Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"The The Impotence of Proofreading," by TAYLOR MALI

A good book of his poems - teachers will pass a wry smile
What Learning Leaves

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński - Warsaw Uprising

I do not understand a word but the emotion is conveyed and the link gives you an idea of the intensity

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Global Poetry System

Guardian UK
Attempting to make us realise that poetry is a much bigger part of the fabric of our everyday lives than we may at first imagine, the idea behind Global Poetry System is for us to identify verse in the most ordinary of places. Once we've spotted some, or made up our own – be it graffiti, birthday card verse, graveyard epitaphs or poetry that doesn't realise it's poetry – the masterplan is to give it a location and upload a video, photo or audio file to the site's Google Map. There's also a monthly theme to sharpen our poetic eye; the current one asks us to find poetry inspired by the work of pop artist Ed Ruscha

Friday, December 04, 2009

Poe Book Sold at Auction is reporting that a book by Edgar Allen Poe, recently sold at auction. You can read the article titled "Poe Book Auctioned For $662,500, New Record For U.S. Work" by Frank James.

Luciana Souza sings Pablo Neruda

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tilicho Lake by David Whyte

A beautiful poem - click on the title for the words

Friday, November 27, 2009

Emily Dickinson set to Music

The article I have linked to in the title makes interesting reading.

Aaron Copelands the Twelve Poems includes

Nature, the gentlest mother

There came a wind like a bugle

Why do they shut me out of Heaven?

The world feels dusty

Heart, we will forget him

Dear March, come in!
Sleep is supposed to be
When they come back
I felt a funeral in my brain
I've heard an organ talk sometimes

Going to Heaven!

The Chariot.

Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (Curtin, Copland, Rorem)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daniel Beaty on Parenthood

I've linked the title to KarmaTube

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There will come Soft Rains - Sara Teasdale

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First Black Woman Poet - Lucy Terry Prince


Seventeen hundred forty-six
The Indians did in ambush lay
Some very valiant men to slay
The names of whom I'll not leave out
Samuel Allen like a hero fout
And though he was so brave and bold
His face no more shall we behold.
Eleazer Hawks was killed outright
Before he had time to fight
Before he did the Indians see
Was shot and killed immediately.
Oliver Amsden he was slain
Which caused his friends much grief and pain.
Samuel Amsden they found dead
Not many rods off from his head.
Adonijah Gillet we do hear
Did lose his life which was so dear.
John Saddler fled across the water
And so escaped the dreadful slaughter.
Eunice Allen see the Indians comeing
And hoped to save herself by running
And had not her petticoats stopt her
The awful creatures had not cotched her
And tommyhawked her on the head
And left her on the ground for dead.
Young Samuel Allen, Oh! lack a-day
Was taken and carried to Canada.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Funeral Blues by WH Auden

Funeral Blues
WH Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Four Weddings and a Funeral - "Funeral Blues"

Simon Armitage: Homecoming

Saturday, November 14, 2009

She Toys With Me

She toys with me
the way a cat will
play with a mouse
Her favorite game,
is a game she calls
playing house
She cooks, cleans,
and could just as easy
take my life
Were it not that
she calls herself,
lover, friend and wife

- by Kelvin Cook

Half Caste by John Agard

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scottish Muslim Calvinist by Imtiaz Dharker

The words can be obtained from the Open University here

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As soon as Fred gets out of bed - Jack Prelutsky

As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
his underwear goes on his head.
His mother laughs, "Don't put it there,
a head's no place for underwear!"
But near his ears, above his brains,
is where Fred's underwear remains.

At night when Fred goes back to bed,
he deftly plucks it off his head.
His mother switches off the light
and softly croons, "Good night! Good night!"
And then, for reasons no one knows,
Fred's underwear goes on his toes.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Road not Taken - Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Casida de la Rosa - Garcia Lorca

The rose was
not looking for the morning:
on its branch, almost immortal,
it looked for something other.

The rose was
not looking for wisdom, or for shadow:
the edge of flesh and dreaming,
it looked for something other.

The rose was
not looking for the rose,
was unmoving in the heavens:
it looked for something other.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Growing Old by Matthew Arnold

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes, but not for this alone.

Is it to feel our strength
Not our bloom only, but our strength decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more weakly strung?

Yes, this, and more! but not,
Ah, 'tis not what in youth we dreamed 'twould be!
'Tis not to have our life
Mellowed and softened as with sunset-glow,
A golden day's decline!

'Tis not to see the world
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly stirred;
And weep, and feel the fulness of the past,
The years that are no more!

It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young.
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion none.

It is last stage of all
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
Which blamed the living man.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ode to a Grecian Urn

I had to learn this at school - It was brought back to mind by the film Bright Star

THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape 5
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? 10

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 15
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! 20

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love! 25
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 30

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore, 35
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. 40

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! 45
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mojo Flows - A Blues Poem

Mojo flows like heat, to a four four beat, as it goes. Like spit on a harmonica, like flattened fiths, like whiskey breath. Those rocking eighty eights, mojo flows through ivory, wire and mahagony too. Like sweat on those keys...

Wafting, being blasted mojo flows, like smoke, it aint no joke, through New Orleans, Memphis, through the deepest part of Dixie. Chicago's west side, down on Maxwell, on Beal. In London, on those British Isles, mojo flows, nothing can stop where it goes.

From the deepest parts of Africa, mojo sprang, as slaves sang, 44s causing sholders to get sore, you won't hear 44's train whistle blow no more. And still mojo flows. Mojo flows all electrified in churches and in jails and where ever the blues goes, mojo knows. In Europe, in America, in Africa too.

Round and round mojo flows around that girls low cut skirt and between her legs, that is where mojo goes, that is where mojo flows. Pretty girls with lips all painted red, sleep with mojo in their beds.

Mojo flows, mojo flows and where it goes no body knows. When she squeezes that lemon, and juice runs like a mojo flow, that is what I'm talking about. The devil's daughter all round and fine, was the first to pull that trick no doubt.

Flowing, flowing mojo continues to flow, no one knows where it will ultimately go. So just enjoy it now while you can, let the mojo get under your skin.

By Kelvin Cook

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ackroyd's Funeral

Lankie dialect poems - click on title for more

It was dark as a coal-hole picnic
On the day Grandad Akroyd dropped dead;
Work was scarce as rocking-horse droppings,
Not a church roof for miles had lead.

So cold that the flame on the candle,
Got frozen one Wednesday night,
And we had to warm it up in the oven
Before we could get it to light.

Some brass monkeys outside sung carols soprano,
You could 'ear 'em cursin' and swearin',
As they wandered 'round lost in the cold and the frost
They couldn't find their bearings.

On Sunday our chicken for dinner
Was a pigeon from off next door's loft.
And me Dad pumped it up with his bike pump, too hard
And our Sunday dinner buggered off.

'What would you like to eat now, Dad?'
Said our Mam, picking her nose,
'Hard boiled eggs,' our Dad said,
'You can't get your fingers in those.'

We couldn't afford to kill t' chicken,
So we boiled some water up hot,
And with bunches of dried peas tied to its knees,
It Paddled about on the top.

Me Grandad had mortgaged his pension
'Til 1994,
While me Gran in her vest, was outside doing her best,
With a red light above t'coal shed door.

'I can't stand't no more,' the old man cried,
A mad light shone in his glass eye,
'We'll have to defraud the insurance man
Hands up, I want a volunteer to die.'

Mam said she would have, but she were too busy,
Our Albert said his library book was due back,
Gran said she would but her and her mate,
Had got tickets for last Saturday's match.

So we drew straws to settle the matter,
But there was never no doubt,
'Cos me Dad cut me Grandad's in haIf wi't' bread-knife,
Just as he was pulling it out.

I'm too old to die,' he said, using the cat
As a club to belabour me Dad,
'All right,' me Dad says, 'you don't have to die…
Just lie down and pretend as you are.'

So me Grandad lay down on the hearth-rug,
And we called the doctor in.
Gran took out a bottle and glasses,
And got him smashed on her dandelion gin.

He said me Grandad had died of a very rare disease,
A bad case of tropical frostbite,
Then he staggered off out and we all heard a shout
From the street 'cos he slipped in some dog shite.

Our Billy ran round for the Man from the Pru,
Gran filled him with dandelion gin,
He paid £4.10 in used chipshop yen
And said, 'When are you burying him?'

'Oh, We weren't thinking of burying him,' Grandma said,
'Thinking of having stuffed meself,
Or embalming him in Plasticraft,
And keeping him on't mantelshelf.'

'Nay, yon is illegal,' said Man from Pru.
'Grandad will have to be buried,
In a box and shroud in constipated ground.'
At this Grandad looked reet worried.

The Man from the Pru' said he'd come to the burying
And see as how things were done quite right,
Then he staggered off out and we all heard a shout
From the street 'cos he slipped on that stuff that I told
you about before.

'I've just done that, 'said the doctor,
So the insuranceman rubbed his nose in it.

So the pretend corpse now had to be buried,
Me Dad got an old kipper crate,
When the holes got plugged and the wood it looked good
With plastic brass handles on - great.

'We'll only bury you just till he's gone,
Then we'll dig you up, honest,' Dad said.
It took a bottle of gin before Grandad gave in
And lay int' box to play dead.

Me Gran looked down at the box saying, 'What a lovely corpse.'
Tears fell on her dripping and toast,
When the body at rest shoved his hand up her vest, saying
'Now then, how's that for a ghost?'

So we put the box on big Mabel's coal cart
And off to t'cemetery we set,
We followed on bikes and all seemed quite right
Until another burying we met.

A policeman was stood on point duty,
'Cos there was a fault on the traffic lights,
But he fell to the ground with his arms flaying round
'Cos' he slipped on the road on another load of that stuff I was
telling you about before.

'We just done that,' said the doctor and the insurance man,
So the policeman rubbed their noses in it.

As he spun on the ground the traffic flew round,
And the two buryings got in a jam,
Their driver took a poke at me Dad wi' a wrench
And got a kick up the shoemaker's off me Mam.

When we sorted it out we'd got the wrong box;
Grandma said, 'Ee, we won't see no more of him,'
When their driver come round our burying we found
Had gone to the crematorium.

By the time that we got there the service was done,
You could hear the organ play.
As the congregation wept hankies and sniffed,
And our kipper box was on its way.

The shutters were open, we all heard the flames,
And suddenly Grandad gave a yell,
And a coffin with legs and its arse end on fire
Ran out on t'conveyor belt!

O'er the pews and out through the window,
The burning kipper box ran,
And we all cheered the crate as it swam through the lake
Chased by me Dad and me Mam.

'A blessed miracle,' said me Gran,
But the Man from the Pru went quite white;
'Ruined,' he roared, he would have said more
But he slipped in the road on some more of that stuff I've been telling you about.

'I've just done that, 'said the policeman,
So the insurance man rubbed his nose in it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun.

Under my window a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade,
Just like his old man.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Power of The Dog

I like this beginner project

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

First Love

I ne'er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet.
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.

My face turned pale, a deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked what could I ail
My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away.
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.

I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start.
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter's choice
Is love's bed always snow
She seemed to hear my silent voice
Not love appeals to know.

I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling place
And can return no more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A beautiful reading

What about moonlight
What about watching for the moon above
the tops of trees and standing
still enough to hear the raucous crickets
chittering invisible among the soon lit stones
trick pinpoints of positions even poise
sustained in solitary loss

What about moonlight
What about moonlight

What about watching for the moon
through windows low enough to let the screams
and curses of the street the gunshots
and the drunken driver screeching tires
and the boombox big beat and the tinkle
bell ice cream truck

What about moonlight
What about

What about watching for the moon
behind the locked doors and bolted shut bedrooms
and the blind side of venetian blinds and
cowering under the kitchen table and struggling
from the car and wrestling head
down when the surprise when the
stranger when the surprise when the
coach when the surprise when the
teacher when the surprise when the
priest when the surprise when the
doctor when the surprise when the
family when the surprise when the
lover when the surprise when the
friend when the surprise
lacerates your throat
constricted into no
no more sound

who will whisper
what about moonlight
what about moonlight

What about watching for the moon
so far from where you tremble
where you bleed where you sob
out loud for help for mercy for
a thunderbolt of shame and
retribution where you plead
with God with devils with
the creatures in-between
to push the power key
and set you free
from filth and blasphemy
from everything you never wanted to feel
or see

to set you free

so you could brush your teeth
and comb your hair and maybe
throw on a jacket
or maybe not

you running
curious and so excited and
running and running into the
asking only asking

What about moonlight
What about moonlight

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kiss The Earth

A poem from a wonderful site

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Song of the Flower

I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teenage Angst

There are lots out there, another site here

your confused...he says he loves you..
but the next day he dont want to talk to you ..
you sit on your bed and cry...
you just dont know why?.
he treats you like that.
you are confused why you love him...
when ur a part .
all you do is start.
start to miss the man who confuses you
from the start


Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pagan Poetry

Pedalling through
The dark currents
I find
An accurate copy
A blueprint
Of the pleasure
In me

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ah Why because the dazzling sun

Ah why because the dazzling sun
Restored our earth to joy
Have you departed every one
And left a desert sky?

All through the night your glorious eyes
Were gazing down in mine
And with a full hearts thankful sighs
I blessed that watch divine

I was at peace, and drank your beams
As they were life to me
And revelled in my changeful dreams
Like petrel on the sea

Thought followed thought, star followed star
Through boundless regions on
While one sweet influence near and far
Thrilled through, and proved us one

Why did the morning dawn to break
So great so pure a spell
And scorch with fire, the tranquil cheek
Where your cool radiance fell?

Blood red, he rose and arrow straight
His fierce beams struck my brow
The soul of nature sprang elate
But mine sank sad and low

My lids closed down yet through their veil
I saw him blazing still
And bathe in gold the misty dale
And flash upon the hill

I turned me to the pillow then
To call back night and see
Your worlds of solemn light again
Throb with my heart, and me

It would not do the pillow glowed
And glowed both roof and floor
And birds sang loudly in the wood
And fresh winds shook the door

The curtains waved , the wakened flies
Were murmuring round my room
Imprisoned there, till I should rise
And give them leave to roam

Oh, stars, and dreams and gentle night
Oh night and stars return
And hide me from the hostile light
That does not warm, but burn

That drains the blood of suffering men
Drinks tears, instead of dew
Let me sleep through his blinding reign
And only wake with you

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Applicant

First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

(Click on title)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Another 'Beat Poet'

this poem is for deer

I dance on all the mountains
On five mountains, I have a dancing place
When they shoot at me I run
To my five mountains"

Missed a last shot
At the Buck, in twilight
So we came back sliding
On dry needles through cold pines.
Scared out a cottontail
Whipped up the winchester
Shot off its head.
The white body rolls and twitches
In the dark ravine
As we run down the hill to the car.

deer foot down scree
Picasso's fawn, Issa's fawn,
Deer on the autumn mountain
Howling like a wise man
Stiff springy jumps down the snowfields
Head held back, forefeet out,
Balls tight in a tough hair sack
Keeping the human soul from care
on the autumn mountain
Standing in late sun, ear-flick
Tail-flick, gold mist of flies
Whirling from nostril to eyes.

Home by night
drunken eye
Still picks out Taurus
Low, and growing high:
four-point buck
Dancing in the headlights
on the lonely road
A mile past the mill-pond,
With the car stopped, shot
That wild silly blinded creature down.

Pull out the hot guts
with hard bare hands
While night-frost chills the tongue
and eye
The cold horn-bones.
The hunter's belt
just below the sky
Warm blood in the car trunk.
the limp tongue.

Deer don't want to die for me.
I'll drink sea-water
Sleep on beach pebbles in the rain
Until the deer come down to die
in pity for my pain.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Controversial Poet

In 1990 he co-authored the autobiography of Quincy Jones, and 1998 was a supporting actor in Warren Beatty's film Bulworth.

Somebody Blew Up America

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Beat Poet

I've been to City Bookstores and bought a book

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (born March 24, 1919)is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. Author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration, he is best known for A Coney Island of the Mind (New York: New Directions, 1958), a collection of poems that has been translated into nine languages, with sales of over 1 million copies.

A Coney Island of the Mind (New Directions Paperback No. 74)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Call and Answer

I've linked to the text above

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Silver Wedding

25th Wedding Anniversary today - so this is the most appropriate words I could think of

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the Ocean,

The winds of Heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle.

Why not I with thine? ---

See the mountains kiss high heaven,

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea:

What is all this sweet work worth

If thou kiss not me?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am Ready

I won’t go to the mountain
Nor to the valley

I won’t go to the village
Nor to town

I have dug into my soul
I have unleashed my spirit
At the ready I have put my heart
When fire stirs
When sea flows
To hear and write

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Punk Poet

A typical one

(Hypertension: a statement of intent!)

This angry young man is still angry, but older
And now Father Time has just pissed on my shoulder.
'You've got to grow up, John - you're way past that stage
You've reached the condition they call 'middle age'.
It's time to be quiet, say 'yes', watch TV -
High spot of the week, a nice dinner party.
Polite conversation until you doze off
The topics: house prices, taxation and goff.
(That's golf, by the way, in case you're unsure
Not pale folk in graveyards discussing The Cure)
Now just look at you in your Seventies gear
With your punk rock and football and microbrew beer
Political poems and loud, angry songs
You still want to change things and right the world's wrongs?
You stand up and shout and you get in a rage:
It's really not right in a man of your age.
On top of all that, and I don't mean to frighten -
Worst of all for your blood pressure: you support Brighton!
They're not very good and you don't want to die
So sit on the couch and watch Chelsea on Sky....


Sure, I'll take the tablets, and drink a bit less.
If you fancy a game, I might play you at chess.
I hope that I'll make it till I'm ninety - five.
But one thing's for sure, Death - you'll take me alive!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

If God were a woman

Sounds best in the original language

I can't find a translation - I can just about understand the gist. However I did find this marvellous Haiku

when I gathered up
my complete insomnias
I fell asleep

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Fusion Poetry

SaFari - Watch the best video clips here

Can't get enough Rumi

My Burning Heart

My heart is burning with love
All can see this flame
My heart is pulsing with passion
like waves on an ocean.

My friends have become strangers
and I’m surrounded by enemies.
But I’m free as the wind
no longer hurt by those who reproach me.

I’m at home wherever I am
And in the room of lovers
I can see with closed eyes
the beauty that dances.

Behind the veils
intoxicated with love
I too dance the rhythm
of this moving world.
I have lost my senses
in my world of lovers...

written by Rumi, edited by Deepak Chopra, reading by Madonna

In my hallucination
I saw my beloved's flower garden
In my vertigo, in my dizziness
In my drunken haze
Whirling and dancing like a spinning wheel
I saw myself as the source of existence

I was there in the beginning
And I was the spirit of love
Now I am sober
There is only the hangover
And the memory of love
And only the sorrow

I yearn for happiness
I ask for help
I want mercy
And my love says:

Look at me and hear me
Because I am here
Just for that

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl

I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you

Oh sweet bitterness
I will soothe you and heal you
I will bring you roses
I, too, have been covered with thorns

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

This is what you shall do

This is what you shall do:
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labors to others,
Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people,
Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
Or to any man or number of men,
Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
And with the young and with the mothers of families,
Read these leaves in the open air,
Every season of every year of your life,
Reexamine all you have been told,
At school at church or in any book,
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Sentry

We'd found an old Boche dug-out, and he knew,
And gave us hell, for shell on frantic shell
Hammered on top, but never quite burst through.
Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime
Kept slush waist high, that rising hour by hour,
Choked up the steps too thick with clay to climb.
What murk of air remained stank old, and sour
With fumes of whizz-bangs, and the smell of men
Who'd lived there years, and left their curse in the den,
If not their corpses. . . .
There we herded from the blast
Of whizz-bangs, but one found our door at last.
Buffeting eyes and breath, snuffing the candles.
And thud! flump! thud! down the steep steps came thumping
And splashing in the flood, deluging muck —
The sentry's body; then his rifle, handles
Of old Boche bombs, and mud in ruck on ruck.
We dredged him up, for killed, until he whined
"O sir, my eyes — I'm blind — I'm blind, I'm blind!"
Coaxing, I held a flame against his lids
And said if he could see the least blurred light
He was not blind; in time he'd get all right.
"I can't," he sobbed. Eyeballs, huge-bulged like squids
Watch my dreams still; but I forgot him there
In posting next for duty, and sending a scout
To beg a stretcher somewhere, and floundering about
To other posts under the shrieking air.

Those other wretches, how they bled and spewed,
And one who would have drowned himself for good, —
I try not to remember these things now.
Let dread hark back for one word only: how
Half-listening to that sentry's moans and jumps,
And the wild chattering of his broken teeth,
Renewed most horribly whenever crumps
Pummelled the roof and slogged the air beneath —
Through the dense din, I say, we heard him shout
"I see your lights!" But ours had long died out.

Monday, August 03, 2009


This is a very commercialised poem - my mother used to have it on a tea-towel. However this video does convey some hope and illustrates the power of the words.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Speech to the Troops at Tilbury: Elizabeth 1

My loving people,

We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.

I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.

I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you in the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

Henry V : St Crispens Day

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Poetry Slam

From his site
Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the few people in the world to have no job other than that of poet. Eloquent, accessible, passionate, and often downright hilarious, Mali studied drama in Oxford with members of The Royal Shakespeare Company and puts those skills of presentation to work in all his performances. He was one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry and was the "Armani-clad villain" of Paul Devlin's 1997 documentary film SlamNation.

Text can be read here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I will always be here

You haven't looked at me that way in years
You dreamed me up and left me here
How long was I dreaming for
What was it you wanted me for

You haven't looked at me that way in years
Your watch has stopped and the pond is clear
Someone turn the lights back off
I'll love you til all time is gone

You haven't looked at me that way in years
But I'm still here

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thought Moments

The teachers tell us that "me" is a series of thought-moments. Each thought-moment conditions the next thought-moment. In the same way, the last thought-moment of one life conditions the first thought-moment of another life, which is the continuation of a series.

What we think, we become.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

An die Freude

Oh friends, not these tones!
Let us raise our voices in more
pleasing and more joyful sounds!

ODE TO JOY (Friedrich Schiller)

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter fire imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.

Thy magic reunites those
Whom stern custom has parted;
All men will become brothers
Under thy gentle wing.

May he who has had the fortune
To gain a true friend
And he who has won a noble wife
Join in our jubilation!

Yes, even if he calls but one soul
His own in all the world.
But he who has failed in this
Must steal away alone and in tears.

All the world's creatures
Draw joy from nature's breast;
Both the good and the evil
Follow her rose-strewn path.

She gave us kisses and wine
And a friend loyal unto death;
She gave lust for life to the lowliest,
And the Cherub stands before God.

Joyously, as his suns speed
Through Heaven's glorious order,
Hasten, Brothers, on your way,
Exulting as a knight in victory.


Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter fire imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world!
Brothers!, above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.

Can you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world!
Brothers!, above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.

Can you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter fire imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world!
Brothers!, above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.

Can you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world!
Brothers!, above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.

Can you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell.

Joy, daughter of Elysium
Thy magic reunites those
Whom stern custom has parted;
All men will become brothers
Under thy gentle wing.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world!
Brothers!, above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.

Joy, beautiful spark of Gods!,
Daughter of Elysium,
Joy, beautiful spark of Gods!.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Tiger King

The Ballad of the Skeletons

Said the Presidential Skeleton
I won't sign the bill
Said the Speaker skeleton
Yes you will

Said the Representative Skeleton
I object
Said the Supreme Court skeleton
Whaddya expect

Said the Miltary skeleton
Buy Star Bombs
Said the Upperclass Skeleton
Starve unmarried moms

Said the Yahoo Skeleton
Stop dirty art
Said the Right Wing skeleton
Forget about yr heart

Said the Gnostic Skeleton
The Human Form's divine
Said the Moral Majority skeleton
No it's not it's mine

Said the Buddha Skeleton
Compassion is wealth
Said the Corporate skeleton
It's bad for your health

Said the Old Christ skeleton
Care for the Poor
Said the Son of God skeleton
AIDS needs cure

Said the Homophobe skeleton
Gay folk suck
Said the Heritage Policy skeleton
Blacks're outa luck

Said the Macho skeleton
Women in their place
Said the Fundamentalist skeleton
Increase human race

Said the Right-to-Life skeleton
Foetus has a soul
Said Pro Choice skeleton
Shove it up your hole

Said the Downsized skeleton
Robots got my job
Said the Tough-on-Crime skeleton
Tear gas the mob

Said the Governor skeleton
Cut school lunch
Said the Mayor skeleton
Eat the budget crunch

Said the Neo Conservative skeleton
Homeless off the street!
Said the Free Market skeleton
Use 'em up for meat

Said the Think Tank skeleton
Free Market's the way
Said the Saving & Loan skeleton
Make the State pay

Said the Chrysler skeleton
Pay for you & me
Said the Nuke Power skeleton
& me & me & me

Said the Ecologic skeleton
Keep Skies blue
Said the Multinational skeleton
What's it worth to you?

Said the NAFTA skeleton
Get rich, Free Trade,
Said the Maquiladora skeleton
Sweat shops, low paid

Said the rich GATT skeleton
One world, high tech
Said the Underclass skeleton
Get it in the neck

Said the World Bank skeleton
Cut down your trees
Said the I.M.F. skeleton
Buy American cheese

Said the Underdeveloped skeleton
We want rice
Said Developed Nations' skeleton
Sell your bones for dice

Said the Ayatollah skeleton
Die writer die
Said Joe Stalin's skeleton
That's no lie

Said the Middle Kingdom skeleton
We swallowed Tibet
Said the Dalai Lama skeleton
Indigestion's whatcha get

Said the World Chorus skeleton
That's their fate
Said the U.S.A. skeleton
Gotta save Kuwait

Said the Petrochemical skeleton
Roar Bombers roar!
Said the Psychedelic skeleton
Smoke a dinosaur

Said Nancy's skeleton
Just say No
Said the Rasta skeleton
Blow Nancy Blow

Said Demagogue skeleton
Don't smoke Pot
Said Alcoholic skeleton
Let your liver rot

Said the Junkie skeleton
Can't we get a fix?
Said the Big Brother skeleton
Jail the dirty pricks

Said the Mirror skeleton
Hey good looking
Said the Electric Chair skeleton
Hey what's cooking?

Said the Talkshow skeleton
Fuck you in the face
Said the Family Values skeleton
My family values mace

Said the NY Times skeleton
That's not fit to print
Said the CIA skeleton
Cantcha take a hint?

Said the Network skeleton
Believe my lies
Said the Advertising skeleton
Don't get wise!

Said the Media skeleton
Believe you me
Said the Couch-potato skeleton
What me worry?

Said the TV skeleton
Eat sound bites
Said the Newscast skeleton
That's all Goodnight

Friday, July 24, 2009


I had to read the Iliad in Latin at school. Kleos (κλέος — glory, fame) is the concept of glory earned in heroic battle

For my mother Thetis the goddess of silver feet tells me
I carry two sorts of destiny toward the day of my death. Either,
if I stay here and fight beside the city of the Trojans,
my return home is gone, but my glory shall be everlasting;
but if I return home to the beloved land of my fathers,
the excellence of my glory is gone, but there will be a long life
left for me, and my end in death will not come to me quickly.