Archive for April, 2010

me, myself and she

April 15, 2010

a tribute to Joyce

I think that I won’t live to be
a golden poet of eighty three.

A poet with fingers arthritic at best
that silently sit on the keyboard to rest.

A poet gazing upon a blank page
praying her brain soon will engage.

A poet who’s words have lost magic and flair
to an unsympathetic audience that just doesn’t care.

“Remove life support,  let the poet be slain!”
“Put her out of our misery, help ease our pain!”

Poetry is written for no one to see
Thank God for the poem that she calls a tree.

The Final Visit to Katyn

April 12, 2010

(zbrodnia katyńska)

It happened at the scene of the crime.

in the human forest where the honor
of those massacred like wounds
would be healed.

Now rests the burden of tragedy over travesty.

lost over decades of time, thousands
upon thousands
met with an inexplicable, methodical madness.

voiceless hostages, humiliated, handcuffed
stood to meet brains red-washed
masking murder with their mighty machines
that thundered long into the blistered black night.

Anguish muffled
the merciless murderers prepared to brand
suffering  dogs  horses and cattle maddened by a disease.

my people were led to their graves
bullets pierced their necks.

oh Lord how their graves were ignored
while the lies overflowed in the streets.

for a time, a veil covered the dead
when a voice cried out from the earth
“The truth will make a path for itself”.

On this day, the crusty fog rested on the tombs
all the king’s men were beckoned to the field of green
where bloodshed had long been covered up
by the red lies
and yet on this day
there was to be an offering of honesty over
diminished lies, perhaps, but the pain remained
weighted by years of blame and lack of responsibility.

and as the Poles boarded a plane
remembering the brutal events in a war
that devastated a nation
hope burst into flames
as their heavy hearts crashed on the burial ground.

Pundits, bloggers and those who are left to celebrate
the painful anniversary
search for a silver lining.

Katyn is ignored no more.

Day 2 First Conversation & The Name Poem

April 11, 2010

Could I spend all of my days in the splendor
content in your garden?

where everyday saints
strive for justice
joyfully toiling
among the innocent
whose future is known only to you,
Lord?

Could I spend all of my days in the splendor
content in your garden?

where wealth is measured
by the silent deeds
of the gentle flowers
spreading the truth
found in the sweetness of your words,
Lord?

Could I spend all of my days in the splendor
content in your garden?

where the company of strangers
calls to the winds, restless, anxious
whose burdens I gladly cast to the heavens
for the gentle showers
of kindness and comfort you show
Lord?

Could I spend all of my days in the splendor
content in your garden?

where friends and tempters alike
are searching for the truth
hidden along the crumbling ground
amidst pain and isolation
on my knees in prayer I find your ray of hope,
Lord?

Amen, gratefully I will spend all of my days
in the splendor.
Amen, thankfully
I will spend all of my days content
in your garden
Lord.

Day 1 The First Conversation & the Nature of the Poem

April 10, 2010

reticent
to join
the wildflowers dancing in the fields
without inhibitions
they prayed in rows.

star blue
bold and bright
the Isotoma opens herself
up, spreading
reaching out.

all the while white on white
the cantebury bells
ring true
welcoming, tempting
sweetness.

fragrantly knowing
you are free
and you were once
lip syncing for crying out loud
just like me.

Breaking Black

April 10, 2010

red black red black

BLACK BLACK

move ‘em back

security patrol prayerfully

forced to their knees

and a stated emergency

that nobody sees

crimson Shinawatras

demanding a change

equality, justice

not within range

red black red black

BLACK BLACK

move ‘em back

the gods cannot comfort

Ratchaparasong

gunfire grenade sounds

devotion gone wrong

bullets of rubber

gas made for tears

violence emerges

awakening the fears

red black red black

BLACK BLACK

move ‘em back

flags over Thailand

red, white and blue

red shirts are coming

and getting their due

the color of blood

in the city of life

poured onto the streets

death stench filled strife

red black red black

BLACK BLACK

move ‘em back

will the global community

choose to mourn or ignore

what they can’t understand

nor knocking at their door

all roads to the Phen Fah

are paved with the lie

of empty, cold promises

of a ruler yet to die.

red black red black

BLACK BLACK

move ‘em back

widespread disparities

between rich and the poor

the uprising of red shirts

remain silent no more

the color of blood shed

for the black or the red

lives that are lost

arise now the dead

red black red black

BLACK BLACK

move ‘em back

An Old Lady Living in a Shoe…

April 9, 2010

If you are like me, you can recall with fondness reading to your little one, whether he or she was tucked into bed or snuggled close on your lap. Reading was as important an activity for your child as it was for you. It was more about spending time together than the story being read. It was about being close and sharing adventures through the written word. It was also about developing good habits and establishing that reading is an important activity.

If you were like me, you didn’t read to your very young child for the purpose of intellectual stimulation. Rather you were demonstrating love and providing security.

But something has been troubling me about the importance of nursery rhymes. Recently I asked a group of 13 year olds three questions:

1)   What is a nursery?

2)   Who is Mother Goose?

3)   What is a nursery rhyme?

Unfortunately the responses were unanimous:

1)   Isn’t a nursery a place where the landscapers buys plants for our yard?

2)   Mother Goose… isn’t she AFFLACK the duck’s mother?

3)   What is a nursery rhyme?

Unless something has changed, I remember that my toddler loved the sounds and rhythm associated with the classic nursery rhymes.  They provided hours of entertainment, enjoyment and laughter. The lightheartedness and nonsensicalness of a nursery rhyme would cause my young child to look quizzically at me begging for more silliness. But I guess we can’t be silly anymore can we?

Toddlers have always been easily amused by cows jumping over the moon or an egg named Humpty Dumpty falling off a wall. Not introducing the very young to Mother Goose can rob them of a tremendous opportunity for creativity and growth.

In Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson’s book, “I Wish I Had a Computer That Makes Waffles…” traditional nursery rhymes are dismissed for their lack of sophistication siting that today’s toddlers are too bright for old ladies living in shoes! Perhaps, but not so fast.

While many of us have been raised in the me   me   me generation, today’s kids are growing up in the age of i   i   i; iPhones, iPods, aye aye aye. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe we will see parents reading to their young children from kindles any time too soon, but as parents, grandparents and educators it is our responsibility to expose these little ones to outside of the box concepts, make-believe and kid stuff!

Perhaps no solid evidence exists  to support this premise, but there just may be some subliminal truth to the statement that listening to, memorizing or even inventing your own nursery rhymes can lead to a love of and appreciation for poetry.