Magpies by Judith Wright

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 11.30.54 AMScreen Shot 2016-09-02 at 11.31.35 AM

Photos by Patrick Ingremeau and The Wildlife Studio

Along the road the magpies walk

with hands in pockets, left and right.
They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.
In their well-fitted black and white

they look like certain gentlemen who seem most nonchalant and wise
until their meal is served – and then
what clashing beaks, what greedy eyes!

But not one man that I have heard
throws back his head in such a song
of grace and praise – no man nor bird.
Their greed is brief; their joy is long.
For each is born with such a throat
as thanks his God with every note.

Judith Wright’s poem Magpies

Satchell Paige #BlackLiberationMonth #poem #BlackExcellence Baseball Gd!

Satchell Paige was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Black.

Sometimes I feel like I will *never* stop
Just go on forever
Til one fine mornin’
I’m gonna reach up and grab me a handful stars
Swing out my long lean leg
And whip three hot strikes burnin’ down the heavens
And look over at God and say
How about that!

by Samuel Allen
Black History Month.

Great Amazon of God behold your bread #poem #blacklivesmatter #malcolmx #blackfuturemonth

Two stanzas from two different poems For Malcolm X and For Mary McLeod Bethune.

Margaret Walker is an incredibly influential writer. She is a poet whose work is fresh and powerful in its conscious pride, its longing, vehement prayers and its direct broken hearted-ness.

From the Poetryfoundation:
“Walker’s first novel, Jubilee, is notable for being “the first truly historical black American novel,” reported Washington Post contributor Crispin Y. Campbell.

It was also the first work by a black writer to speak out for the liberation of the black woman.

The cornerstones of a literature that affirms the African folk roots of black American life, these two books have also been called visionary for looking toward a new cultural unity for black Americans that will be built on that foundation.”

For Mary McLeod Bethune

Believing in the people who are free,
who walk uplifted in an honest way,
you look at last upon another day
that you have fought with God and women to see.
Great Amazon of God behold your bread.
We walk with you and we are comforted.

 

For Malcolm X

Snow-white moslem head-dress around a dead black face!
Beautiful were your sand-papering words against our skins!
Our blood and water pour from your flowing wounds.
You have cut open our breasts and dug scalpels in our brains.
When and Where will another come to take your holy place?
Old man mumbling in his dotage, crying child, unborn?

 

Full poems:

For Mary McLeod Bethune

Great Amazon of God behold your bread
washed home again from many distant seas.
The cup of life you lift contains no less,
no bitterness to mock you. In its stead
this sparkling chalice many souls has fed,
and broken hearted people on their knees
lift up their eyes and suddenly they seize
on living faith, and they are comforted.

Believing in the people who are free,
who walk uplifted in an honest way,
you look at last upon another day
that you have fought with God and men to see.
Great Amazon of God behold your bread.
We walk with you and we are comforted.

—margaret walker, mary mcleod bethune.

 

For Malcolm X

BY MARGARET WALKER

All you violated ones with gentle hearts;
You violent dreamers whose cries shout heartbreak;
Whose voices echo clamors of our cool capers,
And whose black faces have hollowed pits for eyes.
All you gambling sons and hooked children and bowery bums
Hating white devils and black bourgeoisie,
Thumbing your noses at your burning red suns,
Gather round this coffin and mourn your dying swan.
Snow-white moslem head-dress around a dead black face!
Beautiful were your sand-papering words against our skins!
Our blood and water pour from your flowing wounds.
You have cut open our breasts and dug scalpels in our brains.
When and Where will another come to take your holy place?
Old man mumbling in his dotage, crying child, unborn?
More from Poetry foundation:
“Walker’s volume of poetry Prophets for a New Day was published in 1970. She called Prophets for a New Day her civil rights poems…Walker begins the volume with two poems in which the speakers are young children;
one eight-year-old demonstrator eagerly waits to be arrested with her group in the fight for equality, and a second one
is already jailed and wants no bail.
Her point is that these young girls are just as much prophets for a new day as were Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and John Brown.”

#idlenomore #iNeedFeminismBecause Water Under World by Hannah Faith Notess! Faith and the Lost River of the Pharaohs.

aboriginal-girl-arnhem-land-wading-615-2

Photo by Amy Tensing of an Australian aboriginal girl/child.

Hannah Faith Notess

WATER UNDER WORLD

That river had me marked
as soon as I drifted underground.

I palmed the coins from my eyes
and leapt from the raft into dark water

as cat-eyed goddesses watched me,
whirring their displeasure. From fog

a young god emerged and gathered me
against his body, dripping, onto the bank.

Of course I worshipped him. Of course
I should begin again. Eighth grade:

I wanted a shirtless lifeguard
at the waterpark to see me, so I leapt

from the flotilla of plastic innertubes
into the waist-deep canal, where spotlit

mummies craned animatronic necks.
He came. He rustled, furious,

from a plastic hedge and banned
me from the Lost River

of the Pharaohs for life. No Nile.
No Underworld. Cast out,

sunburned, that night I drifted,
thought of diving, as the waves kept

rocking me, like hands
on my shoulders. Now I could die

because a boy had held me and
his anger made him warm.

 

Via Rattle.com’s website here.

More information on Hannah Faith Notess here.

 

#FifteenDogs Dramatis Canes @GillerPrize

.@GDBooks “Dramatis Canes” reads like a poem! Hilarious and interesting. Andre Alexis says: “place is fundamental in fiction.” 

(but wth is up with the eye on top of every i?! odd and bothersome after one sentence. Where is my white-out?).

AGATHA               an old labradoodle

 

ATHENA               a brown teacup Poodle

 

ATTICUS               an imposing Nepolitan Mastiff,
                                       with cascading jowls

 

BELLA                    a Great Dane, Athena’s closest pack mate

 

BENJY                    a resourceful and conniving Beagle

 

BOBBIE                 an unfortunate Duck Toller

 

DOUGIE                a Schnauzer, friend to Benjy

 

FRICK                    a Labrador Retriever

 

FRACK                  a Labrador Retriever, Frick’s litter mate

 

LYDIA                   a Whippet and Weimaraner cross,
                                 tormented and nervous

 

MAJNOUN           a black Poodle, briefly referred to as
                                 ‘Lord Jim’ or simply ‘Jim’

 

MAX                      a mutt who detests poetry

 

PRINCE                a mutt who composes poetry,
                                 also called Russell or Elvis

 

RONALDINHO   a mutt who deplores the condescension
                                 of humans

 

ROSIE                   a German Shephers bitch, close to Atticus
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or from an Indie bookstore here

Natalie Diaz It Was The Animals

#

It Was the Animals

BY NATALIE DIAZ

Today my brother brought over a piece of the ark
wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag.
He set the bag on my dining table, unknotted it,
peeled it away, revealing a foot-long fracture of wood.
He took a step back and gestured toward it
with his arms and open palms —
            It’s the ark, he said.
            You mean Noah’s ark? I asked.
            What other ark is there? he answered.
            Read the inscription, he told me,
            it tells what’s going to happen at the end.
            What end? I wanted to know.
            He laughed, What do you mean, “what end”?
            The end end.
Then he lifted it out. The plastic bag rattled.
His fingers were silkened by pipe blisters.
He held the jagged piece of wood so gently.
I had forgotten my brother could be gentle.
He set it on the table the way people on television
set things when they’re afraid those things might blow-up
or go-off — he set it right next to my empty coffee cup.
It was no ark —
it was the broken end of a picture frame
with a floral design carved into its surface.
He put his head in his hands —
            I shouldn’t show you this — 
            God, why did I show her this?
            It’s ancient — O, God,
            this is so old.
            Fine, I gave in, Where did you get it?
            The girl, he said. O, the girl.
            What girl? I asked.
            You’ll wish you never knew, he told me.
I watched him drag his wrecked fingers
over the chipped flower-work of the wood —
            You should read it. But, O, you can’t take it — 
            no matter how many books you’ve read.
He was wrong. I could take the ark.
I could even take his marvelously fucked fingers.
The way they almost glittered.
It was the animals — the animals I could not take —
they came up the walkway into my house,
cracked the doorframe with their hooves and hips,
marched past me, into my kitchen, into my brother,
tails snaking across my feet before disappearing
like retracting vacuum cords into the hollows
of my brother’s clavicles, tusks scraping the walls,
reaching out for him — wildebeests, pigs,
the oryxes with their black matching horns,
javelinas, jaguars, pumas, raptors. The ocelots
with their mathematical faces. So many kinds of goat.
So many kinds of creature.
I wanted to follow them, to get to the bottom of it,
but my brother stopped me —
            This is serious, he said.
            You have to understand.
            It can save you.
So I sat down, with my brother wrecked open like that,
and two-by-two the fantastical beasts
parading him. I sat, as the water fell against my ankles,
built itself up around me, filled my coffee cup
before floating it away from the table.
My brother — teeming with shadows —
a hull of bones, lit only by tooth and tusk,
lifting his ark high in the air.

Source: Poetry (March 2014).

Endnotes on Ciudad Juarez #intersectionality #iNeedFeminismBecause #borders Natalie Scentres-Zapico

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 9.25.21 AMPhoto by Dominic Bracco II

Endnotes on Ciudad Juarez

1. The larger portion of this text discusses El Paso, Texas, the boring sister to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

2. There are apartments that feel like they are by the sea, but out the window there is only freeway.

3. The geraniums always wilt either from heat or pollution.

4. El Canelo is the red-headed Mexican boxer that only speaks Spanish.

5. Sometimes the candles are religious, sometimes they are not.

6. The girl from Juarez is beautiful. The girl from Juarez is God.

7. The tortilla border has shanties on one side and trailers on the other.

8. Some call them Fronchis because their license plates read: Fron-Chi for Frontera Chihuahua. Some just call them fresas.

9. Some summers, roaches cross the street and travel home to home like people.

10. Campestre, Anapra, Chavena, Anahuac, Flores Magon, and Independencia are only some of the neighborhoods in Ciudad Juarez.

11. Some streets are lined in wires because it’s so easy to steal electricity.

12. Moxas graffiti walls: mee aamooo!! noo aa laas coopiioonaas!!

13. Some days saliva evaporates from the tongue.

14. The river has become the only blue vein left pulsing on the map.

15. The river is only blue on the map.

An interview with Natalie Scentres-Zapico is done on Blue Mesa Review here!

.

a flier in my hand—

 

a seventeen-year-old girl I knew

her picture splotched with toner.

Her physical description reads

 

like an epitaph looking for its grave.

I let the paper fly again. I know

she is dead.

                                                                                               From “In a Dust Storm”

 

Photo caption: “Youth hang out in the Diaz Ordaz colonia, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Ciudad Juarez. The group hangs out out a lookout above the neighborhood to see if outside gangs are coming to attack or rob them, after they had recieved death threats and a series of violent exchanges between neighborhoods left them nervous.”

When You Love What Do You Love? ¿Qué se ama cuando se ama? Gonzales Rojas. #Valentines #poetryisjustawesome

When You Love What Do You Love?

When you love what do you love, my God: terrible light of life
or death’s delight? What do you look for, what uncover, what
is it: love? And who? Woman with her depths, her roses, her volcanoes,
or this flushed sun, my furious blood
as I enter into her last roots?

Or is it all a great game, God, with no woman
or man but just one body: yours,
shared out in beauty-stars, in brief grains
of visible eternity?

It kills me, oh God, this war
of going and coming among them in the streets, unable to love
three hundred at a time, condemned as I am to one,
this one, this one alone, you gave me in that old paradise.

 

¿Qué se ama cuando se ama?

¿Qué se ama cuando se ama, mi Dios: la luz terrible de la vida
o la luz de la muerte? ¿Qué se busca, qué se halla, qué
es eso: amor? ¿Quién es? ¿La mujer con su hondura, sus rosas, sus volcanes,
o este sol colorado que es mi sangre furiosa
cuando entro en ella hasta las últimas raíces?

¿O todo es un gran juego, Dios mío, y no hay mujer
ni hay hombre sino un solo cuerpo: el tuyo,
repartido en estrellas de hermosura, en particular fugaces
de eternidad visible?

Me muero en esto, oh Dios, en esta guerra
de ir y venir entre ellas por las calles, de no poder amar
trescientas a la vez, porque estoy condenado siempre a una,
a esa una, a esa única que me diste en el viejo paraíso.

De Contra la muerte, 1964.

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

USED and NEW: Pinholes in the Night at Abebooks.com.

harriet by Lucille Clifton. (Harriet Tubman)

harriet
if i be you
let me not forget
to be the pistol
pointed
to be the madwoman
at the rivers edge
warning
be free or die
and isabell
if i be you
let me in my
sojourning
not forget
to ask my brothers
ain’t i a woman too
and
grandmother
if i be you
let me not forget
to work hard
trust the Gods
love my children and
wait.

.

Lucille Clifton .
.
Isabella Baumfree was the slave name of free woman Sojourner Truth. More thoughts about the poem here.

.

Connotations to “wait”: psalms, patience, Walt Witman’s Song of Myself that ends with “wait” and that Clifton refers to elsewhere and white people telling black folks to “go slow” and wait for more civil rights as sung in Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone.
.

“… You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”

.

Walt Whitman.

.
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NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Yiddish poetry by Mani Leib and Abraham Reisen!

“Indian Summer,” by Mani Leib

My Indian Summer, like an offering,
Burns into gold and spirals of smoke.
With brown hand, I push my last
Starry ember through the ash.
Night and villages. On moonlit flutes
The crickets play a breaking music on my heart;
In white grass, by blue-washed pickets,
Gourds are yellow like the moon.
Trees —blue, waxen— in cool space shining.
Like candles, upright: men fearful before God.
Sharp in stillness, the fall of a spent leaf.
Even sharper —the worries in my step.
.
.
And by Abraham Reisen “A Song”

The sweetest melody,
Your heart can sing
Keep for your autumn hour,
Not for the spring.

Glad is the blossom time
With its own tune and chime;
Ah, but the sunset day—
Sing it away.
.
.

From: a Treasury of Yiddish Poetry edited by Irving Howe and Liezer Greenberg.
USED and NEW: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13535919967 

Creation: God and the animals look after the people. Indigenous poem and story!

http://www.rattle.com/poetry/print/10s/i14/ OUT of print, indigenous poets.

Native Creation Story. By Phil Lane as told by Richard Wagamese. I love these lines of encouragement and responsibility- a legal contract of sorts between God and the Animal People.

“You will need to be more than brothers and sisters, you will need to be his teachers.”

And the Creator thinks all their ideas are good and still wants to find another place. The smallest of the Animal People and not very powerful, the mole, has the best idea– this is a legal tradition whereby not only judges and politicians create the laws, but the least powerful are acknowledged, welcomed and show they have good ideas.

.

God and the Animal People look after a new creature.

IN THE TIME BEFORE there were human beings on Earth, the Creator called a great meeting of the Animal People.

During that period of the world’s history, the Animal People lived harmoniously with one another and could speak to the Creator with one mind. They were very curious about the reason for the gathering. When they had all assembled together, the Creator spoke.

“I am sending a strange new creature to live among you,” he told the Animal People. “He is to be called Man and he is to be your brother.

“But unlike you he will have no fur on his body, will walk on two legs and will not be able to speak with you. Because of this he will need your help in order to survive and become who I am creating him to be. You will need to be more than brothers and sisters, you will need to be his teachers.

“Man will not be like you. He will not come into the world like you. He will not be born knowing and understanding who and what he is. He will have to search for that. And it is in the search that he will find himself.

“He will also have a tremendous gift that you do not have. He will have the ability to dream. With this ability he will be able to invent great things and because of this he will move further and further away from you and will need your help even more when this happens.

“But to help him I am going to send him out into the world with one very special gift. I am going to give him the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice. But like his identity it must be a search, because if he finds this knowledge too easily he will take it for granted. So I am going to hide it and I need your help to find a good hiding-place. That is why I have called you here.”

A great murmur ran through the crowd of Animal People. They were excited at the prospect of welcoming a new creature into the world and they were honoured by the Creator’s request for their help. This was truly an important day.

One by one the Animal People came forward with suggestions of where the Creator should hide the gift of knowledge of Truth and Justice.

“Give it to me, my Creator,” said the Buffalo, “and I will carry it on my hump to the very centre of the plains and bury it there.”

“A good idea, my brother,” the Creator said, “but it is destined that Man should cover most of the world and he would find it there too easily and take it for granted.”

“Then give it to me,” said the Salmon, “and I will carry it in my mouth to the deepest part of the ocean and I will hide it there.”

“Another excellent idea,” said the Creator, “but it is destined that with his power to dream, Man will invent a device that will carry him there and he would find it too easily and take it for granted.”

“Then I will take it,” said the Eagle, “and carry it in my talons and fly to the very face of the Moon and hide it there.”

“No, my brother,” said the Creator, “even there he would find it too easily because Man will one day travel there as well.”

Animal after animal came forward with marvellous suggestions on where to hide this precious gift, and one by one the Creator turned down their ideas. Finally, just when discouragement was about to invade their circle, a tiny voice spoke from the back of the gathering. The Animal People were all surprised to find that the voice belonged to the Mole.

The Mole was a small creature who spent his life tunnelling through the earth and because of this had lost most of the use of his eyes. Yet because he was always in touch with Mother Earth, the Mole had developed true spiritual insight.

The Animal People listened respectfully when Mole began to speak.

“I know where to hide it, my Creator,” he said. “I know where to hide the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice.”

“Where then, my brother?” asked the Creator. “Where should I hide this gift?”

“Put it inside them,” said the Mole. “Put it inside them because then only the wisest and purest of heart will have the courage to look there.”

And that is where the Creator placed the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice.
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Found in “Indigenous Legal Traditions,” Prof. John Borrows.

“Professor and Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. The author would like to acknowledge the support of the Law Commission of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in the preparation of this Article.”
Footnote 152:
Based on a story by Phil Lane, Jr., Four Worlds Development, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, as retold by Richard Wagamese, in ROYAL COMMISSION ON ABORIGINAL PEOPLES, RESTRUCTURING THE RELATIONSHIP (1996)

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New Year’s Poems. Happy 2015! 3/3

New Year’s Eve

“I have finished another year,” said God,
“In grey, green, white, and brown;
I have strewn the leaf upon the sod,
Sealed up the worm within the clod,
And let the last sun down.”

“And what’s the good of it?” I said.
“What reasons made you call
From formless void this earth we tread,
When nine-and-ninety can be read
Why nought should be at all?

[…]

“Strange that ephemeral creatures who
By my own ordering are,
Should see the shortness of my view,
Use ethic tests I never knew,
Or made provision for!”

She sank to raptness as of yore,
And opening New Year’s Day
Wove it by rote as theretofore,
And went on working evermore
In her unweeting way.

The Darkling Thrush

I read this poem not in its original form but in different order. The numbers are what their place really is (see below for full correct poem).

BEST: “In blast-beruffled plume”

3.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

2.
The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

4.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

1.
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy

 

Link

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Translating, I departed from the rhymes and the almost rhymes out of necessity when the english words don’t rhyme and also because I want to show that Slauerhoff played with leaving out parts of speech, much like Joss Whedon encouraged in Buffy and Firefly. I think his play works especially well because the poem is about creating a world that is not there there and which has holes. Some of the loss of almost rhymes is sad because his choice of words was lovely. Learn Dutch!

“They remained as thrown” was the most difficult to translate because in Dutch part of the verb (“waren”=were) is left out but the last word of this line (geworpen=thrown) rhymes with the last word of the poem (dorpen). Anyway. It is a different poem in English. I love how Slauerhoff stops the story. Leaving the rest to our imagination. The whole poem stops and start and restarts at odd moments. How to play with language. When you read it aloud you need to leave space between inside some of the lines. Where depends on how you speak. The alliterations in the poem and inner rhymes are beautiful.

Also: I like he puts down the answer before we ask the question in the second stanza. He makes the lines work for him. Doesn’t let the mind dictate how he tells his story. Pay attention because G-d isn’t.

Third stanza is funny: you expect more but no.

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Dutch: Scheppingsverhaal.

Gods kind had blokken in zijn boezelaar,
Waarmee het in de wolken had gespeeld.
Maar toen zij op wou bergen, moe, verveeld,
Zag ze in de doos en wist niet hoe ze daar

In passen moesten, keurig ingedeeld.
Want God was streng, maar sliep – dus geen gevaar.
Zij liet ze vallen, zag er niet meer naar
Om en ging vlug naar een mooi engelbeeld.

De blokken vielen door een leeg heelal
En kwamen op een leege wereld, waar
Ze bleven zooals ze er heen geworpen.

De meeste sprongen stuk tot berg en dal.
En die heel bleven vormden hier en daar
De groote steden en de kleine dorpen.

© 1998, Erven J. Slauerhoff / K. Lekkerkerker / Uitgeverij Nijgh & Van Ditmar
From: Verzamelde gedichten
Publisher: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, Amsterdam, 1990.

The Creation: “And God stepped out on space…” by James Weldon Johnson! Pretty fantastic.

RE-imagined poem by James Weldon Johnson. Still the same G-d, people. Beautiful images Weldon calls forth, as if he was there there- one of these poems that you can feel the amazing of our world, our trees, our rivers, our deer, our elephants, our woods and jungles… Unbelievably beautiful what we have to take care of. Care. Of. Read and weep.

And then give freely to the World Wild Life Fund and Green-Peace.

Quick thoughts on image:
“Toiling over a lump of clay
Till She shaped it in Her own image;”

God had to toil to make us into her image. Everyone who has worked with clay and has attempted to shape a human or any animal, knows how hard it is. You start out roughly, you add on, you take off, you squeeze, you pull a bit this way. That way. Making stars seems to have come to God easily. She threw the light against the darkness. With us, she had to think. What was important. She didn’t create us like the trees, or the rivers. Why would it be so hard to create an image of God? You have to understand yourself if you want to describe yourself. God had to think about what made her who she was. She could create, so she gave us that. We can make dark and light in our life. She gave us that choice. She gave us a smile. She gave us words. She knew she was lonely still and she made us look for others. She made us want community and love and closeness. She taught us how to kneel down and toil over what is important.

 

And God stepped out on space,
And She looked around and said,
“I’m lonely —
I’ll make me a world.”

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God reached out and took the light in Her hands,
And God rolled the light around in Her hands
Until She made the sun;
And She set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
She hurled the world;
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God herself stepped down —
And the sun was on Her right hand,
And the moon was on Her left;
The stars were clustered about Her head,
And the earth was under Her feet.
And God walked, and where She trod
Her footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then She stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And She spat out the seven seas;
She batted Her eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
She clapped Her hands, and the thunders rolled;
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed her finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out her arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around Her shoulder.

Then God raised Her arm and She waved Her hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And She said, “Bring forth! Bring forth!”
And quicker than God could drop Her hand.
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that She had made.
She looked at Her sun,
And She looked at Her moon,
And She looked at Her little stars;
She looked on Her world
With all its living things,
And God said, “I’m lonely still.”

Then God sat down
On the side of a hill where She could think;
By a deep, wide river She sat down;
With Her head in Her hands,
God thought and thought,
Till She thought, “I’ll make me a body!”

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
She kneeled Her down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of Her hand;
This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till She shaped it in Her own image;

Then into it She blew the breath of life,
And body became a living soul.
Amen. Amen.

James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

Whoohoo!!

Creation poem II (by Dutch ship’s doctor Jan Jacob Slauerhoff)

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

 

SUPPORT planet Earth and all of our creatures:
For symbolic polar bear, penguin and Lion ADOPTIONS: http://shop.wwf.ca/collections/adoptions?gclid=CIv5rPS03MICFak-MgodfDoAlg

Monster Boats are gobbling up all the fish: it is NOT fair. Support local fishing-folk. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/

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