For the Children by Gary Snyder

For the Children

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

–Gary Snyder from Turtle Island


Poetry Friday – Anne McCrary Sullivan

Notes From A Marine Biologist’s Daughter

My mother loves the salty mud of estuaries,
has no need of charts to know what time
low tide will come. She lives
by an arithmetic of moon,
calculates emergences of mud,

waits for all that crawls there, lays eggs,
buries itself in the shallow edges
of streamlets and pools. She digs
for chaetopterus, yellow and orange
worms that look like lace.

She leads me where renilla bloom
purple and white colonial lives,
where brittle stars, like moss,
cling to stone. She knows
where the sea horse wraps its tail
and the unseen lives of plankton.

My mother walks and sinks into an ooze,
centuries of organisms ground
to pasty darkness. The sun
burns at her shoulders
in its slow passage across the sky.
Light waves like pincers
in her mud-dark hair.

By Anne McCrary Sullivan from Ecology II:Throat Songs From The Everglades at WorldTech Editions. This week Poetry Friday is hosted by Wild Rose Reader.

Poetry Friday – Bridget Pegeen Kelly

The Leaving

by Bridget Pegeen Kelly

My father said I could not do it,

but all night I picked the peaches.

The orchard was still, the canals ran steadily.

I was a girl then, my chest its own walled garden.

How many ladders to gather an orchard?

I had only one and a long patience with lit hands

and the looking of the stars which moved right through me

the way the water moved through the canals with a voice

that seemed to speak of this moonless gathering

and those who had gathered before me.

I put the peaches in the pond’s cold water,

all night up the ladder and down, all night my hands

twisting fruit as if I were entering a thousand doors,

all night my back a straight road to the sky.

And then out of its own goodness, out

of the far fields of the stars, the morning came,

and inside me was the stillness a bell possesses

just after it has been rung, before the metal

begins to long again for the clapper’s stroke.

The light came over the orchard.

The canals were silver and then were not.

and the pond was–I could see as I laid

the last peach in the water–full of fish and eyes.

From Poets.Org

Poetry Friday – Vinod Kumar Shukla

A poem in translation from Hindi:

One Should See One’s Own Home From Far Off
One should see one’s own home from far off.
One should cross the seven oceans
to see one’s home,
in the helplessness of the unbridgeable distance,
fully hoping to return some day.
One should turn around, while journeying,
to see one’s own country from another.
One’s Earth, from space.
Then the memory of
what the children are doing at home
will be the memory of what children are doing on Earth.
Concern about food and drink at home
will be concern about food and drink on Earth.
Anyone hungry on Earth
will be like someone hungry at home.
And returning to Earth
will be like returning home.

Things back home are in such a mess
that after walking a few steps from home,
I return homewards as if it were Earth.

Translation: 2002, Vinod Kumar Shukla and Daniel Weissbort
From: Survival (ed. by Daniel Weissbort and Girdhar Rathi)
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2002

American Sentences

Ord0393334163.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_I’ve been reading a book by Kim Addonizio called Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within.  Sometimes when I’m stuck or lost it helps to read  the wise words of poets and writers.  Addonizio introduced me to the concept of  “American Sentences”  created by Alan Ginsberg.  Based on the syllable count from Haiku but with no line breaks it was a joy to discover.  There is more about this form here.