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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.

Allen for all to see (and see all)!

Image

Father Death Blues

(Don't Grow Old, Part V)
by Allen Ginsberg


Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.

Homework

by Allen Ginsberg
Homage Kenneth Koch


If I were doing my Laundry I'd wash my dirty Iran
I'd throw in my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap,
scrub up Africa, put all the birds and elephants back in the jungle,
I'd wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico,
Rub that smog off the North Pole, wipe up all the pipelines in Alaska,
Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos, Flush that sparkly
Cesium out of Love Canal
Rinse down the Acid Rain over the Parthenon & Sphinx, Drain the Sludge
out of the Mediterranean basin & make it azure again,
Put some blueing back into the sky over the Rhine, bleach the little
Clouds so snow return white as snow,
Cleanse the Hudson Thames & Neckar, Drain the Suds out of Lake Erie
Then I'd throw big Asia in one giant Load & wash out the blood & Agent Orange,
Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out
the tattletail Gray of U.S. Central American police state,
& put the planet in t…

A Supermarket in California

by Allen Ginsberg

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache
self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went
into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families
shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,
poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the
pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans
following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our
solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen
d…

An Eastern Ballad

by Allen Ginsberg


I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.

I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world go wild.