Sunday, July 22, 2018

Poetry Pantry #412

McKenzie Avenue at Dusk - Saanich, Canada

Greetings, Poets! Do you realize this is the 412th Poetry Pantry?  Considering that there are 52 weeks a year, and we generally take a short break or two during a year, that turns out to be LOTS of years of Sunday poetry.  Smiles.

The photo today comes from Wikimedia Commons.  I think it is pretty impressive.

Thanks to those of you who stopped by sometime during the previous those of you who read and commented on Sherry's wonderful article on multi-talented Annell Livingston, to those of you who wrote on Susan's "Greatness" prompt for Midweek Motif, to those of you read / commented on Rosemary's I Wish I'd Written This feature of "from the Morning Patio."  Each week is a good one at Poets United.  You never know what you will find.

Monday Sherry is featuring three poems by some wonderfully prolific poets!

Wednesday Sumana's Midweek Motif will be "Wildness."

With no further delay, let's share poetry!  Link your ONE poem below.  (Remember - only one poem for Poetry Pantry.  For Midweek Motif, you can share more than one.) Share a comment with us all.  Visit the poems of other poets who have shared.

Look forward to seeing you on the trail!

Friday, July 20, 2018

I Wish I'd Written This

from The Morning Patio

18 May

A jet roars overhead en route to Heathrow. The rattling call of a magpie. An American gray squirrel lopes along the top of the back wall.

20 May
A wren sings in the garden of our Iranian neighbor, whose wisteria infiltrates the elder tree so that it blooms two different ways at once.

24 May
A brick lies in the dirt at the back of the garden, dislodged by the running of cats and foxes along the night-time labyrinth of walls.

7 June
Women's voices carry from a nearby garden. The resident terrier runs semi-circles around the elder tree, wheezing up at its flowering limbs.

8 June
The great, cream-colored roses glow in the sun, even those beginning to turn brown. Three carrion crows—their nasal cries.

9 June
Cardigan weather still. Cigarette smoke wafts over from the adjacent garden. Blackbird and wren trade cheerful riffs.

26 June
Hoverfly in the garden defending a cubic foot of air; someone practicing guitar in another garden—the lives I see versus lives I understand.

28 June
The elder sheds a gray feather. How can such a small tree harbor so many secrets? From a neighborhood dog, the uncanny howl of a wolf.

6 July
A tiny spider sits in a web linking mock orange to clothesline, which runs through the elder tree—she must feel each vibration in the yard.

12 July
The labored wingbeats of a wood pigeon spooked by my turning of a page, two cabbage white butterflies swirling in its wake.

15 July
The sun shines in my eyes through an eye-shaped opening in the mock orange. I tilt my head and watch the London dust drift through the beam.

– Dave Bonta

In 140 or fewer characters, every morning Dave Bonta writes what I call a prose poem and he calls "the world's least ambitious daily newspaper" – first as a twitter post and then as a blog entry – from his front porch in Plummers Hollow, Pennsylvania, a private nature reserve. Except that lately he has been on an extended visit to London, writing instead from the back patio of the house where he's staying, so the name of his blog has become The Morning Porch/Patio.

I receive the blog entries daily by email, and it's always a treat to share Dave's morning. I shared some of his front porch observations with Poets United in February 2015, so this time I am selecting from the patio posts – a very different environment no doubt, yet one he seems to find equally enthralling. He makes it fascinating and delightful for me too. I hope you agree!

He says he always sits outside with his coffee right after his morning shower, but doesn't always write the post for another hour or two. I guess that gives him plenty of time to just pay attention to whatever is going on, and absorb it.

He generously says at his blog:

Copyleft Statement

All content by Dave Bonta at The Morning Porch is licenced for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike U.S. 3.0 license. This means that you can take what you like and use it as you wish, as long as I am credited as the author, a link back is provided (if online), and the resulting work is licensed under the same or similar license. Contact me for permission to reproduce Morning Porch posts in works with more traditional, restrictive copyrights.

Email me: bontasaurus [at] yahoo [dot] com.

So I hasten to declare that this "I Wish I'd Written This" post is licensed the same way.

You may be interested to know about his book, ICE MOUNTAIN, where he is described in the blurb as "poet and naturalist". 

It's available from both Amazon US and Amazon UK, and is an illustrated lament for the effects of climate change on the area where he lives. More details here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Greatness (in honor of Nelson Mandela International Day 7/18/2018)

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve 
greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” 

Image result for Nelson Mandela quotes

"Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to 'make of the world a better place.'. . . The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all."
It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
- Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Midweek Motif ~ Greatness 

Synonyms for "greatness" fall into two categories that may have little to do with each other:
➤eminence, distinction, illustriousness, repute, high standing; importance, significance; celebrity, fame, prominence, renown ~ "a child destined for greatness"
➤genius, prowess, talent, expertise, mastery, artistry, virtuosity, skill, proficiency; flair, finesse; caliber, distinction ~ "her greatness as a writer"
I think Mandela had greatness in both senses.  
Do you agree?

Your Challenge: In your one new poem, use greatness as a theme.  You could reflect on the elimination of poverty, on Nelson Mandela, or on some other revelation of  greatness.

A poem about resilience - "The rose that grew from concrete" by Tupac
Song of the Builders by Mary Oliver
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God - 
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket; 
it was moving the grains of the hillside 
this way and that way.
How great was its energy, 
how humble its effort.
Let us hope 
it will always be like this, 
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.

Out of the night that covers me, 
      Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
      For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
      I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
      My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
      Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
      Finds and shall find me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
      How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. 
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 ~ wilderness.)