet. It's not about being good at something, it's about getting better at it.
        Not the destination, the journey is what's important to me.

        Still, I Am pleased my amateur scribblings mean something to you.
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      May 13 2011: Richard S., I've enjoyed reading your poetry and feeling your burst of poetic language. Each poem you share feels honest, loving. Words just kind of come through you and fall on the page.
      I can't figure out how "Broken Child" is about the organization you work for !?!? Were you intentionally trying to be obscure?
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        May 13 2011: Jim,
        I don't work for the organization.
        It's was meant a a personal tribute to the Warchild foundation which I consider a very worthy cause.
        And Thanks for your feedback.
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          May 14 2011: Oh, now I read it a little differently! Thanks.
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    May 11 2011: Poems from other lands and perspectives fascinate me.

    I who may look on every land
    Change my robe at will
    Enter any door
    Would learn from you, O veiled and silent one,
    My sister
    Hidden in your black djellabah gown;
    Are you a prisoner, shackled within
    The shadow of enclosig Atlas towers
    Or are you - more free than I?

    Rosalind Clark- from 'To a Berber woman'

    One more:

    Wash from our hearts sour speach of wisdom with cups abrim,
    and cut short the ills of Life with laughter and jest and joy!
    Yea, when once a moment comes of rest from the whirl, be quick
    and grasp it: for Time's tooth bites and quits not, and mischief waits;
    And sure, if a bright hour lifts thy soul to a little peace,
    enough in the path there lies of shadow and grief and pain!

    Iyas, son of Al-Aratt, of Tayyi from the Hamasa
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    May 11 2011: Rilke's poems are some of the most powerful to me, "Duino Elegies" are my favorite..

    Duino Elegies
    by Rainer Maria Rilke

    Translated by Stephen Mitchell

    The First Elegy

    Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies?
    and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart:
    I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
    For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
    and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.

    Every angel is terrifying.
    And so I hold myself back and swallow the call-note of my dark sobbing.
    Ah, whom can we ever turn to in our need?
    Not angels, not humans, and already the knowing animals are aware
    that we are not really at home in our interpreted world.
    Perhaps there remains for us some tree on a hillside, which every day we can take into our vision;

    there remains for us yesterday's street and the loyalty of a habit so much at ease
    when it stayed with us that it moved in and never left.
    Oh and night: there is night, when a wind full of infinite space gnaws at our faces.
    Whom would it not remain for--that longed-after, mildly disillusioning presence,
    which the solitary heart so painfully meets.

    Is it any less difficult for lovers?
    But they keep on using each other to hide their own fate.
    Don't you know yet?
    Fling the emptiness out of your arms into the spaces we breathe;
    perhaps the birds will feel the expanded air with more passionate flying.
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      May 13 2011: Yes, Rilke is almost mystic.
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    May 11 2011: Hi Jim,

    I love simplicity. I came across this poem some years ago as being one of the shortest ever written. It was entitled 'The Antiquity of Fleas' and simply read:

    Adam had 'em

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      May 13 2011: Thank you Joy..... There is no end to the pleasure words can bring. Insofar as brevity is concerned, haiku poetry is an interesting style. But I can't do it. Way to calculating for my wild thoughts.
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          May 13 2011: Wow! You're good! I know Joy's short ditty wasn't haiku - it was the shortness of it that reminded me that we haven't talked at all about that form. - And it's a good one!!! To me Haiku is like a word puzzle...
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          May 18 2011: Kathy, a most creative haiku! Joy
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        May 13 2011: Hahhha!
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        May 13 2011: Adam had 'em
        Eve did too
        That's why they split
        Who knew?
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          May 13 2011: Adam had'em
          Eve had smarts
          So when they split
          Eve got half.
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        May 18 2011: What a lot of funny 'Adam' poems... Joy
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        May 19 2011: Adam had'em
        Eve lost some
        Adam found out
        then was gone.
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    May 11 2011: About finding your element...

    The Swan

    This laboring through what is still undone,
    as though, legs bound, we hobbled along the way,
    is like the akward walking of the swan.

    And dying-to let go, no longer feel
    the solid ground we stand on every day-
    is like anxious letting himself fall

    into waters, which receive him gently
    and which, as though with reverence and joy,
    draw back past him in streams on either side;
    while, infinitely silent and aware,
    in his full majesty and ever more
    indifferent, he condescends to glide.

    -Rainer Maria Rilke
    (Translated by Stephen Mitchell)
  • May 10 2011: A poem for the optimist inside of us!

    "May the stars carry your sadness away,
    May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
    May hope forever wipe away your tears,
    And, above all, may silence make you strong."
    --Chief Dan George

    Melts my stress away.
  • May 10 2011: One of my favorite poets is the Chilean Novel laureate Pablo Neruda. Here is one for you to enjoy

    Too Many Names

    Mondays are meshed with Tuesdays
    and the week with the whole year.
    Time cannot be cut
    with your weary scissors,
    and all the names of the day
    are washed out by the waters of night.

    No one can claim the name of Pedro,
    nobody is Rosa or Maria,
    all of us are dust or sand,
    all of us are rain under rain.
    They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
    of Chiles and of Paraguays;
    I have no idea what they are saying.
    I know only the skin of the earth
    and I know it is without a name.

    When I lived amongst the roots
    they pleased me more than flowers did,
    and when I spoke to a stone
    it rang like a bell.

    It is so long, the spring
    which goes on all winter.
    Time lost its shoes.
    A year is four centuries.

    When I sleep every night,
    what am I called or not called?
    And when I wake, who am I
    if I was not while I slept?

    This means to say that scarcely
    have we landed into life
    than we come as if new-born;
    let us not fill our mouths
    with so many faltering names,
    with so many sad formallities,
    with so many pompous letters,
    with so much of yours and mine,
    with so much of signing of papers.

    I have a mind to confuse things,
    unite them, bring them to birth,
    mix them up, undress them,
    until the light of the world
    has the oneness of the ocean,
    a generous, vast wholeness,
    a crepitant fragrance.
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    May 9 2011: I can't let this thread close without expressing my gratitude to TED and specifically to Sarah Kay.
    Seeing her performance of "If I should have a daughter" on TED, inspired me to such extend, as words can not contain.
    Thank you very very much.
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    May 9 2011: Gratitude. (by Richard Sanders)

    A child falls to the floor,
    sirens in the night.
    Stretcher bangs the door,
    fluorescent light.

    Fevered cries for mum,
    even though she's there.
    Perched on edge of death,
    blissfully unaware.

    Doctor's at a loss,
    they do not know what's wrong.
    Isolation ward,
    where's my mummy gone.

    Cause is finally found,
    his leg has got to go.
    Mum now fights my war,
    not accepting so.

    Treatment then is found,
    experimental still.
    Fever breaks at last,
    they celebrate their thrill.

    My leg is spared it's life,
    grateful to my core.
    How can I thank my mum,
    for winning this fell war.

    Jumping on my board,
    riding wind and wave,
    Never would I've know,
    how surfer's boredom stave.

    Running down a hill,
    speeding without care.
    Feet go faster still,
    more than legs should bare.

    Dropping to the ground,
    laughing at the sky,
    when the limit’s found,
    thank my mum, do I.
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      May 11 2011: Kathy- I have counted at least three that measured 5000 or more today. I have already emailed the Admin to ask but have not heard a response.
      I'll let you all know what I find out.
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    May 9 2011: The drake of words (by Richard Sanders)

    Through solid tears, these words I write,
    giving meaning to my delight.
    Poetry to cleanse my soul,
    fortune, fame, never my goal,

    Emotions raw never displayed,
    A sense of fear but not dismayed,
    A world of truth and senses fair,
    The drake of words, has left it's lair.

    Words now come in torrent flood,
    Limitless, I know it not.
    But while they come , I'll immortalize,
    Even to my own surprise.

    Muse has touched my inner core,
    and has unleashed, emotion's store.
    And so I write just for myself,
    and hope it will restore my health.
  • May 9 2011: We are the music-makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams,
    Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
    And sitting by desolate streams.
    World-losers and world-forsakers,
    Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
    Yet we are the movers and shakers,
    Of the world forever, it seems.

    With wonderful deathless ditties
    We build up the world's great cities,
    And out of a fabulous story
    We fashion an empire's glory:
    One man with a dream, at pleasure,
    Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
    And three with a new song's measure
    Can trample an empire down.

    We, in the ages lying
    In the buried past of the earth,
    Built Nineveh with our sighing,
    And Babel itself with our mirth;
    And o'erthrew them with prophesying
    To the old of the new world's worth;
    For each age is a dream that is dying,
    Or one that is coming to birth.

    Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy
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    May 9 2011: Although I do love my Robert Frost and Dylan Thomas, there is no greater poetry to me than the beautiful music that I take such pleasure in listening to. Sadly, in 2011, the amount of shallow, unrefined music being released to the public completely eclipses the true gems out there. With some delving, I have found music that is not only world-aware and deep, but entirely inspiring.

    Flash back to 2000 and discover U2's "Beautiful Day." We have recognized it as a Grammy-winning record on the surface, but taking a closer listen to the lyrics reveals very profound and inspiring content.

    "See the world in green and blue
    See China right in front of you
    See the canyons broken by cloud
    See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
    See the Bedouin fires at night
    See the oil fields at first light
    And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
    After the flood all the colors came out

    It was a beautiful day
    Don't let it get away
    Beautiful day"

    This song reflects upon the life of a man who had lost everything in his life, but comes to appreciate what he has and moves on after looking at the world with new eyes. I have been going through some hard times health-wise, and this song greatly helped me through my struggle.

    However, I believe that the most underappreciated poetry, even within the realm of music, is rap, or hip-hop. I can wholeheartedly agree that the majority of it is pointless and uninspiring, but as with many (if not all) generalizations, there are a few outliers. Consider Eminem's 2010 hit, "Not Afraid." Most people dismiss this as an popular song and nothing more. However, some research on its background reveals one of the most emotional songs ever made. He wrote about his previous drug addictions and irresponsibility as a father, and how he is making a recovery and maturing. He apologizes to his daughters and addresses the world of his comeback in one emotive ballad. It is one of the most inspiring songs I've heard, and has given rap an accolade to stand on.
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      May 9 2011: I love Dylan Thomas, too... And I have discovered the rap lyric like you. The best of it is so intense and so tightly written and rhymed - very rich soil...
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    May 8 2011: This is a poem I care about, by Walt Whitman --

    Word over all, beautiful as the sky!

    Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage, must in time be utterly lost;

    That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly

    wash again, and ever again, this soil'd world:

    For my enemy is dead - a man divine as myself is dead;

    I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin - I draw near;

    I bend down, and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.
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    May 8 2011: I'm new to poetry and share your astonishment about it power. I just started writing some myself and would love some honest feedback.
    Here is some of my material:

    Title: The beauty of quantum theory.
    See the path mankind now walks,

    See the truth through history's eyes, behold the beauty, within it lies,
    Behold the evil that through it dies, see how high mankind now flies,

    Slavery, apartheid long in it's past, equality, respect ring true at last.
    Beyond the horizon a future fair, in faith, extionction now holds it's lair.
    Religious war the world now fights, knowledge and science now shine your lights.
    Show us the truth of realities plight, in dreamed decision my world unite,

    Mankind a god, it's truth now makes, control and faith is all it takes,
    Truth now trembles in awe of man, dimensions shake now mankind can,
    A world of chance, mankind now forms, my mind of man, beware storms.
    Is mind indeed the well of truth, let reality be, dominion of youth.
    For you and I have seen to much, we nomore have innocent's touch.
    Let history show our world alight, with all of youth's fantasic might,
    When you and I have lost our sight, our children's minds now evil's plight.

    Beyond today, thought will reign, beyond today, man free from chain,
    Reality forms now to our will, pain and death remain there still,
    Without the dark there is no light, though never falter in our fight.
    and never question mankind's might, beauty will be in all our sight.
    See the path mankind now walks.
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        May 8 2011: Thanks, I'll remember that for the next one I'll write.
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        May 9 2011: How is this Pabitra?

        The amateur poet. (by Richard Sanders)

        I speak the words,
        I tell the tale.
        I write these words,
        to no avail.

        Are these words,
        worth anything,
        Do these words,
        authentic ring,

        I remain,
        in fearful doubt,
        till someone shouts,
        those words out loud.

        I feel those words,
        which you write,
        They resonate,
        my pain and plight.

        They comfort me,
        in warm embrace,
        They cry with me,
        in silent space.

        Do not cease,
        your scribblings fair,
        With poetry,
        you show you care.
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      May 9 2011: You have found your poetic vein !! Well done Richard !! In my life, if I can at least think like a poet, I am happy...
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        May 9 2011: Thanks Jim, And thanks for starting this thread. I really appreciate it.
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      May 8 2011: I just want to know one thing after reading this poem- where can I find a singer of my own??
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          May 8 2011: FANTASTIC way of teaching. I am grateful for the profound and unexpected lesson!
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          May 8 2011: Poby..you moved me to tears..literally made me cry out with these words of truth and infinite compassion:

          And did you realize you were smiling unknowingly to yourself? "

          If you then stand in front of a mirror you will find a singer of your own.

          I am beginning to think youmight be Rumi's reincarnation.......
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    May 8 2011: In reading everyone's poems I had a thought: Good teachers are like good poems and good poems are like good teachers. They have the ability to crystallize my thinking and speak to my imagination. They - teachers and poems - are like bridge builders (figuratively speaking!!). They give me both the vision to see the other side and the ability to connect to it.

    Birdia, to follow up on what the Sapho lines you quoted earlier mean.... I think we are always in danger of living meaningless lives, and our life's energy is spent in hopes of making it meaningful - But it is a fragile thing !!

    To be remembered after we leave this world isn't always a good thing. It's how we are remembered that is important. But as I think more about it I realize that so many lives are lived with great meaning and purpose, yet they are forgotten. It then comes down to a person's belief that life itself has meaning and we ourselves must find it and tap into it, connect with it, and pass it along....
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          May 9 2011: I have decided that I have spent much too much of my life responsible, judicious and sober!
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        May 9 2011: Yes, poetry is soul food !!!
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          May 9 2011: It's a deal Birdia. I have much to experience (note that I did not keep it in my head and say think this time!) and you have much to teach to people like me. Look out world!
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          May 9 2011: To heck with that Poby, YOU'RE buying. You are rich with poetry!
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          May 9 2011: Birdia !! All of what you say and more!!!!
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      May 9 2011: Nicely put, Jim. The bridge analogy is fine.

      The Power of Poets.

      the man on the veranda
      outside, giving coppers
      to the old tramp and
      feeling good isn't me.
      I am the veranda.
      I could have been
      the tramp or even
      the coppers. However
      I choose to be the
      veranda and it is
      my poem. Such is
      the power of poets.

      Roger McGough.
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        May 9 2011: Thanks for this poem by Roger McGough - had not heard of him before. I love the sensibility of the poem. Everything and everyone plays a part.

        The poet I read most these days is David Whyte. Here is a poem by him that echoes the sentiment of "The Power of Poets"

        Everything Is Waiting For You

        (After Derek Mahon)

        Your great mistake is to act the drama
        as if you were alone. As if life
        were a progressive and cunning crime
        with no witness to the tiny hidden
        transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
        the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
        even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
        the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
        out your solo voice. You must note
        the way the soap dish enables you,
        or the window latch grants you freedom.
        Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
        The stairs are your mentor of things
        to come, the doors have always been there
        to frighten you and invite you,
        and the tiny speaker in the phone
        is your dream-ladder to divinity.

        Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
        the conversation. The kettle is singing
        even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
        have left their arrogant aloofness and
        seen the good in you at last. All the birds
        and creatures of the world are unutterably
        themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
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    May 8 2011: Horribly awkward, wordy, cliched, semi-plagiarized, clumsy teenaged angst poems that get published in student papers and yearbooks. That encouragement sets the stage for lyrical swans. I know of three examples in just my personal life.
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      May 8 2011: There is nothing quite as painful to me than bad poetry (bad art for that matter). How many people claim to "hate" poetry because they've read nothing BUT bad poetry?

      But there is a lot of it being written around the world every day by people who feel compelled to use poetry to express something inside of them they feel is important, and so for that reason alone I think even bad poetry serves a purpose. Just don't make me read it!!!
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    May 8 2011: If you want to really enjoy poems , you have to learn Arabic language
    we have 50 yes fifty different words for the word ( love )
    and each word represent specific level of emotion
    starting from level 1 =liking up to level 50=worship
    why you have learn Arabic because it lose 80 % of the beauty in the translation
    one of the strongest poet I like
    Kafa bika da un un tra almota shfia
    wa hasbu al maina un ykona amania
    you reached the highest level of pain till the death become your wish
    and the death has reached the highest level if it has become a wish
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      May 8 2011: It's sad (and oddly ironic) that language can pose such a barrier to sharing poetry between people.... Though I have enjoyed good translations of many non-English speaking poets.
  • May 8 2011: Bukowski.
    He is a bullfighter.
    A mean, sweet, drunk, hater, lover, dirty, pure, bastard.
    A great writer.
    A gambling degenerate.
    Shacked up with hookers, lonely housewives, groupies, & battle axes.
    Survived an insanely abusive, soul-crushing childhood.
    Is the best poet in the world, ever.
    Here's a random poem he wrote near the end:

    Eulogy To A Hell Of A Dame

    some dogs who sleep At night
    must dream of bones
    and I remember your bones
    in flesh
    and best
    in that dark green dress
    and those high-heeled bright
    black shoes,
    you always cursed when you drank,
    your hair coming down you
    wanted to explode out of
    what was holding you:
    rotten memories of a
    past, and
    you finally got
    by dying,
    leaving me with the
    you've been dead
    28 years
    yet I remember you
    better than any of
    the rest;
    you were the only one
    who understood
    the futility of the
    arrangement of
    all the others were only
    displeased with
    trivial segments,
    nonsensically about
    Jane, you were
    killed by
    knowing too much.
    here's a drink
    to your bones
    this dog
    dreams about.
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    May 8 2011: The Second coming. William Butler Yeats.
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    May 7 2011: Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches on the soul
    and sings the song without the words
    and never stops at all.

    Emily Dickenson
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      May 7 2011: Bob...................I love this.
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      May 8 2011: Adding to Bob's and thinking of Birdia!

      Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
      Bird thou never wert-
      That from Heaven, or near it,
      Pourest they full heart
      In profuse strains of unpremediated art.

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    May 20 2011: Such a flood of final offerings by everyone! It will be great to go back and browse...Should keep me happy for a long time!
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    May 20 2011: Everyone responding to my poems, Thank you very much.

    Thank you very very much for starting this discussion.
    I really enjoyed participating.
    Keep up the good work.
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    May 20 2011: I suppose I will add one of my own to the list as well:

    Many may make a pastime of wandering the sidewalks after the sinking of the sun,
    lurking beneath the safety of streetlights,
    relishing the shuffling of feet familiar of passersby dancing the drunken shuffle,
    that ditty little two step contagious as a smile.
    Often the sleepless lurk after Aurora has chased the horizon out of sight,
    longing for romance in the night,
    that predatory glare hidden under hood never let so loose as to make it understood.
    No, few have ever even met the night, immersed in pitch and untouchable by light;
    for sounds of cars and bustling bars,
    hammered kids, and ear bud wires—blaring noise pumped in brain,
    ruckus made extends the day,
    static sounds rattle ground,
    the blink blink blink of satellites and planes circle high,
    trains expound as they enter town an awful noise is such a sound,
    and the lights nary go out proclaiming night forever day.

    No, as of god once was said, verily the night is dead.
    Far and wide I’ve ranged and roamed, and turned and looked under many stone;
    the rumor fly’s that someone caught a sight,
    ah but alas the lack of light is not the night.
    The night is but a fairy tale, told too fussy children who exert their will
    when slumber ought immersed they should be,
    so told they are of the ghastly beast.
    But if the night was ever real,
    chased away by boy’ and girl’,
    or made extinct or nearly there,
    I declare the night is rare,
    for I have sought and nearly found tracks left not on the ground
    a taste left hanging on the air, a fleeing thing dark and scared.
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    May 20 2011: Below is a song called Oh Comely by Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel.
    Most of my favorite modern poetry is in-bedded in modern folk-music such as Iron and Wine, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Bright eyes to name a few very popular names.
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    May 20 2011: Oh comely
    I will be with you when you lose your breath
    Chasing the only
    Meaningful memory you thought you had left
    With some pretty bright and bubbly terrible scene
    That was doing her thing on your chest
    But, oh comely
    It isn't as pretty as you'd like to guess
    In your memory, you're drunk on your awe to me
    It doesn't mean anything at all
    Oh comely
    All of your friends are all letting you blow
    Bristling and ugly
    Bursting with fruits falling out from the holes
    Of some pretty bright and bubbly friend
    You could need to say comforting things in your ear
    But, oh comely
    There isn't such one friend that you could find here
    Standing next to me
    He's only my enemy
    I'll crush him with everything I own

    Say what you want to say
    And hang for your hollow ways
    Moving your mouth to pull out all your miracles
    For me

    Your father made fetuses with flesh-licking ladies
    While you and your mother were asleep in the trailer park
    Thunderous sparks from the dark of the stadiums
    The music and medicine you needed for comforting
    So make all your fat, fleshy fingers to moving
    And pluck all your silly strings
    And bend all your notes for me
    Soft, silly music is meaningful, magical
    The movements were beautiful
    All in your ovaries
    All of them milking with green fleshy flowers
    While powerful pistons were sugary sweet machines
    Smelling of semen all under the garden
    Was all you were needing when you still believed in me

    Say what you want to say
    And hang for your hollow ways
    Moving your mouth to pull out all your miracles
    For me

    I know they buried her body with others
    Her sister and mother and 500 families
    And will she remember me 50 years later?
    I wished I could save her in some sort of time machine

    Know all your enemies
    We know who our enemies are
    Know all your enemies
    We know who our enemies are

    Goldaline, my dear
    We will fold and freeze together
    Far away from here
    There is sun and spring and green forever
    But now we move to feel
    For ourselves inside some stranger's stomach
    Place your body here
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    May 20 2011: Tom Waits

    a rough cut diamond of american music and poetry

    Waltzing Matilda Live, 1977
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        May 20 2011: Haha! He said he'll give it back when he's done with it (his words not mine!)

        The song has another title - "Tom Traubert's Blues" - but it's usually referred to as Waltzing Matilda. The lyric itself (I don't think) is not the Aussie national anthem unless the whole country identifies with a down and out lost soul with a drinking problem and a lust for life who has nothing left but his girl - Matilda.

        On a whole other level, with the way things are going here in the US this song might be our new national anthem :()

        Take care Richard, I look forward to talking again sometime...
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    May 20 2011: This music is from Chico Buarque, a brazilian genius of music and great writer too. Unfortunately i myself did the translation (with help from google) and it's not very good. Also, this music is much sweeter in portuguese. Hope you like, tho

    Future Lovers (Futuros Amantes)

    don't you rush, don't you
    That nothing is for now
    Love is in no hurry
    It can wait in silence
    In a bottom of the cabinet
    In the poste restante
    Millennia, millennia
    On the Air

    And who knows, then
    Rio will be
    Some submerged city
    The divers will
    Explore your home
    your room, your things
    your soul, attics

    Elders in vain
    They will try to decipher
    The echo of old words
    Fragments of letters, poems
    Lies, pictures
    Traces of alien civilization

    Don't you rush, don't you
    That nothing is for now
    Love will always be courteous
    Future lovers, perhaps
    Will love each other without knowing
    With the love that I once
    left for you
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    May 20 2011: Fathers flimsy faith (a poem by Richard Sanders)
    Part 4.

    On that bight day on wind swept shore,
    He gained a home and wife to free,
    remaining grief that he still bore,
    but allowed no one to see.

    Childhood heartships finally dull,
    and freedom was no longer bound,
    to "my Faith"'s proud and creaking hull,
    and ocean's waves and wind swept sounds.

    He bought a home where they could sleep,
    and sold the ship so all could see,
    then became the tavern's keep.
    and started his own family.

    Upon the woolly waves of wanting,
    weaved a withered whimsy waif,
    winged and wondrous without flaunting,
    he worked his fathers flimsy faith.

    At last his father's faith revealed,
    for son's big heart and true love's kiss,
    the vessel of his loss did yield,
    his abandoned son's true happiness.

    --- by Richard Sanders
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    May 20 2011: Fathers flimsy faith (a poem by Richard Sanders)
    Part 3.

    The biggest man then did regale,
    his father here was welcome sight,
    He told of boy of many tale,
    and asked of Williams deadly plight.

    The boy, now man did thus explain,
    his father's hand he never knew,
    but just "my Faith" he did retain,
    and asked if some had served it's crew.

    Those who did, in turn would speak,
    of memories kept that they held dear,
    the boy remained there for a week,
    and thus became each sailor's peer.

    When drink had loosed the sailor's hearts,
    they spoke of father's journeys fair,
    he seemed as glad of hearing them,
    as they appeared, pleased to share.

    Many tales did his father sell,
    for plate of food and scotch thereafter,
    till tolled at last the barkeeps bell,
    all went to sleep above the rafter.

    When at last the boy did leave,
    he knew that somehow of a sort.
    this tavern during stay so brief.
    to him became his real home port.

    Upon the woolly waves of wanting,
    weaved a withered whimsy waif,
    winged and wondrous without flaunting,
    he worked his fathers flimsy faith.

    When next time came he port-bound head,
    he found the harlot, had left here trade,
    and served in stead the tavern's debt,
    by serving each their food on plate.

    From that day on on travels far,
    he'd think of her at home port inn,
    and wish upon each falling star,
    she'd one day wear his wedding ring.

    And so it came that one fine day,
    the barkeeps bell for joy did ring,
    they promised each forever stay,
    and love eternal, what may bring.

    --- to be continued
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    May 20 2011: Fathers flimsy faith (a poem by Richard Sanders)
    Part 2.

    Upon the woolly waves of wanting,
    weaved a withered whimsy waif,
    winged and wondrous without flaunting,
    he worked his fathers flimsy faith.

    On wind swept waves of wildest oceans,
    willed the youth his search for wealth,
    sought his glory while the motions,
    of pitch and roll, restored his health.

    Upon the westerly winds of freedom,
    the boy discovered his maritime heart,
    by tack and sail and utter gleedom,
    no sea was blocked, no port was barred.

    For years he sailed the salty oceans,
    and grew up thus so hard and strong,
    became as one with "my Faith"'s motions,
    he knew this was where he belong.

    Upon the woolly waves of wanting,
    weaved a withered whimsy waif,
    winged and wondrous without flaunting,
    he worked his fathers flimsy faith.

    Beyond sea's edge on Scottish shore,
    The boy once found a seaman's lair,
    there he lay with town's fair whore,
    from rare few coins he had to spare.

    By little tavern's dimly light,
    He conquered manhood, some to spare,
    then at the bar with banter bright,
    He found his father's memory there.

    He entered shy and scarcely lit,
    the bulky sailors told him sit.
    He took a seat and then was asked,
    who's proud employ the boy was tasked.
    They spoke in jest and taunt and quip,
    he was to young to work a ship,
    To them at last the boy explained,
    t'was late father's ship he trained.
    They hushed and fussed and then would know,
    whom his father be, to show,
    if friends of him did here dwell.
    when the boy the name did tell,
    All mused and fussed a little while,
    and then at last cast sadly smile.

    --- to be continued
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    May 20 2011: It has been a pleasure to share poetry with each other...

    Meditation on Names

    Thank you Richard Dawson
    Thank you Birdia
    Thank you Joy
    Thank you Taulant
    Thank you Helena
    Thank you Richard Sanders
    Thank you Pabitra
    Thank you Kathy
    Thank you Meher
    Thank you Nino
    Thank you Debra
    Thank you Inthegarden beyondthecave
    Thank you Jafia
    Thank you Lilia
    Thank you Andres
    Thank you Rabia
    Thank you Kaili
    Thank you John
    Thank you Jaime
    Thank you Hassan
    Thank you Arvind
    Thank you Wang
    Thank you Craig
    Thank you Covoro
    Thank you Keegan
    Thank you AbdelRahman
    Thank you Sanjay
    Thank you Anna
    Thank you Bob
    Thank you Mathew
    Thank you Matthew
    Thank you William
    Thank you Jorge
    Thank you Elina
    Thank you Lindsay
    Thank you Austin
    Thank you Pascal-Xavier
    Thank you Wongmo
    Thank you Alejandro
    Thank you Kate
    Thank you Lee
    Thank you Josephine
    Thank you Amily
    Thank you Yvonne
    Thank you Scott
    Thank you Tu
    Thank you Rachele
    Thank you Piotr
    Thank you Ed
    Thank you Sabicious
    Thank you Laura
    Thank you Connor
    Thank you Martin
    Thank you Talip
    Thank you Min
    Thank you Jimmy
    Thank you Luisa
    Thank you A. Craig
    Thank you Glipona
    Thank you Emily
    Thasnk you Kim
    Thank you Thomas
    Thank you Brian
    Thank you Genevieve
    Thank you Collin
    Thank you Simon
    Thank you Helen
    Thank you Laura
    Thank you Justin
    Thank you Robertson
    Thank you Bibi
    Thank you Salim

    "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - W Shakespeare
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    May 20 2011: i have start to fell my self a little bit pessimistic , i`m trying to think that even a person can make changes in a large scale , but i don`t know if this is possible and all this because i think people musts start to believe in those things , thank you for opening my eyes .
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    May 20 2011: Leonard Cohen

    Who by Fire
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        May 20 2011: Leonard Cohen has been a part of my life since I picked up a book of poems by him entitled, "The Spice Box of the Earth". But his music is what has so impressed/inspired me through the years. His view of things and the way he expresses it in song is as close to me as anything.

        Leaonard Cohen also has one of my favorite quotes:
        "There is a crack in everything.That's how the light gets in."

        Here are two more songs:

        A young Leonard Cohen
        The Stranger

        Something that has come to light in this conversation is how the synthesis of music, words, and images can create an added demension to poetry that is exhillarating. (Thanks again Veronica)
        A pictorial interpretation of one of his best songs.

        In My Secret Life

        Rather than include the lyrics here I think it's better to have the videos speak for themselves.
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          May 21 2011: Cohen's voice and delivery can be an acquired taste as Richard points out below but his poetry is exquisite. Richard- I could not post in the proper order but yes, Lightfoot is a Canadian classic. How are we doing on the culture front. Did we Canadians pass muster yet?
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          May 21 2011: "so what are you guys doing for your last supper?" Mine will indeed be vegan.
          I flipped a coin about going out and enjoying the end of times (i'm in Oakland and the festivities promise to be a ball) but alas the coin dictated that I do statistics homework instead so I'll be sitting this apocalypse out :(
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          May 21 2011: You most absolutely can send your brother my way. Is he here in Oakland? but it will have to be soon, I am leaving the country soon. I would be glad to sit and talk with him. Big bangers in drag is till on. Once I have a formal outline for the organization I will start it as a school club and grow it from there.
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          May 21 2011: I'm leaving the Bay by the 1st, making the rounds of goodbyes till the 14th, then off to Europe starting with Germany to exert a willful suspense of disbelief (to chase a girl). Not really sure where I'm heading, I have an "I'll figure it out when i get there" attitude towards life that tends to drive me in odd directions.
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          May 21 2011: hahahah, Its funny cuz its true! She LOVES Leonard Cohen. She actually introduced me to him a year ago with an almost fanatical insistence, "Sie werden wie diese!"
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          May 21 2011: Meher- you are confusing me! Does SHE have curly hair??
          Just joshing- hopei its a great trip!
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          May 21 2011: Richard, I know we are considering a distilled form of word useage but one line that says I am not as impressed with some of Britian's history as Davie was - does not an attack make.
          At the end of the day- for better or worse we have the same queen. And we have Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot and you have that actor that was in Jurassic Park!
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          May 21 2011: "Meher- you are confusing me! Does SHE have curly hair??
          Just joshing- hopei its a great trip!"
          Hahahaha, I aim to confuse and confound! Though I try to cultivate an androgynous perspective, I do fall far on one side of the sexual spectrum, hope you wont hold it against me.
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          May 21 2011: Richard! How much fun was that! I wondered how long it would take you to let me have it!
          You were much slower to respond than I expected!
          Hail to all warrior princesses!
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        May 20 2011: Richard- remember our discussion of Canadian cultural highlights a long time ago now? I should have mentioned Leonard Cohen. I saw him in concert here a couple years ago. A great favourite and countryman.
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      May 20 2011: This is Leonard Cohen presenting his Thousand Kisses Deep in a spoken version
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91OQaPQILZk To me it is his best performance!

      What I like about him is that he's not a "real" singer, I mean that he's not really singing his songs but more telling them. Only he is able to do so!
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        May 20 2011: Pascal - Cohen at his best - I think you're right about his voice; he's a storyteller with a rhythm all his own. Thanks for this.
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        May 21 2011: This is really good indeed.
        Thanks for sharing Pascal
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        May 21 2011: Pascal - You and I have the same taste in poetry. I guess it transcends differences and reaches down to where the sameness lies.
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    May 19 2011: The imagery in this poem, for me, is astounding. The children playing in the expanse.... The birds on the wires like music notes on a page... the way the wires stretched "like lovely freehand"....

    The Railway Children
    Seamus Heaney

    When we climbed the slopes of the cutting
    We were eye-level with the white cups
    Of the telegraph poles and the sizzling wires.

    Like lovely freehand they curved for miles
    East and miles west beyond us, sagging
    Under their burden of swallows.

    We were small and thought we knew nothing
    Worth knowing. We thought words travelled the wires
    In the shiny pouches of raindrops,

    Each one seeded full with the light
    Of the sky, the gleam of the lines, and ourselves
    So infinitesmally scaled

    We could stream through the eye of a needle.
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    May 19 2011: from Vacillation
    William Butler Yeats

    My fiftieth year had come and gone,
    I sat, a solitary man,
    In a crowded London shop,
    An open book and empty cup
    On the marble table-top.
    While on the shop and street I gazed
    My body of a sudden blazed;
    And twenty minutes more or less
    It seemed, so great my happiness,
    That I was blessed and could bless.
    Although the summer Sunlight gild
    Cloudy leafage of the sky,
    Or wintry moonlight sink the field
    In storm-scattered intricacy,
    I cannot look thereon,
    Responsibility so weighs me down.
    Things said or done long years ago,
    Or things I did not do or say
    But thought that I might say or do,
    Weigh me down, and not a day
    But something is recalled,
    My conscience or my vanity appalled.
    A rivery field spread out below,
    An odour of the new-mown hay
    In his nostrils, the great lord of Chou
    Cried, casting off the mountain snow,
    "Let all things pass away.'
    Wheels by milk-white asses drawn
    Where Babylon or Nineveh
    Rose; some conquer drew rein
    And cried to battle-weary men,
    "Let all things pass away.'
    From man's blood-sodden heart are sprung
    Those branches of the night and day
    Where the gaudy moon is hung.
    What's the meaning of all song?
    "Let all things pass away.'
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    May 19 2011: Thank you to David Whyte for helping me find poems I could use to understand my world better. If poets are bridge makers, David is a master architect.

    Here is a poem David shared by Fleur Adcock, a New Zealand born poet. It speaks to those of us who have begun to notice the passage of time on our faces, our hands, and our being.


    My face catches the wind
    from the snow line
    and flushes with a flush
    that will never wholly settle.
    Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
    wanting to look young forever, to pass.
    I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
    and only pretty enough to be seen
    with a man who wanted to be seen
    with a passable woman.

    But now that I am in love
    with a place that doesn't care
    how I look and if I am happy,
    happy is how I look and that's all.
    My hair will grow grey in any case,
    my nails chip and flake,
    my waist thicken, and the years
    work all their usual changes.

    If my face is to be weather beaten as well,
    it's little enough lost
    for a year among the lakes and vales
    where simply to look out my window
    at the high pass
    makes me indifferent to mirrors
    and to what my soul may wear
    over its new complexion.

    -Fleur Adcock
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    May 19 2011: With just a couple of days left in the life of this conversation, I wanted to share with you what I have learned from taking part in it - and hope, too, that it might encourage you to share any final thoughts on why poetry is such a powerful force in your life.

    What I have learned is this: For so many years I've wanted to separate poetry from music, thinking that the two were close to each other, but that each had it's own identity and purpose. Yet so often in this conversation people have connected the two. During the course of this conversation I re-examined the relationship of music and poetry and felt the two merge for the first time in my life - so thank you to all of you who so easily and beautifully showed how music and poetry are different manifestations of the same beautiful language. In particular, thank you to Veronica Martinez, who in this conversation attributed her awakening to poetry to 3 elements woven together: music, images and words - to form what she called "total immersion" poetry. It's true that, like almost everything, poetry is evolving and that the way poetry is expressed has changed. It's all good.

    I've also been amazed at how many people have come to this conversation with poetry of their own to share. It has been a pleasure to read and has given me one of my favorite things: inspiration.
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    May 18 2011: I'm not sure my translation will do this poem any justice, however I'll do my best. This poem was written by someone I know who used to call himself "El poeta muerto" The dead poet. A rather unsual pseudonym for someone who writes, in my opinion, such beautiful poems.

    This morning I sat on a road bend
    With my senses and human heart as open
    As an umbrella or a flower are under the rain.

    This morning I opened the day to love it
    And not to understand its imperceptible meaning,
    of its laughter or its need to cry.

    Underneath this radiant sun I only have the ambition
    To remain serene and habitable like a river
    Which its only desire is to grow.

    Esta mañana me he sentado en el recodo de un camino
    con los sentidos y el corazón humano tan abiertos
    cómo un paraguas o una flor lo están bajo la lluvia

    Esta mañana he abierto el día para amarlo
    y no para entender su sentido imperceptible,
    el de sus carcajadas o el de sus ganas de llorar

    Bajo este sol radiante sólo tengo la ambición
    de continuar sereno y habitable como un río
    cuyo unico deseo es crecer.
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        May 19 2011: Thank you Richard, I have not that talent, that others possess, to express myself through poetry; I'm just a messenger.
        Thank you also for the song. :-)
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          May 19 2011: I lived for a short five months in Ibiza before it changed. A friend of mine from Utrecht was running away from a lot of demons and he asked me to join him. He taught me how to play chess and turned me on to the smelliest of cheeses. I miss him.

          It was 1974. We lived in a white-washed cottage with dirt floors and a cooking fireplace. We would ride bikes everywhere and walk. The beaches were pristine and the small villages outside of town were nothing much more than a general store and a cafe. Everything that we needed could be gotten in port city of Ibiza Town and there was really nothing else between it and San Antonio on the other side of the island. Rolling hills and pastures and small shops.

          I understand it has changed dramatically and from what I hear it is something of a Miami South Beach kind of atmosphere. Too bad...
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        May 19 2011: Wendy Rhodes, a very strict however very good English teacher, apart from the fact that up until last year, I had lived in England for the last twelve years. Not much merit then on the English side however thank you for the compliment.

        Yes, unfortunately Ibiza has quite a bad reputation because of the partying side of it. Nevertheless, apart from the fact that it's a beautiful place with several world heritages, such as the fortified city; the protected natural parc of Las Salinas and the the pirate towers that surround the whole of the island; we have one of the most important ethnologic museums in the world, also have a considerable amount of Punic and Phoenician arquitecture and art remains, exclusive fauna and flora, and of course, beautiful and clean beaches.
        I wouldn't recommend you visited in August, since it is the hottest and busiest month of all. Finally, if you do get to visit, make sure you jump on a boat and visit Formentera, another small but beautiful island just 30 minutes away. You will not regret it.
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        May 19 2011: Jim, you should find new sources of information because you have clearly been misinformed. I would kindly suggest you pay another visit and judge for yourself.
        Leaving that aside, I love the conversation you started. There is so much talent about. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. ;-)
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          May 19 2011: Well then! That's great! Sorry if I seemed to talk badly of your home... I was remembering back when it was a very different place. Undiscovered. My impression was that there has been an extrordinary amount of development on the island over the last couple of decades and that it had become somewhat of a jetsetter destination which, if that is the case, is very different from the Ibiza I knew.
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    May 18 2011: A Year and a Day
    by E.Siddal

    Slow days have passed that make a year,
    Slow hours that make a day,
    Since I could take my first dear love
    And kiss him the old way;
    Yet the green leaves touch me on the cheek,
    Dear Christ, this month of May.

    I lie among the tall green grass
    That bends above my head
    And covers up my wasted face
    And folds me in its bed
    Tenderly and lovingly
    Like grass above the dead.

    Dim phantoms of an unknown ill
    Float through my tired brain;
    The unformed visions of my life
    Pass by in ghostly train;
    Some pause to touch me on the cheek,
    Some scatter tears like rain.

    A shadow falls along the grass
    And lingers at my feet;
    A new face lies between my hands --
    Dear Christ, if I could weep
    Tears to shut out the summer leaves
    When this new face I greet.

    Still it is but the memory
    Of something I have seen
    In the dreamy summer weather
    When the green leaves came between:
    The shadow of my dear love’s face --
    So far and strange it seems.

    The river ever running down
    Between its grassy bed,
    The voices of a thousand birds
    That clang above my head,
    Shall bring to me a sadder dream
    When this sad dream is dead.

    A silence falls upon my heart
    And hushes all its pain.
    I stretch my hands in the long grass
    And fall to sleep again,
    There to lie empty of all love
    Like beaten corn of grain.
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    May 17 2011: The work of Natalie Merchant in reviving these old children's poems and setting them to music is an amazing work of love and art. Please see if you enjoy them as much as I did.

  • May 17 2011: So much depends on my mind/heart space when I read a poem. I recall how much "Copacetic Mingus" affected me when I first read it.

    Copacetic Mingus
    --Yusef Komunyakaa

    "'Mingus One, Two and Three
    Which is the image you want the world to see?'"
    --Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog

    Heartstring. Blessed wood
    & every moment the thing's made of:
    ball of fatback
    licked by fingers of fire.
    Hard love, it's hard love.
    Running big hands down
    the upright's wide hips,
    rocking his moon-eyed mistress
    with gold in her teeth.
    Art & life bleed
    into each other
    as he works the bow.
    But tonight we're both a long ways
    from the Mile High City,
    1973. Here in New Orleans
    years below sea level,
    I listen to Pithecanthropus
    Erectus: Up & down, under
    & over, every which way--
    thump, thump, dada--ah, yes.
    Wood heavy with tenderness,
    Mingus fingers the loom
    gone on Segovia,
    dogging the raw strings
    unwaxed with rosin.
    Hyperbolic bass line. Oh, no!
    Hard love, it's hard love.
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    May 16 2011: I'd like to know if you consider this poetry too?

    Edge of my world (by Richard Sanders)

    I open the door to the world outside,
    It's evening and everyone's asleep,
    in all the street no window shows light,
    No sound but the far desolate single bark of a dog.
    So short and thin and far you doubt if it was there as soon as it's gone.
    This is the place where the edge of my world lays at my feet.
    This is where real and imagined meet,

    Here nothing exists but me, my thoughts, my dreams.
    The night between 3 and 4 is everywhere it seems.

    It travels with me wherever I go,
    but shies away from bright city lights,
    and only comes out when everyone's gone,
    It hides behind my legs when people come home,
    from a night out on the town,
    It cowers away from every little sound,
    Don't be afraid I tell it, you will not be hurt,
    but it can not help being so weak,
    to be overpowered by even the smallest sound,
    so fragile and thin, so tender and warm... and cold, alone.
    The edge of my world, there it is... sshhhh... sweet silence.
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        May 17 2011: Thanks, I'm kinda looking to let go of strict rhyme structures in my poetry to get more room to create more natural feeling flow.
        It's hard though, I keep getting drawn in by the structures even though it feels more like a trick than ....
        ? art ? creativity ?
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          May 17 2011: rather than focus on rhyme try rhythm, using syllabic stressing can give structure to flow. there are many different types of meters one can use such as an accented syllable followed by an unaccented syllable, or a 1-2-1-2 sort of deal. Rhyme I think is particularly limited to vowels in expression and while there may be an infinite number of ways one could order a rhyme scheme you still only have a handful of vowels which can be used. I would highly recommend experimenting with different types of rhythm if your looking to break away from rhyme as it can give a feel of continuity to poetry (though neither are necessary)
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    May 16 2011: (Forgive me for reposting a part of one I posted earlier that was too long).

    Love Song

    A dream
    The song would flow
    more perfect in these veins.
    And move us fast to do the work
    For children here and far away,
    For generations not yet born,
    For millions,

    To grow the healthy tree,
    To be a healthy tree,
    To give the fruit
    To feed

    A dream
    To be the morning sun,
    To find a way across the hues,
    Providing food for forest growth,
    Not refusing, but still diffusing down
    To leaves that grow in darkness deep.
    A dream of leaves still singing songs,
    Dancing, and seeking strength
    To stop
    The bugs:
    The bugs
    That feast
    Upon our roots.

    That Truth’s
    Bud will bloom
    Again and again
    In you, and in me.
    I am responsible.
    I am.

    A need to sing,
    To be clear as a mountain spring,
    A light that runs upon the waves,
    A gift to the river,
    To be
    A voice
    Still singing.

    I am
    Most truly who I am
    When I am my better spirits,
    Whispering winds upon my neck,
    A wish to ride on winds of better spirits,
    Calling me out, again and again.
    My purpose has come.
    My lungs
    are filled,
    My voice,
    It is raised
    To sing of love.

    Real love. True love.
    The love that fits
    The Golden Rule,
    The discipline
    By love
    To make
    Love real and true.
  • May 16 2011: To me, the most powerful poem I have ever read is probably William Ernest Henley's "Invictus".

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    The way Henley empowers the reader with such eloquence, and passively questions the world, society and faith is astounding. I am in the process of learning it off by heart, for it is one of the few poems that strikes me every time I read it. Its physical beauty and wholesomeness is just incredible. It seems to me like it could encompasse the very foundations of my morals and beliefs, which of course is a matter of personal opinion. Though its claim to fame may now be the motion picture of the same name, it will forever be one of my absolute favorites.
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    May 16 2011: Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of
    I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your
    feet and hands,
    Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners,
    troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you,
    Your true soul and body appear before me,
    They stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops,
    work, farms, clothes, the house, buying, selling, eating,
    drinking, suffering, dying.

    Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you
    be my poem,
    I whisper with my lips close to your ear,
    I have loved many women and men, but I love none better
    than you.

    O I have been dilatory and dumb,
    I should have made my way straight to you long ago,
    I should have blabb'd nothing but you, I should have chanted
    nothing but you.

    I will leave all and come and make the hymns of you,
    None has understood you, but I understand you,
    None has done justice to you, you have not done justice to
    None but has found you imperfect, I only find no
    imperfection in you,
    None but would subordinate you, I only am he who will
    never consent to subordinate you,
    I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better,
    God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself.

    -Walt Whitman
    To You
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    May 16 2011: Poetry is universal. Poetry is music. Poetry is an intimate feeling.

    My poem: Signals


    Como las estrellas fugaces
    Las señales de luz
    Descienden en el delirio
    De una duda inquietante.

    Son austeras y discretas
    Viajeras frágiles
    De la memoria sin razón.

    Peregrinas llegan candorosas
    Y se alejan eclipsadas
    Como el sol bajo la nube
    Que esconde el fulgor de los rayos
    Incendiando el ígneo calor.

    Las señales
    De ámbar se visten
    De éter se inflaman
    De ecos se dicen
    Del tacto nos llaman
    Con voces que tocan
    Colores de graves espías.

    Más la vida
    Las pasa de largo
    Como sueños que en el viento
    Las evoca
    Como ríos que en el agua
    Las olvida
    Como cantos que enmudecen
    En el rostro sempiterno
    Del glauco cristal
    En mis noches profundas
    En mis tristes ensueños.
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    May 15 2011: I don't know about anyone else here, but I still have a place in my heart for the art of Shel Silverstein. When I was little, he was the writer that kept my head above water with his close-to-but-not-quite-nonsense. I thrived under his removed tutelage, and today, I still feel that he is an old friend to turn to when I feel like I might have to take a dip under the dark water of reality. He makes me feel like a kid again, even if people see as being an adult. In reality, I still am a child, in body but not in mind, so with Mr. Silverstein by my side, I can regain that little bit of childish joy that still giggles in the back of my mind when I relax, can nourish that little pinprick of personality that makes me feel joy in writing and reading the writing of others, can still play hopscotch and sing lullabys and nursery songs when the mood strikes, and can see with an eye of innocence long denied to an old woman chained within a little girl.
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      May 15 2011: I love Shel Silverstein. I remember when I was in the second grade someone brought in one of his books for show and tell, I forget what the poem is called but instead of being in straight lines it swirled around the page in a spiral. I was hooked and went to the library and picked up all his books and read them obsessively. Strange little factoid that may taint the innocence of his childlike wonder, did you know he got his major break writing for playboy?
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          May 16 2011: Hahaha, thanks for the thumbing ;). I wish that the great and mighty Admin. would add some other hand gestures. I would particularly like Hand Claps, or for this particular discussion I think that Finger Snaps would be appropriate. I have taken your advice and put my name back up. I am usually hesitant to post my name, not because I want to hide my identity or anything, but names bias people. When too equally qualified people apply for a job, for instance, if one is named Okwankwo and the other Alex, studies have shown that the "western" name endows people with a higher degree of hire-ability (studies only conducted in the west). When in discussions about middle eastern issues for instance I was concerned that people might assume me to harbor allegiances based on the cognates of my name. Studies have shown that a Rose by any other name doth not smell just as sweet, but hey, if like my name then up it goes again:)
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      May 15 2011: Shel has done a great service by turning children on to poetry. (I wonder who turned him on to Playboy?). I think his poems are clever and bright and full of childhood delight and brooding and everything in between.
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          May 16 2011: Stop! You're hurting me!!!
  • May 15 2011: LO FATAL (By Rubén Darío)

    Dichoso el árbol, que es apenas sensitivo,
    y más la piedra dura porque ésa ya no siente,
    pues no hay dolor más grande que el dolor de ser vivo
    ni mayor pesadumbre que la vida consciente.
    Ser, y no saber nada, y ser sin rumbo cierto,
    y el temor de haber sido y un futuro terror...
    ¡Y el espanto seguro de estar mañana muerto,
    y sufrir por la vida y por la sombra y por

    lo que no conocemos y apenas sospechamos,
    y la carne que tienta con sus frescos racimos,
    y la tumba que aguarda con sus fúnebres ramos
    y no saber adónde vamos,
    ni de dónde venimos.
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    May 15 2011: Love-An Essence Of All Religions
    Through love thorns becomes roses,and
    Through love vinegar becomes sweet wine,
    Through love the stake becomes a throne,
    Through love misfortune becomes good fortune,
    Through love burning fire becomes pleasing light,
    Through love stone becomes soft as butter,
    Through love grief becomes a joy,
    Through love lions become harmless
    Through love sickness becomes health,
    Through love wrath seems to be a mercy,
    Through love the dead rise to life,
    Through love the king becomes a slave.
    Poetry by: (Jalaluddin Rumi)
    Translated by Dr.Nicholson
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    May 15 2011: It depends on the situation. Here is a trnaslation of peom from Urdu:

    in the wilderness of loneliness, oh my love, vibrating the shadows of your beautiful voice, mirages of your lips;
    in the wilderness of loneliness, buried under the straws and dust of distance, blossoming the flowers of your body;
    from the closeness lightly radiating perfume of your breath, burning slowly;
    far on the other side of horizon, dripping gently dew of your loving sight;
    with so much love, hands of you memories have touched my heart that I feel;
    even though it is still the morning of our separation;
    sun of our distance has already set and night of our meeting has already arrived
    in the wilderness of loneliness, oh my love
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    May 15 2011: What are we doing?
    Why are we here when we could be there?


    Cannonballs ricochet around the room
    I hurry home to lick my wounds
    I stumble home to Oceanea

    A nightingale sang above my mother's tomb
    Twilight in the afternoon
    I stumble home to Oceanea

    Not far from here
    In some other ecozone
    The crocuses are still in bloom
    I stumble home to Oceanea

    And I'm free
    I'm soaring on a thermal wind
    I'm learning how to shed my skin
    I made it home to Oceanea

    Not far from here
    In some other ecozone
    The crocuses are still in bloom
    You stumble home to Oceanea

    And you're free
    You're soaring on a thermal wind
    You're learning how to shed your skin
    You made it home to Oceanea
    You made it home to Oceanea

    -Thomas Dolby

    See this. Hear this.
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    May 14 2011: The first and for many years only poetry that ever moved me: "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" By S.T. Coleridge.

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        May 15 2011: I understand that a certain age and maturity is required to really appreciate poetry and I heartily agree with that premise.
        Yet I first read the "ancient mariner" when I was about 15 yo.
        The maritime aspect, combined with the imagery the words portray, had me hooked from the second verse on.
        I had a liking for the lyrical side of the English language from an early age considering that Dutch is my native language.
        In fact, I still like English better then Dutch. Dutch doesn't really sound right when used for poetry. That's why all my work is in English.
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        May 16 2011: Richard D,
        Very nice poem. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know the first one.
        I do know and love "The Lady of Shalott" from the musical adaptations of literary and poetic works by Loreena McKennet.

        Also one of my favorites from Loreena McKennet: The Highwayman

        In fact: I love nearly all her works.

        As for Dutch language not loving poetry: I guess if you speak it every day as I do, it becomes bland and stale. Just my opinion though.
  • May 14 2011: The Raven (Edgar Allan Poe), conspicious by its absence here, gets my vote. Not because it carries an particular relevance to me per se, by just because of the calibre of poetry it is.

    (NB: Too long to play copypaster here and is readily available for perusal all over the 'net if so desired).
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    May 14 2011: PART 2

    The Invitation by Oriah

    It doesn’t interest me
    who you know
    or how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand
    in the centre of the fire
    with me
    and not shrink back.

    It doesn’t interest me
    where or what or with whom
    you have studied.
    I want to know
    what sustains you
    from the inside
    when all else falls away.

    I want to know
    if you can be alone
    with yourself
    and if you truly like
    the company you keep
    in the empty moments.
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    May 14 2011: PART ONE

    The Invitation by Oriah

    It doesn’t interest me
    what you do for a living.
    I want to know
    what you ache for
    and if you dare to dream
    of meeting your heart’s longing.

    It doesn’t interest me
    how old you are.
    I want to know
    if you will risk
    looking like a fool
    for love
    for your dream
    for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn’t interest me
    what planets are
    squaring your moon...
    I want to know
    if you have touched
    the centre of your own sorrow
    if you have been opened
    by life’s betrayals
    or have become shrivelled and closed
    from fear of further pain.

    I want to know
    if you can sit with pain
    mine or your own
    without moving to hide it
    or fade it
    or fix it.

    I want to know
    if you can be with joy
    mine or your own
    if you can dance with wildness
    and let the ecstasy fill you
    to the tips of your fingers and toes
    without cautioning us
    to be careful
    to be realistic
    to remember the limitations
    of being human.

    It doesn’t interest me
    if the story you are telling me
    is true.
    I want to know if you can
    disappoint another
    to be true to yourself.
    If you can bear
    the accusation of betrayal
    and not betray your own soul.
    If you can be faithless
    and therefore trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see Beauty
    even when it is not pretty
    every day.
    And if you can source your own life
    from its presence.

    I want to know
    if you can live with failure
    yours and mine
    and still stand at the edge of the lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon,

    It doesn’t interest me
    to know where you live
    or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up
    after the night of grief and despair
    weary and bruised to the bone
    and do what needs to be done
    to feed the children.

    PART 2 in next post
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      May 14 2011: Dear Ed, Here's to the breaking of our bands of steel so that we can all breathe a cleansing breath.
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    May 14 2011: OMG- This is a TEDx talk and It is so inspirational.
    Not sure it is exactly poetry but I am not sure it is not.

    Please see if you agree.

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      May 14 2011: It's poetry all right. It's spoken word poetry. Very nice. If you can write such poetry without the need to rely on rhyme for structure, then your a truly are a poet.

      Be sure to watch this to.

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        May 14 2011: I have seen and enjoyed it Richard. I love spoken word like Suheir's too.
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          May 14 2011: Yeah, she's something special too.
          There's a real treasure trove of spoken word to be found on youtube. All sorts and subjects.
          I can't get enough of it. Many are very inspirational.
          I like spoken word poetry much more then the kind that sits on paper.
          It brings you much closer to the intentions of the author.
          That's what appeals to me.
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      May 14 2011: Debra! Its good and its powerful and its poetry!!! Thank you for this..

      This poet performs his poetry. It's a far cry from the poetry readings I've seen by Dylan Thomas or Alan Ginsberg or any of those from bygone eras that are so stuffy and detached.
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    May 14 2011: Sunshine
    But no heat
    Shadows cover snow
    Smoggy peaks topped with white
    Far off in the distance
    It's not called Solitude for nothing
    Mud hills baked in afternoon sun
    And shade
    Early full moon rises on rock
    Stones older than time
    Dusk's light
    Reflecting from trailer park windows
    Old,cold light
    Out here is no living on the wrong side
    Faded sunset
    Shining colors on the far horizon
    Colors that can't be remade
    Distant snow covered range
    Turning from blue to gray to black
    The last light drawing a thin line
    Casting a faint dream
    Before the moon burns you
    Turning your soul from red wine to vinegar
    From soft earth to hardened clay
    Trying to catch yourself
    But turn from clay to stone
    Dropping into the endless pit that you made yourself
    You break your fall and become mired in your own
    Living to close to the edge and it breaks
    Mental sunshine brings no heat
    Spiritual shadows cover past mistakes
    I have lost the soul
    Spent in little pieces
    On what I can't remember
    Paid over and over again on lod crimes
    Paid and still owing

    P.Q. 022505

    John W. Raccasi
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    May 14 2011: Foolish girl (by Richard Sanders)
    I saw her first from far away
    but close enough to think,
    See looks nice and slender, cute
    but I did not make the link.
    Next we met in passing by
    stunned in silence then was I,
    by her eyes so blue,
    Like crystal white and ocean hue
    where merged in them into,
    a burning flame on icy flow,
    with most intense glow,
    set in her face on cheerful smile,
    and perfect all the while,
    I forgot to speak, my knees went weak,
    and must have seemed a freak.
    I searched for her
    when came next day,
    but much to my dismay,
    She was not there
    or anywhere
    I did not think it fair.
    Then three days on,
    on sultry night
    we met again in whole,
    We spoke at length
    we shared or minds
    and connected with our soul.
    Back home we walked,
    and silence stretched,
    in memory it etched,
    that wondrous night
    when dreams took flight
    we knew how well we matched,
    When we talked in parting sweet,
    We spoke in words of lips caressed,
    in tender touch and soul exhaled,
    with whispered words, on shar'ed breath,
    then our elated hearts confessed,
    our love had truly taken seat.
    When next day came with clarity,
    she spoke these words in charity,
    The fault in this is all my own,
    despite the love that we have shown,
    you're still to young for loving me,
    two years below, the age of me,
    I want a man, a boy no more.
    while you do still have, so much in store,
    you will on day find your true friend,
    she'll love you too, to hearts content.
    For fear of what my friends will say,
    of dating a youth not fully grown,
    please hold your tongue 'bout yesterday,
    I do not want our passion shown.
    How cruel a mind to speak these words,
    she does not see how much it hurts,
    this foolish girl that to much fears,
    what guise she wares, among her peers,
    How many loves are thus curtailed,
    how many unions thus have failed.
    Why do we care what others think,
    when souls connect and make that link,
    that merges two, into the one,
    and shines love's light, like brightest sun.
    I cried in silence when she'd gone.
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    May 14 2011: probably one of my faves is Paradise lost, its ironic for me but the poem is just such a shear work of mad genius. Milton was blind when he dictated it. I read once that he would wake up in the morning and having dreamt what he wanted to say would call to his daughters "I need to be milked" and then would rattle off hundreds of lines of perfect iambic pentameter (excepting like only two instances i think) inventing words like pandemonium on the spot without interrupting his flow in meter, not only must he have been one of the most well read people of all time but his ability to cognitively conjure such vast wealths of information and incorporate it seamlessly is astounding. Many think him verbose and obtuse, and to an extent he was, but I think his broad strokes of verbal abuse made for the most percussive arrangements :
    ....................................Him the Almighty Pow'r
    Hurled headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky
    With hideous ruin and combustion down
    To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
    In adamantine chains and penal fire
    Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms......

    ..................................Farewell happy fields
    Where joy forever dwells! Hail horrors, hail
    Infernal world! And thou, profoundest Hell,
    Receive thy new possessor, one who brings
    A mind not to be changed by place or time!
    The mind is its own place and in itself
    Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
    What matter where, if iI be still the same
    And what I should be: all but less than He
    Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
    We shall be free. Th' Almighty hath not built
    Here for His envy, will not drive us hence.
    Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
    To reign is wroth ambition, though in Hell:
    Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven!

    I think I may have Identified more with Milton's Satan than any other literary character in history. Is that weird? Not that I have such dreams of grandeur, but I'm at least as obstinate towards authority.
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    May 13 2011: I had to break my poem into 3 parts. It is best to start with part 1. It is supposed to be centered on the page and have colored type. You can kind of see the figures cut in half when it is all written on the left margin. Oh well. I hope it serves to help bind us together in shared purposes.
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    May 13 2011: From the Gospel of the Golden Rule:
    Running on the River
    (with excerpts from Carly Simon's Let the River Run)
    Part 3

    By the Golden Rule,

    Breaks the idols of our age,
    With hammers in our hearts,
    Love pounding out the beat
    Behind the rhythm starts
    To crack
    Our fault:
    Our fault
    That lets
    Us fall,
    And fall,
    And fall,
    And fall.

    Let there be light.
    Divide the light from the dark.
    Let the song go on.
    And again.

    Our purpose has come.
    Our lungs are filled.
    Our voices are raised.

    Let us sing.
    Let us be light.
    Let us be bright.
    Let us be clear as a mountain spring,
    And sing the mind
    To reason’s height,
    And find the way
    From wrong
    To right.

    Let us sing the call
    To build it here:
    The Holy Grail
    In spirit near.
    Become the love,
    That brick by brick
    Becomes the Holy Home,
    The Temple of the Light of Truth,
    The Temple of the Truest Love,
    The Love
    That fits
    The Golden Rule.
    The Narrow Path that travels to
    And through the sunlit gardens beyond our cave.

    “Let the river run
    “Let all the dreamers
    Wake the nation[s]”


    “The New Jerusalem.”
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    May 13 2011: From the Gospel of the Golden Rule:
    Running on the Water
    Part 2

    By the Golden Rule,

    “We're coming to the edge
    running on the water
    coming through the fog
    your sons and daughters”

    Let us dream love’s dream

    The song is flowing forth,
    To wake and heal the hearing hearts,
    To let Life’s rhythms work.
    And let the spirit
    Its Wind.

    A dream
    The song would flow
    more perfect in these veins.
    And move us fast to do the work
    For children here and far away,
    For generations not yet born,
    For millions,

    To grow the healthy tree,
    To be a healthy tree,
    To give the fruit
    To feed

    A dream
    To be the morning sun,
    To find a way across the hues,
    Providing food for forest growth,
    Not refusing, but still diffusing down
    To leaves that grow in darkness deep.
    A dream of leaves still singing songs,
    Dancing, and seeking strength
    To stop
    The bugs:
    The bugs
    That feast
    Upon our roots.

    That Truth’s
    Bud will bloom
    Again and again
    In you, and in me.
    I am responsible.
    I am.

    A need to sing,
    To be clear as a mountain spring,
    A light that runs upon the waves,
    A gift to the river,
    To be
    A voice
    Still singing.

    I am
    Most truly who I am
    When I am my better spirits,
    Whispering winds upon my neck,
    A wish to ride on winds of better spirits,
    Calling me out, again and again.
    My purpose has come.
    My lungs
    are filled,
    My voice,
    It is raised
    To sing of love.

    Real love. True love.
    The love that fits
    The Golden Rule,
    The discipline
    By love
    To make
    Love real and true.

    By the Golden Rule
    “We're coming to the edge
    running on the water
    coming through the fog
    your sons and daughters”
    Let it be our lamp,
    An anthem for our age.
    Let us listen with our better spirit.
    And then, with wings upon the winds
    Let us sing.
    Let us soar.
    Let us flee the abyss.

    “We the great and small
    Stand on a star
    And blaze a trail of desire
    Through the dark'ning dawn.”
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    May 13 2011: From the Gospel of the Golden Rule:
    Running on the Water
    Part 1

    Now, ‘Tis the Day of Dark’ning Dawn
    When terrors grow as powers grow,
    Our powerful faults threaten all we know.
    And so, it is today the Day of Dark’ning Dawn
    When famine awaits the end of combustion,
    When all is exhausted by our consumption,
    When we await a war of mass destruction,
    When species die in mass extinction,
    When the weather grows weird,
    When the world avoids fear,
    And denies all evidence
    That horror is clear,
    That horror is near,
    By invoking
    The unreason
    Of darker times
    And the blind consensus of selfish minds.

    There’s toxic stew thats brewed within that cup of lead,
    The acid of despair or sweet denial’s poisoned air,
    A draught for those who’d let the world be dead.
    Drink not from lead, but try the golden cup instead.
    Beneath the cloud of growing power,
    Life is frail.
    But we can hope
    To save it all
    By drinking of the spirit found within the golden grail.

    The children look to us.
    Their children look to us.
    And their children look to us.
    The untold millions of generations
    Will not see life if we should fail
    To save their world…
    Us whole.

    (The Hopeful one).
    Standing strong,
    A Lonely voice
    Sings on
    With hope.
    Our hope.
    Our song.

    “Let the river run”

    “Let all the dreamers
    Wake the nation[s]”

    “Come, The New Jerusalem.”

    Let the chorus breathe and swell
    To make us wake and dream
    The disciplined spirit of love
    That fits the Golden Rule.
    Let our chorus swell,
    To shatter
    The shell,
    That is
    the spell,
    Of the dark’ning dawn.

    Let’s do love’s work
    And sing hope’s song.
    Let me be joined with thee
    In spirit’s truest family:

    The Unbounded We.
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    May 13 2011: My nieces. (by Richard Sanders)

    Anticipation tickles me as briefly knock the door,
    When it opens, I know what comes, I love what is in store,

    My nieces three, come running fast and jump into my arms,
    Enticing me along inside, with smiles and youthful charms,

    Giselle now nine will briefly hug and look into my eyes,
    She's growing up, more poised these days and looking almost wise.

    Isabelle is five, she'll cling to me, and try to claim me whole,
    With all abandon of her youth, still loving with all her soul,

    Arielle is three and will demand her place, not timidly at all,
    She shows her sisters that she's there even if she's still so small.

    All three my joy and wonderful they warm my heart so sweet,
    As they come running to this single man, I feel my heart be freed.

    The singular joy of children, I never would have believed,
    Until I met my nieces fair, and found I was deceived.

    There's no greater joy than the unconditional love, mere children can bestow,
    No intenser sense of connectedness to make your emotions flow.

    I never knew myself capable of feeling such intense,
    connection, love and empathy and who knows what other sense.

    I was half alive and partly dead until they entered life,
    From that day my soul was free and given room to thrive.
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    May 13 2011: Love poems are more powerful to me.

    From "Low Love" for a worldly(open to death) reason or creature or "Deep Love" for something some everlasting reason(something cover all world people, all creatures or directly cover all the reasons/creator).

    Most powerful poems are Deep ones for sure(my personal opinion=]).

    Dear administration could I use a link to show some examples?
    I want to share one powerful poems owner who was "2007 Year of Mevlana" on all the earth by UNESCO. Just take a look to the poems on the page is quite enough to inspire you:

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      May 14 2011: Ah, Rumi... I was in Turkey a couple of years ago and watched the whirling dervishes dance to music and his poetry. Very intoxicating!! I love the soul of Rumi...

      Thanks for sharing this!
  • May 13 2011: Rudyard Kipling's If, learnt by heart from my Dad as some useful guiding principles for life....

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

    He used to make one adjustment though... the Man of the last line to Woman!
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    May 13 2011: Eleanor Rigby

    Ah, look at all the lonely people
    Ah, look at all the lonely people

    Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice
    In the church where a wedding has been
    Lives in a dream

    Waits at the window, wearing the face
    That she keeps in a jar by the door
    Who is it for?

    All the lonely people
    Where do they all come from?
    All the lonely people
    Where do they all belong?

    Father McKenzie, writing the words
    of a sermon that no one will hear
    No one comes near

    Look at him working, darning his socks
    In the night when there's nobody there
    What does he care?

    All the lonely people
    Where do they all come from?
    All the lonely people
    Where do they all belong?

    Ah, look at all the lonely people
    Ah, look at all the lonely people

    Eleanor Rigby, died in the church
    And was buried along with her name
    Nobody came

    Father McKenzie, wiping the dirt
    From his hands as he walks from the grave
    No one was saved

    All the lonely people
    (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
    Where do they all come from?
    All the lonely people
    (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
    Where do they all belong?

    -Lennon & McCartney
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        May 14 2011: Yup, Lennon & McCartney. It's a gorgeous song. I read once that "Mary" in the song was Paul McCartney's mother…
        I especially love the line "I wake up to the sound of music". Such a simple, beautiful sensation to have upon waking.
        "Let It Be" was written primarily by Paul McCartney. He and John Lennon seemed to be a two-headed artist most times. Here is a song that was primarily John Lennon's:

        Nowhere Man

        He's a real Nowhere Man
        Sitting in his Nowhere Land
        Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

        Doesn't have a point of view
        Knows not where he's going to
        Isn't he a bit like you and me?

        Nowhere Man, please listen
        You don't know what you're missing
        Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

        He's as blind as he can be
        Just sees what he wants to see
        Nowhere Man, can you see me at all?

        Nowhere Man, don't worry
        Take your time, don't hurry
        Leave it all 'til somebody else lends you a hand

        Doesn't have a point of view
        Knows not where he's going to
        Isn't he a bit like you and me?

        Nowhere Man, please listen
        You don't know what you're missing
        Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

        He's a real Nowhere Man
        Sitting in his Nowhere Land
        Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
        Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
        Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
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    May 13 2011: I wanted to share this song lyric along with a video of a live performance of it by Antony Haggerty (Antony and the Johnsons)

    It is dark, beautiful, and disturbing.
    Not everyone's "cup of tea", but for me this is someone who is a master of words and music and the melding of the two.
    And his voice...

    Cripple and the Starfish

    Mr. Muscle forcing bursting
    Stingy thingy into little me, me, me
    But just "ripple" said the cripple
    As my jaw dropped to the ground
    Smile smile

    It's true I always wanted love to be
    And it's true I always wanted love to be
    Filled with pain
    And bruises

    Yes, so Cripple-Pig was happy
    Screamed " I just compeletely love you!
    And there's no rhyme or reason
    I'm changing like the seasons
    Watch! I'll even cut off my finger
    It will grow back like a Starfish!
    It will grow back like a Starfish!
    It will grow back like a Starfish!"

    Mr. Muscle, gazing boredly
    And he checking time did punch me
    And I sighed and bleeded like a windfall
    Happy bleedy, happy bruisy

    I am very happy
    So please hit me
    I am very happy
    So please hurt me

    I am very happy
    So please hit me
    I am very very happy
    So come on hurt me

    I'll grow back like a Starfish
    I'll grow back like a Starfish
    I'll grow back like a Starfish
    I'll grow back like a Starfish

    I'll grow back like a Starfish
    I'll grow back like a Starfish
    I'll grow back like a Starfish
    I'll grow back like a Starfish
    Like a Starfish...

    The link:
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    May 12 2011: And I only had one...
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    May 12 2011: Where did my eye go? My eye! I've lost my eye! Seriously TED, did you take my eye away? Why? My Eye! My Eye! My Eye! I Can't find my eye!
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    May 12 2011: Now I think...

    Now I think a lyric is not poetry. I know it's not. It never wanted to be. A lyric without it's music is robbed of its oxigen. Hobbled. Awkward. Trying to express something it cannot possibly hope to express.

    But music, music is poetry.
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    May 12 2011: I like this little jibe at one of my favies:

    O many a peer of England brews
    Livelier liquor than the Muse,
    and malt does more than Milton can
    To justify God's ways to a man.

    A.E. Housman
    from Terence, this is stupid stuff (1896)
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        May 12 2011: hahaha, I think he was saying that good booze does a better job than Milton. Its a Jibe at Paradise Lost which Milton wrote ostensibly to "Justify the ways of god to man"
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    May 12 2011: Revelation - By Robert Frost
    We make ourselves a place apart
    Behind light words that tease and flout,
    But oh, the agitated heart
    Till someone really find us out.

    'Tis pity if the case require
    (Or so we say) that in the end
    We speak the literal to inspire
    The understanding of a friend.

    But so with all, from babes that play
    At hide-and-seek to God afar,
    So all who hide too well away
    Must speak and tell us where they are.

    I read this poem at a time where I became very sick of keeping a brave face over everything I was going through. I've learned in my short time on this earth that opening yourself up to others and the experiences of this world is a much more satisfying way to live than to "fake it till ya make it". This poems message is simple and beautiful: Be yourself.
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    May 11 2011: Birdia....thanks ...you nailed it. The music, the real people (mad)...you are "in the road".
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        May 12 2011: Wow, classic stuff - perfection I think. Birdiia... You've been saying it all though this conversation and I think it deserves an official declaration: music is poetry. Drunk poetry. Thank you for such passionate conversation, all of you in the thread.
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        May 13 2011: There are many of us out there
        flying at flames, drinking deeply from the pools
        walking in the middle of the road, singing like fools
        To each other. Let it be!
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          May 14 2011: Sure Jim........flying at flames.....this is an volcanic metaphor...................yes we are many in the middle of the road.........
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        May 14 2011: Birdia thank you so mucha....music make my day.....Miles Davis on "So what"....Brubeck, Bruninghaus, an others that never left out the road.
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        May 15 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvy7kdziHYQ&feature=related

        Birdia this is superb......
  • May 11 2011: I has some dreams that with my current situation, I cannot make it. Sometimes I just want to give them up. But whenever I read this poem, it pushes me to move forward for no clear reason.


    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    William Ernest Henley

    I first heard of it in the movie Invictus which tells the story about Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman). In some unknown ways, this poem really moves me especially by its last two lines:
    "I am the master of my fate
    I am the captain of my soul."
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      May 12 2011: Hi Tu Nguyen, i hope that the wind fills your sails and that your ship sails into uncharted and yet beautiful lands.
  • May 11 2011: The Road Not Taken

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    -Robert Frost
  • May 11 2011: Bello poema. Te gusta Neruda?
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    May 11 2011: hola me gustaria dejar un poema


    De otro mundo, me dijiste..

    Y de cierta forma del otro mundo eran sus palabras, que susurraban cantares de chocolate,

    castillos derrumbados de pura pasión.

    Como las flores de la ultima llluvia, así iban surgiendo las palabras en mí.

    De otro mundo, cautivante y misteriosa mirada

    me lleva a imaginar historias con finales de un siempre posible.

    Quisiera escribir para que me sientas mas dentro de tí,

    aún soy como Icaro que necesita aprender a volar.

    La inspiración nunca se termina me dijiste entre risas,

    y es que en cada hombre como tu .. hay algo de otro mundo.

    Ya amaneció y seguimos tomando té en el Sahara,

    ya es hora de dormir.. y espero que llegues a la misma hora de siempre ...

    Aún guardo cada detallle de nuestros encuentros y lo transformo en poesía infinita.

    ... Dejo mi ventana abierta y ahí estas otra vez!

    Con tus brazos como alas, llevandome hacia lo desconocido y peligroso.

    Que día el de hoy!

    estoy muy cansada y necesito abrir la ventana,

    ya es hora de dormir y en mi mundo no estás.

    Entonces cierro mis ojos y empiezo a contar

    desde lo imposible hasta lo inexplicable, como vaiven de respuestas sin sentido.

    En cuestión de segundos te siento a lado mio,

    ese perfume de tu cuerpo lo tengo tatuado en mi zona mas débil.. imposible confundirme.

    Hoy no tengo porque despertar, viajaremos desde el cielo hasta el mar...
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    May 10 2011: Honest feedback is appreciated.

    Summer night (By Richard Sanders)

    We listen to the sounds,
    hushed voices in the dark,
    they speak of light and happy things.

    Flames raging at the sky,
    throw embers at the stars,
    None caring what tomorrow brings,

    Soft tones of lone guitar,
    ripp'ling down the beach,
    how gentle that vibration rings.

    We lie there on by backs,
    cares'sed by the sands,
    Ethereally a young girl sings,

    Words die upon her lips,
    so sweet it hurts my heart,
    our kin'dred souls are growing wings.

    In silence we agree,
    lest queen should be the part,
    on that fair night we all be kings.
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    May 10 2011: Small poem...

    I have always struggled with the concept of "faith". It seems we need it for all kinds of things. Here is a small poem that caught me at the right time (how much of life turns on being in the right place at the right time?)

    I dont worship anyone or anything, but have always been intrigued by what it means to have faith in something or someone.

    This little poem caught my eye...


    I want to write about faith,
    about the way the moon rises
    over cold snow, night after night,

    faithful even as it fades from fullness,
    slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
    sliver of light before the final darkness.

    But I have no faith myself
    I refuse it even the smallest entry.

    Let this then, my small poem,
    like a new moon, slender and barely open,
    be the first prayer that opens me to faith.

    -David Whyte
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        May 11 2011: Birdia (I was sleeping) "Is this faith?"
        I don't know.
        Is there any such thing as faith without religion? I have no religious faith and am not interested in that (on good days Im agnostic). I hope I dont open pandora's box here, but religions are boring. So I go my own way...
        And thats where faith (small "f") comes into the picture. I dont know. Maybe the answer to every important "why?" should be "because I have faith". I don't know. Is the idea that you can have faith without religion mute? If so, maybe I should just let it go. I'll figure it out someday I suppose....
  • May 10 2011: Example:

    With all this extra stressin
    The question I wonder is after death, after my last breath
    When will I finaly get to rest? Through this oppression
    they punish the people that's askin questions
    And those that possess, steal from the ones without possesions
    The message I stress: to make it stop study your lessons
    Don't settle for less - even the genius asks-es questions
    Be grateful for blessings
    Don't ever change, keep your essence
    The power is in the people and politics we address
    Always do your best, don't let the pressure make you panic
    And when you get stranded
    And things don't go the way you planned it
    Dreamin of riches, in a position of makin a difference
    Politicians arehypocrites, they don't wanna listen
    If I'm insane, it's the fame made a brother change
    It wasn't nuttin like the game
    It's just me against the world
  • May 10 2011: Most music by 2Pac
  • May 10 2011: haiku
  • May 9 2011: Natures Plague

    Bleak horizons circumvade,
    desolation everywhere abides,
    but for the breezes gentle stir,
    all is quiet where death resides,

    Parched earth, sun scorched and
    stretched taut like long dead skin,
    laments the heavens bitter denial and
    Helios' brutal destine,

    Grass in patches, here and there,
    clinging, desperately, still,
    barely alive, and remaining so,
    only through force of will,

    Once proud trees, tall and majestic,
    now maligned by drought,
    supplicate the sky to shelter
    the oppresive sun without,

    Reaching branches beseech cumuli
    to shed celestial tears,
    arms outstretched, pleading the heavens
    to rain and allay our fears,

    Blistered and beaten, the forsaken landscape
    was beset by sorrow,
    and living in the shadow of the unlikely hope,
    "perhaps rain tomorrow,"

    Suddenly, when, from naught, clouds appeared,
    slate gray and forlorn,
    the pervasive dread of yesterday
    disappeared behind the new morn,

    Bolts of lightening and booming thunder
    awakened the world once more,
    to the forgotten fervor of Mother Gaia,
    determined to settle the score,

    Softly at first, did the rains come
    to tempt the insatiable thirst,
    of the starved and miserable wasteland,
    that seemed, for so long, cursed,

    The stormy days that followed,
    swelled the earth in prideful lush,
    giving the land a rosy hue,
    like the health in a sweet lass' blush,

    But then appeared, after countless days
    of endless liquid relief,
    a different deadly threat to the land,
    an entirely new grief,

    Macerated, saturated, the swollen ground
    could bear no more,
    and the waters began rising rapidly
    from the neverending pour,

    The once majestic savannah gave in
    to the violent storm,
    laying prostrate in deference to
    nature's new horrible form,

    The flooding water's churned in anger,
    sweeping away all in their path,
    and except for the strong and sturdy trees,
    nothing would've escaped the wrath,

    After several days of enraged destruction,
    the sky finally turned, again, bright,
    and soon, thereafter, the waters receded,
    returning everything back to right,

    Amidst the afetermath of the storm,
    on the farms and in the towns,
    an appeal went out for all the healers,
    as sickness started making the rounds,

    The standing water, pooled here and there,
    brought the many carriers of disease,
    ravaging the land as surely as the flood
    and ignoring the innocents pleas,

    Chaos and panic overtook the people
    succumbing to the hateful tithe,
    as the terror stricken mass fell prey
    to the grim reaper's scythe,

    The young and old gathered together
    reciting prayers under their breath,
    begging for mercy from the cruel gods,
    and an end to all the death,

    The sickness and disease abruptly ended,
    being apparently sated,
    and life attempted a return to normal,
    like before the plague invaded,

    People began taking a count of the
    many souls pestilence had won,
    and lowered their heads in silent defeat,
    appalled by what nature had done,

    Who's to say what is to live or to die,
    only time and fate will tell,
    after humanity has outlived it's usefulness,
    the world'll still run quite well,

    So, perhaps, there's a lesson written here,
    one we can all easily glean,
    we should stop destroying Mother Earth
    before she wipes the slate clean,

    Storms, or, maybe, drought, it can all
    mean the end of days,
    or, perhaps, a devestating disease,
    she can kill in a myriad of ways,

    We should love our Mother Earth,
    and respect the unavoidable fact,
    that if we destroy our only home,
    it will be our last stupid act.
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      May 10 2011: Brian, take a deep breath, go into the woods, tend your own garden.
  • May 9 2011: Why point your diatribe, when, instead, there stands naked, for your delight, the grimaces of soft flesh, gooey with mock toughness and resolve. You see, I’ve heard it all before, and I’m sicka listenin to the whine of indignity without action. The corrupters of life wait around the bend, and rob all travelers who think to pass by. And we all merely cope and create new realities The war is on, it’s been waged against us since before the towers fell, and now it’s chewing into us, taking chunks of us away.

    Don’t ya feel it, is the volume too high, the colors too bright, or, or you too fat and swollen to move, too beaten down to care. The grip has become firmer; the smiles less pleasant , our clarity has become a blur.
    The fat and greedy become ever more so; the puffed up and swollen become brash in their disregard for dignity and humanity, and the bodies and souls of the dead pile higher and higher.

    Action begs for a license; the brave walk barefoot and alone, and wear all the scratches and bruises of stewardship. Duty, in it’s purest form, is simple, and protects the balance in the social contract

    Grab your pen and your phone,your heart and your soul….assemble your wits, and talk, shout, sing; assemble the men, the women, march, bare your teeth, polish your sword and your tongue.
    Become a force in the world, not a consequence of life.
    We share the mantra, "Responsibility is mine alone."
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      May 9 2011: Not quite sure what you're saying... Listen to music by Antony and the Johnsons. He is passionate about nature and paints some pretty stark scenarios, but in the end, beauty prevails. His music is transcendental. Best albums of his are his first album (self titled) and "The Crying Light".
  • May 9 2011: 'Of Modern Poetry' by Wallace Stevens

    The poem of the mind in the act of finding
    What will suffice. It has not always had
    To find: the scene was set; it repeated what
    Was in the script.
    Then the theatre was changed
    To something else. Its past was a souvenir.

    It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
    It has to face the men of the time and to meet
    The women of the time. It has to think about war
    And it has to find what will suffice. It has
    To construct a new stage. It has to be on that stage,
    And, like an insatiable actor, slowly and
    With meditation, speak words that in the ear,
    In the delicatest ear of the mind, repeat,
    Exactly, that which it wants to hear, at the sound
    Of which, an invisible audience listens,
    Not to the play, but to itself, expressed
    In an emotion as of two people, as of two
    Emotions becoming one. The actor is
    A metaphysician in the dark, twanging
    An instrument, twanging a wiry string that gives
    Sounds passing through sudden rightnesses, wholly
    Containing the mind, below which it cannot descend,
    Beyond which it has no will to rise.
    It must
    Be the finding of a satisfaction, and may
    Be of a man skating, a woman dancing, a woman
    Combing. The poem of the act of the mind.
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    May 9 2011: The Wheel

    THROUGH winter-time we call on spring,
    And through the spring on summer call,
    And when abounding hedges ring
    Declare that winter's best of all;
    And after that there s nothing good
    Because the spring-time has not come -
    Nor know that what disturbs our blood
    Is but its longing for the tomb.

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        May 10 2011: woo....very nice poem Richard.thanks for sharing;-)

        what i liked about the wheel by Yeats is that it makes me quite for a while to understand the states that we often falls in --always look out for something because of disatisfactions and the unawareness of death approaching.
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          May 10 2011: Birdia & Richard, using poems to communicate with each other is a sublime exercise... To echo Birdia's earlier sentiment - It's drunkness of the kind we need more of.

          Gulp this Welch jigger:

          Do not go gentle into that good night,
          Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
          Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
          Because their words had forked no lightning they
          Do not go gentle into that good night.

          Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
          Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
          And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
          Do not go gentle into that good night.

          Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
          Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          And you, my father, there on the sad height,
          Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
          Do not go gentle into that good night.
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          -Dylan Thomas
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          May 10 2011: No never! Everything said is drunk by me!!! Yours and Richard's are full-bodied... music to my ears ^O^
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          May 10 2011: Ha! (Wake up Richard! Beowulf is at the door....)
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        May 10 2011: Hi Richard, yes life worth living
        Because I could not stop for Death,
        He kindly stopped for me;
        The carriage held but just ourselves
        And Immortality.
        We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
        And I had put away
        My labor, and my leisure too,
        For his civility.

        We passed the school, where children strove
        At recess, in the ring;
        We passed the fields of gazing grain,
        We passed the setting sun.

        Or rather, he passed us;
        The dews grew quivering and chill,
        For only gossamer my gown,
        My tippet only tulle.

        We paused before a house that seemed
        A swelling of the ground;
        The roof was scarcely visible,
        The cornice but a mound.

        Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
        Feels shorter than the day
        I first surmised the horses' heads
        Were toward eternity.
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        May 11 2011: Morning Richard, i think i enjoyed the flows among these words(and it is lingering now)

        and i found a scottish soldier in myself

        thank you;)
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          May 12 2011: This video is absurdly good.
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        May 11 2011: what the scottish soldier said to me is

        "home home where i want to go"

        and sorry to hear that he died a lonely death in a far away place.

        the song sounds really great!
  • May 9 2011: I'm not sure where this is from, but I heard it and was moved.

    Can you hear the prayer of the children?
    On bended knee in the shadow of an unknown room.
    Empty eyes with no more tears to cry turning heavenward toward the light.
    Crying Jesus help me to see the morning light of one more day.
    But if I should die before I wake, I pray my soul to take.

    Can you feel the hearts of the children?
    Aching for home, for something of their very own.
    Empty hands with nothing to hold on to but hope for a better day.
    Crying Jesus help me to feel the love again in my own land.
    But if unknown roads lead away from home, bring me loving arms 'way from harm.

    Can you hear the voice of the children?
    Softly pleading for silence in their shattered world.
    Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate, blood of the innocent on their hands.
    Crying Jesus help me to feel the sun again upon my face.
    For when darkness clears, I know you're near. Bringing peace again.

    Can you hear the prayer of the children?
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    May 8 2011: "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost is too long to include here, but for me it is profound...

    There are a few podcasts that feature poetry. The one I like most is "The Writer's Almanac", a short (5 minutes) daily podcast that always ends with a short poem, usually from an unknown poet and almost always a great example of some of the astonishing poetry that exists out there. Garrison Keillor is the reader and he has a great poetry-reading voice.
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      May 8 2011: exquisite ( and I too can imagine this f,lwing from your amazing heartt/mind)
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    May 8 2011: And my last one for now:

    Title: Wake up call

    I look around at the world at large to find a world of fools,
    They make and shape all sorts of things but do not see their tools,
    They work and play and eat and love but do not wake from sleep.
    while going through the daily drag of the simple lives they keep,
    while living out their too short lives they squander what they’ve got,
    they leave their minds in slumber land, stand sleeping in the spot.

    In this way they protect themselves from feeling to much hurt,
    Knowingly allowing joy, to touch them far to curt.
    They do not hold their precious lives in intimate embrace,
    Missing out on so much light, for the dark they have to face.
    I ask you true, I don't understand how can this foul thing be,
    If a god created man, was he unable to see,
    that life itself in all it's might it to intense for this,
    this frail construct he calleth man, man instead of fish.

    In fairness though, it is the truth, I too have build a wall,
    I myself am also this, barely conscious at all.
    I try each day to wake up full, my mind and inner soul,
    to experience everything, in context and as a whole,
    But even I am made of flesh and easily am pained,
    So even I will hold my breath, so temperance is gained.

    I speak these words to change the world in hope of better lives,
    Do not hide behind the wall, in fear of hurtful knives.
    Embrace your life in all its might, for time is truly short,
    Always go for what you want and you'll never will be bored,
    Life is hard and painful true, but better it be felt,
    Then sleeping through in ignorance, not knowing what it held.
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    May 8 2011: This one is too long so I split it in two.

    The granted I take for gift. Part 2

    How dare they lie to me I ask, who do they think they are.
    Don't they know I trusted them, this will leave a scar.
    I storm into the room right then, furious and breathing hard,
    Finger stabbing like a sword, I start to vent my smart,
    My voice is shrill, histerical, shaken to its core,
    You lied! You lied to me! You did, I want to say much more,
    Emotions form, thoughts do so try, but words unspoken die.
    Tears flow instead, they do not get, not for content of the lie.

    For the loss of innocence, I weep, illusions lost I used to keep,
    Parents, they can lie to me! Tell me now why can't they see.
    Through sobs of impotence, misunderstood by all.
    You fools, it isn't that, Santa is gone, I bawl.

    Mothers shock and soothing words can heal this wound no more,
    Father only shakes his head staring at the floor.
    Sister dear absorbed in thought, sees no fault in this.
    Mothers embracing arms I duck, I do not want your kiss.
    Father's voice now sound alarm, his patience fully stretched
    Heated still and words unsaid, I go at last to bed.

    That night, another shock to me, a new coat is worn.
    Shaping fear in restless sleep, my first nightmare born.
    What else... What other lies the spoke, what lies to me, they told.
    How can I see whithout that trust, that truth I used to hold.
    A chapter closes. A freedom gained, A mind starts thinking for it's own.
    The granted that I take for gift, the day that I have grown.
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    May 8 2011: This one is too long so I split it in two.

    The granted I take for gift. Part 1.

    It started at birth in gray of fog when I was still so blind,
    Long since forgotten but never lost, in memory I find.
    At first it churned and shifted so then coalesed, combined,
    Truth was doubted and trust was lost, in rebirth of my mind.
    Some years it formed on touch and taste, then with my sight it spawned,
    When blinding lightning came to me, inside awareness dawned.

    I remember it like yesterday, better still or so it seems.
    It was evening, I'm sure was, it surely must have been.
    My parents in the livingroom, but today no tv,
    It triggered my curiosity this little oddity.
    Six years old, too young for thruth. My indignation bright.
    Off to bed my father says, while sister 's spared my plight.
    Hushed voices make me pause, the door opened just a bit.
    It hides my presence on the stairs, in silence there I sit.

    Monique, mom says to sister dear, what you heard is true,
    You're old enough to know it now, so please do not be blue,
    Your daddy and I buy all your gifts, Santa isn't real.
    Shock then runs right down my spine, not knowing what I feel.

    Disbelieve now shakes my mind. More words are spoken still.
    My mind does not register, I move against my will.
    Split seconds, Evil beckens, Violent chemistry in my brain.
    It feels like vertigo, like I could go insane.
    Neurons cluster, head spins mad as new concepts form.
    Lightning welts them to a single thought, a screaming violent storm.
    Lies!, Lies!, Lies! it cries so loud, it hurts my little head!
    They lied to me! They lied. They did, my mum and even dad!
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    May 8 2011: Here is another:


    When I look at the things I know, I know them to be untrue.
    When I look at the things I see, I know they're only there for me.
    Although I see the lie for what it is, I can't deny that single fact,
    my desperate need for reality that enables me to act.
    that universally accepted state, of the world and the universe at large
    that common ground our common fate, that's written in the stars.

    A tree is a tree and will never be.... a rock or bird that's flying free,
    and yet...
    Scientists tell us that THEY believe, there is nothing there, if there’s none to see.
    They tell us that the tree remains only until we avert our eyes,
    and then, what we think is true, is shown as only lies.
    The unseen world does not exist, and unseen still, all truths persist.
    They say our world is made of chance, of change, of movement, time,
    why then, please tell me now, is this world not mine,
    Why is there hurt and pain and evil still, when all this misery doesn't fit my bill.
    I will the world to a better state, the thrill of this will not abate.
    I ask you all to join my quest, let's all give it our very best.

    Those scientists are a strange and wonderful lot,
    They rely on proof to speak the truth, to tell what's real and what is not.
    They work with theories that require faith and try to proof what they say.
    But all they say is, proof is false, a snapshot in time, space, observation fine.
    But what of Heisenberg I ask, uncertainty of proof, or is that just a silly doubt, the ramblings of a goof.

    This is what bewilders me, while we're searching for the key,
    to unlock the secrets held so close, to universe's chest, I still pose,
    we may have more than common fate, we might yet wipe clean, our slate,
    and find that we are the gods in time, that reality shapes by will of mind.
    So pick up the gauntlet, brandish your sword, perhaps you'll strike that rarest chord.
    That nerve that forms the minds of men, and make them shout, YES WE CAN.
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    May 8 2011: If I could remember my (wiki)partner password, I could find some Incredible pictures of the year for each year.
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    May 8 2011: Poetry is I think still therapy but today poetry writing it's political writing
  • May 8 2011: Altough reading english is somehow difficult to me, i would say that "If" by Rudiard Kipling is one of the most powerful and inspiring poems i´ve ever read. Thanks for this conversation!!
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      May 9 2011: If- by Rudyard Kipling is definitely one of the most inspiring poems out there!

      I would recommend for you to read Max Erham's The Desiderata of Happiness, for me it's on the same level like "If".
  • May 8 2011: maya angelou via you tube
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    May 8 2011: Hafez and Rumi(molana) of cours in their origin language, Persian(Farsi).
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    May 8 2011: "Llama de Amor viva" de San Juan de la Cruz
    a real mistery with words.
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    May 7 2011: The Reaches of a Life
    (for Lisette on her 80th birthday)

    I believe in the continuum of a life and the infinity of a
    In life waves rippling-ringing outward onto
    the future
    in the immeasurable motions of our
    moments, lives times lives
    in immemorial dreamseed in undreamt
    futures growing
    as the lost past lives in us as we shall be in the last
    reaches of our kind
    as my words bloom from your life, which is a strong
    life and growing,
    one with the beginning & endlessness of all.

    Harry Smith
    Two Friends II
    Birch Book Press 1988
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    May 7 2011: There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
    Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
    It's easy.

    There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
    No one you can save that can't be saved.
    Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
    in time - It's easy.

    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

    There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
    Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
    Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
    It's easy.

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        May 7 2011: Richard? Who is it by?
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          May 7 2011: Scott's poem above is actually a lyric - Lennon and McCartney's "All You Need Is Love"
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        May 7 2011: Like Dylan said - it's mine now..

        .. I figured everyone would recognise it. John Winston Lennon wrote this (with a little help from his friends).

        Here's one that truly is mine:


        I'm seated in my castle on the moon,
        Aloft, alone and crying like a loon.
        The mottled moan that splits me,
        Is lost as it escapes me,
        Upon the rocks on which I am marooned.
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          May 8 2011: We did recognize it. I was just ribbing Richard for his question.Thanks for sharing your poem. It speaks to me of alienation.
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          May 8 2011: Thanks Richard. I wll look forward to learning more about you.
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        May 8 2011: Who's to know if they haven't sought it out themselves?
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      May 7 2011: he Beatles!!
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        May 8 2011: The simple message in this song is beautiful and about the only thing I consider a truth.

        We are here to be us and nothing more.
        Get it wrong and you're getting it right.
        Fulfilling your destiny through free will.
        All we really need to sustain us through it is Love.

        He's not talking about romantic love, either. That's for the birds.
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        May 8 2011: You've got me there. Smile
  • May 7 2011: I think many academics try too hard. It is easier to relate to simple yet powerful poems. Like Debra said before, def poetry jam provides this kind of poetry. Rives also provides this kind of poetry. Or maybe spoken poetry is just easier to relate to?
    • May 7 2011: But is a poem 'good' when you can relate to it? I personally love the way poets can 'bend' language, using very specific words and constructions to create very specific sentences. I often find the words and their structure more beautiful than the meaning of the poem itself, although it often combines wonderfully as well (as in for example the poem by Pablo Neruda I posted below, although if possible it should preferably be read in it's original Spaninsh form). I do not specifically need to relate to the emotions or story portayed in the poem to enjoy it. I do agree that spoken poetry is easier to be impressed by, because some speakers are just so good at expressing a poem vocally. An art in itself!
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        May 7 2011: Great comments Bibi... I think, too, that good poetry always includes a "bending" of the language. It also can convey emotion in every bit as powerful a way as music. For me, a poem is very much like a landscape. Here is another Mary Oliver poem that is as visual as it is word perfect (for me!)

        The Journey

        One day you finally knew
        what you had to do, and began,
        though the voices around you
        kept shouting
        their bad advice--
        though the whole house
        began to tremble
        and you felt the old tug
        at your ankles.
        "Mend my life!"
        each voice cried.
        But you didn't stop.
        You knew what you had to do,
        though the wind pried
        with its stiff fingers
        at the very foundations,
        though their melancholy
        was terrible.
        It was already late
        enough, and a wild night,
        and the road full of fallen
        branches and stones.
        But little by little,
        as you left their voices behind,
        the stars began to burn
        through the sheets of clouds,
        and there was a new voice
        which you slowly
        recognized as your own,
        that kept you company
        as you strode deeper and deeper
        into the world,
        determined to do
        the only thing you could do--
        determined to save
        the only life you could save.
        -Mary Oliver
      • May 8 2011: I agree, but one does not dismiss the other
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    May 7 2011: There are a number of those , but those all are in my own language , don't know whether english translation is available or not. If I find will post the link definitely
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    May 7 2011: I find many of the poems shared on Def Poetry are profound, gritty, real.Here is one of my favourites where a young man talks of missing his dad.


    Here is one that was presented as a TEDx event by a social worker: