Monday, April 30, 2012

National Poetry Month, Part 4

Tired - Langston Hughes

i am so tired of waiting.
aren’t you,
for the world to become good
and beautiful and kind?
let us take a knife
and cut the world in two —
and see what worms are eating
at the rind.

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On the Necessity of Sadness - Mikael de Lara Co

Let me tell you about longing.
Let me presume that I have something
new to say about it, that this room,
naked, its walls pining for clocks,
has something new to say
about absence. Somewhere
the crunch of an apple, fading
sunflowers on a quilt, a window
looking out to a landscape
with a single tree. And you
sitting under it. Let go,
said you to me in a dream,
but by the time the wind
carried your voice to me,
I was already walking through
the yawning door, towards
the small, necessary sadnesses
of waking. I wish
I could hold you now,
but that is a line that has
no place in a poem, like the swollen
sheen of the moon tonight,
or the word absence, or you,
or longing. Let me tell you about
longing. In a distant country
two lovers are on a bench, and pigeons,
unafraid, are perching beside them.
She places a hand on his knee
and says, say to me
the truest thing you can.
I am closing my eyes now.
You are far away. 
 
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Bright Day - Stanley Moss

I sing this morning: Hello, hello.
I proclaim the bright day of the soul.
The sun is a good fellow,
the devil is a good guy, no deaths today I know.
I live because I live. I do not die because I cannot die.
In Tuscan sunlight Masaccio
painted his belief that St. Peter’s shadow
cured a cripple, gave him back his sight.
I’ve come through eighty-five summers. I walk in sunlight.
In my garden, death questions every root, flowers reply.
I know the dark night of the soul
does not need God’s eye,
as a beggar does not need a hand or a bowl.
 
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For an Album - Adrienne Rich

our story isn’t a file of photographs
faces laughing under green leaves
or snowlit doorways, on the verge of driving
away, our story is not about women
victoriously perched on the one
sunny day of the conference,
nor lovers displaying love:

our story is of moments
when even slow motion moved too fast
for the shutter of the camera:
words blew our lives apart, like so,
eyes that cut & caught each other,
mime of the operating room
where gas & knives quote each other
moments before the telephone
starts ringing: our story is
how still we stood,
how fast.

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The End of Science Fiction - Lisel Mueller

This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.
 
Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.
 
The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.
 
Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright
and becomes the head of a nation.
Invent real tears, hard love,
slow-spoken, ancient words,
difficult as a child’s
first steps across a room.
 

10 comments:

Marion said...

Awesome, interesting, heartfelt, sweet, amazing words. I love them all, but especially Lisel Mueller's poem, "The End of Science Fiction". Thank you for celebrating National Poetry Month so eloquently. I'm sad it's over, but I'm happy to have read so many great poems. Love to you, sweet Tracy!!!xoxo

"It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things." ~Stephen Mallarme

Anthony Duce said...

They are all good, but I must thank you most for “On the Necessity of Sadness”… Brilliant.

Okie said...

Wow...I love that Langston Hughes poem in a sad/depressing/cynical kind of way.

Great selections.

Wine and Words said...

Longing. That one got me. So easily understood at this point that it slipped in my arm like an artery. Hope all is well in Tinseltown :)

Bathwater said...

I even like the selections this time, and I tend to need my poems to rhyme before I think they are clever.

JJ said...

Keep posting those great poems. I love 'em! I wish I could write one at the same skill level.

Eric W. Trant said...

Yes! Worms at the center of the Earth! I knew it...

Love the last poem, too, Sci-Fi is dead. Quite biblical and philosophical, esp. for someone whose mind is that of a Christian scientist. I am a doubter, a thinker, and a ponderizer and believer.

I hope one day to write just that, as suggested. Something new.


- Eric

Jay Noel said...

Love reading poetry. Too bad I can't write it.

Love Langston's Hughes. "Tired" is still so relevant today.

Denis Verdecia said...

I am so glad you started with Langston Hughes. He was my introduction to poetry. I like the way he thinks....

Robin said...

I don't know why poetry just about always makes me sad. I know that much of it is intended to be sad, so there is that. Some it is just the brilliance of the words. Sometimes I think that maybe if it were set to music it would leave me feeling happier. Of course, that would all depend on the music, now wouldn't it?

On a totally different note, I have had this thought rocketing around my brain of late that I would like to be you when I grow up. Not because I think all of the same things you do (clearly), but because of your ability to allow for so many conflicting thoughts to occupy the same space... and you still sort through it all. You always look for the way to get through any situation by applying more love.

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