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 Post subject: Poetry corner, anyone?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:54 am 
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Sometimes you just need a poetry break! You know what to do. Yours, theirs, mine, ours.

This one struck me today.


Starfish

This is what life does. It lets you walk up to
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman
down beside you at the counter who says, Last night,
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.

Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you
were born at a good time. Because you were able
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.

So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland,
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel,
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

-Eleanor Lerman

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:51 am 
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Location: Beverley, Yorkshire.
THE PATH

Running along a bank, a parapet
That saves from the precipitous wood below
The level road, there is a path. It serves
Children for looking down the long smooth steep,
Between the legs of beech and yew, to where
A fallen tree checks the sight: while men and women
Content themselves with the road and what they see
Over the bank, and what the children tell.
The path, winding like silver, trickles on,
Bordered and even invaded by thinnest moss
That tries to cover roots and crumbling chalk
With gold, olive, and emerald, but in vain.
The children wear it. They have flattened the bank
On top, and silvered it between the moss
With the current of their feet, year after year.
But the road is houseless, and leads not to school.
To see a child is rare there, and the eye
Has but the road, the wood that overhangs
And underyawns it, and the path that looks
As if it led on to some legendary
Or fancied place where men have wished to go
And stay; till, sudden, it ends where the wood ends.

Edward Thomas, 1917

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:30 pm 
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Oooh that's a good one.

Here's another one that got me between the eyes today.


Shoulders

A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world's most sensitive cargo
but he's not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy's dream
deep inside him.

We're not going to be able
to live in this world
if we're not willing to do what he's doing
with one another.

The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.

-Naomi Shihab Nye

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:51 am 
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Location: Beside the big aeroplane.
High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:29 pm 
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Anyone remember poetry corner on Mark and Lards breakfast programme on radio 1? Those were the days.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:34 pm 
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I chose this for my brothers funeral last Thursday. I think it's quite popular but I'd never seen or heard it before.



Remember Me:
To the living, I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea - remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty - remember me.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity - remember me.
Remember me in your heart, your thoughts, your memories of the times we loved,
the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never be gone.


Margaret Mead


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:28 pm 
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It's beautiful, Gary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:58 pm 
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I'm terribly sorry, Gary. A beautiful tribute.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:00 pm 
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This one is from my friend Drew.


Flocks of Never

By Drew Blanchard
December 8, 2008


We had to throw things
away to sell our house,
make it seem like we lived
sparingly—a minimalist life.
As if anyone lives
with only one blue shirt
in the closet,
one pair of shoes illuminated
by a single light bulb swinging—
40 watts and a string to pull,
frayed twine and a soundless
plastic bell, to turn it on,
to turn it off.

For years, I watched ivy
spread over my neighbor’s house.
Each year the leaves
turned from green to red
to gone. When the leaves
fell, flocks of never
migrating starlings
ate the purple berries,
tugged off the stems.

For years, from my kitchen window,
I watched Siberian snow geese
winter along the Columbia river.
Each day they’d rise
like heavy rain clouds blown by wind—
white plumage like morning sky,
black wings like shadows,
like rain. Sometimes, so early, the sky
still the color of ashy smoke,
thousands of geese would disappear
into a whorl of sudden snow.
In these moments, I’d imagine,
though I never saw anything
like it, the spray of twelve gauge
buckshot entering the body
of a goose in mid-air,
and its mate, its mate for life,
would honk, drop down,
honk, follow the limp body
to the ground.
And because this is
a love story,
the falling goose,
the following goose,
the strange replaying of this scene,
the replaying of something
that did not happen,
never disturbed me,
the way it does now,
as I stand in my new house,
in my new closet
with no string to pull.
Instead a switch, like all the other
modern rooms, easier I suppose,
to turn the light on, to turn it off.
And strangely, with no geese
at my new kitchen window,
I have traded scenes: the repeated falling
goose for the last moment
in my old closet. Standing in the dark,
even my blue shirt gone,
I pull the string a final time.
I turn the light on to dust
in the corner, turn it off
to the empty dark,
thinking, how the severity of nothing
can fill up a room.
And because I cannot resist
I turn it on and turn it off
again and again, like I did
when I was five, maybe four,
when the simplicity of light
and dark was enough
to stay an afternoon.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:59 pm 
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An earlier poem from the unstoppable Dean Young, written in one of his nine lives.


I Am But a Traveler in This Land & Know Little of Its Ways

BY DEAN YOUNG

Is everything a field of energy caused
by human projection? From the crib bars
hang the teething tools. Above the finger-drummed
desk, a bit lip. The cyclone fence of buts

surrounds the soccer field of what if.
Sometimes it seems like a world where no one
knows what he or she is doing, eight lanes
both directions. How about a polymer

that contracts in response to electrical
charge? A swimming pool on the 18th floor?
King Lear done by sock puppets? Anyone
who has traveled here knows the discrepancies

between idea and fact. The idea is the worm
in the tequila and the next day is the fact.
In between may be the sacred—real blood
from the wooden virgin’s eyes, and the hoax—

landing sites in cornfields. Maybe ideas
are best sprung from actions like the children
of Zeus. One gives us elastic and the omelette,
another nightmares and SUVs. There’s considerable

wobble in the system, and the fan belt screams,
waking the baby. Swaying in the darkened
nursery, kissing the baby-smelling head:
good idea! But also sadness looking at the sea.

The stranded whale, guided out of the cove
by tugboats, turns and swims back in.
The violinist will not let go her violin
which is 200 years old and still on the train

thus she is dragged down the track. By what
manner is the soul joined to the body?
Answer: an arm connecting a violin
to a violinist. According to Freud,

there are no accidents. Astrologists
and Presbyterians agree for different reasons.
You fall down the stairs with a birthday cake.
You try to fit a blunderbuss into a laptop.

Human consciousness: is it the projector
or the screen? They come in orange jumpsuits
and spray the grass so everything dies
but the grass. It is too late to ask Kafka

what he thinks. Sometimes they give you
a box of ash, a handshake, and the rest
is your problem. In one version,
the beggar turns out to be a king and grants

the poor couple a castle and a moat and two
silver horses said to be sired by the wind.
That was before dentistry, which might have been
a better gift. You did not want to get sick
in the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th or 18th centuries.

So too the 19th and 20th were to be avoided
but the doctor coming to bleed you is the master
of the short story. After the kiss from whom
he will never know, the lieutenant, going home,

touches a bush in which birds are singing.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:03 pm 
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To change the tone somewhat, this is the only poem that I can remember off by heart (even though I am an English teacher)

Love poem by my Dog - John Hegley

I saw you in the park
I wanted to be your friend
So I tunneled my snout
Up your non-barking end.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Bahahaha! :*: Aw, poor doggies. Always so well-intended with their greetings.

To keep the tone going, I now offer this brief acrostic I wrote my first winter in Wisconsin, which was unseasonably cold and full of unusually heavy blizzards:


SNOW
by Myra Poe (like anyone's gonna try and jack it)

Shit!
Now!
Outside!
Wow!


You're welcome, world. No need to thank me. I do it with love. I do it for free. ..>

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:50 pm 
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Mine:

Just Like Before

Sunlight and breeze and a fullness of senses
Warmth of outdoor smells
Fear of what will happen, what already has
What sets it off I cannot tell
Dust it away, scent of lemon
Cleans everything but those stains
Doors are open, beckoning
So easy to run away
But I'll stay and listen to the radio
And the sweetest voice I know
She soothes me and she comforts me
A warm blanket around my soul
And it all goes away in the blink of an eye
Carried off with my tears
Every sha la la la, every whoa oh oh
Melts the pain after all these years

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:03 pm 
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gary#2 wrote:
I chose this for my brothers funeral last Thursday. I think it's quite popular but I'd never seen or heard it before.



Remember Me:
To the living, I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea - remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty - remember me.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity - remember me.
Remember me in your heart, your thoughts, your memories of the times we loved,
the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never be gone.


Margaret Mead


A wonderful tribute to your brother Gary. My wonderful dad died last April and your poem brought a tear to my eye. He is with me always. x

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:44 am 
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Fair Weather

This level reach of blue is not my sea;
Here are sweet waters, pretty in the sun,
Whose quiet ripples meet obediently
A marked and measured line, one after one.
This is no sea of mine. that humbly laves
Untroubled sands, spread glittering and warm.
I have a need of wilder, crueler waves;
They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

So let a love beat over me again,
Loosing its million desperate breakers wide;
Sudden and terrible to rise and wane;
Roaring the heavens apart; a reckless tide
That casts upon the heart, as it recedes,
Splinters and spars and dripping, salty weeds.

--Dorothy Parker

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