The poetry thread

This was the precursor to the same man going to hell in a bucket.

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THE ROMANCE, by Shel Silverstein

Said the pelican to the elephant,
“I think we should marry, I do.
’Cause there’s no name that rhymes with me,
And no one else rhymes with you.”

Said the elephant to the pelican,
“There’s sense to what you’ve said,
For rhyming’s as good a reason as any
For any two to wed.”

And so the elephant wed the pelican,
And they dined upon lemons and limes,
And now they have a baby pelicant,
And everybody rhymes.

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Adam Cast Forth (English)

Was there a Garden or was the Garden a dream?

Amid the fleeting light, I have slowed myself and queried,

Almost for consolation, if the bygone period

Over which this Adam, wretched now, once reigned supreme,

Might not have been just a magical illusion

Of that God I dreamed. Already it’s imprecise

In my memory, the clear Paradise,

But I know it exists, in flower and profusion,

Although not for me. My punishment for life

Is the stubborn earth with the incestuous strife

Of Cains and Abels and their brood; I await no pardon.

Yet, it’s much to have loved, to have known true joy,

To have had – if only for just one day –

The experience of touching the living Garden.

Gurarie, Genia

-Jorge Luis Borges

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In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt Col. John McCrae WWI

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For the Fallen

BY LAURENCE BINYON

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,

England mourns for her dead across the sea.

Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,

Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal

Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,

There is music in the midst of desolation

And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,

To the innermost heart of their own land they are known

As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.

I should add here that the stanza:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

is recited at Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country on November 11. It is known as the Act of Remembrance. A dignitary recites the Act and the assemby responds “We will remember them” This is usually done either immediately prior to the 2 minutes silence or just after.

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For Malcolm X

BY MARGARET WALKER

All you violated ones with gentle hearts;

You violent dreamers whose cries shout heartbreak;

Whose voices echo clamors of our cool capers,

And whose black faces have hollowed pits for eyes.

All you gambling sons and hooked children and bowery bums

Hating white devils and black bourgeoisie,

Thumbing your noses at your burning red suns,

Gather round this coffin and mourn your dying swan.

Snow-white moslem head-dress around a dead black face!

Beautiful were your sand-papering words against our skins!

Our blood and water pour from your flowing wounds.

You have cut open our breasts and dug scalpels in our brains.

When and Where will another come to take your holy place?

Old man mumbling in his dotage, crying child, unborn?

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. “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” *— Percy Bysshe Shelley

I’m glad this thread has been such a success. Poetry makes life worth living.

Some things deserve to be shared over and over. This one says a lot, and I encourage you not just to find your own meaning in the words, but also to understand why it was written.

One Art

BY ELIZABETH BISHOP

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like ( Write it!) like disaster.

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By Rodney Southworth

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–Magic Pen–

By Rodney Southworth

I have a funny magic pen,
it’s where all my poems begin.
I just wave it all about,
and the witty words dance out.

2020 for my pen has been a test,
a year that’s not quite been the best.
For the magic ink is running thin,
and everywhere I see less grins.

Am I the fool who waves the pen about,
believing there’s still magic to come out?
There has to be and so I’ll hold that belief,
for I miss the grins seen more frequently.

I would not make a promise of things to be,
though I would say there is something we all need.
My friends, wave your magic pens and wave them true,
then soon this world of ours won’t seem so blue.

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My dad passed away a while back. I was going thru some of his things and found this poem in his handwriting. He was an avid hiker and a quiet person. He wrote and sketched quite a bit about the things he saw and did.

The blue silent hills
lay
gathering the sun
and sagebrush,
collecting sego lilies
and ravens,
spreading them across the ridges,
tucking them
into the gullies,
holding them hidden
so no one could find them
except those
who like to smell the sage
and feel the wind
on the face.

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That’s a lovely poem.
Thanks for sharing

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A strikingly fitting poem for our time.

The Second Coming

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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-No Time For The Homeless-

By Rodney Southworth

I’m out for a stroll when a man asks of me,
do you have but a dollar?
I say, what do you need?
He gives this a thought then proclaims to me,

I don’t need a bottle
but I could twist a lid.

Don’t need a vacation,
I just had a trip.

Don’t need chapstick,
I can deal with cracked lips.

Don’t need a lover,
at least not to live.

Don’t need you to care,
I prefer that you did.

I don’t really need much,
to only get by.

So I give him a dollar his next words I near cry.

I could do with a nickel,
I could sure use a dime,
what’s greater than gold,
you gave me your time.

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“Insomnia” -Elizabeth Bishop

The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she’s a daytime sleeper.

By the Universe deserted,
she 'd tell it to go to hell,
and she’d find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well

into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.

“Who Says Words With My Mouth” -Rumi

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

This poetry, I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

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–Fresh Pigeon poo–
by Rodney Southworth

There was an old man with creaky old bones,
his dusty old brain forgot all he’d known.

His very best friend was a big round stone,
who up on a hill enjoyed being alone.

Everyday the old man would climb up the hill,
all of his problems to the stone he would spill.

The stone never gave an opinion nor judged,
it just sat and listened it never budged.

There were pigeons around, the stone had problems too,
everyday on the stone splattered fresh pigeon poo.

The old man only spoke of his creaky old bones,
his dusty old brain never cared for the stone.

He even fed birds that on the stone pooped,
throwing seeds without care and down the birds swooped.

Now a few pigeon turds was not a big matter,
it was day after day that built up the splatter.

The poop piled high and the old stone would shake,
late in the night it rolled towards the big lake.

Rolled slow then fast down the hill off the bluff,
away from the pigeons the old stone had enough.

The next day the old man came to call on the stone,
though to his dismay he was all alone.

At the top of the hill the stone’s not to be found,
left in it’s place was a note on the ground.

It was for the man with the creaky old bones,
and the dusty old brain that forgot all he’d known.

I’m gone wrote the stone and not by mistake,
there’s just so much crap an old stone can take.

Epitaph
By Merrit Malloy

When I die
Give what’s left of me away
To children
And old me that wait to die.

And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
Around anyone
And give them
What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something,
Something better
Than words
Or sounds.

Look for me
In the people I’ve known
Or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on in your eyes
And not your mind.

You can love me most
By letting
Hands touch hands,
By letting bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
Of children
That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die,
People do.
So, when all that’s left of me
Is love,
Give me away.

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That’s so fine.

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Lady Lazarus

BY SYLVIA PLATH

I have done it again.

One year in every ten

I manage it——

A sort of walking miracle, my skin

Bright as a Nazi lampshade,

My right foot

A paperweight,

My face a featureless, fine

Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin

O my enemy.

Do I terrify?——

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?

The sour breath

Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh

The grave cave ate will be

At home on me

And I a smiling woman.

I am only thirty.

And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.

What a trash

To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.

The peanut-crunching crowd

Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot——

The big strip tease.

Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands

My knees.

I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.

The first time it happened I was ten.

It was an accident.

The second time I meant

To last it out and not come back at all.

I rocked shut

As a seashell.

They had to call and call

And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying

Is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.

I do it so it feels real.

I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.

It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.

It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day

To the same place, the same face, the same brute

Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’

That knocks me out.

There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge

For the hearing of my heart——

It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge

For a word or a touch

Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.

So, so, Herr Doktor.

So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,

I am your valuable,

The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.

I turn and burn.

Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash—

You poke and stir.

Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——

A cake of soap,

A wedding ring,

A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Beware

Beware.

Out of the ash

I rise with my red hair

And I eat men like air.