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Practicing ~ A Poem by Maria Howe

Listened to Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with poet Marie Howe. They covered many topics, most centered around death, but did include a discussion of this poem about practicing to kiss as a 7th grader...


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What the Living Do ~ A Poem by Marie Howe

Listened to Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with poet Marie Howe. They covered many topics, but most centered around death: the death of her younger brother, Johnny; the death of her mother; and the death of her first true boyfriend from high school.

I was moved by her poems, she read three or four on air, and by her view of poetry, that the essence of poem is what cannot be expressed in words, its silent voice.

Her poem What the Living do is about her brother Johnny who was dying because of AIDS. She originally wrote it not as a poem, but as a letter to her brother...

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Rap Lyrics - Lost in Translation

Rap Lyrics Translated - Story goes that an Oakland High School student earned the school district’s highest honors at an Ebonics Translation Competition with this inventive translation of rap lyrics into....What? Honky talk?

WARNING - Lyrics and translations contain sexual and violent themes (which, sadly, can be heard coming from the mouths of grade-schoolers). I find it difficult to believe a school district would sponsor such a competition, but it's a kick none-the-less.

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Nothing Gold Can Stay - Poem by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

A poem by Robert Frost.

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Heaven is Where the Police are British...

Heaven is where the police are British,
the chefs Italian,
the mechanics German,
the lovers French,
and it's all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German,
the chefs are British,
the mechanics French,
the lovers Swiss,
and it is all organized by the Italians.


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Heaven, 1963 - by Kim Noriega

Heaven, 1963
by Kim Noriega

It's my favorite photo--
captioned, "Daddy and His Sweetheart."
It's in black and white,
it's before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He's standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He's wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He's twenty-seven.
I'm two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I'm fast asleep in his arms.

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Life Before Computers


Rec'd this by email. Quite funny and spot on.

An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano!

Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account
And if you had a 3 1/2 inch floppy
You hoped nobody found out!

Compress was something you did to garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for awhile!

Log on was adding wood to a fire
Hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to your commode!

Cut - you did with a pocket knife
Paste you did with glue
A web was a spider's home
And a virus was the flu!

I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash
But when it happens, they wish they were dead!

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Abraham Lincoln's Letter to his Son's Teacher

Lincoln’s Letter to his Son’s Teacher

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that
for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,
there is a dedicated leader…
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can,
teach him the secret of
quiet laughter.

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Swimming with a Hundred-year-old Snapping Turtle

Swimming with a Hundred Year Old Snapping Turtle

By Freya Manfred

I spy his head above the waves,
big as a man's fist, black eyes peering at me,
until he dives into darker, deeper water.
Yesterday I saw him a foot from my outstretched hand,
already tilting his great domed shell away.
Ribbons of green moss rippled behind him,
growing along the ridge of his back
and down his long reptilian tail.
He swims in everything he knows,
and what he knows is never forgotten.
Wisely, he fears me as if I were the Plague,
which I am, sick unto death, swimming
to heal myself in his primeval sea.

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Slow Dance - Poem of Terminally Ill Girl

A terminally ill girl wrote this poem...or so the story goes. I picked the poem up from the status-quo-shattering book The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. Whether a terminally ill girl wrote it or not, it does make you think...

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What Teachers Make - by Taylor Mali

What a Teacher Makes by Taylor Mali - Found this video recently, and the performance knocked me out of my PJs. Below are both the video and transcript of Taylor Mali's poem/rant. Absolutely fantastic. BTW, there are a couple performances available online. IMHO this one is the best.

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Poem from a True Friend

From Dion in Idaho

Are you tired of all those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship:

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Madonna Magdalene by Kim Garcia


Madonna Magdalene

Madonna Magdelene Poetry - Kim Garcia, a dear college friend, has recently published a book of poetry titled Madonna Magdalene. I just ordered my copy and will report later on my impressions. In the meantime, my anticipation is teased by these reader comments...

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How to Make Love in the Morning

Found this on answer.yahoo.com. In poor taste, but funny.

Tyrone asked his work buddy, Robert, one morning, "Man, why you always so damn happy when you come to work every day?"

Robert replied, "Because I make love to my wife every morning before work."

Amazed, Tyrone asked him how he gets his wife to make love to him every morning.

"That's easy," Robert said, "I just tell her this little poem that I made up.

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First they came...

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

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New Alphabet for Boomers

Rec'd from email chain

The New Alphabet for Boomers -
A is for Apple, and B is for Boat,
That used to be right, but now it won't float!
Age before Beauty is what we once said,
but let's be a bit more realistic instead.

Now A's for arthritis; B's the bad back,
C is the chest pains, perhaps cardiac?
D is for dental decay and decline,
E is for eyesight, can't read that top line!

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