It's hard, sometimes, to find a reason to be happy. Happiness can seem so trivial, so selfish. How can we be happy, we ask, when the world is what the world is? How can we laugh, while the Nigerian girls are still captive? How can we forgive golf in the face of a beheading? Where is the activism in a smile?
Read more about Hold Your Horses>
First he taught me how to hold
come carrot or apple
fingers together palm up
because they can't see down past
that velvety nose to their mouth
so the treat even offered
by a harmless eight year old
might still cost a stray nip
Recently, my daily walks were accompanied by this series of lectures, 24 in all, from The Learning Company on Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey, and I was inspired to add them to my Morning Yoga Poetry list. I start The Iliad of Homer next week.
Read more about The Iliad>
Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus' son Achilleus
A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my Read more about Good Morning
For the past ten years or so, I've been trying to catch a glimpse of the world through the eyes of the poets, particularly American poets of the 19th century. I'm interested in what they make of their world. This month, I dug back into Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, picking up where I had left off, with Poems 1859-63. Read more about Back to Longfellow
Read more about They Lion Grow>
Out of burlap sacks, out of bearing butter,
Out of black bean and wet slate bread,
Out of the acids of rage, the candor of tar,
Out of creosote, gasoline, drive shafts, wooden dollies,
They Lion grow.
Out of the gray hills
Of industrial barns, out of rain, out of bus ride,
West Virginia to Kiss My Ass, out of buried aunties,
Read more about If You Must>
You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.
So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across
the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets
The scene: John Alden, having totally screwed up proposing to Priscilla in the name of Miles Standish, is standing around feeling sorry for himself when Priscilla confronts him and asks why he is angry with her for being so blunt. For asking, Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" Read more about Tell it, Priscilla!