Equality

I say with a sigh, blood is not nobility

count how oft’ the Red Queen cries

“Off with his head”, she hardly says 

anything else–  Power ‘tis said 

Twists ladies as men turning them quite 

 

                      Bellicose,

 

Blood’s no guarantee nobles will lead 

To better or worse shifting us either way

 

It’s red

                          with/out gender

 

We favor no crown, no throne, no aristocracy

We got revolution, remember, we can still march to the sea.

 

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A sign protesting a recent North Carolina law restricting transgender bathroom access in Durham, North Carolina

You Are Not Who You Think You Are

Look to the heavens, see what is happening
You are not who you think you are.

Everything in and around you
The cosmic unfolding
Of countless events
Appearing, disappearing
Rising and falling
Right now, now again…
That is all you are,
Beyond comprehension all that is–
Keeping this in mind
While you continue a separate life
Is a mysterious trick,
The magic lies
In letting go
Being the Big Bang
To the present, that is who you are

“You cannot catch hold of it, nor can you get rid of it.
You are the eternal energy of the universe.”

Quote: Alan Watts

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Rayn Roberts

Quote: from Alan Watts

What Should Americans Be Reading?

What Should Americans Be Reading Now?

 

March 2 ~ Washington Post
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Juan Felipe Herrera, 68, is the son of immigrant farmworkers from Mexico. He was born in California and lives there with his wife and children but is in Washington regularly for his position.Is this a good time to be a poet?It’s always a good time to be a poet. At this particular moment the world is going through major shifts. Major political shifts, social shifts, cultural shifts. And it’s good to observe the world, to respond to it. So this is a great time, not necessarily for us as poets to fill our books with “great” observations. It’s more like responding and providing, in many ways, consolation.

How do you see your role as U.S. poet laureate?

It’s kind of a multi-role. I have a great time at the Library of Congress with the team there that assists me. Without them I’d just be a washing machine walking down the street and falling apart. So I want people to connect with the Library of Congress. It’s for you, it’s all for you. My other role is to remind the American people that they have the most worthy, significant, beautiful, brilliant voice. And without it what would our lives be? We need it. Silence erodes our lives. It erases our lives. I want them to ask questions. To speak up. To ask what you feel is most important to you right now.

Is there a time when you feel least like a poet?

Oh, a poet is all of us in a way, so it’s hard to say there’s a time when you’re not a poet. A poet means you’re human. It really means you’re looking around and responding to reflections. Reflections of things that stop you cold, of things that pull you in.

You wrote a poem called “Don’t Worry, Baby “ that includes the line, “I worry about people who say, ‘Don’t worry, Baby.’ “ Are you worried?

Yeah, I get worried. I have a degree in worrying. I work on it as much as I can, and writing keeps me away from all that stuff. All the itchy social ills. When I’m writing, I kind of get calmer. When I write, all is well. That’s what I find very positive. I find a lot of peace. But yeah, I’m a worrywart.

Your parents were migrant workers. What would they think of you becoming the poet laureate?

My father passed away when I was 16 and my mother when I was 36. My mother was the one who encouraged me. Sang songs since I was a child. Recited poems to me. She liked to stand up and applaud and smile. She would be super thrilled and happy. My father, he was a hardcore worker of the earth, really. He would wonder how on Earth I could do this without working in the blistering heat. What are you doing? Put your hands in the earth, come on! You’re using a pen? Wow, that’s incredible. But he’d probably look at me and smile.

We’re in this turbulent time, and America feels fractured. Is there a poem that would be particularly useful for our country to read right now?

Well, for sure [Walt] Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” I would also read poems by the great Chinese poet Bai Juyi. Quiet observations of nature and self. And I would read “Memory Foam,” a book of poems by Adam Soldofsky. Such a quiet, personal, deep, philosophical, unflinching, peaceful voice.

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Juan Felipe Herrera’s poetry @  The Poetry Foundation

 

When One is More than Three

for Fred Longworth

The pure energy of choice, the exercise
Of wisdom and will between the extremes
Of hatred and love, apathy or action, war

Or art, the painful year, a joyful moment,
Only mind dreaming our future into being:
All that is made by man, woman or child

Every toy, house, bridge, bullet or bomb
Was once an idea given birth in the mind.
It may look like we take one step forward

Three back, but a forward step is always
The greater distance in dreamtime, mind is
Forever dreaming forward into the future.

 

images-3Poem first appeared in Of One and Many Words / Poetic Matrix Press