Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Rock Cries Out to Us

The Rock Cries Out to Us Today
by Maya Angelou

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.
Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers--
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot...
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours--your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes,
Into your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Day of School by Eddie Garcia

First day of school

by Eddie Garcia

Remembering my first day of school,

scared and feeling i'd become a fool...

afraid of being left alone,

away from mom and dad my comfort zone...

I remember being taken away,

by a lady saying we were going to have some fun today...

Screaming and kicking calling for mom and dad,

I was feeling very lonely and sad...

walking into the room I couldn't believe,

what I saw and stood before me...

it was my friend who lived next door,

his name was johnny he was four...

we coloured pictures we played with the toys,

even played on the swings and slide with the rest of the girls and boys...

the teacher even told us a story today,

we thought it was funny at certain things she'd say...

then it was time to eat lunch,

with the other kids there were a bunch...

it was time to go back and see,

what fun would come next for me...

we sang songs said nursery rhymes,

then before you knew it, it was time...

to go home but I wanted to stay,

asking mom n dad can I come back the next day...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ode to the End of Summer by Phyllis McGinley

Ode to the end of Summer

by: Phyllis McGinley

Summer, adieu

Adieu gregarious season.

Goodbye, 'revoir, farewell.

Now day comes late; now chillier blows the breeze on

Forsaken beach and boarded-up hotel.

Now wild geese fly together in thin lines

And Tourist Homes take down their lettered signs.

It fades--this green this lavish interval

This time of flowers and fruits,

Of melon ripe along the orchard wall,

Of sun and sails and wrinkled linen suits;

Time when the world seems rather plus than minus

And pollen tickles the allergic sinus.

Now fugitives to farm and shore and highland

Cancel their brief escape.

The Ferris wheel is quiet at Coney Island

And quaintness trades no longer on the Cape;

While meek-eyed parents hasten down the ramps

To greet their offspring, terrible from camps.

Turn up the steam. The year is growing older.

The maple boughs are red.

Summer, farewell. Farewell the sunburnt shoulder

Farewell the peasant kerchief on the head.

Farewell the thunderstorm, complete with lightning,

And the white shoe that ever needeth whitening.

Farewell, vacation friendships, sweet but tenuous

Ditto to slacks and shorts,

Farewell, O strange compulsion to be strenuous

Which sends us forth to death on tennis courts.

Farewel, Mosquito, horror of our nights;

Clambakes, iced tea, and transatlantic flights.

The zinnia withers, mortal as the tulip.

Now from the dripping glass

I'll sip no more the amateur mint julep

Nor dine al fresco on the alien grass;

Nor scale the height nor breast the truculent billow

Nor lay my head on any weekend pillow.

Unstintingly I yield myself to Autumn

And Equinoctial sloth.

I hide my swim suit in the bureau's bottom

Nor fear the fury of the after-moth

Forswearing porch and pool and beetled garden,

My heart shall rest, my arteries shall harden.

Welcome, kind Fall, and every month with 'r' in

Whereto my mind is bent.

Come, sedentary season that I star in,

O fire-lit Winter of my deep content!

Amid the snow, the sleet, the blizzard's raw gust

I shall be cozier than I was in August.

Safe from the picnic sleeps the unlittered dell.

The last Good Humor sounds its final bell

And all is silence.

Summer, farewell, farewell.