The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

by Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011) You will not be able to stay home, brother. You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip, Skip out for beer during commercials, Because the revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox In 4 parts without commercial interruptions. The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary. The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia. The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal. The revolution will not get rid of the nubs. The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because the revolut

How Beautiful It Is

by Robinson Jeffers It flows out of mystery into mystery: there is no beginning— How could there be? And no end—how could there be? The stars shine in the sky like the spray of a wave Rushing to meet no shore, and the great music Blares on forever, but to us very soon It will be blind. Not we, nor our children nor the human race Are destined to live forever, the breath will fail, The eyes will break—perhaps of our own explosive vile Vented upon each other—or a stingy peace Makes parents fools—but far greater witnesses Will take our places. It is only a little planet But how beautiful it is.

The Metaphysicians of South Jersey

by Stephen Dunn Because in large cities the famous truths already had been plumbed and debated, the metaphysicians of South Jersey lowered their gaze, just tried to be themselves. They'd gather at coffee shops in the Vineland and deserted shacks deep in the Pine Barrens . Nothing they came up with mattered so they were free to be eclectic, and as odd as getting to the heart of things demanded. They walked undisguised in the boardwalk. At the Hamilton Mall they blended with the bargain-hunters and the feckless. Almost everything amazed them, the last hour of a country fair, blueberry fields covered with mist. They sought the approximate weight of sadness, its measure and coloration. But they liked a good ball game too, well pitched, lots of zeros on the score board. At night when they lay down, exhausted and enthralled, their spouses knew it was too soon to ask any hard questions. Come breakfast, as always, the metaphysicians would begin to list the many s

The Emperor of Ice Cream

by Wallace Stevens Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys Bring flowers in last month's newspapers. Let be be finale of seem. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream. Take from the dresser of deal, Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet On which she embroidered fantails once And spread it so as to cover her face. If her horny feet protrude, they come To show how cold she is, and dumb. Let the lamp affix its beam. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

You Were Brave in that Holy War

by Hafiz for Jihad You have done well In the contest of madness. You were brave in that holy war. You have all the honorable wounds Of one who has tried to find love Where the Beautiful Bird Does not drink. May I speak to you Like we are close And locked away together? Once I found a stray kitten And I used to soak my fingers In warm milk; It came to think I was five mothers On one hand. Wayfarer, Why not rest your tired body? Lean back and close your eyes. Come morning I will kneel by your side and feed you. I will so gently Spread open your mouth And let you taste something of my Sacred mind and life. Surely There is something wrong With your ideas of God O, surely there is something wrong With your ideas of God If you think Our Beloved would not be so Tender.

Bodhisattva Vows by Albert Saijo


Blessing the Boats (at St. Mary's)

by Lucille Clifton For my dear friend Bonnie Johnson. Please join me in praying for her safe passage between this and that. may the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry you out beyond the face of fear may you kiss the wind then turn from it certain that it will love your back may you open your eyes to water water waving forever and may you in your innocence sail through this to that bendición de los barcos (En el puerto de Santa María) por Lucille Clifton puede la marea que está entrando ahora mismo el borde de nuestra comprensión llevar a cabo lo más allá de la cara del miedo puedes besar al viento y después aparte de él seguro, confidiado de que te vas a querer igual. que puedes abrir tus ojos al agua ondeando el agua para siempre y que en tu inocencia vas a navegar a esto a aquello. Spanish translation by Ken Ireland For more of my poems, click here! Blessing of the Tuna Fleet at Groix 1923 , a painting by P