Eliza Cook: Song for the New Year

Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)

Song for the New Year

Old Time has turned another page
Of eternity and truth;
He reads with a warning voice to age,
And whispers a lesson to youth.
A year has fled o’er heart and head
Since last the yule log burnt;
And we have a task to closely ask,
What the bosom and brain have learnt?
Oh! let us hope that our sands have run
With wisdom’s precious grains;
Oh! may we find that our hands have done
Some work of glorious pains.
Then a welcome and cheer to the merry new year,
While the holly gleams above us;
With a pardon for the foes who hate,
And a prayer for those who love us.

We may have seen some loved ones pass
To the land of hallow’d rest;
We may miss the glow of an honest brow
And the warmth of a friendly breast:
But if we nursed them while on earth,
With hearts all true and kind,
Will their spirits blame the sinless mirth
Of those true hearts left behind?
No, no! it were not well or wise
To mourn with endless pain;
There’s a better world beyond the skies,
Where the good shall meet again.
Then a welcome and cheer to the merry new year,
While the holly gleams above us;
With a pardon for the foes who hate,
And a prayer for those who love us.

Have our days rolled on serenely free
From sorrow’s dim alloy?
Do we still possess the gifts that bless
And fill our souls with joy?
Are the creatures dear still clinging near?
Do we hear loved voices come?
Do we gaze on eyes whose glances shed
A halo round our home?
Oh, if we do, let thanks be pour’d
To Him who hath spared and given,
And forget not o’er the festive board
The mercies held from heaven.
Then a welcome and cheer to the merry new year,
While the holly gleams above us;
With a pardon for the foes who hate,
And a prayer for those who love us.

—Eliza Cook.

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/song-new-year

Anis Mojgani: Hon or We have both traveled from the other side of some hill, one side of which we may wish we could forget

“Love me stupid.
Love me terrible.
And when I am no
mountain but rather
a monsoon of imperfect
thunder love me. When
I am blue in my face
from swallowing myself
yet wearing my best heart
even if my best heart
is a century of hunger
an angry mule breathing
hard or perhaps even
hopeful. A small sun.
Little & bright.”

—Anis Mojgani.

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/hon-or-we-have-both-traveled-other-side-some-hill-one-side-which-we-may-wish-we-could-forget

Mrs. Minot Carter: Raindrops

“Have you heard the raindrops
On a field of corn,
Pattering ov’r the green leaves
Dusty and forlorn?
Did you ever fancy
They were little feet
Hurrying out with water
Thirsty ones to meet?

Have you seen the raindrops
Falling on the lake?
How they flash and sparkle
Tiny splashes make.
Did you ever fancy
They were diamonds rare
Scattered by an aeroplane
Sailing through the air?”

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/raindrops

Grace Cavalieri: A Field of Finches Without Sight Still Singing

A Field of Finches Without Sight Still Singing

“That song comes from sorrow there is no doubt.

Bullfinches in ancient times had eyes put out

so they would sing more sweet. Think of

those black beads dropped to earth coming

to seed flowers turning inward every single

one of them without its sight.

Stories say that moving in the wind they

made up song as if nothing had been lost and

this rings long into the night. Every sound

we hear turns to a bigger one and each is

true. We add our own until it is the first

din ever heard, the way poetry begins.”

—Grace Cavaliieri.

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/field-finches-without-sight-still-singing

June Jordan: Poem for one little girl blue

Poem for One Little Girl Blue

“She hangs onto sadness
the way somebody else treads water
waiting for the world
to see how much she hurts from family
madness pierced her rib cage
twenty years ago

And she’ll continue to compete as Victim
Absolute
until she finally receives a gold
medallion for her suffering
or a truly purple heart complete
with ribbons
so that she can hang that up

and then
move right along
perhaps/at last
to someplace

really new”
—June Jordan.

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/poem-one-little-girl-blue

Kazim Ali: What new name

What New Name
Kazim Ali

“What new name will you bear in a world governed by code and calculation

What program will reveal the ratio between communal identities and the loss of the body

You are not known or pronounced

Your nonce nonchalance does not convince

Your scores are neither high enough to qualify, nor deep enough to be legible, nor detailed enough to play from

Custodian of nothing, childless, rude and startled

So many scintillating shards or conversations when things shatter

Savagely unbodied by the microscopic architecture of psalmless palm

Drawn means tired or created or a naked sword or tied up and torn asunder

It’s not loving someone who can’t love you back, but the end of loving them that’s the saddest

Now emotional intimacy has tech, yoga has tech, sex has tech, even tech has tech

You don’t even know what day it is, what the weather is like or where you’re supposed to be next

Let yourself be found like water through rocks, you are what’s lost, you are the pool collecting in the ground

Speak now speak always speak in the long undrawn colloquy of night.”
—Kazim Ali.

Nickole Brown: Prayer to be still and know

Prayer to be Still and Know
Nickole Brown

“Lord, let my ears go secret agent, each
a microphone so hot it picks up things
silent, reverbing even the hum of stone
close to its eager, silver grill. Let my ears forget
years trained to human chatter
wired into every room, even those empty
except of me, each broadcast and jingle
tricking me into being less
lonely than I am. Let my ears forget
the clack and rumble, our tambourining and fireworking
distractions, our roar of applause. Let my hands quit
their clapping and rest in a new kind of prayer, one
that doesn’t ask but listens, palms up in my lap.
Like an owl, let me triangulate icy shuffling under snow as
vole, let me not just name the name
when I spot a soundtrack of birdsong
but understand the notes through each syrinx
as a singular missive—begging, flirting, fussing, each
companion call and alarm as sharp with desire and fear
as my own. Prick my ears, Lord. Make them hungry
satellites, have your way with their tiny bones,
teach the drum within that dark to drum
again. Because within the hammering of woodpecker
is a long tongue unwinding like a tape measure from inside
his pileated head, darting dinner from the pine’s soft bark.
And somewhere I know is a spider who births
a filament of silk and flies it to the next branch; somewhere,
a fiddlehead unstrings its violin into the miracle of
fern. And somewhere, a mink not made into a coat
cracks open a mussel’s shell, and with her mouth full
of that gray meat, yawns. Those are your sounds, are they not?
Do not deny it, Lord, do not deny
me. I do not know those songs. Nor do I know the hush
a dandelion’s face makes when it closes, surrenders, then goes
to seed. No, I only know the sound my own breath makes
as I wish and blow that perfect globe away;
I only know the small, satisfactory
popping of roots when I call it weed and yank it
from the yard. There is a language of all
you’ve created. Hear me, please. I just want to be
still enough to hear. Right here, Lord:
I want to be.”
—Nickole Brown.

Nathan McClain: The Sentence

The Sentence
Nathan McClain

“begins with its subject,
which is the sentence.

Track the sentence
to find out what happens

or how it will act. It is
the subject, after all. To track,

meaning keep an eye on,
which is synecdoche,

part representing the whole
of a thing. One

may track a package if he pleases.
One may track a person,

though you’d probably want
the whole of him, not only

an eye, or perhaps
only an eye. Look how

the sentence is so capable
of embracing contraction.

A him may function
as a subject, but that depends

upon the sentence, i.e., A man
is subject to his sentence.

You understand.
Such syntax renders it like

a package showing evidence
of having been tampered with—”
—Nathan McClain.

George Marion McClellan: Love is a flame

Love is a Flame
George Marion McClellan

“Love is a flame that burns with sacred fire,
And fills the being up with sweet desire;
Yet, once the altar feels love’s fiery breath,
The heart must be a crucible till death.

Say love is life; and say it not amiss,
That love is but a synonym for bliss.
Say what you will of love—in what refrain,
But knows the heart, ‘tis but a word for pain.”
—George Marion McLellan.

Kathy Fagan: At the Champion Avenue Low-Income Senior & Child Care Services Center

At the Champion Avenue Low-Income Senior & Child Care Services Center
—Kathy Fagan

When I told them it must be like dropping your
kid
off at school their first day, all my parent friends
nodded and smiled uncomfortably, meaning

what would I know. I won’t be taking
solace
in the many firsts ahead. Here among the gray,
spotted and brown heads of the seniors,
their soft flesh and angles, their obedience as
they
sit as uprightly as they are able at white, parallel
tables, nobody cries, and very few
speak.
When I seat dad beside her, one senior tells me
she’s ninety-four, presenting one hand, four
fingers in the air, just as she might have ninety
years ago with a stranger like me, now long gone.

Dad never liked me to talk:
Lower your voice, he’d say. If I was louder:
Put on your boxing gloves. Or: You’ll catch
more flies with honey than vinegar, as if some
day
I’d need the flies. I stopped talking, started
writing instead. I work full-time and dad wants to die,
so I dropped him at the Champion Avenue Low-income Senior & Child Care Services
Center,
a newish building, municipal and nondescript,
in a neighborhood that’s been razed and rebuilt
so often
it’s got no discernible character left. There was bingo,
men playing poker in a corner. Red sauce and
cheese
on white bread pizza for lunch. Dad, a big
talker,
was an instant hit, but refused to return. What
is the name of that animal, someone asked me.
Where is Philip, asked someone else, over and
over.
As if firsts and lasts were one and the same.”
—Kathy Fagan.

Kay Boyle: Monody to the Sound of Zithers

Monody to the Sound of Zithers

I have wanted other things more than lovers …
I have desired peace, intimately to know
The secret curves of deep-bosomed contentment,
To learn by heart things beautiful and slow.

Cities at night, and cloudful skies, I’ve wanted;
And open cottage doors, old colors and smells a part;
All dim things, layers of river-mist on river—
To capture Beauty’s hands and lay them on my heart.

I have wanted clean rain to kiss my eyelids,
Sea-spray and silver foam to kiss my mouth.
I have wanted strong winds to flay me with passion;
And, to soothe me, tired winds from the south.

These things have I wanted more than lovers …
Jewels in my hands, and dew on morning grass—
Familiar things, while lovers have been strangers.
Friended thus, I have let nothing pass.”

—Kay Boyle.

Sandra Simonds: There was this bear cam

‘There was this bear cam

on the Internet. It was pointed at a place
called Katmai National Park, Alaska. A few years ago
my friend sent me a link to it.
I would watch it sometimes
but I never saw any bears.
Maybe it was bad luck
because my friend said she saw bears.
All I ever saw was the enormous river rushing
and the tall pines in the background doing nothing.
I mean, that was OK, of course.
I loved the sound of the river
and wind in trees and the sheer thrill
that such a sublime nothingness
could be witnessed like this.
But I wanted to see a bear.
It seemed even more thrilling to be typing
in a cubicle and suddenly out of nowhere
there’s a bear on your screen
that maybe 50 other people in the world catch
a glimpse of. Maybe they are on a break from Facebook
or filling out a spreadsheet and BOOM, a bear.
So I thought while I was writing this
that I would just check the bear cam online
and sure enough a fat bear is in the middle of the river
eating a salmon right there in the Katmai National Park.
I get up from my desk and tell my colleagues
“You guys, come here!” and my colleagues
come in my office but by the time they run in
the bear crosses the river, or pixelated
screen or whatever, salmon in his jaws
and the only thing there is the river
and trees and they say,
“Sandra, this is boring,” and walk
back to their own offices.’
—Sandra Simonds.

Cathy Song: This wonderful opportunity

“May all beings, seen and unseen, be well, happy, and peaceful, including ourselves.
May there be peace in the world, peace in our hearts, peace in our minds.
May we use this wonderful opportunity of  human life to awaken.
May we be grateful for wisdom and compassion,
this infinite boundlessness that surrounds us,
waiting to be used by us, to open our hearts and minds
so that we may see things as they truly are,
how brief our lives, how dependent upon others we are,
and so with each act may we bring wholesomeness, humility,
and the courage to do no harm, not least of all to ourselves.
As we journey through this life may we move deeper into insight,
and see things as they truly are,
this wonderful opportunity to awaken.
May we be grateful for the teachers in all their guises who appear before us.
May we love those who are hardest to love, including ourselves.
May leaders who will work for the peace of the planet step forward,
and may we support them.
May those who have gone before us rest in peace, rest in comfort, rest in joy,
and may we remember to remember them.
May the next life be a happy one.
May we cultivate in our hearts, in our minds, here and now, here on earth,
generosity, a land of plenty for all.
May our wish for peace spread like a mother’s soothing hand
and reach the distressed, fevered places of the world
and protect each child the right to be fed, to be sheltered, to be schooled.
The right to go to sleep without fear.
May we journey safely, work contentedly, and return home to loved ones well and happy.
May the path of forgiveness and acceptance
be the path of peace,
and may we find it.
May we use this wonderful opportunity to awaken
and together find true happiness, open spaciousness without borders.”

—Cathy Song.

Natalie Shapero: And also with you

“The comet taught us how to watch the war.
The comet contended that fire
is romantic and recommended we each behold it alone,
envisioning out there somewhere our next
lover, craning up at this same sky.
Was the comet simply endeavoring
to keep us divided, I asked it, and the comet
did not reply. Then we discovered the men
who wanted us dead
were convening at night on the site where their hero
had been unceremoniously
interred. And so we exhumed the guy, burned him up,
and fed his ash to the rapids,
to be churned into marlstone and mud-rich air. Good thinking. Now he’s everywhere.”

—Natalie Shapero.

Jennifer S Flescher: Sisyphus and the Ants

“The story tells us Sisyphus is being punished.
Over and over he has to push that boulder

up and up. The mountain and God glaring.
And you, you have

your avalanche of moods.
Pills the size of stars to nearly quell

cascade and tumult.
And still you step

gravity amplified by incline, each hazard
in the way of the boulder a reminder

it should be easier. There should be
a hot fudge sundae at the top. A long nap in the shade.

The story forgot to tell us, though, Sisyphus thrived.

He learned to guide his wrists
and shoulder girdles safely to protect himself.

And later he worked to safeguard every insect
from here to the crest. Considers this his calling.

Even as the sun and the weight of time bears down.
Your strength is kingly.”

—Jennifer S Flescher.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/148989/sisyphus-and-the-ants

Kathy Fagan: The Rule of Three

“One of the first I learned was the trinity, three persons in one
God: father, son, and holy spirit, née ghost. Then I started writing
JMJ on all my homework and tests, for good luck, but also because

My ballpoint’s blue ink looked pretty beside the paper’s purple
Ink, like the inside of a clamshell when I teared up or squinted
From the smell. Sometimes the sheets were wet and curled like

Petals reeking of gin, which is why it was called spirit duplication,
After the nonflammable alcohol used in the process. Jesus, Mary,
And Joseph, is what the three initials meant. I’d draw a cross from

The descending caret of the M and think of Mary, the mother,
And of the other Mary, not, weeping at the limp feet of the crucified
Jesus. Where was Joseph, I wondered, but never asked. We seemed

To pity him a little, for reasons I couldn’t name, like my father,
Who was both my father and a son, and soon to be the son of
His father’s ghost. When my grandmother was dying, she asked

Her only child, my mother, to go with her. Mom waited decades
To obey, but she finally went. Together in one grave now, they are
Two Marys, maybe with the Jesus of their most solitary prayers,

Petals littering their one stone’s four corners. Being motherless,
Like being childless, is both good and bad, I think,
And it is a third thing, too, that is neither of these.”

—Kathy Fagan.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/148969/the-rule-of-three

Bianca Lynne Spriggs: What women are made of

“We are all ventricle, spine, lung, larynx, and gut.
Clavicle and nape, what lies forked in an open palm;

we are follicle and temple. We are ankle, arch,
sole. Pore and rib, pelvis and root

and tongue. We are wishbone and gland and molar
and lobe. We are hippocampus and exposed nerve

and cornea. Areola, pigment, melanin, and nails.
Varicose. Cellulite. Divining rod. Sinew and tissue,

saliva and silt. We are blood and salt, clay and aquifer.
We are breath and flame and stratosphere. Palimpsest

and bibelot and cloisonné fine lines. Marigold, hydrangea,
and dimple. Nightlight, satellite, and stubble. We are

pinnacle, plummet, dark circles, and dark matter.
A constellation of freckles and specters and miracles

and lashes. Both bent and erect, we are all give
and give back. We are volta and girder. Make an incision

in our nectary and Painted Ladies sail forth, riding the back
of a warm wind, plumed with love and things like love.

Crack us down to the marrow, and you may find us full
of cicada husks and sand dollars and salted maple taffy

weary of welding together our daydreams. All sweet tea,
razor blades, carbon, and patchwork quilts of Good God!

and Lord have mercy! Our hands remember how to turn
the earth before we do. Our intestinal fortitude? Cumulonimbus

streaked with saffron light. Our foundation? Not in our limbs
or hips; this comes first as an amen, a hallelujah, a suckling,

swaddled psalm sung at the cosmos’s breast. You want to
know what women are made of? Open wide and find out.”

—Bianca Lynne Spriggs.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/146238/what-women-are-made-of

Clive Sanders: Unless you’ve been a soldier

“Unless you’ve been a soldier,

You just won’t understand.

The things that we have seen and done,

In the service of our land.

We were trained to live in combat,

And to deal with awful sights,

That shouldn’t be seen by anyone

And keep you awake at nights. 
We don’t discuss the wounds we have,

To the body or the mind.

We just put our hurts behind us,

And turn our memories blind.

We are proud we served our country,

But remember those we lost.

For the freedom that you have today,

They paid the awful cost.”

—Clive Sanders. 

Roald Dahl: Television

Television

The most important thing we’ve learned, 

So far as children are concerned, 

Is never, NEVER, NEVER let 

Them near your television set — 

Or better still, just don’t install 

The idiotic thing at all. 

In almost every house we’ve been, 

We’ve watched them gaping at the screen. 

They loll and slop and lounge about, 

And stare until their eyes pop out. 

(Last week in someone’s place we saw 

A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) 

They sit and stare and stare and sit 

Until they’re hypnotised by it, 

Until they’re absolutely drunk 

With all that shocking ghastly junk. 

Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, 

They don’t climb out the window sill, 

They never fight or kick or punch, 

They leave you free to cook the lunch 

And wash the dishes in the sink — 

But did you ever stop to think, 

To wonder just exactly what 

This does to your beloved tot? 

IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! 

IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! 

IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! 

IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND 

HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND 

A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! 

HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! 

HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! 

HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES! 

‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say, 

‘But if we take the set away, 

What shall we do to entertain 

Our darling children? Please explain!’ 

We’ll answer this by asking you, 

‘What used the darling ones to do? 

‘How used they keep themselves contented 

Before this monster was invented?’ 

Have you forgotten? Don’t you know? 

We’ll say it very loud and slow: 

THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ, 

AND READ and READ, and then proceed 

To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! 

One half their lives was reading books! 

The nursery shelves held books galore! 

Books cluttered up the nursery floor! 

And in the bedroom, by the bed, 

More books were waiting to be read! 

Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales 

Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales 

And treasure isles, and distant shores 

Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, 

And pirates wearing purple pants, 

And sailing ships and elephants, 

And cannibals crouching ’round the pot, 

Stirring away at something hot. 

(It smells so good, what can it be? 

Good gracious, it’s Penelope.) 

The younger ones had Beatrix Potter 

With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, 

And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, 

And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- 

Just How The Camel Got His Hump, 

And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, 

And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, 

There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- 

Oh, books, what books they used to know, 

Those children living long ago! 

So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, 

Go throw your TV set away, 

And in its place you can install 

A lovely bookshelf on the wall. 

Then fill the shelves with lots of books, 

Ignoring all the dirty looks, 

The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, 

And children hitting you with sticks- 

Fear not, because we promise you 

That, in about a week or two 

Of having nothing else to do, 

They’ll now begin to feel the need 

Of having something to read. 

And once they start — oh boy, oh boy! 

You watch the slowly growing joy 

That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen 

They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen 

In that ridiculous machine, 

That nauseating, foul, unclean, 

Repulsive television screen! 

And later, each and every kid 

Will love you more for what you did.

—Roald Dahl. 

Eunice de Souza: Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Well, you can’t say

they didn’t try.

Mamas never mentioned menses.

A nun screamed: You vulgar girl

don’t say brassieres

say bracelets.

She pinned paper sleeves

onto our sleeveless dresses.

The preacher thundered:

Never go with a man alone

Never alone

and even if you’re engaged

only passionless kisses.
At sixteen, Phoebe asked me:

Can’t it happen when you’re in a dance hall

I mean, you know what,

getting preggers and all that, when

you’re dancing?

I, sixteen, assured her

you could.

—Eunice de Souza. 

Eunice de Souza: Bequest

Bequest

In every Catholic home there’s a picture

of Christ holding his bleeding heart

in his hand.

I used to think, ugh.
the only person with whom

I have not exchanged confidences

is my hairdresser.
Some recommend stern standards,

others say float along.

He says, take it as it comes,

meaning, of course, as he hands it out.
I wish I could be a

Wise Woman

smiling endlessly, vacuously

like a plastic flower,

saying Child, learn from me.
It’s time to perform an act of charity

to myself,

bequeath the heart, like a

spare kidney –

preferably to an enemy.
—Eunice de Souza. 

Toi Derricotte: Speculations about I

​I didn’t choose the word — 

it came pouring out of my throat

like the water inside a drowned man.

I didn’t even push on my stomach.

I just lay there, dead (like he told me)


& “I” came out.

(I’m sorry, Father.

“I” wasn’t my fault.)


 

ii


(How did “I” feel?)


Felt almost alive

when I’d get in, like the Trojan horse.


I’d sit on the bench

(I didn’t look out of the eyeholes

so I wouldn’t see the carnage).


 

iii


(Is “I” speaking another language?)


I said, “I” is dangerous.

But at the time I couldn’t tell

which one of us was speaking.


 

iv


(Why “I”?)


“I” was the closest I could get to the

one I loved (who I believe was

smothered in her playpen).


Perhaps she gave birth

to “I” before she died.


 

v


I deny “I,”

& the closer

I get, the more

“I” keeps receding.


 

vi


I found “I”

in the bulrushes

raised by a dirtiness

beyond imagination.


I loved “I” like a stinky bed.

While I hid in a sentence

with a bunch of other words.


 

vii


(What is “I”?)


A transmission through space?

A dismemberment of the spirit?


More like opening the chest &

throwing the heart out with the gizzards.


 

viii


(Translation)


Years later “I” came back

wanting to be known.


Like the unspeakable

name of God, I tried


my 2 letters, leaving

the “O” for breath,


like in the Bible,

missing.


 

ix


I am not the “I”

in my poems. “I”

is the net I try to pull me in with.

x


I try to talk

with “I,” but “I” doesn’t trust

me. “I” says I am

slippery by nature.


 

xi


I made “I” do

what I wasn’t supposed to do,

what I didn’t want to do — 

defend me,

stand as an example,

stand in for what I was hiding.


I treated “I” as if

“I” wasn’t human.


 

xii


They say that what I write

belongs to me, that it is my true

experience. They think it validates

my endurance.

But why pretend?

“I” is a kind of terminal survival.


 

xiii


I didn’t promise

“I” anything & in that way

“I” is the one I was most

true to.

 —Toi Derricotte. 


Source: Poetry (September 2016). 



Anonymous: Four men

Four Men

It chanced upon a winter’s night,
Safe sheltered from the weather,
The board was spread for only one,
yet four men dined together.
There sat the man I meant to be
In glory spurred and booted.
And close beside him to the right
The Man I am reputed.
The Man I thought myself to be
His seat was occupying,
Hard by the man I really am
who to hold his own was trying.
And all beneath one roof we met,
yet none called his fellow brother,
No sign of recognition passed….
They knew not one another.

~Anonymous.

 

Peter Winbrow: Guy in the glass

Glass Mystery 4

Glass Mystery 4 (Photo credit: cobalt123)

 

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,

And the world makes you “King For A Day”,”

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

 

For it isn’t your Father or Mother or Wife

Who judgment upon you must pass,

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

 

He’s the feller to please, never mind the rest,

For he’s with you clear up to the end;

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

 

You may like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,

And think you’re a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum

If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

 

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartache and tears,

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

– Peter “Dale” Winbrow, Sr.

 

 

 

 

Jefferson Carter: There’s no such thing as a stupid question

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION

by Jefferson Carter

All the good questions have been asked.
Am I my brother’s keeper?
Are you my pork chop?
What’s a guy gotta do to get a drink around here?
I’ve been dreaming about my brother,
who lived on Crete. I dragged him out of the surf,
dead drunk, 150-pound carp, but hairier
& muttering every pariah’s secret,
“I’m a creep. I’m a creep.”
Do dreams begin responsibilities?
Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques, dormez vous?
A squalid rented room,
the furniture shrouded in wax paper.
Who’s to blame? A stupid question.
Brother Jon, Jon, my brother, are you sleeping?

Samuel Johnson: Poetry

Poetry, indeed, cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well in a translation. But as the beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written, we learn the language. –Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784).