How many? Depends…

•February 12, 2022 • Leave a Comment

“How many slams in an old screen door?

How many slices in a bread?

Depends how loud you shut it.

Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day?

Depends how good you live ‘em.” – Shel Silverstein

Photo: Sunrise, Outer Banks

– from “Grace” by Joy Harjo

•February 8, 2022 • Leave a Comment

“I think of Wind and her wild ways the year we had nothing to lose and lost it anyway in the cursed country of the fox. We still talk about that winter, how the cold froze imaginary buffalo on the stuffed horizon of snowbanks. The haunting voices of the starved and mutilated broke fences, crashed our thermostat dreams, and we couldn’t stand it one more time. So once again we lost a winter in stubborn memory, walked through cheap apartment walls, skated through fields of ghosts into a town that never wanted us, in the epic search for grace.”

– from “Grace,” Joy Harjo

B.B. King … Something no one can take away-

•February 8, 2022 • Leave a Comment

“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King

“Coal” by Audre Lorde

•September 16, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Audre Lorde
Is the total black, being spoken
From the earth’s inside.
There are many kinds of open.
How a diamond comes into a knot of flame
How a sound comes into a word, coloured
By who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open
Like a diamond on glass windows
Singing out within the crash of passing sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
In a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart—
And come whatever wills all chances
The stub remains
An ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
Breeding like adders. Others know sun
Seeking like gypsies over my tongue
To explode through my lips
Like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
Bedevil me.

Love is a word another kind of open—
As a diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am black because I come from the earth’s inside
Take my word for jewel in your open light.

“Getting a Word In” by James Galvin

•September 12, 2020 • Leave a Comment

“Getting a Word In”
James Galvin
Very sad,
Having to
Come out of nowhere,

The rain
We’ve been waiting for
Is waiting too.

By now,
Have had enough daylight.

They’d like,
To sleep it off.

If nothing
Else, nothing

Behind our backs
Things mean themselves.
Violins crack

From wanting to exist.
It’s hard, getting a word in.
I’m waiting

To arrive inside my clothes,
If nothing else,

To be (having to
Come out of nowhere)
Very sad.

Emily Dickinson, #1212

•September 3, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Emily Dickinson
A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

Lines by Ryōkan …

•September 2, 2020 • Leave a Comment

“When even I haven’t had
enough to eat,
at the bottom of my bowl
of rice gruel
my shadow hogging in!”
                              Art: Self-portrait

― from “The Boatman” Carolyn Forché

•August 27, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Carolyn Forché
“You tell me you are a poet. If so, our destination is the same.
I find myself now the boatman, driving a taxi at the end of the world.
I will see that you arrive safely, my friend, I will get you there.”
                              ― from “The Boatman”

Thoughts on the need for creative extremists by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

•August 26, 2020 • Leave a Comment

― Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

“Sojourns in the Parallel World” by Denise Levertov

•August 19, 2020 • Leave a Comment

“Sojourns in the Parallel World”
Denise Levertov
We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension—though affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it “Nature”; only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be “Nature” too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal—then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
—but we have changed, a little.