April 2011

Monthly Archive

Poem a Day: Epic Fail? #11 – 17 April 2011

Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

Well, I got through last Sunday and then petered out. Just got all caught up in lesson plans and such.

So here are seven short poems to get me caught back up.

Land of Chin
and Han
Shang
Chou
T’ang
dynasty built on dynasty
relics and art intermingled

(China)

Manet
Monet
Debussy
Saint-Saens
Rodin
Louis the Saint,
Louis the Sun King,
Louis-the-Last —
strange juxtaposition
art and conflict

(France)

island
to island
the waves
and the stars
navigators of far places
reading the map
of nature

(Polynesia)

I was born
in the high hills
in a valley
between inaccessible peaks
I grew
in the high hills
in a valley
between inaccessible peaks
I lived
in the high hills
in a valley
between inaccessible peaks
until I climbed the nearest peak
chasing the yak that wandered off
and I saw to the other side:

in the high hills
in a valley
between inaccessible peaks

(Nepal)

tundra and lichen
the herds
graze before the spring thaw

(Siberia)

in the time
of the ancient ones
when we carved
the heads
and the glyphs
of our esteemed elders
the land gave
and we returned
life

(Mexico – Olmec)

lights
laughter
love
the big city
calls the peasant still
come, savor
of metropolitan nights
excitement
danger
lingers
in alleyways
far from the benevolent eyes
of authority
while far away
the fields
the herds
the silent barns
rest
and provide
the insatiable needs of the city

(France)

Poem a Day # 10 April 2011

Posted by on 10 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

lava flows
hot springs
and ice

thermal energy
hydrogen cells
and power

ancient odes
modern muses
true art

whale hunting
fishing
shepherds

ice
and fire
island

(Iceland)

Poem a Day # 9 April 2011

Posted by on 09 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

The former land of promise is
now a land-locked prison.
The widows
and orphans,
those who remain must
scratch a living
on sugar plantations.
Servitude, for
those who remain,
the ones not yet stolen,
the ones not yet lost.
They’ll be lucky to reach twenty five,
cursed to see thirty.
The king
ignores,
the Libandla
debates,
while the people
live
and
die.

(Swaziland)

A test run…

Posted by on 09 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

I have decided to try using the form maker in google docs.

If you want to play along, check out my Food preference quiz.

And thanks in advance!

Poem a Day # 8 April 2011

Posted by on 08 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

gradual association of disparate
cities, states, city-states
from counts to barons
princes
and an emperor or two
out of many,
one
a shared linguistic heritage
rivalries
of creed
or coffers
now full
now empty
and must needs be replenished
the armies
or ragtag mobs
desperate
crusading
or caroling
from the tall mountains
to the lowlands
between rivers fast
and wild
the Lorelei calls
beware
glittering promises
beware
false prophets
beware
empty words
and reach instead
for the gift
of hard work
of ingenuity
of strength of character
that comes down
through the ages
the heritage
bestowed:
today’s promise
tomorrow’s legacy

(Germany)

Poem a Day # 7 April 2011

Posted by on 07 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

Over the mountains, northward they came
mountain people
warriors
into new territory rich and ripe
fertile lands
between the mountains
free for the moment from the
rampaging empire-builders to the south
here a new culture
as rich as the land
brewmasters
musicians
artists
farmers
and saints
they set their sights on
prosperity
and posterity
and today
the music
the art
the food
the people
the empires long past
still sing the ancient name
“home of the boii”

(Bohemia — Czech republic)

Poem a Day # 6 April 2011

Posted by on 06 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

tucked between the mountains and the lake, tiny and vulnerable
wracked by warring natives and warring foreigners
who will control the copper mines
and the cobalt
who will look after
the goats
and the sweet potatoes
the fields ripening in the sun
the coffee harvested by hand
and drunk overseas
who will look after
the children
and the widows
survivors of AIDS
and famine
who will look after
the rivers flowing now fast
now sluggishly
and the forests
what remains
after the need for food
and fuel is satisfied

the people labor
long
and hard

to fill the bellies
of investors
and the vaults
of banks

(Burundi)

A look in the garden

Posted by on 05 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: garden, Gardens and Life, good things, Uncategorized

I haven’t had a lot of time in recent months years, but this week I am trying to notice what is happening in my yard again.

The trillium have been blooming for quite a while now, and the daffodils weren’t far behind. Tulips are, I fear, no more in our yard. We’ll have to plan and plant in the autumn.

Elderberry shrubs are leafing out, and quince, and the medlar;
the plum is covered with blooms, the pear will be soon — the remaining apple tree is waiting for (I think) warmer weather.

Pink hyacinths, nearly eaten by the land mollusks are flowering well, and have greenery enough to fuel next year’s blooms.

The lawn is shin-high and growing, the bare ground churned into mud pits to make a brick-maker proud, the windows inside and out in need of a dry but cool day for cleaning.

Spring is, truly, here.

Poem a Day #5 April 2011

Posted by on 05 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

House of Windsor,
Edwardian,
Victorian,
Hanoverian,
Stuart
Tudor,
York,
Lancaster,
Plantagenet,
Norman — the Conquerors
who spent so much
claiming land
pre-occupied:
farmed, tilled, managed and lived on
countless thousands of years
——-don’t confuse the rulers with the ruled——
chalky to rocky, beach to bluff
so close to history
step here
dig there
reveal the past
Celt
Briton
Roman
Saxon
Angle
Norman
Viking
reaching out, reaching out
conquerors
colonizers
citizens
emigrés
or immigrants
a common link:
English

(England)

Poem a Day #4 April 2011

Posted by on 04 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: poetry, Uncategorized

The khan’s legacy
sand and legend
the winds still whisper his name
across the wide steppes
the broad plains
through mountain passes
hidden and fortified
the silk and spices
regulated by the great horsemen
financed empire
until chaos
returned

dust devils
swirling
in
time

(Mongolia)

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