Sixties montage.

“I was lucky to live in New York when it was dangerous and edgy and cheap enough to play host to young, penniless artists. That was the era of “coffee shops” as they were defined in New York—cheap restaurants open round the clock where you could eat for less than it would cost to cook at home. That was the era of ripped jeans and dirty T-shirts, when the kind of people who are impressed by material signs of success were not the people you wanted to know.” Edmund White, City Boy: My Life in New York in the 1960s and ’70s



Dear Zorch,

 

No ~

it’s not the sixties anymore. It is a decade of upheaval

and people inflamed and lands laid bare.

Sea levels are rising and the

99% walk desiccated paths.

 

Once, you jockeyed in suits and ties

while I sat pregnant with poems,

just seventeen

the most unhappening girl in New York,

that most happening town.

 

We never did walk The Village streets for sips

of espresso in eccentric cafés, places

where Gibran Khalil Gibran might have lounged.

So okay, that was my dream. Yours was

Wall Street and manicured lawns in Westbury.

 

These days

there are strangers living in the old home place.

Our favorite stores are shuttered.

Our hip fashions are vintage.

Our parents have gone the way of all souls.

They never did hear

their truth over the cacophony of rote prayer.

You were happy to embrace high finance in place of Mystery.

Now though,

the future grows short

and

word is …

you’ve taken Pascal’s Wager.

 

Once

we sang “make love not war,”

but

the power mongering persists, just a habit I imagine,

as another generation marches into conflicts

under leadership

ignorant and vain, immoral and vulgar.

Tell me, did we get what we deserve?

 

I guess everything’s changed and nothing has.

No matter after all, fifty years of goodbyes.

The last goodbye now pending.

 

Yours truly,

Bright Eyes

 

© 2019, Jamie Dedes

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Write a poem that gives us a strong sense of time and place and how you and/or the times have changed.

Share your poem/s on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them. All poems on theme are published on the first Tuesday following the current Wednesday Writing Prompt. (Please no oddly laid-out poems.)

 No poems submitted through email or Facebook will be published. 

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, April 30 by 8 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


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New Year

A stellar poem today from The BeZiner team member, John Anstie … Enjoy!

THE BeZINE

Same Rivers, New Waters …

Last year passed the golden glove
You know, the one with a fist of iron.
She wanted no more of it. Nor I.
Those glossy, glittering, glistening,
shining products of a golden age
had lost their sheen and the age of
growth and worshipping at the alter of
God. Demands. Profit. … is so last year.

Meanwhile, in the town, at Star Books,
reading over our tax-free coffee,
batting ideas on who could pay the bill
and how you make your money work,
if only we had some …

Consumption was her daily bread
and the disease that strangled
generations, who died of terminal debt.

The improper death of innocents,
but where is their misplaced virtue.
Are they free of blame … still free?
May be no more, and yet we must
pay due heed to plant the seed of hope.
To fight for nourishment…

View original post 194 more words

“I have drunken deep of joy,
And I will taste no other wine tonight.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley



Miriam: The Red Sea

High above shores and times,
I on the shore
forever and ever.
Moses my brother
has crossed over
to milk, honey,
that holy land.
Building Jerusalem.
I sing forever
on the seashore.
I do remember
horseman and horses,
waves of passage
poured into war,
all poured into journey.
My unseen brothers
have gone over;
chariots
deep seas under.
I alone stand here
ankle-deep
and I sing, I sing,
until the lands
sing to each other.

© Muriel Rukeyser, “Searching/Not Searching,” Breaking Open (Random House, 1973).

Easter

Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may’st rise:
That, as his death calcinиd thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and, much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art,
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretchиd sinews taught all strings what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort, both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long;
Or, since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied
Oh let thy blessиd Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

© George Herbert, The Complete Works (Everyman’s Library, Reissue 1995)


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Kreuzigung von Gabriel Wüger, Andachtsbildchen auf dem Vorsatzblatt der Ausgabe des Schott-Messbuchs von 1952

“The soul of the artist cannot remain hidden.”  Henri Nouwen



  • I’m on vacation. This is a prescheduled post. Regular posting will begin again with Wednesday Writing Prompt on April 24 and Opportunity Knocks on April 25.
  • Calls for Submissions, Contests, and Events are posted on The Poet by Day Facebook Page.   
  • You are encouraged to display your work (poetry, art, photography, cartoons, music videos and so forth) and your  artistic successes and other arts-related announcements at The BeZine Arts & Humanities Facebook Group Page


Many people are honoring Good Friday today, a day considered holy by some and that you likely know even if you are not Christian. These two poems are offered without judgement or analyses, simply as an example of different responses by poets of the same era to a moment marked by history. One poem is from American lyric poet and Pulitzer Prize winner, Sara Teasdale (1884-1933). The second poem is from English poet and classical scholar, A.E. Housman (1889-1936). It is generally agreed that atheist Housman’s poem is a reference to Jesus’ and his death. Sara Teasdale was raised in a devote Baptist family.

The Carpenter’s Son

The summer dawn came over-soon,
The earth was like hot iron at noon
In Nazareth;
There fell no rain to ease the heat,
And dusk drew on with tired feet
And stifled breath.

The shop was low and hot and square,
And fresh-cut wood made sharp the air,
While all day long
The saw went tearing thru the oak
That moaned as tho’ the tree’s heart broke
Beneath its wrong.

The narrow street was full of cries,
Of bickering and snarling lies
In many keys—
The tongues of Egypt and of Rome
And lands beyond the shifting foam
Of windy seas.

Sometimes a ruler riding fast
Scattered the dark crowds as he passed,
And drove them close
In doorways, drawing broken breath
Lest they be trampled to their death
Where the dust rose.

There in the gathering night and noise
A group of Galilean boys
Crowding to see
Gray Joseph toiling with his son,
Saw Jesus, when the task was done,
Turn wearily.

He passed them by with hurried tread
Silently, nor raised his head,
He who looked up
Drinking all beauty from his birth
Out of the heaven and the earth
As from a cup.

And Mary, who was growing old,
Knew that the pottage would be cold
When he returned;
He hungered only for the night,
And westward, bending sharp and bright,
The thin moon burned.

He reached the open western gate
Where whining halt and ***** wait,
And came at last
To the blue desert, where the deep
Great seas of twilight lay asleep,
Windless and vast.

With shining eyes the stars awoke,
The dew lay heavy on his cloak,
The world was dim;
And in the stillness he could hear
His secret thoughts draw very near
And call to him.

Faint voices lifted shrill with pain
And multitudinous as rain;
From all the lands
And all the villages thereof
Men crying for the gift of love
With outstretched hands.

Voices that called with ceaseless crying,
The broken and the blind, the dying,
And those grown dumb
Beneath oppression, and he heard
Upon their lips a single word,
“Come!”

Their cries engulfed him like the night,
The moon put out her placid light
And black and low
Nearer the heavy thunder drew,
Hushing the voices . . . yet he knew
That he would go.

A quick-spun thread of lightning burns,
And for a flash the day returns—
He only hears
Joseph, an old man bent and white
Toiling alone from morn till night
Thru all the years.

Swift clouds make all the heavens blind,
A storm is running on the wind—
He only sees
How Mary will stretch out her hands
Sobbing, who never understands
Voices like these.

– Sara Teasdale

The Carpenter’s Son

Here the hangman stops his cart:
Now the best of friends must part.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live, lads, and I will die.

Oh, at home had I but stayed
‘Prenticed to my father’s trade,
Had I stuck to plane and adze,
I had not been lost, my lads.

Then I might have built perhaps
Gallows-trees for other chaps,
Never dangled on my own,
Had I left but ill alone.

Now, you see, they hang me high,
And the people passing by
Stop to shake their fists and curse;
So ’tis come from ill to worse.

Here hang I, and right and left
Two poor fellows hang for theft:
All the same’s the luck we prove,
Though the midmost hangs for love.

Comrades all, that stand and gaze,
Walk henceforth in other ways;
See my neck and save your own:
Comrades all, leave ill alone.

Make some day a decent end,
Shrewder fellows than your friend.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live lads, and I will die.

– A. E. Housman

Good Friday illustration is in the public domain


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