Cricket’s Chirrup

Donna Holdsworth mixedmediaartistsinternational.blogspot.com

Donna Holdsworth mixedmediaartistsinternational. blogspot.com

The season
for seed planting
is done

The season
for fruit picking
is ending

The season
for seed gathering
is at hand

The season
for herb drying
is under`way

The season
for thanksgiving
was will be is now

The season
for doing peace
is forever today

“To all those million verses in the world I’ve added just a few.
They probably are no wiser than a cricket’s chirrup.
I know. Forgive me. I’m coming to the end.” ~ Jaroslav Seifert

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A Voice for the Voiceless ~ A Poetry Challenge

Rainer Maria Rilke   en.wikipedia.org

Rainer Maria Rilke  en.wikipedia.org

There is in the land
a rising chorus of the Voiceless
Those who while in the system
remain outside of it

They’re the Invisible
Some have simply lost their way
others simply choose invisibility
to cope with this life

We do not see them
because we do not look for them
When we pass them on the street
they do not look up

They are our migrants
the pickers in our fruit orchards
who will not answer us if we ask
for fear of being found

They are our sweepers
the cleaners who scrub our toilets
at the office in the middle of night
disappearing by dawn

They are our Others
of another skin color another faith
from the other side of some border
we do not recognize

Because we are blind
with a blindness of those before us
who never thought they were blind
never wanting to see

Let us open up our eyes
let us turn the tide as a generation
Let’s learn to look for the Invisible
Lend the Voiceless voice

“The rich and the fortunate do well to keep silent,
for no one cares to know who and what they are.
But those in need must reveal themselves
must say: I am blind . . .” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, The Voices

In 1904, Rilke wrote a short series of poems simply entitled, The Voices.
I would like to offer my poet friends on WordPress an invitation to help me put together a collection of poems which we might call ‘The Voices of the Voiceless’
in the spirit of Rilke example. Look out your window. Look out your door. See someone you’ve never seen before. Look into their blindness. Listen to their silence. Let us help give the voiceless a voice.

A copy of the collected poems will be posted on`line, and a hard copy sent to all contributors. Please send any contributions to peternotehelfer@gmail.com, or send me a link if you are posting them on wordpress.com so I might read your verse.  Thank you.

To read the Rilke verses go to www.textlog.de › … › Das Buch der Bilder › Zweites Buch

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The Freedom of Solitude

Judy Applegarth pinterest.com

Judy Applegarth  pinterest.com

Not only the old
      are old
Nor only the young
      young
Buried beneath age
      a heart beats
And with the beat
      a spirit stirs
Strike up any tune
      toes will tap
Old men still roll
      in meadows
Given that no one
      is watching
The young will stare
      out to sea
Given the freedom
      of solitude

“The longing for the dance stirs in the buried life.” ~ Stanley Kunitz

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Whidbey

Roxanne Fawcett  rgfawcettdesign.com

Roxanne Fawcett
rgfawcettdesign.com

Across the sheet of gray glass
lies the Island of green fir trees
Spires reaching up into heaven
catching the wind the weather

blowing in from distant Straits
We live calm within her shadow
like mice in some great hay loft
Cool in the heat Dry in the rain

Even in the wall of densest fog
she still lies there keeping watch
Though I may not see her I know
with certainty her graceful form

The first thing the sun will wash
with golden light upon its waking
The final thing the sun will bathe
in purple roses in its descending

Between us lies a passage carved
by a great glacier in eons long past
deeper than an anchor can fathom
yet not so deep a heart can forget

“Permanent things are what is needful in a poem,
things temporally / 
Of great dimension,
things continually renewed or always present.”
~ Robinson Jeffers

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On Appearances

Tom Cheatham fineartamerica.com

Tom Cheatham fineartamerica.com

Clothes make the man
much as make`up the woman
A charade perpetrated by Mad`men
who take two yards of worsted
for each suit gets sold

We bought them once
when ambitions festered on us
like warts on a toad in late October
The boss told us we were slick
Models right from GQ

Then came the season
of the college graduate jocks
with bleached hair Hawaiian shirts
The boss said we looked old
Hell by then we were

First they moved us
off the floor & into the office
Then they down`sized Layed us off
Shipped our jobs off to India
Us in our wool suits

without any reason
to buy a new tie for the spring
since the boss hired us back to work
as custodians on the grounds
Coveralls provided

“I wear a shabby house,
as the lazy turtle does, disreputable and easy, dozing
in mud all winter.” ~ Donald Hall

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Holding On to Time

Karen L. Darling pinterest.com

Karen L. Darling pinterest.com

Ah that we could
hold on to time Stave
the flowing tide Guard
these sand`castles of ours
from washing from shore
Naught but foam stays
where we set our feet
We can do nothing

The unpicked grape
hangs heavy on the vine
We’re too weary to pick it
Too weary even to crush it
And wine takes time to age
Were we able to hold time
its wine wouldn’t be glad
We could do nothing

And the gift of the day
the island fog`shrouded
awaiting the burning sun
The hidden becoming clear
but to disappear once more
in those waning moments
of a blush`hued sunset
We would do nothing

” . . . out in the tall hickories
the blaze of autumn had begun
on its own . . . I could do nothing” ~ M.S. Merwin

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At Summer’s End

Jaime Haney jaimehaney.com

Jaime Haney    jaimehaney.com

At the summer’s end
as the trees begin to turn
the eye turns to the spectacle
of the explosion of colors
Summer’s song fades

It is the autumn wind
that is all we can hear now
the whistling in the high limbs
causes leaves first to dance
then fall to the ground

In the flowing streams
dark salmon head for home
turning brilliant in the passage
knowing it is the time to die
a generation to birthe

Gone are their appetites
the way of summer’s songs
starvation brings our their glory
A sheer will drives them on
to spawn themselves out

We glimpse them passing
golden shadows under water
as we glimpse the turning leaves
both pass us by and are gone
too quickly winter silence

“In summer, the song sings itself.” ~ William Carlos Williams

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Something Precious

Heidi Leonard   etsy.com

Heidi Leonard etsy.com

What is it within us I wonder
makes us so beloved of God 
Something certainly beyond
the skillful things we make
with hands that feel so broken
The painfully awkward things
we write by evening candlelight
with failing eye failing insight
Are we the pearls of great price
lost – our nacre dulled by time
Or the sheep thicket`caught
and prey to all life’s wolves
We cry out into the darkness
Mercy, Lord, have mercy!
We’re here! And upon our cry
they come family or friends
angels or travelling strangers
and seeing us see something
precious in their eyes some`
thing worth redeeming some`
thing which we do not see

“What is precious inside us does not
care to be known by the mind
in ways that diminish its presence.” ~ David Whyte

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Tell Me Something Funny

James Homer Brown james-homer-brown.com

James Homer Brown
james-homer-brown.com

Tell me something funny
I’m in sore need of a little humor
I’ve let myself get caught up
in a pervasive spiral of negativity
She who would be our Queen
has but rhinestones in her crown
He who wants to be our King
is in fact nothing but court jester
And we once intelligent voters
are ready to overlook their flaws
simply for the sake of a brand
Bulls will not stay in the pasture
just because they are our bulls
Woe be the neighborhood cows
who just happen to be in heat
Someone’s about to be had And
my brother it might just be US
I’m in sore need of a little humor
so tell me something  funny

“Well, life likes jokes; life is constantly making jokes,
even at the most 
inopportune moments.
Probably particularly then.”
~ Elizabeth McCracken

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The Ornament

Nasa Photos of Earth From Space  pics-about-space.com

Nasa Photos of Earth From Space
pics-about-space.com

As seen from space
this earth appears to be
a gorgeous tree ornament
meant to be hung at Yuletide
upon the boughs of a perfect fir
as if on the Orvis Christmas catalog
But within it’s cracking at its seams
plates grating on pressured plates
trees pumping out less oxygen
as forests turn into stumps
rivers flow with the blood
of not`so`free markets

“By expenditure of hope, intelligence, and work,
You think you have it fixed. It is unfinished by rule.
Within the darkness, all is being changed, and you
Also will be changed . . .” ~ Wendell Berry

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Losing Our Way

Hans Hofmann pinterest.com

Hans Hofmann   pinterest.com

Have we lost our way
we who once died for liberty
now all turned into libertines
whose god is our belly
whose power our god

Is there such a tyranny
as harsh as obsession with self
a castle of bones behind a gate
our Paradise secured
by a fear of terrorists

How tall we felt then
when with nothing but a dream
we worked alongside the others
with but their dreams
a world without gates

See how we divided
ourselves into success & failure
our victories but others’ defeats
like jersey`ed players
in stadiums of greed

Have we lost our way
we who now seem forever willing
to bend the truth to suit our ends
until we’ll swear to lies
to re`crucify the Christ

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.” ~ W.B. Yeats

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On Old Age

Joan Miró  pinterest.com

Joan Miró
pinterest.com

I carry
the weight of years
around with me continually
The rucksack I cannot remove
In each compartment some
relic of the journey
in hearts

I cannot
remember names
but when not concentrating
Then in the stillness of the dark
they leap from my memory
out of their abyss
like stars

I cannot
forget their touch
which like an ember singed
Was it then I knew I was alive?
I knew the company angels
who were unaware
of glory

I carry
the weight of years
around with me continually
Like water in the camel’s back
the past for me is not heavy
It sustains me like
a womb

“You would like to hear how it is in old age?
Certainly, not much is known about that country
Till we land there ourselves, with no right to return.” ~ Czeslaw Milosz

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