A Poem Thread

Big Time

. . .
The place where I come from
Is a small town
They think so small
They use small words

But not me
I'm smarter than that
I worked it out

I've been stretching my mouth
To let those big words
Come right out

I've had enough
I'm getting out
To the city
The big, big city

I'll be a big noise
With all the big boys
So much stuff
I will own

And I will pray to a big God
As I kneel in the big Church

. . .

Peter Gabriel
Night descends furtively over the landscape,
Trees and mountains, wind and stars.
Dreams echo longingly in my cavernous soul.
Voices are overheard from worlds afar,
Reminding me of other lifetimes.
I Never Saw a Moor

by Emily Dickinson.

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea ;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven ;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.
Hey Joe

Jam me that java jive
Slam a slunk slinky dive
Down that ringy ding thing
Fling on yo fenda flang when you sang

Lawrd, gimme dat marsee.

Thatsa ridgy didge, fo yo headge.
Downhearted -- Australian Crawl (aka the needle and the damage done, Oz version)

I left my heart back in the Orient
Down on Bali Bay
It's not the way that I should feel but
It's the way I'm gonna stay

Broken dreams that never really started
. . .

It seems all wrong back here at home
There's no end in sight
Should I be made to drag you through this
Lover's endless fight?

Downhearted . . .

Sometimes I think that we should stay
Happy on the farm
Sometimes I think I'll give it all away this
Love and all its charms

. . .
The Man

As I was walking down the street one day
A Man came up to me and said
His name was Uncle Sam

He was tall, kinda goofy looking
Until I saw the look
That look in his eye like someone I know

I watched him standing there, as I was
Standing looking up at him with his Coca-Cola billboards, and signs
That conned me into thinking
Is he the one?

The one who can win what's never been won?
I looked up at him and watched how he looked down at me
Not with a twinkle, I saw his eyes moving
Darting in and out of various deep and meaningful things

He was judging, by looking down at how I was looking up
If I might be of help, or of insignificance to his lofty mission

Well, looking away at last I thought
I know why you like being so tall
It's so nobody can kick you in the nuts
The Owl Fairy
Wanders at twilight
When the trees cast
Gentle shadows
On the mossy ground,
As she steps she sings
A magical chant
And the forest
listens with delight.

By Paola Merrill, artist and poet​
Length of Moon
by Arna Bontemps, 1926

Then the golden hour
Will tick its last
And the flame will go down in the flower.

A briefer length of moon
Will mark the sea-line and the yellow dune.

Then we may think of this, yet
There will be something forgotten
And something we should forget.

It will be like all things we know:
A stone will fail; a rose is sure to go.

It will be quiet then and we may stay
Long at the picket gate,―
But there will be less to say.

[via Poets.org↱]
"Drink deep, drink deep of quietness,
And on the margins of the sea
Remember not thine old distress
Nor all the miseries to be.
Calmer than mists, and cold
As they, that fold on fold
Up the dim valley are rolled,
Learn thou to be.”
― Robinson Jeffers
It's a kind of magic

Watching a guitar play, the interfering tones mean I'll be
Sifting through electron graveyards
Looking for their bones.

Unplugged there's still a universe of sound
Made by lots of stuff that doesn't wait around
For you to hear it.

Bach pluggin in a working algorythm
Made changes on a boundary sound
Quite astoundary.
The Message of the Rain:
By Norman H Russell

When i was a child
i was a squirrel a bluejay a fox
and spoke with them in their tongues
climbed their trees dug their dens
and knew the taste
of every grass and stone
the meaning of the sun
the message of the night
now i am old and past
both work and battle
and know no shame
to go alone into the forest
to speak again to squirrel fox and bird
to taste the world
to find the meaning of the wind
the message of the rain
“You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.”
― David Whyte
“Love, be
as the flickering
blue flame
of night
as the fully-awoken
beneath cobwebs
of passing clouds
amidst chanting
as my blanket
big enough
to illuminate a hundred
thousand billion galaxies
and just small enough to fit
into my embrace.”
― Sanober Khan, Turquoise Silence
by Toru Kitajima, 2014
(adapted translation)

Tell me, tell me
this machine
who is inside me?​
It's broken. It's broken
in this world
you laugh without seeing anything.​
I am broken
hold your breath:
I can't unravel
I can't unravel anymore.​
Even the truth
can be broken
cannot be broken
crazy not crazy​
I found you and trembled
gradually being in a distorted world
it is transparent invisible​
Do not find me.
Do not stare.​
In this world drawn by someone
I don't want to hurt you.
Remember me.
Stay vivid.​
Infinite loneliness is entwined
the memory of laughing innocently pierces
I can't move I can't move
I can't move I can't move
I can't move I can't move​
unraveling the world
I have changed
I couldn't change.​
Two people who are entwined are destroyed
can be broken
cannot be broken
crazy not crazy
I will not stain you​
gradually being in a distorted world
it is transparent and invisible.​
Do not find me.
Do not stare.​
In a lonely trap someone set,
before the future unravels,
remember me,
stay vivid;
don't forget don't forget.​
What has changed will paralyze.
Paradise is filled with what cannot be changed.
Remember me,​
tell me tell me:​
Who is inside me?

[via YouTube↱]
The Human Condition
by Stephen Spender, 1938

This I is one of
The human machines
So common on the gray plains―
Yet being built into flesh
My single pair of eyes
Contain the universe they see;
Their mirrored multiplicity
Is packed into a hollow body
Where I reflect the many, in my one.

The traffic of the street
Roars through my head, as in the genitals
Their unborn London.

And if this I were destroyed,
The image shattered,
My perceived, rent world would fly
In an explosion of final judgment
To the ends of the sky,
The coulour in the iris of the eye.

Opening my eyes say "Let there be light",
Closing, they shut me in a coffin.

generation of feeling
by Marwa Helal, 2019

these growing pains though
this good will hunting
fallen twigs
look like bones
waiting to be lit

i am trying to tell you something about how
rearranging words
rearranges the universe

The Rights of Woman
by Anna Lætitia Barbauld, 1792

Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!
Woman! too long degraded, scorned, opprest;
O born to rule in partial Law's despite,
Resume thy native empire o'er the breast!

Go forth arrayed in panoply divine;
That angel pureness which admits no stain;
Go, bid proud Man his boasted rule resign,
And kiss the golden sceptre of thy reign.

Go, gird thyself with grace; collect thy store
Of bright artillery glancing from afar;
Soft melting tones thy thundering cannon's roar,
Blushes and fears thy magazine of war.

Thy rights are empire: urge no meaner claim,—
Felt, not defined, and if debated, lost;
Like sacred mysteries, which withheld from fame,
Shunning discussion, are revered the most.

Try all that wit and art suggest to bend
Of thy imperial foe the stubborn knee;
Make treacherous Man thy subject, not thy friend;
Thou mayst command, but never canst be free.

Awe the licentious, and restrain the rude;
Soften the sullen, clear the cloudy brow:
Be, more than princes' gifts, thy favours sued;—
She hazards all, who will the least allow.

But hope not, courted idol of mankind,
On this proud eminence secure to stay;
Subduing and subdued, thou soon shalt find
Thy coldness soften, and thy pride give way.

Then, then, abandon each ambitious thought,
Conquest or rule thy heart shall feebly move,
In Nature's school, by her soft maxims taught,
That separate rights are lost in mutual love.

"Today I’m flying low
and I’m not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos
of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling
a little,
the fish leaping,
the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move,
though really
I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple."
Mary Oliver, Today
Sissieretta Jones
by Tyehimba Jess, 2016

Ad libitum

I sing this body ad libitum, Europe scraped raw between my teeth until, presto, "Ave Maria" floats to the surface from a Tituba tributary of "Swanee." Until I'm a legato darkling whole note, my voice shimmering up from the Atlantic's hold; until I'm a coda of sail song whipped in salted wind; until my chorus swells like a lynched tongue; until the nocturnes boiling beneath the roof of my mouth extinguish each burning cross. I sing this life in testimony to tempo rubato, to time stolen body by body by body by body from one passage to another; I sing tremolo to the opus of loss. I sing this story staccato and stretto, a fugue of blackface and blued-up arias. I sing with one hand smoldering in the steely canon, the other lento, slow, languorous: lingered in the fields of "Babylon's Falling" ...

I Sit and Sew
by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson (1918)

I sit and sew―a useless task it seems,
My hands grown tired, my head weighed down with dreams―
The panoply of war, the martial tred of men,
Grim-faced, stern-eyed, gazing beyond the ken
Of lesser souls, whose eyes have not seen Death,
Nor learned to hold their lives but as a breath―
But―I must sit and sew.

I sit and sew―my heart aches with desire―
That pageant terrible, that fiercely pouring fire
On wasted fields, and writhing grotesque things
Once men. My soul in pity flings
Appealing cries, yearning only to go
There in that holocaust of hell, those fields of woe―
But―I must sit and sew.

The little useless seam, the idle patch;
Why dream I here beneath my homely thatch,
When there they lie in sodden mud and rain,
Pitifully calling me, the quick ones and the slain?
You need me, Christ! It is no roseate dream
That beckons me―this pretty futile seam,
It stifles me―God, must I sit and sew?