Everything too easy in my dream, and I woke myself up to avoid a sense of having been there, done that.
When I turned on my computer email, I found Joe Riley’s poem for the day.
However, it was the picture accompanying that of an opening book against a clearing sky that held me captive. Took my breath away.
Here’s part of the poem entitled Words:
” The world does not need words. It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows.
And one word transforms it into something less or other …
Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot
name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica.
To name is to know and remember.
The sunlight needs no praise piercing the rainclouds,
painting the rocks and leaves with light, then dissolving
each lucent droplet back into the clouds that engendered it.
The daylight needs no praise, and so we praise it always …
greater than ourselves and all the airy words we summon.”
…………….DANA GIOIA, from the book, Interrogations at Noon.
In between the big changes and crises of our lives, the one place to which we always
return is being home. The familiar sanity restores the energy to weather the next day, the next step.
Here’s something on that thought:
“TAKING OUT THE TRASH”
” The trash bin is overflowing under the sink.
It’s time to feed the big outdoor garbage can
again. How quickly it happens … how astonishing
that every week my bins are full to the brim
with the wastes of my daily existence.
Here I am dumping everything
from carrot peelings to junk mail.
What a mess I make !
I must remember that You planned waste
as an essential part of life. It, too, is holy.
I want to keep in mind
the pine tree by the front door
and how it keeps dropping its numberless needles
— a tall and humble prayer.
This task is a kind of surrender …
surrender to the knowledge that by being alive
and human I do make a human mess
as a pine tree makes its kind of mess.
Let me surrender any fake and pristine sense
of not affecting my fellow beings
and my environment with my waste.
Let me own my part of the landfill …
the one outside of town with the bulldozer
and the psychological one we all share.
Keep me mindful of what I take
into my home, the items bought to substitute
for real living — the food and drink I consume
instead of examining my feelings.
Help me slowly to surrender all excess.”
…………GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book Being Home, a book of meditations.
We can sink into the sameness of being home,
even as we approach change.
In the March 2014 issue of Poetry Magazine, there are seven pages on a conversation with PBS News Hour correspondent Jeffrey Brown.
I can only jump from a line there, to see the flavor of news reporting poetry. Crazy thought reporting news of Poetry! Starting here with what Brown says:
“I spend most days working with my colleagues to produce news stories, and at the appointed hour I speak into the camera, telling what happened. What is the most important, most interesting, most compelling – wars, elections, natural disasters, news you expect to see and hear.
But there is more to tell.
In Haiti there is a small community center, a sort of library, where every Saturday for the past 10 years or so, the “crazy artists” come to meet one another, read their works and hold classes in writing or painting. On (any) day there is much reciting, singing, shouting lines back and forth in Creole and French, with references to the quake, cholera, hunger, death, but also to pleasure, fellowship, drinking and love, love, love.
I was there as a reporter. What’s it mean, to report? Give an account for the day, a tricky thing to be there but not of there. So, we accumulate facts and observations and give that account. In Haiti, that day, men and women gathered together to tell their histories, their lives, their hopes and joys, angers and sorrows. Poetry happened.
There are many other stories and places. I recently witnessed children in a blighted Detroit neighborhood talk of W.S. Merwin’s line on “words hiding inside this pencil” and then pick up their pencils to write.
Indeed, along the way, in this country and abroad, I met many of our finest, most insightful poets and writers. I asked questions about language, words, and lives that we all share. I learned over and over that the news comes from many directions, in many forms, that there are many ways – including a work of art, a piece of music, lines of poetry – to describe what happened.
Each of us must come to terms with what we see and what we will say. On that trip to Haiti in 2011, the nation’s best known poet, Frankétienne, surveying what he called a “dying country”, told me “words cannot save the world. And yet an account must be given.”
Frankétienne and the “crazy”poets (of that small gathering in Haiti) continue to observe and write the news of the world. A journalist continues to report the news of the day.” ……………………………………