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In defense of really bad poetry

I once knew a girl whose father was filthy rich. He built row upon row of tacky boxes  that mar the views on the outskirts of San Francisco, a wilderness that chokes out coffee houses and bars and brothels, all the places where freedom and language get down. He passed his declining years trying to rhyme 2 x 4, pencil and Uncle Sam, verse that would make Ogden Nash blush. Once she asked me and some friends to her hot tub. We all had big dicks that she tried to rhyme with fun. We were naked and she wore a bathing suit. I was thankful her father had trained her well in the art of really bad poetry. Ken Ireland

I saw myself

I saw myself a ring of bone in the clear stream of all of it and vowed, always to be open to it that all of it might flow through and then heard “ring of bone” where ring is what a bell do BY  LEW WELCH Lew Welch, “[I Saw Myself]” from  Ring of Bone: Collected Poems of Lew Welch .  Copyright © 2012 by Lew Welch. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books. Source:  Ring of Bone: Collected Poems of Lew Welch  (City Lights Books, 2012)

A New Year’s Blessing

by Larry Robinson Unhurried mornings, greeted with gratitude; good work for the hand, the heart and the mind; the smile of a friend, the laughter of children; kind words from a neighbor, a home dry and warm. Food on the table, with a place for the stranger; a glimpse of the mystery behind every breath; some time of ease in the arms of your lover; then sleep with a prayer of thanks on your lips; May all this and more be yours this year and every year after to the end of your days.

All the Little Hoof-Prints

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by Robinson Jeffers Farther up the gorge the sea’s voice fainted and ceased. We heard a new noise far away ahead of us, vague and metallic, it might have been some unpleasant bird’s voice Bedded in a matrix of long silences. At length we came to a little cabin lost in the redwoods, An old man sat on a bench before the doorway filing a cross-cut saw; sometimes he slept, Sometimes he filed. Two or three horses in the corral by the streamside lifted their heads To watch us pass, but the old man did not. In the afternoon we returned the same way, And had the picture in our minds of magnificent regions of space and mountain not seen before. (This was The first time that we visited Pigeon Gap, whence you look down behind the great shouldering pyramid- Edges of Pico Blanco through eagle-gulfs of air to a forest basin Where two-hundred-foot redwoods look like the pile on a Turkish carpet.) With such extensions of the idol- Worshipping mind we came down the streamside. The old man was

the active, realistic loving of this one moment in all time.

from  NO MORE SECONDHAND GOD by R. Buckminster Fuller Late tonight (April 9, 1940) I am just sitting here for one of the many reasons people find themselves passionately isolated. (The cause is rarely noble.) In the midst of my overly self-emphatic thought I say, suddenly, (as most of us do): imagine, realize, the preposterousness of your chagrin in the face of what is involved in the newspaper headline on the chair over there. OSLO KEY BASES TAKEN BIG SEA AIR BATTLES ON World Telegram 7 th  Sports. It’s no longer a phony war but I don’t think about that nor do I think much about Oslo. I think of such of aviators and sailormen as are in command of their faculties on both sides at this moment. Though you have been out in a froth-spitting squall on Long Island Sound or in an ocean liner on a burgeoning sea you have but a childlike hint of what a nineteen-year-old’s reaction is to the pitch black shrieking dark out the

What Is Bounty Without A Beggar?

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by  Jelaluddin Rumi for my recovery friends who are facing down their own fears   What is bounty without a beggar? Generosity without a guest? Be beggar and guest; for beauty is seeking a mirror, water is crying for a thirsty man. Hopelessness and need are tasteful bezel for that ruby. Your poverty is a Burak;* don't be a coffin riding on other men's shoulders. Thank God you hadn't the means or you may have been a Pharaoh. The prayer of Moses was, "Lord, I am in need of Thee!" The Way of Moses is all hopelessness and need and it is the only way to God. From when you were an infant, when has hopelessness ever failed you? Joseph's path leads into the pit; don't flee across the chessboard of this world, for it is His game and we are checkmate! checkmate! Hunger makes stale bread more delicious than halvah. Your spiritual discomfort is spiritual indigestion; seek hunger and passion and need! A mouse is a nibbler. God gave him mind in proportio

Courage

by Anne Sexton It is in the small things we see it. The child's first step, as awesome as an earthquake. The first time you rode a bike, wallowing up the sidewalk. The first spanking when your heart went on a journey all alone. When they called you crybaby or poor or fatty or crazy and made you into an alien, you drank their acid and concealed it. Later, if you faced the death of bombs and bullets you did not do it with a banner, you did it with only a hat to cover your heart. You did not fondle the weakness inside you though it was there. Your courage was a small coal that you kept swallowing. If your buddy saved you and died himself in so doing, then his courage was not courage, it was love; love as simple as shaving soap. Later, if you have endured a great despair, then you did it alone, getting a transfusion from the fire, picking the scabs off your heart, then wringing it out like a sock. Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow, you gave it a back rub and then you covere