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#Home #poem Homesteader

I thought this was about a woman! Still is for me.

The ’37 Chevy pickup, retired to a rest
of rust and thistles, sloughed off its front
wheels—the better to munch the sod and
ruminate on great loads hauled: lumber,
a keg of nails, the tools and paint
for their first frame farmhouse, then
the bed, a castiron cookstove with its
clatter of pans, plus the barbwire and
feedbags, a pump… later, kids
and hogs and heifers to the county fair.
Lasting out the War to End All Wars, and
then Korea, she earned her ease, turned
out to pasture by the old woodlot, where
time and the weather wrought a work of art,
making her a monument to herself.

by John Haag

Born in Idaho in1926, John Haag was a member of the Merchant Marine during World War II and a naval veteran of the Korean conflict.

Archilochus #Greek #poetry #love

According to the editors of The Greek Poets, Archilochus was an a-hole. Some of his poetry does make him sound like a piece of work, rape, wishing rape upon friends. Other poems are beautiful and funny.

The first one makes me think of the woman I am with, her long curly hair falls down like that. The second one make me grin.

“She took the myrtle branch and sang in turn
another song of pleasure, in her left hand still
the flower of the rose tree, and let loose
over her naked shoulder, down her arm
and back, the darkness of her hair.”

Translated by Brooks Haxton

The fox knows many tricks, the hedgehog only one.
One good one.

Translated Richmond Lattimore

Hanlan’s Point, Souster #poem #Canada #children

I saw the same doors to underwater cities and secret woods and children hidden in a realm behind a rosebush and a cloaked parallel world entered through one door in one building on mid summer’s day right before noon. A lot of them were our own retellings of stories we read. Bless libraries and hurrah for writers of fairytales and fantasies. The joy they brought.
I wish I had my Dutch children’s books here in Canada. My twenty packed boxes of books are still back there. Dutch poetry, literature, YA novels…And coffee table books of penguins and aerial photography.

“Lagoons, Hanlan’s Point”

By Raymond Souster

[…]

And in one strange

dark, tree-hung entrance,

I followed the sound

of my heart all the way

to the reed-blocked ending,

with the pads of the lily

thick as green-shining film

covering the water.

And in another

where the sun came

to probe the depths

through a shaft of branches,

I saw the skeletons

of brown ships rotting

far below in their burial-ground,

and wondered what strange fish

with what strange colours

swam through these palaces

under the water…..

—-
(1)
Mornings

before the sun’s liquid

spilled gradually, flooding

the island’s cool cellar,

there was the boat

and the still lagoons,

with the sound of my oars

the only intrusion

over cries of birds

in the marshy shallows,

or the loud thrashing

of the startled crane

rushing the air.

(4)
A small boy

with a flat-bottomed punt

and an old pair of oars

moving with wonder

through the antechamber

of a walking world.

From: Oxford Book of Canadian Verse by Margaret Atwood. I found this a very dry and monotonous selection.

#MuslimsReportStuff #haiku #poem @kumailn @aishacs @Amelia_Inc

#mulimsreportstuff is a brilliant line first used by … (a girl I think, still looking for that tweet) and shows the ridiculousness of seeing muslims in the US (and everywhere else) only as a security issue with two sides: a danger or a reporter of danger. Muslims are poets too and it shows.

Poetry and haiku are already inside what we say. So read more! I have taken a bit of Liberty with the tweets:)

Haikus #MuslimsReportStuff

My brother leaves his wet
towel on the floor every day
FBI pls deal!

@River_Niles

Gremlins 2 is the
rare sequel that completely
deconstructs franchise

@kumailn, Kumali Nanjiani

My sister drank orange
juice straight from the carton, will
Investigate more.

@MrCommonCents, basith

The lines at Costco
are too damn long but samples
are so delicious

@aishacs, Aisha Saeed

My mother uses
store-bought filo pastry
for her samoosas

@ysnkdr, Yaseen Kader

‘though I told everyone
I cleared my car, I actually
put it all in the trunk.

@Chezmoihoney, Jenna

I did laundry this
morning but still have not put
it away, still not

@sananasuds, Sanna M

I want to report
that these Clarks shoes are on sale
Amazing this!

@I_Solemnly5wear

Taping interview
with NPR I REPORT stuff.
All day. Every day.

@asmamk, Asma Khalid

Accidentally ate
pancetta didn’t know it was
bacon, delicious!

@kradiologist, Nuha Krad

“Falafel” means kill
the infidels, kept that a
secret all this time!

@LibyaLiberty, Hend Amry

Shawarma’s delish!
Official Post-victory meal
of the Avengers

@kaleemux, Kaleem

PJ is better
than P-honey, Both pale by
Nutella full stop.

@DrEpid, Atif Kukaswadia

I have my voter
registration card here, I’m
not afraid to use it!

@gildedspine, Sailor Mer(Kaye)ry

How about all the
Muslims who report for service in
our armed forces?

@Amelia_Inc, Amelia Noor-Oshiro

Half-Moon Bay is lovely
Some fogs but the temperatures
are moderate.

@MuslimahMontage, Sabina Khan-Ibarra

#Indigenous #poem #Native #Thanksgiving We thank the Great Spirit

Canadian Thanksgiving is today. Monday October 10, 2016.

I chose the sentences of this prayer that remind me of why we protest, protect and why we give thanks.
So many lovely turns of phrases: “trees that grow shadows”; “the light which we call our oldest brother” and “the kind being of the darkness that gives us light.” They all turn around how we think of things in our world. In western art and science shadows exist when something stands in the light and another part of it does not, we centre the light and the relation instead of the tree. The moon here is someone who belongs with us instead of an object that serves us, that revolves around us, that creates ebb and flow. The moon a kind being of the darkness, where darkness is not immediately frightening, does not first and foremost hold danger; blackness as kindness.

Giving thanks for the workers who took care of and brought in the harvest. Thanking the singers. Thanking those who hold ceremonies. Thanking all the women who do all this cooking -still.  
Enjoy your family and if you don’t have any, go out and walk in the sun, be outside, roll yourself to a park.

The Thanksgivings
Harriet Maxwell Converse

Translated from a traditional Iroquois prayer

[…] We thank the Great Spirit for the water that comes out of the earth and runs
for our lands.
[…]
We thank the Great Spirit for the branches of the trees that grow shadows
for our shelter.
We thank the Great Spirit for … the thunder
and lightning that water the earth.

We thank the Great Spirit for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun
that works for our good.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank the Great Spirit for the goodness in making the forests,

and thank
all its trees.
We thank the Great Spirit for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being
of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank the Great Spirit for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,
the stars.
We give the Great Spirit thanks for our workers, who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard
through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
[…]
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies
on this occasion.

America, Canada #Thanksgiving #poem #Cuba #coffee #Pumpkin

To read the poem skip the long into 🙂

Peanut butter Jam sandwiches came to my notice with a cartoon book by Gary Larson. He showed two cartoons -one of his far side and one of Dennis the Menace- where the quotes under the cartoons had been accidentally (?!) swapped. The Far Side cartoon showed, I think, two dinosaurs fighting ostensibly over peanut butter and jam sandwiches. So…they became my “healthy” after exercise favourites. Nuts are healthy. Fruit is healthy.

My parents being from Indonesia, we ate spicy peanut butter sauce a lot. The derogatory term for families like us in Dutch is “katjangs” (peanuts).  A famous Dutch children’s book is called How the Peanuts came to the Boarding School of mr. Small Tummy (who actually had a fat belly): it is about two mixed Indo-Dutch boys who are sent to the Netherlands.

I guess from the poem that Cubans in Cuba don’t eat much peanut butter, or the generation Blanco talks about anyway. Fried plantain chips though! We had those on Aruba too. And an Indonesian staple as well. Fried plantain so good. It is lovely to have a small store in your neighbourhood where you can the fruits and meats from your childhood or your background.

The poem seems to be about food and food until you read it again and notice some political stuff: stanza I mentions food donations by the Immigration Department. Was this before foodstamps?  II mentions the cuban community coming together to hold on to their dignity and to close their eyes from the loss of status and connections and the racism that would rob them of jobs, of chances, of promotions, of recognition.

III mentions colouring books in class that depict yams and presumably native americans who help the pilgrims survive the winters. A fiction that colours genocide with yellow, brown, and turkey red.

IV is all about politics and the illustrates perfectly the empty words that freedom, liberty and justice can become without hearing all the stories of colonization and opportunity and murder and riches and plantations and community.
I like this verse the least because it feels empty. I like how the child is supported by their family by making concessions on foods.

V The other food, the American food, is judged to be dry and pumpkin pie not suitable for celebrations, for isn’t it medicinal? They tried pleasing everyone and thus pleased no-one.
Who doesn’t forget their worries with dancing…The joy of hearing your sounds, being back where you belong. Or think you belong. When we would go to Indonesian or Caribbean events in the Netherlands, dancing and food were the success we judged the party by. Dancing with someone else of course. None of this on your own nonsense. No loss of connections allowed. Everything aimed to glue us together. Forget the loneliness of another culture for a night.

América
By Richard Blanco

I.
Although Tía Miriam boasted she discovered
at least half a dozen uses for peanut butter—
topping for guava shells in syrup,
butter substitute for Cuban toast,
hair conditioner and relaxer—
Mamá never knew what to make
of the monthly five-pound jars
handed out by the immigration department
until my friend, Jeff, mentioned jelly.

II.
There was always pork though,
for every birthday and wedding,
whole ones on Christmas and New Year’s Eve,
even on Thanksgiving day—pork,
fried, broiled, or crispy skin roasted—
as well as cauldrons of black beans,
fried plantain chips, and yuca con mojito.
These items required a special visit
to Antonio’s Mercado on the corner of Eighth Street
where men in guayaberas stood in senate
blaming Kennedy for everything—“Ese hijo de puta!”
the bile of Cuban coffee and cigar residue
filling the creases of their wrinkled lips;
clinging to one another’s lies of lost wealth,
ashamed and empty as hollow trees.

III.
By seven I had grown suspicious—we were still here.
Overheard conversations about returning
had grown wistful and less frequent.
I spoke English; my parents didn’t.
We didn’t live in a two-story house
with a maid or a wood-panel station wagon
nor vacation camping in Colorado.
None of the girls had hair of gold;
none of my brothers or cousins
were named Greg, Peter, or Marcia;
we were not the Brady Bunch.
None of the black and white characters
on Donna Reed or on the Dick Van Dyke Show
were named Guadalupe, Lázaro, or Mercedes.
Patty Duke’s family wasn’t like us either—
they didn’t have pork on Thanksgiving,
they ate turkey with cranberry sauce;
they didn’t have yuca, they had yams
like the dittos of Pilgrims I colored in class.

IV.
A week before Thanksgiving
I explained to my abuelita
about the Indians and the Mayflower,
how Lincoln set the slaves free;
I explained to my parents about
the purple mountain’s majesty,
“one if by land, two if by sea,”
the cherry tree, the tea party,
the amber waves of grain,
the “masses yearning to be free,”
liberty and justice for all, until
finally they agreed:
this Thanksgiving we would have turkey,
as well as pork.

V.
Abuelita prepared the poor fowl
as if committing an act of treason,
faking her enthusiasm for my sake.
Mamá set a frozen pumpkin pie in the oven
and prepared candied yams following instructions
I translated from the marshmallow bag.
The table was arrayed with gladiolas,
the plattered turkey loomed at the center
on plastic silver from Woolworth’s.
Everyone sat in green velvet chairs
we had upholstered with clear vinyl,
except Tío Carlos and Toti, seated
in the folding chairs from the Salvation Army.
I uttered a bilingual blessing
and the turkey was passed around
like a game of Russian Roulette.
“DRY,” Tío Berto complained, and proceeded
to drown the lean slices with pork fat drippings
and cranberry jelly—“esa mierda roja,” he called it.
Faces fell when Mamá presented her ochre pie—
pumpkin was a home remedy for ulcers, not a dessert.
Tía María made three rounds of Cuban coffee
then Abuelo and Pepe cleared the living room furniture,
put on a Celia Cruz LP and the entire family
began to merengue over the linoleum of our apartment,
sweating rum and coffee until they remembered—
it was 1970 and 46 degrees—
in América.
After repositioning the furniture,
an appropriate darkness filled the room.
Tío Berto was the last to leave.

Richard Blanco, “América” from City of a Hundred Fires. Copyright © 1998. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, http://www.pitt.edu/~press/. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.
Source: City of a Hundred Fires (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998)

Odd and funny #poems #Moon #Liquor #Chicken

Relexions on Ice-Breaking

Candy
is dandy
But liquor
is quicker

Ogden Nash

Arizona Nature Myth

[…]

But moon’s not there. He’s ridden out on
A galloping phenomenon,
A wonder horse, quick as light.
Moon’s left town. Moon’s clean gone.

James Michie

I dunno, (Anon)

I sometimes think i’d rather crow
And be a rooster than to roost
And be a crow. But I dunno.

A rooster he can roost also,
Which don’t seem fair when crow’s can’t crow
Which may help some. Still I dunno

Crow’s should be glad of one thing though;
Nobody thinks of eating crows,
While roosters they are good enough
For anyone unless they are tough.

For there’s a lot of tough old roosters though,
And anyway a crow can’t crow,
So mebby roosters stand more show
It looks that way, But I dunno.

From: A Choice of Comic and Curious Verse, Penguin 1978.

Get it from Indie booksellers here!