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The Poem of the Week



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Sun May 31, 2020 10:09 am
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fortis says...



Childhood Memories
William Saphier

Those years are foliage of trees
their trunks hidden by bushes;
behind them a gray haze topped with silver
hides the swinging steps of my first love
the Danube.

On its face
grave steel palaces with smoking torches,
parading monasteries moved slowly to the Black Sea
till the bared branches scratched the north wind.

On its bed
a great Leviathan waited
for the ceremonies on the arrival of Messiah
and bobbing small fishes snapped sun splinters
for the pleasure of the monster.

Along its shores
red capped little hours danced
with rainbow colored kites,
messengers to heaven.

My memory is a sigh
of swallows swinging
through a slow dormant summer
to a timid line on the horizon.
Instead, he said, Brother! I know your hunger.
To this, the Wolf answered, Lo!

-Elena Passarello, Animals Strike Curious Poses
  





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346 Reviews



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Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:27 pm
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whatchamacallit says...



Death, be not proud
by John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.
Maya Angelou


[ she / her ]
  





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Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:03 pm
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whatchamacallit says...



At Noon
by Reginald Gibbons

The thick-walled room’s cave-darkness,
cool in summer, soothes
by saying, This is the truth, not the taut
cicada-strummed daylight.
Rest here, out of the flame—the thick air’s
stirred by the fan’s four
slow-moving spoons; under the house the stone
has its feet in deep water.
Outside, even the sun god, dressed in this life
as a lizard, abruptly rises
on stiff legs and descends blasé toward the shadows.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.
Maya Angelou


[ she / her ]
  





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Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:32 pm
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whatchamacallit says...



Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.
Maya Angelou


[ she / her ]
  





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Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:39 pm
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Iggy says...



Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I did not die.
“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
- Lewis Carroll
  





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Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:47 am
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whatchamacallit says...



Poem Resisting Arrest, by Kyle Dargan
Link

This poem will be guilty. It assumed it retained
the right to ask its question after the page

came up flush against its face. The purpose
this poem serves is obvious, even to this poem,

and that cannot stop the pen or the fist
choking it. How the page tastes at times—
unsalted

powerlessness in this poem’s mouth, a blend
of that and what it has swallowed of the news.
It spits

blood—inking. It is its own doing and undoing.
This poem is trying to compose itself. It has
the right to remain either bruised or silent,
but it is a poem, so it hears you’d be safer

if you stopped acting like a poem, ceased resisting.

Where is the daylight (this poem asks and is

thus crushed) between existence and resistance,
between the now-bloodied page and the poem?

Another poem will record the arrest of this poem,
decide what to excerpt. That poem will fail—

it won’t find the right metaphor for the pain
of having to lift epigraphs from the closing

words of poems that were accused of resisting.
That poem is numb. This poem is becoming

numb, already losing feeling in its cuffed phrasing.
No one will remember the nothing of which

this poem was accused—just that it was another
poem that bled. This poem never expected to be

this poem, yet it must be—for you who will not
acknowledge the question. This poem knew

it was dangerous to ask why?
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.
Maya Angelou


[ she / her ]
  





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Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:21 pm
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LUNARGIRL says...



"Hope" is the thing with feathers,By: Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
"ONE CANNOT BE BRAVE WHO HAS NO FEAR."
  





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Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:03 am
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starlitmind says...



Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens, by Jack Prelutsky

Last night I dreamed of chickens,
there were chickens everywhere,
they were standing on my stomach,
they were nesting in my hair,
they were pecking at my pillow,
they were hopping on my head,
they were ruffling up their feathers
as they raced about my bed.

They were on the chairs and tables,
they were on the chandeliers,
they were roosting in the corners,
they were clucking in my ears,
there were chickens, chickens, chickens
for as far as I could see...
when I woke today, I noticed
there were eggs on top of me.

Spoiler! :
#unclassified #longlivebigbrother
.--. --- - .- - ---
  





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Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:22 am
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alliyah says...



A bit early, but tis the season ~

Thanksgiving Turkey
George Parsons Lathrop - 1851-1898

Valleys lay in sunny vapor,
And a radiance mild was shed
From each tree that like a taper
At a feast stood. Then we said,
"Our feast, too, shall soon be spread,
Of good Thanksgiving turkey."

And already still November
Drapes her snowy table here.
Fetch a log, then; coax the ember;
Fill your hearts with old-time cheer;
Heaven be thanked for one more year,
And our Thanksgiving turkey!

Welcome, brothers—all our party
Gathered in the homestead old!
Shake the snow off and with hearty
Hand-shakes drive away the cold;
Else your plate you'll hardly hold
Of good Thanksgiving turkey.

When the skies are sad and murky,
'Tis a cheerful thing to meet
Round this homely roast of turkey—
Pilgrims, pausing just to greet,
Then, with earnest grace, to eat
A new Thanksgiving turkey.

And the merry feast is freighted
With its meanings true and deep.
Those we've loved and those we've hated,
All, to-day, the rite will keep,
All, to-day, their dishes heap
With plump Thanksgiving turkey.

But how many hearts must tingle
Now with mournful memories!
In the festal wine shall mingle
Unseen tears, perhaps from eyes
That look beyond the board where lies
Our plain Thanksgiving turkey.

See around us, drawing nearer,
Those faint yearning shapes of air—
Friends than whom earth holds none dearer
No—alas! they are not there:
Have they, then, forgot to share
Our good Thanksgiving turkey?

Some have gone away and tarried
Strangely long by some strange wave;
Some have turned to foes; we carried
Some unto the pine-girt grave:
They'll come no more so joyous-brave
To take Thanksgiving turkey.

Nay, repine not. Let our laughter
Leap like firelight up again.
Soon we touch the wide Hereafter,
Snow-field yet untrod of men:
Shall we meet once more—and when?—
To eat Thanksgiving turkey.
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  





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Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:39 pm
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fortis says...



Kermes Red
by Melissa Range
Called crimson, called vermilion—“little worm”
in both the Persian and the Latin, red
eggs for the carmine dye, the insect’s brood
crushed stillborn from her dried body, a-swarm
in a bath of oak ash lye and alum to form
the pigment the Germans called Saint John’s Blood—
the saint who picked brittle locusts for food,
whose blood became the germ of a crimson storm.
Christ of the pierced thorax and worm-red cloak,
I read your death was once for all, but it’s not true:
your kings and bishops command a book,
a beheading, blood for blood, the perfect hue;
thus I, the worm, the Baptist, and the scarlet oak
see all things on God’s earth must die for you.
Instead, he said, Brother! I know your hunger.
To this, the Wolf answered, Lo!

-Elena Passarello, Animals Strike Curious Poses
  





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Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:49 am
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fortis says...



[you fit into me]
by Margaret Atwood

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye
Instead, he said, Brother! I know your hunger.
To this, the Wolf answered, Lo!

-Elena Passarello, Animals Strike Curious Poses
  





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Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:44 pm
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whatchamacallit says...



Voice, by Ann Sansom
link

(Enspoilered for a swear word)
Spoiler! :
Call, by all means, but just once

don’t use the broken heart again voice;

the I’m sick to death of life and women

and romance voice but with a little help

I’ll try to struggle on voice

Spare me the promise and the curse

voice, the ansafoney Call me, please

when you get in voice, the nobody knows

the trouble I’ve seen voice; the I’d value

your advice voice.

I want the how it was voice;

the call me irresponsible but aren’t I nice voice;

the such a bastard but I warn them in advance voice.

The We all have weaknesses

and mine is being wicked voice

the life’s short and wasting time’s

the only vice voice, the stay in touch,

but out of reach voice. I want to hear

the things it’s better not to broach voice

the things it’s wiser not to voice voice.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.
Maya Angelou


[ she / her ]
  





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Sun Jan 31, 2021 7:35 pm
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Lavvie says...



Here's a poem by Billy-Ray Belcourt, a Cree poet and writer who is my age (!) and a creative writing professor at the University of British Columbia (!!). I find success like this, at such a young age, inspiring. And his poetry is good.

What is a human possibility? by Billy-Ray Belcourt

The body is a riddle and bones comprise a kind of orthography,

says the linguist to his mother.

A mother is a library seconds before the tornado strikes,

says the woman to her reflection.

Nothing makes sense when you are a twenty-something

who has already breathed in as much of the past as is humanly possible.

What is a human possibility?

Not love, not grace. Forget I asked.

I plucked the wings from my own back.

What I do not want stolen from me I destroy.

It is Monday. This means I have already committed the crime of emotion.

Write this down. Desperation is hope the size of a forest and

shame is a dress caught between the ankles of a man

who lugs his lovers around like photo albums.

Every waking second we dwell in indeterminacy; we pretend our lives are novelistic.

Survival is the same story of contamination told again and again. (Bummer.)

More often than not I am a sledgehammer

striking the filthy walls of the world.

Rarely do I peer in on the other side.


What is to give light must endure burning. – Viktor Frankl
  





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Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:58 am
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fortis says...



As If Hearing Heavy Furniture Moved on the Floor Above Us
Jane Hirshfield
As things grow rarer, they enter the ranges of counting.
Remain this many Siberian tigers,
that many African elephants. Three hundred red-legged egrets.
We scrape from the world its tilt and meander of wonder
as if eating the last burned onions and carrots from a cast iron pan.
Closing eyes to taste better the char of ordinary sweetness.
Instead, he said, Brother! I know your hunger.
To this, the Wolf answered, Lo!

-Elena Passarello, Animals Strike Curious Poses
  








Defeat has its lessons as well as victory.
— Pat Buchanan