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Category: Guest and Featured Poets

poetry submissions, other featured poets

MARY OLIVER: Poetry and Peace

MARY OLIVER: Poetry and Peace

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): an understanding that every form of Making is ultimately another way of practicing being human.  [Humans make things.  It’s how we connect with one another and with the World.]

I am pleased when I can wander through poet Mary Oliver’s words and borrow her eyes and her heart to see again the beauty and the mystery of Life-Its-Own-Self.  The words remind me:  I am not alone.

That one helps me get back to peace again amid the hurly-burly bustle and the noisy push-me, pull-you tumble fades away.  AHHH….

My favorite Oliver quote does not come from a poem.  It was part of a rare interview she gave with Rachel Martin on a 2012 National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition Sunday.

She said, “I said once, and I think this is true, the world did not have to be beautiful to work.  But it is.  What does that mean?”

That, I think, is a worthy big question.  It’s certainly big enough to fuel a life-long work.

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PINPOINT “ENOUGH”

PINPOINT “ENOUGH”

Probably we’ve all heard the teaching stories – the ones that make us all nod as if we know something, the ones that make us mutter aphorisms and wisdom-words at each other about the consequences of greed and getting more and more.

The stories are usually about some guy sitting all alone in a big old mansion on a hill somewhere.  He has everything and yet he feels like he has nothing.

(Usually the tale is about a guy, but, really, we could easily substitute a gal in there instead these days.)

Here’s a thought:  Maybe it wasn’t greed that led that lonely one down the road to Empty.  Maybe he or she just didn’t recognize when they had gotten to “Enough” and just kept on going.

prospect-hill-plantation
“The Legacy of Prospect Hill Plantation” by Michael McCarthy via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]
That does happen.

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BABY WISDOM

BABY WISDOM

As you know, I invite everybody to send in a poem of their own making that holds meaning and mana for them.  I ask that the poets share the back-story about the poem.  The poems are often a delight and the back-stories are always interesting.

The following poem came from Andy Bia, a fellow online entrepreneur whose blog, BAD INVESTMENT ADVICE (And Ways to Avoid It), covers “the basics of the modern tools and markets” in the stock market world.  His site focuses on making the esoteric world of finance more understandable for regular folks.

The blog stance is really sensible.  If you get confused by the jargon and don’t even understand what all the mavens and pros are talking about, how can you (as a wanna-be financial wiz) make sensible decisions?  Concepts come first, then action.

Andy says he is “not a financial professional.”  I say he is still a wise guy.

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SOUL QUESTION

SOUL QUESTION

Here’s another free-form poem by guest poet James Ray.  It was posted on his site, WAR INC, in July, 2019.  He says he wrote it while he was having his Semi repaired on a very quiet and clear night.

“I looked up at the stars, as I’ve been known to do, and wished (not for the first time) that I did it with someone who could answer this question for me.  All the easy questions of why and where here, but that one slips away time and time again.

 “My soul, why is it here? What now? I dream to meet someone to dream and answer it with….
Souls are eternal but not all knowing
.”


What of my soul?

For the love of a tree. For the love of a branch. For the affection of the air. For the warmth of the ocean. For the touch of Terra firma.

I live for none of these things. I live because biology fills my lungs, oxygenates my blood. The electricity of my body chemistry powers my heart. The seemingly random flashes of my synapses activate my brain.

What of my soul? What does my soul live for? Why would anyone care? I can live without it. Many do. I can run from one thing to another in a never-ending attempt of validation. Many have. I can curse my existence and snuff out those who have found their souls. Many will.

What of my soul? What purpose should it have? Who should give it to me? What do I do if I choose the wrong? How shall I heal it if injured? How shall I grow it, for it to gain strength?

Stand with me on this warm summer night, as i gaze up at the stars and sky. Leave me not alone to ponder this quest on my own. I cannot love man for man does not love me. I cannot be affectionate with Earth because Earth precedes me. I cannot be comfort to the creatures of the wild. For they are not of my kind. I can not love me for I am man.

Sit with me as I gaze of the Stars. The birthplace for which I yearn to return. Speak for me on my behalf to all the creators. Besiege on my behalf, “Hear him for he has pondered long.” Creators! Cosmic occurrence! Singularity! Give to me the answer that I watch for. Or give to me proper question to ask. For a thing as small as mercy, surely do not leave me here alone with my question.

Travel with me part ways on my Odyssey. Only the final Journey should be journeyed alone. Break bread with me, make every morsel meaningful. Witness the scent with me, enhance my senses. And in the end comfort me and be an anchor from this world to the next.

What of my soul? What is enough? What must I do. On this warm summer night gazing the stars and moon. Sing me a song of few words. Hum me a melody of few notes. Give me a friendship of love, more than I deserve.

For the love of a tree for the love of me. For as far as I can see. For as much as I can be. Sit with me on warm grass, twinkling sky, half shone Moon, on warm summer’s night. And tell me what of my soul.


Header Photo credit:  “Starry Night Scene Looking West” by Russ Seidel via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Cool, James….

And you:  thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you would drop a note or comment below and tell me your thoughts.

(And if you would like to share a poem of your making that has meaning and mana for you, please go to the “Guest Poet Portal” in the header menu and submit it.  We will all be happy you did.)

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MISSING FEATHERS

MISSING FEATHERS

James Ray is a Google+ poet buddy who came looking for me.  It was grand getting connected with him again.  The demise of Google+ was a sad day for the poets who were having fun playing around with each other in it.

I asked James to share a poem with us.  He sent this heartful free-form poem as well as the back story.

James says, “I have written my whole life, but never as much and never as public. Yet I am still mostly unread. LOL

He invites everyone to check out his poetry blog.  Click on the button below and it’ll take you there.

click-here

 


I was told not long after I was born that upon my first crawling I made my way to my father’s chamber. I stole from his ceremonial headdress six feathers. So that is what they named me Six feathers.

Decades later I grew strong with the other warriors of the tribe. Upon a successful raid of our neighbors one of the captured women was found to be unstable. They treated her badly even among the other survivors of her village. They called her Missing feathers.

Warring between the tribes was natural, it was the way. But I had no will to be cruel. I protected Missing feathers for that is my way. From that day on she seemed to be more focused when ever we we’re together. In time my village took to calling me her missing feathers.

How long has it been now? How many sunsets have we shared together? She sleeps now and even now I can tell the trouble of her mind. I know her. I know her mind. Through the many years now accepted by The village, my mate, my Missing feathers.

She will wake any minute now, as she has done many times before. And the unrest behind her eyes will fade to the background as it always does upon seeing me. And I will once again be for her the feathers that make her whole.

The joke unknown by the villagers is that I didn’t take enough feathers from my father’s headdress years ago. She was the feathers that I needed. The wisdom that I did not have. The strength to unite all the neighboring tribes. To end the ceaseless raiding and taking of prisoners. Now our children boys and girls grow strong in the united tribes! And none know but me to give thanks to my Missing feathers.

But uncertain is our time together. For I have noticed some of the spirits that plague her lead her out away from me. How much longer do we have? How much longer before she wakes without it being her behind her eyes? What will I do then when I am truly missing my feathers?

The Medicine Woman and the Elders of the village make no promises to me. They can do nothing to exercise her demons. They say it is only I who have held them at bay all these years. The great spirits have gifted me. But our time together. I do not seek to waste any moments that I have left.

I am transfixed by her sleeping beauty. I am broken-hearted by her restless slumber. I am guardian to the feathers which I cannot keep. She stirs. So slowly her eyes open. Who shall greet me this day?

Husband? Why do you greet me this way every morning? Why do you look so troubled? Have I done something?

No, my beloved feathers. I just worried that I would have to start my day without you. I have but only the six feathers, I need you for the rest.

Such silliness from one who is Chief. But yes, if you give me your six I will give you all that you are missing.

I hug her and in our embrace I thank the great spirit for giving me one more day with my Missing feathers…
~~~~~

I may never get to tell the story behind this story. Because I know I’ll never finish it. I seem to be missing my feathers….


Despite the final lines of the poem, James did share the back-story for this poem.  He says, “I came across a letter to her brother that my ex-wife had shared with me some time ago. In it she told him of what finding me did for her life, the meaning and sanity it gave her.  As I did then, I told her it meant as much to me.

“Sadly the day came where she did not wake to return to me and the one who woke took her from me.  Now I’m left with only the six feathers….


Header photo credit:  “Feathered Fury” by GollyGForce via Flickr.  [CC BY 2.0]

Beautiful, James!  Thank you.

Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you would drop a note or comment below and tell me your thoughts.

(And if you would like to share a poem of your making that has meaning and mana for you, please go to the “Guest Poet Portal” in the header menu and submit it.  We will all be happy you did.)

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ALIVE AND WELL (THANK YOU VERY MUCH)

ALIVE AND WELL (THANK YOU VERY MUCH)

This was supposed to be an easy “nyah-nyah-nyah” sort of post.

My plan was to crow about how, despite multitudinous prognostications to the contrary (all those declarations that “OMG!  Poetry is dead, Dead, DEAD”), piling words together and mixing them up continues to flow unabated through the world, continues to move and heal a multitude of hearts, continues to evolve and grow and change even in this, our digitally enhanced post-modern world.

No extinction is in sight.

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POETRY SAVED MY LIFE

POETRY SAVED MY LIFE

This is Fleeky ONE.

She’s an Internet buddy who grabbed my hand and enthusiastically dragged me off to play with her.  Always a grand thing, I say!

Fleeky frequents the Wealthy Affiliates platform, which is a learning place for people who spend their time poking at computer keyboards, building blogs and customer bases and all that stuff, twisting their heads around to learn to deal with all the complexities of that effort.

(Most of us who hang at Wealthy Affiliates are learning how to get a handle on affiliate-marketing and are using the incredible array of knowledge presented there by expert online marketers and a very large world-wide tribe of wanna-be financial independents to further our own runs to Rainbow’s-End.)

I told Fleeky about my “Guest Poet Portal” and extended an invitation to her to share a poem on this here blog and her response was immediate.

BOOM!

A Fleeky-poem appeared.  The speed of her response was awesome.  It took my breath away.

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MY BROTHER

MY BROTHER

MysTerry Randolph is a long-time member of the Maui Live Poets.   Very often her simple poems reach out and grab your heart and old memories open up.  It’s what she does.

About this poem she says, “This just came out of my heart.   Wrote it for my brother in Idaho.”

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I DID NOT SPEAK

I DID NOT SPEAK

Here is another powerful poem by spoken poet  Robert Maxie, Jr.  He is sixteen years old and has been writing poetry since the age of seven.  He has his own You-Tube site and his first book, BLEEDING INK, was published this year.  More are on the way….

He says, “This poem is extremely important to me and my life.  It’s a constant reminder that I’m not alive to make sure that I do and say what pleases everyone around me.  That kind of life is unsustainable.  Instead, I want to make sure that I’m saying and living my life the way I want to.

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