Thursday, April 30, 2020

Poem In Your Pocket Day 2020: "The Map" by Marie Howe

This year for National Poetry Month, Poem In Your Pocket Day is the last day of the month...this is a day when people take a poem with them through their day to share with the world. So let's close out our poetry celebration with a poem that, despite its brevity, speaks to the breathtakingly enormous concept of self, other, and empathy--our very presence in the world. I'm sharing it with you here--and since we are all under some form of quarantine, please consider sharing it virtually. I hope it becomes the ripple in a pond that Howe clearly intended it to be.

The Map
by Marie Howe


The failure of love might account for most of the suffering in the world.

The girl was going over her global studies homework

in the air where she drew the map with her finger


touching the Gobi desert,

the Plateau of Tiber in front of her,


and looking through her transparent map backwards

I did suddenly see,

how her left is my right, and for a moment I understood.


http://www.mariehowe.com/

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

"The Laughing Child" by W.S. Merwin

This year for National Poetry Month, I have posted lovely, moving, and powerful works by extremely talented poets. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have enjoyed sharing them. Let's close out our poetry celebration with a touching poem by Pulitzer Prize winner and 2010 United States Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin (who died only last year). This poem, his achingly beautiful "The Laughing Child" resonates with me deeply.

The Laughing Child
by W. S. Merwin

When she looked down from the kitchen window
into the back yard and the brown wicker
baby carriage in which she had tucked me
three months old to lie out in the fresh air
of my first January the carriage
was shaking she said and went on shaking
and she saw I was lying there laughing
she told me about it later it was
something that reassured her in a life
in which she had lost everyone she loved
before I was born and she had just begun
to believe that she might be able to
keep me as I lay there in the winter
laughing it was what she was thinking of
later when she told me that I had been
a happy child and she must have kept that
through the gray cloud of all her days and now
out of the horn of dreams of my own life
I wake again into the laughing child


https://merwinconservancy.org/

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Poetry of Rock n' Roll: "It's Raining Today"

For National Poetry Month, I have been posting song lyrics from popular music that also double as exquisite poetry and this next entry fits the bill beautifully.

The lovely "It's Raining Today" was written and recorded by Scott Walker in 1969 and is a memory poem, full of snapshots from our narrator's past , and just like most nostalgia, is tinged with both the sweetness of before and a weariness of now.

Walker died last March, 2019, at the age of 76.

It's Raining Today
by Scott Walker

It's raining today
And I'm just about to forget
The train window girl
That wonderful day we met
She smiles through the smoke
From my cigarette

It's raining today
But once there was summer and you
And dark little rooms
And sleep in late afternoons
Those moments descend
On my window pane

I've hung around too long
Listening to the old landlady's hard-luck stories
You out of me, me out of you
We go like lovers
To replace the empty space
Repeat our dreams to someone new

It's raining today
And I watch the cellophane streets
No hang-ups for me
'Cause hang-ups need company
The street corner girl's
A cold trembling leaf
It's raining today


https://www.4ad.com/artists/83

Friday, April 24, 2020

"Exegesis"

For this National Poetry Month 2020, I have shared with you some of my original work. My last offering this month is a poem about entropy. Carl Jung said, "The sad truth is that man’s real life consists of a complex of inexorable opposites—day and night, birth and death, happiness and misery, good and evil. We are not even sure that one will prevail against the other, that good will overcome evil, or joy defeat pain. Life is a battleground. It always has been and always will be; and if it were not so, existence would come to an end."

Exegesis

You’re driving through darkness
past fields of poles
with red lights and
it’s winter.
It’s your headlights,
your dashlights,
the red lights
but all around is
darkness.
A long time ago,
you read a myth
from somewhere
about creation and
the beginning of
night and day.
Light was a rock
thrown at the night sky--
an accident, a reaction
and its ripples are
still felt. Darkness is
a natural state.
The world is darkness
and soon, things will
return to normal.
Soon, all will be
dark again.

©JEF

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

"Tired" by Langston Hughes

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am featuring special poems by special poets each Wednesday. Here is "Tired," a timely, topical piece of poetry by Langston Hughes, written in 1930.

Tired
by 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.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langston_Hughes

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Poetry of Rock and Roll: "Love Is A Stranger" by Eurythmics

To observe National Poetry Month, once a week I am posting song lyrics from different genres that double as poetry.

The imagery of this song never fails to intrigue and move me. "Love Is A Stranger" was written by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, otherwise known as Eurythmics, and released--wait for it--thirty-seven years ago on their now-classic "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" album.

Love Is A Stranger
by Eurythmics

Love is a stranger in an open car
To tempt you in and drive you far away
Love is a stranger in an open car
To tempt you in and drive you far away

And I want you, and I want you, and I want you so, it's an obsession
And I want you, and I want you, and I want you so, it's an obsession

Love is a danger of a different kind
To take you away and leave you far behind
And love, love, love is a dangerous drug
You have to receive it and you still can't get enough of the stuff

It's savage and it's cruel and it shines like destruction
Comes in like a flood and it seems like religion
It's noble and it's brutal, it distorts and deranges
And it wrenches you up and you're left like a zombie

And I want you, and I want you, and I want you so, it's an obsession

It's gilt-edged, glamorous and sleek by design
You know it's jealous by nature, false and unkind
It's hard and restrained and it's totally cool
It touches and it teases as you stumble in the debris

And I want you, and I want you, and I want you so, it's an obsession


https://www.eurythmics.com/
https://www.annielennox.com/

Sunday, April 19, 2020

He Doesn't Care If You Die

You. Personally. You are expendable.
He doesn't care as long as Fortune 500 companies can make a profit.

Friday, April 17, 2020

"My Dad Was A DJ (I Listened To Him All Night Long)"

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am posting one of my original poems every Friday. Here is a piece that is a tad autobiographical. Just a tad.


My Dad Was A DJ (I Listened To Him All Night Long)

I grew up in his voice,
a soothing rumble,
his dark timbre
close to my ear as he
tucked me in, told me stories,
his words a loving hug,
a reassuring rock.
Then later if I woke,
a soft glow from the radio
on a shelf above my bed,
lighting my room like a night light,
hearing my dad’s late shift
at the station, his voice
punctuating the lazy pulse
of FM pop in the darkness.

High school, senior year,
I joined the drama club and got
a part in “Barefoot In The Park.”
I was the old man but Mike Sullivan
was Paul, the handsome newlywed.
After rehearsal, everyone left—
just me and Mike in the
off stage dressing room.
Mike’s costume was a suit
with a silk neck tie he didn’t know
how to knot, but I did.
I stood behind him, arms
encircling him, hands busy,
around, over, under, through,
the only sound my dad’s jokes
riding the intro of the next song
whispering from a transistor in the corner.
Our eyes met in the mirror as
he relaxed back into me,
leaning, pushing, grinning.

On closing night, after the play,
Mike stood in my room.
We stared at each other, trying to
comprehend the vastness before us,
explorers setting sail without a map,
my dad’s low murmur our soundtrack,
our lips finally touching,
how dizzying the softness,
smelling our mouths, our breath,
my dad’s bass patter bridging songs,
filling my room like
the inside of a drum,
our hands sliding down
ribs, waists, thighs,
as my dad rained blessings
down on us from the
glowing radio on the shelf
above my bed.

©JEF

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

"Welcoming The Flowers" by John Giorno

After poet, performance artist, and activist John Giorno's recent passing last autumn, let's look at a lovely poem of his that reflects his Buddhist practice: "Welcoming The Flowers."

Welcoming The Flowers
by John Giorno

I am standing on the corner of Stanton and Chrystie,
waiting for the traffic light to change.
A man is sitting on the steps of a building
holding his young son on his lap.
He is eating fried chicken
from Chico's take-out on Houston.
He chews on the wings
and feeds bits of the breast to his son.

The man finishes eating
and puts the leftover chicken and bones,
french fries and soda can in a paper bag
and leaves it on the sidewalk.
A brown dog from a neighboring building,
snoops around
gets his nose in the bag,
chews on the bones
and makes a mess.
The man hits the dog with a newspaper,
and it yelps and runs away.
A black cat sitting in a window,
watches wide-eyed,
staring down at the dog,
chicken bones and gristle.

I see their past and present lives.
The man eats the chicken
and the chicken
was his mother,
who had died of cancer two years ago;

the dog chewing on the bones
was his father,
who had died of a heart attack five years ago;
and the cat in the window
was his grandmother;
and his young son, whom he holds so tenderly,
was the man who killed him in his previous life.
His wife comes home with groceries
and takes the boy into the building.
She had been his lover in many past lives,
and was his mother for the first time in this one.
The world just makes me laugh.

Fill what is empty,
empty what is full,
light
as body,
light
as breath.

Welcoming the flowers:
daffodils
baptized in butter,
lilacs lasciviously licking the air,
necklaces of wisteria
bowing to magnolia mamas,
the cherry blossoms are razor blades,
the snow dahlias are sharp as cat piss,
the lilies of the valley are
lilies of fur,
lilies of feather,
lilies of fin,
lilies of skin,
the almost Miss America rose,
the orchids are fat licking tongues,
and they all smell so good
and I am sucked into their meaty earthy goodness.

You make
my heart
feel warm,
I lay my head on your chest
and feel free,
filling
what is empty,
emptying
what is full,
filling what is
empty, emptying
what is full,
filling what is empty, emptying what is full,
filling what is empty, emptying what is full,
the gods
we know
we are,
the gods
we knew
we were.

I smell you
with my eyes,
see you
with my ears,
feel you
with my mouth,
taste you
with my nose,
hear you
with my tongue,
I want you to sit
in my heart,
and smile.

Words come from sound,
sound comes from wisdom,
wisdom comes from emptiness,
deep relaxation
of great perfection.

Welcoming the flowers:
armfuls of honey suckle
and columbine,
red-tipped knives of Indian paint brush,
the fields of daisies are the people
who betrayed me
and the lupine were self-serving and unkind,
the voluminous and voluptuous bougainvillea
are licking fire loving what it cannot burn,
the big bunch of one thousand red roses
are all the people I made love to,
hit my nose with stem of a rose,
the poppies have pockets packed with narcotic treats,
the chrysanthemums are a garland of skulls.

I go to death
willingly,
with the same comfort and bliss
as when I lay my head
on my lover's chest.

Welcoming the flowers:
the third bouquet is a crown of blue bells,
a carillon of foxglove,
a sunflower snuggles its head on my lap
and gazes up at the sky,
may all the tiny black insects
crawling on the peony petals
be my sons and daughters in future lives,
great balls of light
radiating white, red, blue
concentric dazzle,
yellow, green
great exaltation,
the world just makes me laugh.

May sound and light
not rise up and appear as enemies,
may I know all sound as my own sound,
may I know all light as my own light,
may I spontaneously know all phenomena as myself,
may I realize original nature,
not fabricated by mind,
empty
naked awareness.


And for hoots, here is a photo of--get this--Keith Haring, William S. Burroughs, and John Giorno at a shooting range! Seriously.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

"In these strange, uncertain times..."

The phrase "strange, uncertain times" has quickly and unfortunately become overused, and will soon join its sibling "shock and awe" in the dustbin of newscycle and talking-head clichés.

Although what is happening is undeniably tragic and unlike anything in our living memories, I suspect there are some interesting transformations going on in people's lives and hearts. And they will continue to evolve in response to the changes happening in the topography of culture and our new and changing ways of interacting with each other and the world.

Illustrator and comedian Ramin Nazer captures both the expected clichéd reactions and the epiphanies...


https://www.raminnazer.com/

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Poetry of Rock n' Roll: "Life On Earth"

In honor of National Poetry Month, each week I am presenting song lyrics that double as exquisite poetry and this week's song doesn't get larger or more important. "Life On Earth" by Snow Patrol was written by lead singer Gary Lightbody and covers, in a short poem, the ideas of memory, the past, growing and transcending one's understanding of one's place, the future, and a sense of being and belonging contrasted with a sense of being encompassed by the vastness of life and the universe. All in a few breathtaking, heartbreaking stanzas.

Life On Earth
by Gary Lightbody

The first snow
The first winter of my life
I was told it was the height of me
The first dance
Well, the first one that counted
Felt like my blood was built my from crackling light

Oh this ancient wildness
That we don't understand
The first sound of a heartbeat
To riots roaring on

This is not a love you've had before
This is something else
This is something else
This is not the same as other days
This is something else
This is something else

Shouldn't need to be so hard
This is life on earth
It's just life on earth
It doesn't need to be the end of you, or me
This is life on earth
It's just life on earth

The first light
The first light on the silent shore
Just the ships set anchor, me and you
The way home
This is always the way home
So you can rip that map to shreds, my dear

But all we ever wanted
See miles and miles from here
In the first days in a strange new land
We could be sailors

This is not a love you've had before
This is something else
This is something else
This is not the same as other days
This is something else
This is something else

Shouldn't need to be so hard
This is life on earth
It's just life on earth
It doesn't need to be the end of you, or me
This is life on earth
It's just life on earth


https://snowpatrol.com/

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter 2020!

Happy Easter and happy spring renewal to all!


Easter developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre, derived from the Anglo-Saxon Pagan month of Eostur-monath (which roughly corresponds to our month of April). This month was named after the goddess Ēostre or Ostara who symbolized the dawn, spring, renewal, and rebirth of the earth after the long winter.

Now we celebrate by decorating eggs, a symbol of birth and fertility and new growth, and with chocolate rabbits, since bunnies are also a symbol of spring.

When I was little, I always loved Easter time because my grandmother displayed vases of daffodils and lilies, and panoramic sugar eggs around the house. And my aunt hollowed out eggs, cut a window in the side of the shell, and painstakingly assembled pastoral scenes inside using miniature trees and flowers, and tiny ceramic rabbits to make literal panoramic eggs. But the best part was the Easter Bunny who came to deliver beautifully dyed and decorated eggs in a basket full of chocolate and treats; my mom and dad would guide me through the house with clues as to where the Easter Bunny hid my basket (thanks Mom and Dad--I miss you)!

I hope the Easter Bunny brought you some treats! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

BEAUTY: Sculpture For Easter--Laurence Le Constant

Artist Laurence Le Constant (previously here) covers sculpted hares with antique paper and feathers giving the contours of their bodies new meaning. The results are charming but also hauntingly beautiful on a different level.


Top to bottom: Augustin; Charly; Coco; Henri; Leonard; Max; Tristan; Voyou

https://www.laurenceleconstant.com/

Bunnies To The Rescue!


Friday, April 10, 2020

"The Owls of Paris"

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am posting work by myself each Friday. I wrote this piece during a lovely, magical winter in Paris in 2014.

The Owls of Paris

The island cathedral looms, owls tucked in every trefoil,
talons scraping every ledge. Full of empty despair,
eyes cast down, you pad across the parvis
watching each foot strike the stone.
You don’t see them above.
Where will you go now, what will you do?
Exiled, you can’t go back: you’re not wanted.

Owls calmly watch you, tracking the path of your
tiny form tethered to the ground, leaning toward the Left Bank.
The owls exist, not trapped in our narrow lateral world,
but in their vertical kingdom of up and down—all directions.

There are more than two ways to move.
Start over.
Stand on Kilometer Zero, clap your hands three times,
owls will come to help you.

©JEF

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Coronavirus reveals just how deep macho stereotypes run through society by Stephen Burrell and Sandy Ruxton

Yet more proof of toxic masculinity...a fascinating article from The Conversation US.


Coronavirus reveals just how deep macho stereotypes run through society
April 9, 2020 6.59am EDT
by Stephen Burrell and Sandy Ruxton


Early indications suggest more men are dying from COVID-19 than women – although some countries, including the UK, are not publishing data on this.

Experts are unsure exactly why this might be. It may in part be due to differences in biology. Suggestions have been made, for example, that it might be because men and women have a different immune response, and that men’s immune systems may not activate in the same way as women’s to fight the virus. But lifestyle and behaviour are also likely to play a role.

For a start, men are more likely to have underlying health problems relevant to COVID-19 – such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and some chronic lung diseases. This is in part because men are more likely to engage in risky behaviour such as smoking, drinking and drug-taking.

Research also seems to indicate that some men may take personal hygiene – such as handwashing – less seriously than women. This could be due to the fact that cleanliness is often associated with femininity, domesticity and beautification.

However, the writer Caroline Criado-Perez has also pointed out that because most medical research focuses on male bodies, there is a lack of understanding about why women may be better able to fend off this virus.

Loneliness and social isolation
The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the different roles men and women are still expected to play in society – men are not only less likely to take care of themselves, but also less likely to be involved in caring for others.

It is striking how much women are depended on to deliver both low-paid and unpaid care work – whether for children, disabled people, older people, or those in ill health. Indeed, the pandemic is placing additional caring responsibilities on women.

COVID-19 is forcing people to reflect upon human fragility, mutuality and interdependence. But gender norms also require men to be invulnerable – always strong and self-sufficient.

Men, who also tend to socialise more in groups in public, may take social distancing less seriously than women. They may find it difficult to accept they need help, too – seeing it as “unmanly” to do so.

Older men in particular are more likely to experience loneliness and social isolation – and this could put them at increased risk of mental health problems.

Lockdown impacts
Gender norms also expect men to be powerful and in control. So while many men may relish the opportunity to be more involved at home, some have used it to assert more dominance and control over their partners and children.

For many women and children, the home is the most dangerous place to be. The UK’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls since lockdown began – which highlights how quarantine can compound domestic and sexual abuse.

Porn sites have also seen increased traffic and some are offering free access during lockdown. Campaigners have warned that this, along with an increased reliance on technology, could contribute to a rise in online harassment and sexual abuse.

Responses to COVID-19
Men’s voices are dominating government responses to COVID-19, and the approaches of many governments are increasingly shaped by masculinist politics.

The UK government and its nearly all male “war-cabinet”, for example, declared “war” on the coronavirus. This is a problematic analogy as what is mainly needed to tackle COVID-19 is care, social solidarity and community support – not fighting and violence.

Some world leaders on the other hand have been alarmingly dismissive of the pandemic, as if their countries were too tough to be affected by the disease.

These patriarchal discourses can have serious implications for government policy, such as encouraging overly militaristic, authoritarian approaches, and prioritising male-dominated sectors of the economy and society. For instance, women are more likely to be in temporary, informal or precarious work which falls outside the protection packages being established.

There is also a danger that, as with previous crises, government support will prioritise industries seen as “strongest for the economy” – and dominated by men – such as aviation, car production and construction. This could again result in vital sectors where women are more prominent being neglected: such as education, care and retail.

This is why there is an urgent need for gender analysis of government measures related to COVID-19, and the impact these have on different social groups. There must also be a dramatic increase in funding for services to help those at risk of domestic and sexual abuse.

But more broadly this crisis is a huge opportunity to reassess political priorities and gender relations. It offers the chance to overturn years of neglect by recognising the essential contribution of care to society. This will not only help to encourage men to play their part, but it will go some way towards shifting harmful gender norms in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Link to the original article:
https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-reveals-just-how-deep-macho-stereotypes-run-through-society-134968

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

"For My Lover, Returning To His Wife" by Anne Sexton

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am featuring special poems by special poets each Wednesday. Here is a thoughtful, painfully true piece by one of my all-time favorite poets (previously here), Anne Sexton.

For My Lover, Returning To His Wife
by Anne Sexton

She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.
She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.
Let's face it, I have been momentary.
A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.
She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,
has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,
done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.
She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person,
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.
I give you back your heart.
I give you permission --
for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound --
for the burying of her small red wound alive --
for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stocking,
for the garter belt, for the call --
the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.
She is so naked and singular
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.
As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Coming Tonight: The Pink Moon!


Tonight marks a very special full moon. The Pink Moon is the first full moon in the month of April, so called not because it turns pink but because it appears during the early springtime blooms of a certain wildflower native to eastern North America: Phlox subulata—commonly called creeping phlox or moss phlox—which also went by the name “moss pink.” This full Moon--which is also a supermoon, as well as the first full Moon of spring, and the Paschal Full Moon (the full Moon that determines the date of Easter)--will be visible after sunset and reach peak illumination at 10:35 P.M. EDT. It will take on a golden hue near the horizon and fade to bright white (so see it early)...and it will be the biggest and brightest moon of the year!

To celebrate, let's listen to Nick Drake's lovely, wistful "Pink Moon"...



http://www.brytermusic.com/

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Poetry of Rock n' Roll: "Among The Leaves"

To observe National Poetry Month, once a week I am featuring lyrics of rock n' roll or pop songs that also double as exquisite poetry.

For our first installment of The Poetry of Rock n' Roll, let's examine a gorgeous, tender song by Sun Kil Moon (the nom de musique of musician and singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek) called "Among The Leaves" about two people who have a deep impact on each other's lives without ever seeing one another.

Among The Leaves
by Sun Kil Moon (Mark Kozelek)

A pillow lays on cold cement
A sleeping bag, a broken vent
She's there a while
And then she's gone

I'm away for weeks
Arrive at night
She hears my steps
Turns off the light and runs

It's no mind at all, more space than I need
It's just me among the weeds
Among the ghosts
Among the leaves

We've never met but it's a girl
Romance paper books
The floor is covered
In long blonde curls

On afternoons I walk the graves
The rusted cars, the mine shaft caves
See a girl sadly unkempt
A child of neglect

Under moons I pass the tombs
Cross the highways, smell the fumes
See a girl frighteningly gaunt
Somebody didn't want
How do I tell her I don't care
If she sleeps downstairs?

I see her on my errand runs
Looking nervous like a young Mia Farrow


Walk along the gas stops
Window browsing, pawn shops
Guns, bows and arrows


Up on past the Halfway house
Past the signs 80 south
Buttercup and Carrows


Deep inside the county line,
At the churches and the pines,
Sleeping with the sparrows

When evening comes I play guitar
To the planets and the stars
I leave the porch light on
Like I do when I'm gone


Winter, spring, summer, fall
Basement's yours, have a ball
There's always room for you there
Really baby, I don't care



http://www.sunkilmoon.com/

Friday, April 3, 2020

"A Poem About The Past," "A Poem About The Present," and "A Poem About The Future"

In honor of National Poetry Month, I will be posting work by myself each Friday; here is a recent trilogy of poems about poems about time...


A Poem About The Past

This is a long, epic poem written on
pounded vegetable paper and goat parchment.
After an exhaustive list of all elements produced
during the Big Bang, there follows

lots of blank space

before a trio of paragraphs, each in a language
now completely lost, unrelated to anything spoken today.
Peaks and valleys.

A manor house,
burning fields,
volcano single cell dinosaur meteor ice fire nomadic hunters agriculture gold silver copper wheel canopic democratic Socratic Platonic gun powder gladiator flying buttress Inquisition perspective heliocentric printing press engine cotton gin photography electricity refrigeration flight vaccine relativity atomic moonlanding computer genome Higgs Boson

a foxtrot,
a waltz,
a loose tooth,
a bicycle lying in the yard,
the sun, the moon

©JEF


A Poem About The Present

This is a short poem but
also long because now is eternity,
a hinge connecting two parts, the eye of a storm.

This poem is not written in a column
or in stanzas or with line breaks,
but in a continuous line so you must
walk forward to read it.

All along the shore, a wave
constantly crests but never crashes,
hovering while everyone gathers
to stare, wonder, wait.

©JEF


A Poem About The Future

This is a poem of indeterminate length
that has yet to be finished.
This is a poem written on glass in clear ink
for obvious reasons.

This poem is like a dream,
an imperceptible breeze from
a hurricane a million miles away,
practically invisible but
you can feel it on your skin.
Reading this poem feels like
someone standing behind you,
silent,
patient.

Can we beg for asylum?
Can we ask for more?
Can we beat a retreat
for the back door?

It is coming.
It will come.

This poem is

circles

©JEF

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Casual Reminder...

...that they are vicious monsters.


And he cancelled the Open Enrollment period, at a time when millions of people have lost their jobs and their employer-tied health insurance. CANCELLED. DENIED PEOPLE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE. AS IN: NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. Virtually guaranteeing that even more people will die from COVID-19. Not only cruel, but intentionally malicious. Way to go, Republicans.

Empty San Francisco


https://www.spaceracestudio.com/

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Happy National Poetry Month 2020!

"Poetry provides us with a history of the human heart."
--Billy Collins


April is National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets since 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.



How to celebrate?

Read your favorite poet again.
Read some new poetry.
Find a new favorite poet.
Write some poetry.
Leave poems for people to find in public places.
Read poetry out loud to family and friends.
Dream a poem.

Throughout April, I'll be posting poems, some by me, some by others, as well as a series of lyrics to popular songs that double as exquisite poetry.

And this year, Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 30th! Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Considering the virus event, no one is sure if we will be able to go to schools, libraries, parks, or workplaces. If you are on a lockdown in your state or country, consider digitally sharing your poem.

Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to join in and channel their inner bard. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.

Happy National Poetry Month!

https://poets.org/

Bienvenue Avril 2020!


par Pierre Le-Tan