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Posts Tagged ‘Poem’

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928–May 28, 2014),

A BRAVE AND STARTLING TRUTH

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

 

As ons ooit daar sal kom. Maar ons moet. Dit is dit, of dit is totale uitwissing van hierdie aapagtige, tweepoot gedierte/gedrog wat hierdie “pale blue dot” van ons besmet soos die pes.

“We are the miraculous,” inderdaad, en ons kan dit wees as ons wil, as ons ons nie laat verlei deur magsugtige, haat spoegende politici nie.

 

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Mary Oliver

“How I Go to the Woods”:

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single

friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore

unsuitable.

 

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds

or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of

praying, as you no doubt have yours.

 

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit

on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,

until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost

unhearable sound of the roses singing.

 

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love

you very much.

 

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Woorde

Sagte woorde

Streel n moeë siel

Verenig in tyd

Wag sy

Elke dag tel sy

Ure soos n kind

Plak sy stere in haar hare

Skryf sy motte in die reen

Sy skilder haar hart

In die grond

En pland haar woorde

In die reen

Engele daans om haar

Sy hoor die ritsel van

Hulle drome

In die weerklank

Van haar stem

En sy wag hier

Waar aspoesterkie die

Prins verjaag het

Waar kersiebome bloei

Van eensaamheid

Hier wag sy

Vir blou skoenlappers

En rooi koeldrank

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SINGULARITY

by Marie Howe

(after Stephen Hawking)

Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity

we once were?

so compact nobody

needed a bed, or food or money —

nobody hiding in the school bathroom

or home alone

pulling open the drawer

where the pills are kept.

For every atom belonging to me as good

Belongs to you.   Remember?

There was no   Nature.    No

them.   No tests

to determine if the elephant

grieves her calf    or if

the coral reef feels pain.    Trashed

oceans don’t speak English or Farsi or French;

would that we could wake up   to what we were

— when we were ocean    and before that

to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was

liquid and stars were space and space was not

at all — nothing

before we came to believe humans were so important

before this awful loneliness.

Can molecules recall it?

what once was?    before anything happened?

No I, no We, no one. No was

No verb      no noun

only a tiny tiny dot brimming with

is is is is is

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Beannacht

Beannacht: A Poem

For Josie

By John O’Donnohue

 

On the day when

The weight deadens

On your shoulders

And you stumble,

May the clay dance

To balance you.

 

And when your eyes

Freeze behind

The grey window

And the ghost of loss

Gets in to you,

May a flock of colours,

Indigo, red, green,

And azure blue,

Come to awaken in you

A meadow of delight.

 

 

When the canvas frays

In the currach of thought

And a stain of ocean

Blackens beneath you,

May there come across the waters

A path of yellow moonlight

To bring you safely home.

 

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

May the clarity of light be yours,

May the fluency of the ocean be yours,

May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

 

And so may a slow

Wind work these words

Of love around you,

An invisible cloak

To mind your life.

 

[Note: “Beannacht” is the Gaelic word for “blessing.” A “currach” is a large boat used on the west coast of Ireland.]

 

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War is kind

Die gedig is van Stephen Crane (1871-1900) en kom uit Wayne W. Dyer se boek “Wisdom of the Ages”

Luister gerus na die musiek terwyl jy die gedig lees.

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.

Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky

And the affrighted steed ran on alone,

Do not weep.

War is kind.

untitled

Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,

Little souls who thirst for fight –

These men were born to drill and die.

The unexplained glory flies above them;

Great is the battle-god, great – and his kingdom

A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Syria 900Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.

Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,

Raged at his breast, gulped and died,

Do not weep.

War is kind.

Syria 2

Swift-blazing flag of the regiment,

Eagle with crest of red and gold,

These men were born to drill and die.

Point for them the virtue of slaughter,

Make plain to them the excellence of killing,

And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

Syria 3

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button

On the bright splendid shroud of your son,

Do not weep.

War is kind.

Syria 4

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