Recommended Posts

FLEABITTEN

 

You mangy cur...

 

You flee the poverty

of the dusty Mexican village

and boldly meander into the lush manicured estate

of the wealthy Americano resort.

 

 

You pretentions little stray...

 

You refuse to acknowledge

that your tattered homeliness defies description.

A walking testament to mange,

encrusted sores dot your partially hairless body.

A pink tumor hangs like a turkey wattle from your neck.

 

 

You stupid little gypsy...

 

Whitewashed children hesitantly approach you;

but their parents yank them back with stern warnings.

Resort managers holler at you

and shoosh you away to scurry into the bushes.

Don't you know you are not wanted here?

Will your spirit not descend to the hand you were dealt in life?

 

 

You pathetic little dreamer...

 

Don't you know that love is reserved for the beautiful?

Is it possible your spirit soars so high that you can't see the obvious?

Can't you just be satisfied with filthy bits and scraps

and the kicks of fearful passers-by?

 

 

You audacious little beggar...

 

You actually have the nerve to demand

that I kneel down and touch you;

pet you, stroke you, scratch your belly.

I leave to quickly wash my hands

and yet, you ungrateful mutt,

you follow, demanding more.

 

 

You wiggling little worm...

 

Now, every time you see me

you recognize me for the mark that I am;

you run over to me,

genuflecting, groveling, crawling slowly to my feet.

Your irresistible puppiness

wiggles and commands my affection.

I find that I now look for you when you are not there.

 

 

You ungrateful little whelp...

 

You turn your nose up

at the sausage I bought you for breakfast.

Perhaps too greasy, His Arrogance?

I look for something which will better suit

your discriminating little gourmet tastes.

 

 

You manipulative little conniver...

 

I find that I am actually entertaining visions

of interrupting my glorious vacation;

of giving you a flea bath,

of purchasing a leash and a collar,

of a trip to a veterinario,

of spiriting you across the border to join my canine brood.

 

 

You lucky little wretch...

 

The last time I saw you,

you were riding in the crook of a local Americano woman's fleshy arm.

An earth mother, square, solid, ambling slowly

and surrounded by children.

She too must have felt the needs of your heart.

A woman unafraid to touch you, to love you.

You were riding proudly, your little head held high;

Your face caressed by the breeze.

You looked ahead toward the Future

and appeared as the Captain at the helm of your own ship.

 

 

You sneaky little thief...

 

It is the next morning

and gentle rays of sun play with the morning mist.

I am home now, my vacation over.

I sit in my comfortable bed and gaze out at my garden;

but as I write these words there are tears on my cheeks

as I realize that you actually had the brazen audacity

to steal my heart.

 

 

Barb Ortega

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings..

 

Desiderata

 

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

 

As far as possible, without surrender,

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even to the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;

they are vexatious to the spirit.

 

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain or bitter,

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

 

Exercise caution in your business affairs,

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals,

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love,

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,

it is as perennial as the grass.

 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

 

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

 

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life,

keep peace in your soul.

 

 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

 

 

Be well..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing To Do

by Shel Silverstein

 

Nothing to do?

Nothing to do?

Put some mustard in your shoe,

Fill your pockets full of soot,

Drive a nail into your foot,

Put some sugar in your hair,

Place your toys upon the stair,

Smear some jelly on the latch,

Eat some mud and strike a match,

Draw a picture on the wall,

Roll some marbles down the hall,

Pour some ink in daddy's cap --

Now go upstairs and take a nap. :rolleyes:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King of the sky (Dong Huang Tai Yi)

 

1 Strike the Dark Strings

2 Strike Strike

3 the dark strings

4 And reed & zither answer

5 Spirit moves

6 in splendid gear

7 And is the body's splendid shaman

8 through which a god may sing

9 And indeed does sing

10 And strikes and strikes

11 that Darkest Bell

12 ah darkest bell---

13 my body struck

14 with love

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take for example this:

 

if to the colour of midnight

to a more than darkness(which

is myself and Paris and all

things)the bright

rain

occurs deeply,beautifully

 

and i(being at a window

in this midnight)

for no reason feel

deeply completely conscious of the rain or rather

Somebody who uses roofs and streets skilfully to make a

possible and beautiful sound:

 

if a(perhaps)clock strikes,in the alive

coolness,very faintly and

finally through altogether delicate gestures of rain

 

a colour comes,which is morning,O do not wonder that

 

(just at the edge of day)i surely

make a millionth poem which will not wholly

miss you;or if i certainly create,lady,

one of the thousand selves who are your smile.

 

e. e. cummings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BALANCE

 

The ever elusive

Ever desirous state of mind;

A place of comfort in my soul

That I can seldom find.

 

Brief golden moments of peace where

all things are equal,

Where no one thing is overriding

Because my soul is pleasantly gliding

And the scheme of things has found its

true perspective;

Where it always seems that once again

there is no matter

Except for Now, except for Love,

except for Truth, except for the One.

 

The kinship is always

The awareness is intermittent

And that evolves continuous.

I yin and yang on different planes

Some emotional

Some physical

But always extreme.

To be the optimist or the pessimist

The lover or the cynic,

The artist or the critic.

All-energy or all-lethargy

Walking with the One or running amok,

Led by reactions, not actions.

 

But what I know now, that I didn't know before

Is that all can change;

Alas, this seems to be the choice.

 

To see what I want to see

To be what I want to be

To live in reality, which is of my making

Or react in illusion, which is of their making;

To choose to wear things that they put on me

Or create my own garments and be

Forever at peace.

 

 

Barb Ortega

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belonging...

 

We never really slept,

just buried clocks

in the sanctuary

of night

 

every time i moved

you moved with me,

winged eyelashes

on your cheek returns a kiss

 

small spaces of silence

in between borrowed breaths

arms tighten

at the whisper of a name

 

all the words of the heart

the unanswered questions

are at this moment

blue rolling waves

 

tonight our souls rest

fragrant in spiritual essence

candle-flamed, undamaged

utterly belonging.

 

- Eileen Carney Hulme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my daughter's first birthday

 

Finally, after almost forty years of life,

I have a girl. We named her Golden-Bells,

 

and it's been a year since she was born.

Saying nothing, she studies sitting now,

 

but it seems I'm no sage-master at heart.

I can't get free of this trifling affection;

 

I know it's only a tangle of appearance,

but however empty, it's bliss to see her.

 

I'll worry about her dying. Spared that,

I'll worry about finding a good husband.

 

All those plans to find a mountain home;

I guess they'll wait another fifteen years.

 

 

Just two years later...

 

 

In Sickness, Mourning Golden-Bells

 

What can I do? So sick, and your life

cut so short pitching me into such grief

 

it startles me from sleep. I get up and try

lamplight for comfort against these tears,

 

but a daughter's an absolute tangle of love,

and without a son the sorrow's inescapable.

 

After three full years of nurture and care,

a sickness barely lasting ten quick days;

 

such things tear at the heart long after

tears follow the last cries of grief away.

 

Little robes still hung on dressing-racks,

the useless medicines there at your pillow,

 

we send you off in this deep village lane,

then watch earth fill your tiny grave over.

 

Don't say you're hardly a mile away here;

this is farewell to the very ends of heaven.

 

Poet: Po Chu-I, more well known by this name due to Wades Giles notation

Chinese: Bai Juyi (Chinese: 白居易)

 

Translation: David Hinton, The selected poems of Po Chu-I

 

I have many books of chinese poetry but Bai Juyi (and particularly these two poems) show his intense connection to Taoism, Zen and humanity in a way that really grabs me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kobayashi Issa, 1827:

 

a corrupt world

in its latter days...

however: cherry blossoms!

 

masse matsudai demo sakura sakura kana

 

Or something more modern:

 

Late Lament

 

by Graeme Edge (1974)

 

Breathe deep the gathering gloom

Watch lights fade from every room

Bedsitter people look back and lament

Another day's useless energy spent.

 

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,

Lonely man cries for love and has none.

New mother picks up and suckles her son,

Senior citizens wish they were young.

 

Cold hearted orb that rules the night,

Removes the colors from our sight.

Red is grey and yellow white,

But we decide which is right.

And which is an illusion?

Edited by Nanashi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Trip to China - maybe 20 years ago, with a group of professional photographers. I was not a particularly good photographer so I spent my time writing poems and doing watercolors. I made the mistake of taking a yellow plastic raincoat to China - I was awash in a sea of black pajama-type clothing and stuck out like a sore thumb. My journal is titled "Yellow Raincoat in China". I'd love to share a few mental pictures.....

 

We flew through the villages,

People jumping out of the narrow streets when our driver honked.

A man sat on a stoop eating a steaming bowl of rice.

His eyes followed the bus, his head didn't move.

There's a certain Chinese rice-eating stance that's synonymnous with sheer contentment.

 

Has time moved so slowly in this village? Has it moved at all?

 

Today I saw:

 

A woman standing in the water and beating her clothes on a rock,

Years of family tradition washed downstream by the ever flowing river.

 

Today I saw:

 

A pale pig having a very bad day;

Three villagers holding their pink prey suspended, kicking, neck bleeding

Into a wooden bucket of blood.

The sight stabbed my heart.

I wanted so badly to share the vision, to take some of the pain away.

 

But we whizzed by, and there I was....stuck....

Knowing my eyes were the only ones who caught the glimpse,

With no time to point and say Look At That!

 

 

This was the trip from Huang Shan to Shanghai -

 

ORDER IN CHAOS

 

People headed all directions

No one idle

Most carrying something,

Doing something,

Cooking something,

Yelling something.

 

My eyes searched for something

But not knowing what.

 

They rested on a cherub of a child,

Oblivious to the noise and the confused din.

Bundled against the cold, puffed red cheeks,

Stooping over in delight as he collected another leaf.

Too young to know yet

Life Is Hard.

 

Barb Ortega

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is the question we ask,

the previous event is delivered to us in a flask.

Why is the question we ask,

The truth is delivered to us with a mask.

 

Why is the question we ask "why?"

Because mystery's fertility requires of us this wonderful task...

 

Everything, TTB

 

The decaying mind has no time to abstract his poems, where they will become long and dull. Try to achieve the art as efficiently as possible. Get rid of excess as much as you can.

Edited by Everything

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I apologize to anyone who finds me a bit arrogant for posting my own poetry. But this is just too much fun, especially the stuff from my China trip.

 

While in Yangshou, I realized the contrast between the night people and the day people.

 

 

THE OTHER PEOPLE

 

The Other People take over streets at night;

People of the Day are gone,

Their toil ended.

Yokes and baskets set down

Awaiting tomorrow's cargo.

 

The Other People tiptoe out

To the street market.

Hiding in doorways,

Faces barely discernable by

Dim light of a naked bulb on a wire.

 

A flash of recognition

As eyes quickly meet

Then faces turn into shadows.

Dark night street slaps face of propriety.

Dark hands gesture toward forbidden things on a table

To passers-by in the street.

 

A woman's heavy breathing rises above the din

Playing over a loudspeaker,

Inviting curious eyes to look beyond the curtain;

Her sensual breath beckons the baser needs.

 

Straw baskets of dimly lit forms

Invite the double take

Only to recognize the shadowy silhouette

Of a dead dog on a plate.

 

Evil pervades

And entices The Other within me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I apologize to anyone who finds me a bit arrogant for posting my own poetry. But this is just too much fun, especially the stuff from my China trip.

 

While in Yangshou, I realized the contrast between the night people and the day people.

 

 

THE OTHER PEOPLE

 

The Other People take over streets at night;

People of the Day are gone,

Their toil ended.

Yokes and baskets set down

Awaiting tomorrow's cargo.

 

The Other People tiptoe out

To the street market.

Hiding in doorways,

Faces barely discernable by

Dim light of a naked bulb on a wire.

 

A flash of recognition

As eyes quickly meet

Then faces turn into shadows.

Dark night street slaps face of propriety.

Dark hands gesture toward forbidden things on a table

To passers-by in the street.

 

A woman's heavy breathing rises above the din

Playing over a loudspeaker,

Inviting curious eyes to look beyond the curtain;

Her sensual breath beckons the baser needs.

 

Straw baskets of dimly lit forms

Invite the double take

Only to recognize the shadowy silhouette

Of a dead dog on a plate.

 

Evil pervades

And entices The Other within me.

please continue to share :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please continue to share :)

 

I agree. Keep posting Manitou - your poems or anyone's - all welcome.

 

I'm enjoying this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(From memory)

 

"Thanatopsis" Wm. Cullen Bryant

 

"So live that when thy summons comes to join

the innumerable caravan that journeys to that mysterious realm

where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death,

thou go not like the quarry slave at night

scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed

by an unfaltering trust

 

like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him,

and lies down to pleasant dreams...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, friends.

 

This'll be the last China share...

 

 

3 PORTRAITS

 

 

1. (Near Guilin)

 

Two brown buddies ahead on highway

Bouncing around in back of truckbed

Wind in hair

Straw on clothes

Sun on face;

They turn to each other

In toothless guffaw.

Work was hard

Back is sore

Going home.

Dirt poor.

Far too ignorant to know

They're not happy.

No microwave.

 

2. (Just out of Sanya)

 

Little boy darts out of bushes,

Knees pumping and little buttocks naked,

Juxtaposed under strange coat tail

As he runs across road of

Five Finger Mountain.

 

Too old for cute nakedness,

He looks instead like feral boy

Raised by water buffalo

Running free and wild.

 

Lush coconut palms and

Dense bamboo his only world.

Outside world a big irritant

As it whizzes by on the potholed road.

 

3. (Last morning in Shanghai)

 

Last night was to be final journal entry

But I was mistaken.

How can I neglect to write of

The Best Morning of My Life?

 

City God smiles over Shanghai

Dawn just barely breaking;

Cold breeze and mist fall upon my face.

Yellow Raincoat conspicuous in

Grey of dirt and cobblestone.

Wet slippery streets reflect

Dim lights over storefronts.

 

Families waking to chores,

Some cook dumplings on the street

Over steaming pots.

Some sweep humble storefronts;

Small groups gather, barter for eggs.

Hunched people brave the cold down

Dark winding alleys.

 

A multitude of children dressed in

Green and yellow uniforms

Hold hands and walk orderly down the

Dark streets, chattering happily like magpies

Injecting gaiety and innocence

Into the shadows.

 

Allure of darkness and danger attracts me;

I pick an alley contorted and contoured.

I walk, my eyes prying into doorways

My yellow raincoat flashes a beacon;

Many stop and turn to stare at the intruder.

But I smile and white teeth gleam in return.

 

My curiosity is rewarded by

Discovery of a tiny park;

Wedged between buildings,

A small gem where birds singing from cages

Brighten the dim morning darkness.

 

An ancient Chinese melody

Winds through paths of the park

While old people with wrinkled skin

Move bodies in slow tai chi ballet.

 

My ears hear refrains of different music

Coming from a small pavilion

It attracts me.

People dancing Western style

In cold air, breath showing misty in puffs.

 

I stand smiling, watching.

A handsome woman approaches Yellow Raincoat

Risking comment of her peers.

She smiles, grabs my hands.

"Dance?"

 

We rhumba in two-step across pavillion, laughing.

I twirl her under my arm in graceful pirouette.

She bows slightly and smiles, stepping back.

Music over.

 

Leaving Shanghai later that morning,

Beyond the bridge, I turn and glance back.

A flock of pigeons rises to the sky

As a pang hits my heart...

Just enough to make me vow

To return one day to the place where

I rhumba'd with a woman in the park

In this strange city of cities.

Part of my heart remains

And will not be forgotten.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know the day destroys the night

Night divides the day

Tried to run

Tried to hide

Break on through to the other side

Break on through to the other side

Break on through to the other side, yeah

 

We chased our pleasures here

Dug our treasures there

But can you still recall

The time we cried

Break on through to the other side

Break on through to the other side

 

Yeah!

C'mon, yeah

 

Everybody loves my baby

Everybody loves my baby

She get

She get

She get

She get high

 

I found an island in your arms

Country in your eyes

Arms that chain us

Eyes that lie

Break on through to the other side

Break on through to the other side

Break on through, oww!

Oh, yeah!

 

Made the scene

Week to week

Day to day

Hour to hour

The gate is straight

Deep and wide

Break on through to the other side

Break on through to the other side

Break on through

Break on through

Break on through

Break on through

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

 

 

----

 

Death is nothing at all

 

I have only slipped away into the next room

 

I am I and you are you

 

Whatever we were to each other

 

That we are still

 

Call me by my old familiar name

 

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

 

Put no difference into your tone

 

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

 

Laugh as we always laughed

 

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

 

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

 

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

 

Let it be spoken without effort

 

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

 

Life means all that it ever meant

 

It is the same as it ever was

 

There is absolute unbroken continuity

 

What is death but a negligible accident?

 

Why should I be out of mind

 

Because I am out of sight?

 

I am waiting for you for an interval

 

Somewhere very near

 

Just around the corner

 

All is well.

 

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

 

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

 

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites