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Showing posts from January, 2012

Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal

by Naomi Shihab Nye


After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any
Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.


Well -- one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own
gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor,
wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her.
What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four
hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway,
min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?


The minute she heard any words she knew -- however
poorly used -
She stopped crying.


She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical
treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we're fine, you'll get
there, just late,


Who is picking you up? Let's call him and tell him.
We called her son and I sp…

New Year’s Dawn, 1947

by Robinson Jeffers


Two morning stars, Venus and Jupiter,
Walk in the pale and liquid light
Above the color of these dawns; and as the tide of light
Rises higher the great planet vanishes
While the nearer still shines. The yellow wave of light
In the east and south reddens, the opaque ocean
Becomes pale purple: Oh the delicate
Earnestness of dawn, the fervor and the pallor.
—Stubbornly I think again: The state is a blackmailer,
Honest or not, with whom we make (within reason)
Our accommodations. There is no valid authority
In church or state, custom, scripture nor creed,
But only in one’s own conscience and the beauty of things.
Doggedly I think again: One’s own conscience is a trick oracle,
Worked by parents and nurse-maids, the pressure of people,
And the delusions of dead prophets: trust it not.
Wash it clean to receive the transhuman beauty: then trust it.