Friday, April 29, 2011

Poetry Fridays- poetry potpourri

For my very last Poetry Friday, I thought I'd shake things up a bit. Yes, I will still post poetry. But like I did last year, I will make my last Poetry Friday of 2011 a little different. This year I will include (gasp) two poems of my very own (Eric, quit asking me to do stuff, you know I'm bad at saying no to you), something I've never done before on this blog, mostly because you guys really don't need to read my tragically emo poetry that I wrote way back when I was a super depressed, hyper-aware 20 year old; and I'm also giving a nod to Bath and posting the lyrics to one of my favorite songs of all time (and my personal anthem), "Take to the Sky", by Tori Amos. Bath frequently writes posts that start off with song lyrics to tie into what he's going to talk about, and honestly, it's so genius, I don't know why I haven't stolen the idea yet.

So enjoy poetry of all different types today, and again - happy National Poetry Month to all of you. I hope you enjoyed the posts and I will be resuming more personal posts next week.

Kindness

by Naomi Shihab Nye


before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
what you held in your hand,
what you counted & carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
how you ride & ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize & chicken
will stare out the window forever.

before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
you must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
& the simple breath that kept him alive.

before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
you must wake up with sorrow.
you must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
& you see the size of the cloth.

then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
& sends you out into the day to mail letters & purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is i you have been looking for,
& then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
------------------------------------------------------------------

Jan. 14th


by Tracy Clifton

What’s the point of being

A poet

If no one believes me anymore?

I have earned the lack of trust

That follows me around these days,

Clinging to my jacket like smoke,

Entering a room

Long before I do.

My consistencies are outweighed

By my insecurities,

Jumping like a dog

To please only those that kick me.

Who do I need to apologize to?

Look in the mirror, love.

------------------------------------------------------

I Wish in the City of Your Heart

by Robley Wilson


i wish in the city of your heart
you would let me be the street
where you walk when you are most
yourself. i imagine the houses:
it has been raining, but the rain
is done & the children kept home
have begun opening their doors.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Nov. 6th

by Tracy Clifton


Something is without

You here

Writing myself into a wall

We try to capture

The flag right back

But it’s changed loyalties

Don’t you know

I have paper cuts

On my lips

From kissing words too much,

And your silence is

A blindfold.

Let’s call a truce,

Just you and I,

With the way the world

Just doesn’t work out

I got ten dollars

That says

You can’t find another universe

Before I do.

------------------------------------------------

In Blackwater Woods

by Mary Oliver


to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
&, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
--------------------------------------------------------------

So Much Happiness

by Naomi Shihab Nye


it is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
with sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion & cloth.
when the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

but happiness floats.
it doesn’t need you to hold it down.
it doesn’t need anything.
happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
& disappears when it wants to.
you are happy either way.
even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
& now live over a quarry of noise & dust
cannot make you unhappy.
everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake & ripe peaches,
& love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens & scratched records.

since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, & it flows out of you
into everything you touch. you are not responsible.
you take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, & share it,
& in that way, be known.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Take to the Sky

by Tori Amos

(You can listen to what the song sounds like here)

This house is like Russia
With eyes cold and gray
You got me moving in a circle
I dyed my hair red today

I just want a little passion
To hold me in the dark
I know I got some magic
Buried, buried deep in my heart, yeah

But my priest says,
You ain't saving no souls
My father says,
You ain't makin' any money
My doctor says,
You just took it to the limit

And here I stand with this sword in my hand.

You can say it one more time
What you don't like
Let me hear it one more time then
Have a seat while I take to the sky

My heart is like the ocean
It gets in the way
So close to touching freedom
Then I hear the guards call my name

And my priest says,
You ain't saving no souls
My father says,
You ain't makin' any money
My doctor says,
You just took it to the limit

And here I stand with this sword in my hand.

You can say it one more time
What you don't like
Let me hear it one more time then
Have a seat while I take to the sky

If you don't like me just a little, well
Why do you hang around
If you don't like me just a little, well
Why do you hang around
If you don't like me just a little, well
Why do you take it take it take it

(this house... like Russia)

You can say it one more time
You can say it one more time
You can say it one more time
What you don't like
Let me hear it one more time then
Have a seat while I take to the sky
Take to the sky
Take to the sky
Take to the sky


17 comments:

Wine and Words said...

"Who do I need to apologize to?
Look in the mirror, love."

Ah Ah Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Thank you for sharing your poetry! Notice Eric gave it a go as well :) Now I challenge myself to write something joyful. I loved that piece about happiness. The notion that there is so much to DO with sadness as if it were an action. With happiness we just shrug. Brilliant.

Papercuts on my lips from kissing words! I have done this. Still do.

rosaria said...

Holy, holy! This is some banquet of poetry. Words are now essential nutrients!

Eric W. Trant said...

I got ten dollars
That says
You can’t find another universe
Before I do.


HA! You're on.

Your poems are a lot like your posts -- they have this great quip right at the end. It's that boxer mentality, with the jab-dodge, jab-dodge, do that for a few stanzas, the BAM BAM BAM knock em on the mat, hold up your arms, count all you want because they ain't getting up, DONE.

You mentioned in an old post, too, how hate cannot be faked, but love can.

Same with misery v. happiness, resp. Your stuff, as always, is brutal and honest and for that it's beautiful.

And you did read my V-post, yes? I think after that you won't feel so bad, because you can look at me and say, At least I didn't do THAT!

(yes, I actually did that)

Thank you for the poems!

- Eric

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

my-my...haven't heard Tori Amos for ages! Thanks for reminding me of how great the lyrics are!

xo*

Anthony Duce said...

I enjoyed, so much the poems, all of them, but especially the words from you. Great poems…

Elisabeth said...

They're all so lovely, these poems, Tracy and yours especially, not only because they are yours but also because they're good. I especially enjoy these words :

I have paper cuts

On my lips

From kissing words too much

Lira said...

Brave, girl, you're brave. Thank you for sharing your words with us. <3

Ed Pilolla said...

i absolutely love the playfulness you end your nov. 6 poem with.

Marion said...

Awesome, beautiful, fantastic, moving poems, Phoenix. You are an amazing poet and I'm very happy to call you friend of my heart.

Love & Blessings,
Marion

JJ said...

Ms. Phoenix: You have too much of everything for me to even imagine you depressed. I love your blog and your spirit. The poetry is superb!

Bathwater said...

I wish I could see the world through the eyes of a poet. I see things way to literally (often dramatically so I'll admit). The songs say it better than I can sometimes. They are like little soundtracks for that post.

Thank you for the nod, use the method and I'll listen perhaps I should post a link to the song too.
That is a good idea.

Love ya.

Snowbrush said...

The poem on kindness reminds me ever so much of the message of "The Velveteen Rabbit."

Gwen said...

I love your poetry! Your Nov. 6th poem is wonderful! I find it hard to believe you were ever full of angst but then again...we all are at one time or another. Thank you again for sharing these with us. Already looking forward to next year. :)

kj said...

'Don’t you know

I have paper cuts

On my lips

From kissing words too much,'

tracy.....
this is beautiful. i want to read more of your poetry. anytime.

it is a special joy in my life when i can share back and forth with poets. your choices are wonderful. i've been absent here recently while my life has been a rumble-tumble but tonight i am so glad i stopped by. ♥
kj

Jo Schaffer said...

(= Hey these are good.

I used to write a lot of poetry whem I was in college. I still love it.

You have a way with words, chica.

drollgirl said...

oh, so glad you cited tori amos. she/her words are so fab. :)

Barbara said...

I really like your two, my dear. And then, Mary Oliver's...which spoke to me.

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