Poetry

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This and That, Not These and Those

Published September 27, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Just had to fool around a little…Had to mention this and that:

A group of top state judges has made a rare plea to the Supreme Court, urging it to reject a legal theory pressed by Republicans that would give state legislatures extraordinary power, Adam Liptak writes in nytimes.

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I find myself eagerly awaiting the unauthorized biography of Anthony Bourdain, although I usually hate books with sad endings.  (I usually read the last page first in order to avoid sad endings, but I liked what I knew of him and was already saddened by his demise.)

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I hope none of DeSantis’ spending of $1.3 billion towards vouchers diverted from Public Schools taps into the money already spent on the forced immigrant plane trips north!

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The library poetry writing group I have been in since its inception much more than ten years ago has resumed going out to lunch together.  We happen to be liberals (I still don’t think MAGA folks can hear their muse),  and after sharing some experiences in life earlier, our black waitress who had overheard our conversation joined us in the  conversation.  (I still don’t know the proper way to say that.  Black individual? Woman? Person of color?)  Anyway, it was a great experience.  I won’t say what restaurant so she won’t get in trouble for taking the time “away from her duties”).   We’re all non-racists, of course, and all of us lunching together are over seventy.

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A reminder:  It’s my opinion that the main problem America is facing is a direct result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (FEC) decision in 2010 that political spending is a form of free speech that’s protected under the First Amendment. The controversial 5-4 decision effectively opened the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to support their chosen political candidates, provided they were technically independent of the campaigns themselves.   The corporations, being more monetarily influential than unions, of course, had the advantage over unions and the majority of our population.  Thus, corporations gained the rights of individual citizens, but with more power to influence elections  A poem at that time by fellow writing member Patricia Black is re-printed courtesy of Patricia L.H. Black, plhb222@hotmail.com :

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE

I met some corporations and

because I had a hunch they had

all been adjudged “persons,”

I invited one to lunch.

Oh, that naughty corporation!

As far as I could see,

it had not been taught its manners—

I got no R, S, V nor P.

But since I was the hostess

I had duties to perform,

though this corporation person

was so outside the norm

that making up the place cards

put my thinking to the test—

could I just write General

and forget about the rest?

And since Incorporated is so very long,

tell me what you think—

would it be uncouth of me

if all I wrote was Inc.?

Then, again, there’s gender

to complicate my tale.

Is corporation female

or is corporation male?

Somehow it seems that neither

is appropriate or will fit.

But it goes against my training

to call a person “It.”

Well, I had invited it

so I assigned it to a seat.

Now I had a problem—

What do corporations eat?

Was it carnivorous or vegan?

Lactose intolerant?

Some persons can eat seafood

while other persons can’t.

There were peanuts to consider

and corn syrup issues, too.

If I fed this so-called person eggs

would it suddenly turn blue?

What a jolt at lunch time

when the corporation knocked!

When the door was opened

I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!

I’m used to thinking “person”

as my neighbor or my dad

but I was sorely disabused

of all such thoughts I might have had.

There were janitors, clerks and typists,

lawyers up to you know where,

receptionists and file clerks

and scientists to spare;

there were bricks-and-mortar buildings

from here to Timbuktu;

fleets of trucks and warehouses,

the list just grew and grew!

Shareholders by the gazillions,

ships, public and private planes,

mortgage-holding entities

and miles and miles of trains.

There were CEO’s and CFO’s

and all sorts of other O’s.

How this “person” would fit

my dining room

the Supreme Court only knows.

Although jolly, the impetous behind the poem is a tragic matter, in my opinion.

 

 

Are There MAGA Poets?

Published August 31, 2022 by Nan Mykel

https://www.fineartandyou.com/2016/03/pierre-carrier-belleuse-french-painter.html

The poetry I read and attempt to write feels like it is inspired by –what would it be called?–a creative, almost spiritual source.

Suddenly I try to imagine what kind of poem a MAGA devotee would write, so I looked it up on Google.  First I came up with The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump by Rob Sears.  Since it was “unauthorized,” I decided that wouldn’t be fair, so I persevered in my internet search.  Under a search phrase of Poetry by Conservatives I found Rob Sears had authored another book,  Vladimir Putin: Life Coach, which had no customer reviews but earned a 4-star rating.  “Be the dictator you’ve always dreamed of being, with this handy guide to life inspired by everyone’s favourite autocrat.”   You’ve got to know that I wondered if this was on the level, or a spoof, so I looked further.  Maybe poetry wasn’t indexed by the political leanings of the editor, or even the poet?  I tried some more:  Oh, I see…I got a peek under the first poem’s title and it wasn’t written by Donald Trump, I can tell you!

So, how about looking up conservatives by their name and see what poetry they’ve written?  I looked–surely there are some MAGA folks who wrote poetry before Trump tricked them?  If you look, and find them please let me know….This can be continued in a subsequent blog.  I’m really curious.

LITERATURE

1. William Wordsworth, ‘London, 1802’.

2. Percy Shelley, ‘England in 1819

3. Ambrose Bierce, ‘A Political Apostate’.

4. Emma Lazarus, ‘The New Colossus’.

5. Rudyard Kipling, ‘Recessional’.

6. W. B. Yeats, ‘Easter 1916’.

7. e. e. cummings, ‘next to of course god america ’.

8. W. H. Auden, ‘September 1, 1939’ 
9. Audre Lorde, ‘Coal’.  Since Lorde was a self-described ‘Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, and poet she appears not have been a conservative, nor was number 10:.
10. Nikki Giovanni, ‘Rosa Parks’.

(This may have been a thankless research project but– under the Google entry “Political poetry” is the definition:  “poetry that is related to activism, protest, and social concern, or that is commenting on social, political, or current events. Read poems for social justice, politics, Black Lives Matter, and protest.”  (Doesn’t sound real conservative…)

Poetry Reblog: Nan

Published August 7, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

 

 

 

THE EARTH IS FLAT AFTER ALL

Dubbed Democracy, it used to be

top of the line, the lead ship at sea,

and on the land it served as well,

until the strains of its death knell fell,

 

having an underbelly swole

with all the pilfered things they stole

in broad daylight, and on tv!

Gone is the half belief in he

who’ll take us safely to the shore

while staying steadfast to the core.

 

The compass nestles in the deep

while those on board remain asleep.

They used to say the earth was round,

that right makes might, but I found

that all I knew I now know not,

and not so sure that we’ll endure,

to make a safe arrival.

Nan

Friend Felix Speaks Again

Published July 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel

4th of JULY:  GOOD GRIEF!

If you like pretty poems, please look away,

for here I lament decay, dying and death.

I’m not bemoaning my dying contemporaries,

who lately fall like old-growth trees in a forest.

Nor do I pre-grieve my own impending death.

 

My concern is for the fate of our democracy,

as it is doing a dangerous dance with doom.

Our precious political freedoms are eroding.

Our fractured center seems not to be holding.

 

Our democracy could be in its death throes.

Female bodily autonomy has been outlawed,

voting rights have been wantonly suppressed,

there is massive support for Trump’s Big Lie.

 

The Supreme Court defies the majority’s will.

Throughout our land gun fetishism flourishes.

Louder liars shout down the voices of veracity.

Violence grows, the environment degrades.

 

This Independence Day is a day of gloom.

Sadly I fly our tattered flag upside down.

Today I can’t sing Happy Birthday America!

In these dark days, I weep as I sing of thee.

 

Felix Gagliano,  July 2022

 

SAY WHAT?

Published July 4, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stand up for your rights!

Raise the roof!

It’s a hard life, so

Pay Peter to Pay Paul.

and shake up the crowd!

 

Don’t tiptoe through the tulips

You’re such a cry baby!

Lend a hand, scaredy cat

Long gone, I figure,

but you take the cake, Mate!

 

Don’t be down in the dumps

Chill out! High as a kite?

Shake a leg, hit the road

He’s a nut on a blind date

and a bear before coffee.

 

That’s a hard one to swallow,

I swan!  Give me a hand here

Get the lead out! You’re the cat’s

pajamas, knuckle head,

Too hot to trot!

GUEST POEM By Ruth H. Reilly

Published June 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Springtime
Russia invaded Ukraine February 24, 2022 in the early morning                                                                                                                                                                                    just as the early star magnolias began to bloom, their scent wafting.

Cities were bombed, homes destroyed and people fled
While the cherry blossom trees by the river opened up in the cold and wet.
A naked woman was raped over and over, then shot in the head in a fur coat
In this bumper crop year for the fragrant lilacs.
Any citizen with tattoos from the military was tortured and killed
While the tulips, jonquils and graceful bleeding hearts appeared.
Zelensky stayed and the Ukrainians fought back, killing 12 Russian generals
Even as the azaleas gloried in their most cheerful regalia.
The Russian offensive got pushed east, after reducing towns to cinder,
Ukrainian soldiers left in Mariupol forced to surrender ,
As the peonies opened, their petals lovely and tender.

Then we found out the Supreme Court intends to reverse Roe versus Wade
But in Ohio, it’s time to plant tomato plants, basil and parsley in the ground.
Then the discovery that any rapist can contest custody of the baby
That traumatized survivor, that unfortunate handmaid, no matter a child, is forced to bear,
All while the lily of the valley bloom with beauty and fragrance.
There are suspicions this is just the start, that those who only began to know relief
Will get sent back to some old twisted beliefs
Even as the roses bloom, the thorns slice and the blood flows.
But like Ukraine, these wars are not over, and we too fight to determine our own role
As the iris, those elegant flags, outdo themselves this year with all their soul.

 

 

Thanks, Ruth…

 

WONDER…and OIL CHECK

Published April 10, 2022 by Nan Mykel

WONDER

I doubt it’s some god, not even

an intelligent designer, but

there’s something so beyond

our ken at work out there, in here,

that we cannot begin to admit

it to ourselves.

Too many inexplicable surprises —

where is that grand metaphor

for us to munch on in the abyss

of our nights?  Our guesses are

getting colder, not hotter.  Can you

feel it?  The more we know, the less.

What’s really behind our blind spot?

Where did mathematics come from?

What human gifts are we shufling off

onto the robots, and what will they do

with them?

_____________________

OIL CHECK

When reading about plans to make a

monkey man, what was your first thought?

  1. How clever we are
  2. How famous the scientist will be.
  3. What the monkey man will look like
  4. That he’ll make a good pet.
  5. Poor devil
  6. Would make a good soldier
  7. Anxiety
  8. Excitement

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Poem

Published March 31, 2022 by Nan Mykel

WANTING TO BELIEVE

On the farm, at five, I remember

both realising and regretting

that no one else could share

my experience, that each of us

is separate.  I still regret it.

 

As a youth, at bedtime, I would

sometimes hold one arm up

in the air for minutes. Any

involuntary movement of my arm

might be by God.

 

One day while in college I

had a flash, a “knowing” that we

are all together in our dreams.

Hungry for connection, I still hope

for something to be true.

 

Nan March 2022

 

 

Glorious Reblog

Published May 18, 2020 by Nan Mykel

Audrey Howitt Poetry, Alive and Well  – Reblog

Countdown

Posted: 17 May 2020 02:21 PM PDT

MorgueFile

eyecatch7

for every good day

there is at least one

when the toads don’t sing

for everyday that my joints don’t ache

there are 100 when they do

I forget to count

I lose track

the gray matter behind my eyes

consumed elsewhere

in a series of control-alt-delete moments

Wallstreet, Penn Ave

shitstorms fly

while I look for a mitzvah

paid for in grace

on small streets

the music stops

I grab a chair

all I know to do,

is one thing at a time.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2020

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