I’m in NY and days have been packed, but here’s another poem from Poetry Daily, originally published in Carolina Quarterly. I especially like the way the poem uncurls, half-hidden, like memory itself.
My mother strokes the sand
toward her with her palm, drawing
the story out, then levels it
back with the edge of her hand.
All the while
a ghost crab, half-hidden
under a canopy of crisped
sargassum, so well-camouflaged
it’s just a blur of movement,
has been sidling in and out
its tunnel, forming identical boulders
of damp sand to stack
at the entrance,
a bulwark. The story
is a stone she collects
from the tideline of the past.
Continue reading “Tuesday and Monday’s poem”
You may remember a couple of pasts posts of poems by Pádraig Ó Tuama. If you are local to the Bay Area, you have an opportunity to hear him live this Thursday evening at 7 at Mill Valley Library. Details below. I think it’s going to be an excellent reading. It’s free, but click here to register to be sure you have a seat: https://conta.cc/2zwYWMa
It’s so hard not to be consumed by politics, to feel I have to “DO SOMETHING.” And sometimes I do. But I love this poem by Yeats on the subject, almost 100 years ago when the war against fascism in Spain was raging:
How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politic,
Yet here’s a traveled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there’s a politician
That has both read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war’s alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms.
W. B. Yeats
Another poem from Poetry Daily:
I wept with my grandmother when Reagan
was shot because that’s what she wanted.
At night, she’d tell me about a city built
by Evita for children in Buenos Aires, the city
of her first exile. Children went about
municipal duties in the small post office
and mini city hall to learn to be good citizens.
ln Argentina she sold bread pudding
and gave French and English lessons from her
home for money to buy shoes. She promised
we’d go someday, but we never did. She’d say
Peruvians were gossipy, Argentinians snobbish, but
Chileans were above reproach. A little bit migrant,
a little bit food insecurity, she was the brass bust
of JFK on her altar, the holy card of Saint Anthony
on her TV. She was her green card and the ebony cross
above her bed. The lilted yes when she answered
the phone, and the song she liked to hum about bells
and God that ended tirin-tin-tin-tirin-tin-tan: miles
and ages away from her story, she sang it.
Carmen Giménez Smith
From Be Recorder
Yesterday at the Berkeley post office I was waiting in line for stamps. A long line, moving slowly, two working clerks. A clerk was free, and the man in front of me didn’t move up, so I tapped him lightly on the shoulder–something that seemed a perfectly normal thing to do at the time–to alert him that the clerk was free. The man was an older black man and he immediately turned and grabbed me and pushed me hard, yelling “Don’t you put your white hands on me, ” etc. No apology could mollify him; he was clearly at some hair trigger point, and my tap had been the trigger. The supervisor came out and after some time calmed him down somewhat, and we all went on with our morning, slightly shaken.
I realize we are now in a world in which it is not safe to tap someone on the shoulder; the shared assumptions of civility have eroded to the point where we don’t know what will offend, I lesson I’m glad I learned with someone who wasn’t carrying a gun!
Continue reading “Two days in Berkeley, mixed emotions”
Reddick, my cat named after the former A’s baseball player with red hair, has decided to help me with the order of my poems.
Once in awhile something really perfect appears on youtube. It’s not about the nail, created by Jason Headley is funny and so smart. Take a look.