Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HAPPY 21ST

close up of large red lips from Rock Horror Picture Show

I WISH I COULD SAY IT EVEN HALF AS WELL

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right,
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith;
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese, 43

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

~ ~ ~ WARNING ~ ~ ~ IF YOU ARE OF UPRIGHT, MORAL FIBRE, OR PRONE TO VAPORS SKIP THIS POST. READ NO FURTHER. ~ ~ ~ WARNING ~ ~ ~

 
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

-Philip Larkin

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wild Geese

Mary Oliver

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.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Résumé

Dorothy Parker

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

© 1998-2010 Poetry X.
from: Enough Rope / c.1926

Saturday, June 26, 2010

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

 
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
~ Mark Twain
  

Friday, June 25, 2010

DID YOU EVER READ "THE GLASS MENAGERIE"?

I read it in Jr. High School. 
And this is the part I remember best.

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

 
"To practice any art, 
no matter how well or badly, 
is a way to make your soul grow. 
So do it." 

Kurt Vonnegut

THE WILLARD SUITCASES

  
This haunting exhibit raises many intriguing questions.

Flood

    by Eliza Griswold

I woke to a voice within the room. perhaps.
The room itself: "You're wasting this life
expecting disappointment."
I packed my bag in the night
and peered in its leather belly
to count the essentials.
Nothing is essential.
To the east, the flood has begun.
Men call to each other on the water
for the comfort of voices.
Love surprises us.
It ends.

Reprinted from Wideawake Field © 2007 by Eliza Griswold, by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Learn more about FSG poets at fsgpoetry.com.

Monday, June 21, 2010

CHECK OUT THE TIN


Click here for something wonderful.
 

‘Please send future work’

Future Work
Fleur Adcock

   
    – EDITOR'S NOTE ON A REJECTION SLIP

    It is going to be a splendid summer.
    The apple tree will be thick with golden russets
    expanding weightily in the soft air.
    I shall finish the brick wall beside the terrace
    and plant out all the geranium cuttings.
    Pinks and carnations will be everywhere.
    She will come out to me in the garden,
    her bare feet pale on the cut grass,
    bringing jasmine tea and strawberries on a tray.
    I shall be correcting proofs of my novel
    (third in a trilogy—simultaneous publication
    in four continents); and my latest play
    will be in production at the Aldwych
    starring Glenda Jackson and Paul Scofield
    with Olivier brilliant in a minor part.
    I shall probably have finished my translations
    of Persian creation myths and the Pre-Socratics
    (drawing new parallels) and be ready to start
    on Lucretius. But first I'll take a break
    at the chess championships in Manila—
    on present form, I'm fairly likely to win.
    And poems? Yes, there will certainly be poems:
    they sing in my head, they tingle along my nerves.
    It is all magnificently about to begin.

From POEMS, 1960–2000, by Fleur Adcock, published by Bloodaxe Books, 2000.

UH OH

large blue button
Push the button

If you dare

Sunday, June 20, 2010

ALWAYS INSPIRING & THOUGHT PROVOKING

Let Us Have Faith
by Helen Keller

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men
as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer
in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and
behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A LITTLE COLOR CAN DO WONDERS IN LIFE



This 2 minute global film was shot by multi-award winning director Adam Berg over four weeks in Brazil, France, London and India. Every location is real and they remain transformed by a palette consisting of 120 different colours. The people in the film are not actors, they are real people who rolled up their sleeves to transform their community with colour.

Read more about the Let's Colour project here:
www.letscolourproject.com/blog
www.letscolourproject.com

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rain

        
by Claribel Alegría
Translated by Margaret S. Peden

heavy rain falling in forest
As the falling rain
trickles among the stones
memories come bubbling out.
It's as if the rain
had pierced my temples.
Streaming
streaming chaotically
come memories:
the reedy voice
of the servant
telling me tales
of ghosts.
They sat beside me
the ghosts
and the bed creaked
that purple-dark afternoon
when I learned you were leaving forever,
a gleaming pebble
from constant rubbing
becomes a comet.
Rain is falling
falling
and memories keep flooding by
they show me a senseless
world
a voracious
world--abyss
ambush
whirlwind
spur
but I keep loving it
because I do
because of my five senses
because of my amazement
because every morning,
because forever, I have loved it
without knowing why.

from: Casting Off, Copyright © 2003 by Curbstone Press.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

THIS WAS OFTEN MY EXPERIENCE IN SCHOOL

Not good for an English major.
But I learned to make it work for me.


Venn diagram with what poem meant and what I thought it meant in separate circles

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

by Rudyard Kipling

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place;
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four—
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man—
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:—
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

(A copybook was an exercise book, blank except for horizontal rulings and a printed specimen of perfect handwriting at the top, used for practicing one's handwriting.  The specimens were proverbs or quotations, or little commonplace hortatory or admonitory sayings—the copybook headings.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

LET US HOPE IT NEVER BECOMES EXTINCT

hands painted with feathers and forming shadow bird
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.

(photo found on Footprint 2.0)

I KNEW IT!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Leda, After the Swan

by Carl Phillips

Perhaps,
in the exaggerated grace
of his weight
settling,

the wings
raised, held in
strike-or-embrace
position,

I recognized
something more
than swan, I can't say.

There was just
this barely defined
shoulder, whose feathers
came away in my hands,

and the bit of world
left beyond it, coming down

to the heat-crippled field,

ravens the precise color of
sorrow in good light, neither
black nor blue, like fallen
stitches upon it,

and the hour forever,
it seemed, half-stepping
its way elsewhere--

then
everything, I
remember, began
happening more quickly.

From In the Blood by Carl Phillips, published by Northeastern University Press. Copyright © 1992

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Darkling Thrush

bird at the top of naked tree branch against Grey sky











by Thomas Hardy





I leant upon a coppice gate
     When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
     The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
     Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
     Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
     The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
     The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
     Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
     Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
     The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
     Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
     In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
     Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
     Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
     Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
     His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
     And I was unaware.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

February: The Boy Breughel

by Norman Dubie

The birches stand in their beggar's row:
Each poor tree
Has had its wrists nearly
Torn from the clear sleeves of bone,
These icy trees
Are hanging by their thumbs
Under a sun
That will begin to heal them soon,
Each will climb out
Of its own blue, oval mouth;
The river groans,
Two birds call out from the woods

And a fox crosses through snow
Down a hill; then, he runs,
He has overcome something white
Beside a white bush, he shakes
It twice, and as he turns
For the woods, the blood in the snow

Looks like the red fox,
At a distance, running down the hill:
A white rabbit in his mouth killed
By the fox in snow
Is killed over and over as just
Two colors, now, on a winter hill:

Two colors! Red and white. A barber's bowl!
Two colors like the peppers
In the windows
Of the town below the hill. Smoke comes
From the chimneys. Everything is still.

Ice in the river begins to move,
And a boy in a red shirt who woke
A moment ago
Watches from his window
The street where an ox
Who's broken out of his hut
Stands in the fresh snow
red fox hunting in snowStaring cross-eyed at the boy
Who smiles and looks out
Across the roof to the hill;
And the sun is reaching down
Into the woods

Where the smoky red fox still
Eats his kill. Two colors.
Just two colors!
A sunrise. The snow.


From Selected and New Poems, published by W.W. Norton & Co., 1983. Copyright © 1983

POLITICAL APPOINTEES NEED TO FIT THE JOB

black and white bull dog wearing a pointed red hat and sitting among garden gnomes

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sitting Outside

Adirondack chair in lawn under trees with fall colors of reds and browns





by W. D. Snodgrass



These lawn chairs and the chaise lounge
of bulky redwood were purchased for my father
twenty years ago, then plumped down in the yard
where he seldom went when he could still work
and never had stayed long. His left arm
in a sling, then lopped off, he smoked there or slept
while the weather lasted, watched what cars passed,
read stock reports, counted pills,
then dozed again. I didn’t go there
in those last weeks, sick of the delusions
they still maintained, their talk of plans
for some boat tour or a trip to the Bahamas
once he’d recovered. Under our willows,
this old set’s done well: we’ve sat with company,
read or taken notes—although the arm rests
get dry and splintery or wheels drop off
so the whole frame’s weakened if it’s hauled
across rough ground.  Of course the trees,
too, may not last: leaves storm down,
branches crack off, the riddled bark
separates, then gets shed. I have a son, myself,
with things to be looked after. I sometimes think
since I’ve retired, sitting in the shade here
and feeling the winds shift, I must have been filled
with a child dread you could catch somebody’s dying
if you got too close. And you can’t be too sure.

Copyright © 2006 BOA Editions, Ltd.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Shells

by Elaine Terranova

close up picture of pile of bivalve shellsIn the heat, in the high grass
their knees touched as they sat
crosslegged facing each other,
a lightness and a brittleness
in their bodies. They touched
like shells. How odd

that I should watch them say goodbye.
What did it have to do with me?

There was my own stillness
and the wasps and the tiny flies
for a long time taking stitches
in the surrounding air and

a comfort I felt, as the wind
tore through, to find the trees
miraculously regaining their balance.

from Not To: New & Selected Poems, published by The Sheep Meadow Press. Copyright © 2006 by Elaine Terranova.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

FLOOD

by Miyazawa Kenji
Translated by Hiroaki Sato

Under the malicious glints of the clouds
the Kitakami, grown twice in width, perhaps ten times in volume,
bears yellow waves.
All the iron barges are being tugged to the army camp.
A motorboat sputters.
The water flowing back from downstream
has already turned into marshes
the paddies on the dried riverbed,
hidden the bean fields,
and devastated half the mulberries.
Gleaming like a snail's trail
it has made an island of the grass patch under the pines
and of the Chinese cabbage fields.
When and how they got there I don’t know
but on the warm frightening beach
several dark figures stand, afloat.
One holds a fishnet.
I recognize Hosuke in leggings.
Has the water already
robbed us of our autumn food?
I climb the roof to look.
I hauled the manure bundles to a high place.
As for the plows and baskets
I went in the water a few minutes ago, up to my waist,
and managed to retrieve them.

                                        (8/15/1927)

from: Miyazawa Kenji: Selections, edited and with an introduction. Copyright © 2007 Miyazawa Kenji.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ACHILL

by Derek Mahon

im chaonaí uaigneach nach mór go bhfeicim an lá

I lie and imagine a first light gleam in the bay
    After one more night of erosion and nearer the grave,
Then stand and gaze from the window at break of day
   As a shearwater skims the ridge of an incoming wave;
And I think of my son a dolphin in the Aegean,
   A sprite among sails knife-bright in a seasonal wind,
And wish he were here where currachs walk on the ocean
   To ease with his talk the solitude locked in my mind.

I sit on a stone after lunch and consider the glow
   Of the sun through mist, a pearl bulb containèdly fierce;
A rain-shower darkens the schist for a minute or so
   Then it drifts away and the sloe-black patches disperse.
Croagh Patrick towers like Naxos over the water
   And I think of my daughter at work on her difficult art
And wish she were with me now between thrush and plover,
   Wild thyme and sea-thrift, to lift the weight from my heart.

The young sit smoking and laughing on the bridge at evening
   Like birds on a telephone pole or notes on a score.
A tin whistle squeals in the parlour, once more it is raining,
   Turf-smoke inclines and a wind whines under the door;
And I lie and imagine the lights going on in the harbor
   Of white-housed Náousa, your clear definition at night,
And wish you were here to upstage my disconsolate labour
   As I glance through a few thin pages and switch off the light.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oh goody! A challenge that's right up my ally. AND . . . A THOUGHT.

 
Banned Book Challenge 2010
The Pelham Public Library is issuing the fourth annual "Banned Book Challenge." Set a challenge for yourself to read x number of challenged or banned books between February 21 (Freedom to Read Week in Canada) and June 30. 
Open bible in candle light

I just found this, so it is a bit late in the game for me. But there are still three weeks left.

Because of some comments left on my blog about banned books, the subject has been on my mind lately and I have reread a few old classics. Yes, my library is rife with the critters, as would be any diverse library.

It always surprises me the number of people who have no problem with ripping books out of the hands of others and forbidding certain thoughts and ideas be expressed in daylight. You see, as many of you may already know, religious texts are among the most challenged and banned out there. the Bible, the Koran, the writings of Confucious and Martin Luther, as well as many others.

Is it ironic then that promoters of censorship tend to hold 'teachings' from these books as their reasoning and justification? Just a thought.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM.

Mama, Come Back
by Nellie Wong

Mama, come back.
Why did you leave
now that I am learning you?
The landlady next door
how she apologizes
for my rough brown skin
to her tenant from Hong Kong
as if I were her daughter,
as if she were you.

How do I say I miss you
your scolding
your presence
your roast loin of pork
more succulent, more tender
than any hotel chef's?

The fur coat you wanted
making you look like a polar bear
and the mink-trimmed coat
I once surprised you
on Christmas morning.

Mama, how you said "importment"
for important,
your gold tooth flashing
an insecurity you dared not bare,
wanting recognition
simply as eating noodles
and riding in a motor car
to the supermarket
the movie theater
adorned in your gold and jade
as if all your jewelry
confirmed your identity
a Chinese woman in America.

How you said "you better"
always your last words
glazed through your dark eyes
following me fast as you could
one November evening in New York City
how I thought "Hello, Dolly!"
showed you an America
you never saw.

How your fear of being alone
kept me dutiful in body
resentful in mind.
How my fear of being single
kept me
from moving out.

How I begged your forgiveness
after that one big fight
how I wasn't wrong
but needed you to love me
as warmly as you hugged strangers.

Friday, June 4, 2010

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED

in Blogs about books,
check out YA BOOK BLOG DIRECTORY, BLOGCATALOG, BLOGFLUX, and WIKIO. You can find ideas and recommendations as well as reviews.

Also, here is a directory called BEST OF THE WEB listing poetry Blogs, most of which feature original writing for your enjoyment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Clear Midnight

       by Walt Whitman

This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson
    done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the
    themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars.

from: Leaves of Grass, the section "From Noon to Starry Night"
 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I LOVE TREES. EXCPT PALM TREES. THEY'RE NOT REALLY TREES. WHERE'S THE SHADE TO READ BY?

Lord, the air smells good...
by Rumi
Lord, the air smells good today,
straight from the mysteries
within the inner courts of God.
A grace like new clothes thrown
across the garden, free medecine for everybody.
The trees in their prayer, the birds in praise,
the first blue violets kneeling.
Whatever came from Being is caught up in being, drunkenly
forgetting the way back.

 
The Arbor day Foundation website 
has just about everything you could ever want to know about trees, and more.

 (Found this pic on a web post)

OH MY!

 Check out:
Tree Shapers

 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CHECK OUT THIS SITE

 


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PATI PELZ
patipelz.com
pepelz@q.com
970-203-0522