Sunday, July 23, 2017

Poetry Pantry #363

Capsicum baccatum in Saúde flea market, São Paulo, Brazil

Happy Sunday once again, Poets!  Pretty much mid-summer here.  And lots of summer activities going on in this area this time of year.  Festivals, farmers markets, concerts, etc.  It is a wonderful time of year.  I found the photo above in Wikimedia Commons.  Colorful, isn't it?

If you have not read the very relevant poem Rosemary shared on Friday for her I Wish I'd Written This feature, go back and take a look at "The Gentle Hum."

This week on Monday come back to read Sherry's interview of one of our newest young poets, one she had NOT interviewed before.   A clue to whet your curiosity -- she is married to another poet who periodically joins us here at Poets United!

Wednesday Sumana's Midweek Motif prompt is "Finding a Sanctuary."   Alas, I think each of us needs one of those!

With no further delay, let's share poetry!  Link your poem below.  Say hello in comments. Visit others who share their poems.  Come back again and again, as more people will be posting throughout today and tomorrow.  Have a good week!

Friday, July 21, 2017

I Wish I'd Written This

The Gentle Hum

I wonder,
Will it all click into place?
I feel it might.
I had a glimpse
That things could all come right.
I'd wake up
On a sunny, slightly roostered morn
And wouldn't realise at first;
The rightness would take time to dawn.
And gradually
the thing would start to gleam;
This worried life I'd had,
This awful world, this painful mess –
It was, in fact, a kind of dream.
The penny would just drop

Into my hand,
The penny that I'd lost so long ago,
And all the peace withheld and blocked from me
Would start to flow.
The gentle hum, the gold and silver light
Would all resume;
The fairies and the pixies,
The particles of dust
Caught in the sunlight in my room.
I'd pick up
Where I'd been so rudely interrupted;
I'd have it back again for keeps,
My dog, my brilliant grasp of life,
My backyard and my paddocks full of time,
The world all glad around me,
My rightful place,
My joyous leaps.

Michael Leunig

from Poems 1972-2002, Melbourne, Penguin (Viking) 2003.

Leunig is a much-loved Australian cartoonist with a quirky, whimsical style, who has been part of the national psyche for about 50 years and by now is almost as well-known and loved for his poetry too. He often illustrates his cartoons with poetry – or perhaps his poetry with cartoons.

He is modest about his poetic talent and has described some of his efforts as verses rather than poetry, but his public insists on calling it poetry. Wikipedia describes him as a cartoonist, poet and cultural commentator. He was declared an Australian Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia in 1999.

His website features his cartoons, paintings, prose writings, poems and prayers. He writes beautiful and often poignant prayers, in simple language; and his cartoons are to fall in love with. The site includes a detailed biography about his life and work.

He is often referred to as a prophet – of both innocence (childlike wonder) and disillusionment (he can be politically outspoken).

He has the knack of touching a chord and saying just what everyone wishes they'd said, or would have if they could. (Well, except for people who take offence at the more controversial material.)

I love this poem for presenting us with another view than all the sadness, horror and alarm with which the news keeps deluging us – for taking us, if just for a little while, back to the joys of childhood. (Oh to have 'paddocks full of time'!)

Is it the happy poem it seems at first glance? I think it is in fact a sad poem, detailing the things lost outside of dreams. I think it expresses yearning.

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors. This photo of Leunig: Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 (Bahudhara - Own work Original file name = DSC12222.JPG)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Masks

Golden masks excavated in KalmakarehLorestanIran.

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” 

“I believe in my mask-- The man I made up is me
 I believe in my dance-- And my destiny” 

“A mask tells us more than a face.” 

Three pictures of the same female noh mask 

Midweek Motif ~ Masks

Masks. Can't live with them and can't live without them! And in addition to our personal masks, there are also cultural and ritual masks that are precious to the faithful and also to collectors.

Can we tell when someone is undisguised? 
Do we prefer people to maintain the mask?

Your Challenge: In a new poem,
unmask a mask, reveal its use and properties, or tell its story.

Masks from Many Cultures - Screener

We Wear the Mask 

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

The Poem as Mask by Muriel Rukeyser

When I wrote of the women in their dances and 
      wildness, it was a mask,
on their mountain, gold-hunting, singing, in orgy,
it was a mask; when I wrote of the god,
fragmented, exiled from himself, his life, the love gone
      down with song,
it was myself, split open, unable to speak, in exile from
There is no mountain, there is no god, there is memory
of my torn life, myself split open in sleep, the rescued
beside me among the doctors, and a word
of rescue from the great eyes.

No more masks! No more mythologies!

Now, for the first time, the god lifts his hand,
the fragments join in me with their own music.
Image result for feather masks
File:Venetian Carnival Mask - Maschera di Carnevale - Venice Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx (4821060456).jpg
File:CE Mask and RFK Mask (33892334294).jpg
WWI Gas Masks
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
(Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be ~ Finding a Sanctuary.)