October Poem

POETRY CORNER


Election Day

by Nancy Harb Almendras
(DA Germany)

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You won’t have a “ticket to ride”

If you stay on the side

Everything’s not ‘gonna be all right’

If you stay home and lose sight

Guarantee “no satisfaction”

If you don’t take action

It will be “all she wrote”

If you don’t get out and vote.

The “change you want to see”

Starts with one person, me

On this day there is neither rich nor poor

So “Don’t go knockin’ on my door”

“A change is gonna come” our way

“Get up, Stand Up” on Election Day!

 

Apologies to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Gandhi, Brittany Spears, Aretha, Bob Marley

 


September Poem

POETRY CORNER


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The Constitution

by Nancy Harb Almendras
(DA Germany)

We, the people, strive for perfection

To form a union, both peaceful and strong,

How prescient our fathers on reflection

Were, as they strove for Blessings to right a wrong.

We are free to worship as we so please

And can say what we want, freedom of speech

Right to redress, no matter what the need

Freedom of press, government can not breach.

People have the right to keep and bear arms

But also the right to liberty, life,

Our fellow citizens we must not harm

But we live an endless, ignoble strife.

We must come together, as once before

And rid our nation of this senseless gore.


August Poem

Found Sonnet

by Nancy Harb Almendras
(DA Germany)

“The world is too much with us,” notes Wordsworth.

“I can’t lose her; she is my life.” Twitter.

It’s O.K. “God works” at “Solid Rock Church.”

“Getting and spending” our lives we fritter

Away. “So let us go then you and I”

“It’s not too late to seek a newer world”

Even in a place where “doves cry,”

There’s hope to find an elusive pearl

“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”

I pick a fig from my father’s tree

So not to “suffer heaven with bootless cries”

I will not stop for death, though it will “stop for me.”

Keep on truckin’; we owe it to our heirs.

We’ll keep our heads “when all … are losing theirs”

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Apologies to Dickinson, Kipling, Shakespeare, Kendricks, Eliot, Prince, Tennyson, Wordsworth, “Funniest Church Signs,” Twitter

Found poems take existing texts, refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems.

The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.





July Poem

July 4, 2022

by Nancy Harb Almendras
(DA Germany)

Give me your tired and give me your poor

Is a phrase the school children never hear

Anymore.

We’ve lost our hope and are programmed to fear.

Yet, consider, on this Fourth of July.

Our moms and dads from the old country came

Their trades, expertise once easy to ply.

Look, today’s seekers harbor the same dream.

Even now the summer of our discontent

Some forge ahead in hopes of better days

And will never give up, never relent

Although for all the efforts, little pays.

Hard to strive amid such disunity

My country, land of opportunity?

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The Immigrant's Statue - Statue Of Liberty National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)





Flag Day Sonnet

Flag Day Sonnet

by Nancy Harb Almendras 
(DA Germany) 

 

Red is for valor while white is for truth, 
Blue signals justice, the marks of our flag. 
An idea grew in 1885  
Thanks to Bernard Cigrand, the father of this day, 
Who taught his pupils to honor our 
Old Glory that was commissioned 
By the Continental Congress. Then with 
Woodrow Wilson all came to fruition 
To observe Flag Day. Years later Congress 
Held sway, proclaiming June 14, a holiday. 
A herald for truth, liberty, Justice for all 
Let us fly her proudly and prove her a boon 
In hopes that the lofty vision for our country 
Is not mere words, but realized soon.




May Poem

Sonnet for Memorial Day

by Nancy Harb Almendras
(DA Germany)

“Sweet and fitting to die for one’s country,”
Says Horace, ironically echoed
By Owen, who so much did disagree.
Even Ernest Hemingway plainly showed
Futility of war and its great toll
Gathered in Flanders Fields where many lay.
Remarque’s teacher his students did cajole
To take up duty, arms, instead of play.
 
Dulce et decorum est, pro patria
Mori; as if we’ve learned nothing yet
Denizens repeat the old, old story…
As widows cry we express regret
As once again on Memorial Day
We come around to barbecue and pray.



April Poem

This month’s poem was sent in by a reader.
written in 1958 it was one of the first poetic responses 
to the first ever use of an atomic bomb, 
when the author first read it at New College in Oxford the crowd threw shoes at him. 
If it looks too long an audio version is linked at the end. 

 

BOMB 

by Gregory Corso 

 

Budger of history   Brake of time   You   Bomb

      Toy of universe   Grandest of all snatched sky   I cannot hate you

        Do I hate the mischievous thunderbolt   the jawbone of an ass

     The bumpy club of One Million B.C.   the mace   the flail    the axe

   Catapult Da Vinci   tomahawk Cochise   flintlock Kidd   dagger Rathbone

    Ah and the sad desperate gun of Verlaine   Pushkin   Dillinger   Bogart

 And hath not St. Michael a burning sword   St. George a lance   David a sling

 Bomb   you are as cruel as man makes you   and you're no crueller than cancer

  All Man hates you   they'd rather die by car-crash   lightning   drowning

Falling off a roof   electric-chair  heart-attack   old age   old age   O Bomb

     They'd rather die by anything but you   Death's finger is free-lance

  Not up to man whether you boom or not   Death has long since distributed its

  categorical blue   I sing thee Bomb   Death's extravagance   Death's jubilee

   Gem of Death's supremest blue   The flyer will crash   his death will differ

    with the climbor who'll fall   to die by cobra is not to die by bad pork

Some die by swamp   some by sea  and some by the bushy-haired man in the night

   O there are deaths like witches of Arc   Scarey deaths like Boris Karloff

    No-feeling deaths like birth-death   sadless deaths like old pain Bowery

  Abandoned deaths   like Capital Punishment   stately deaths like senators

   And unthinkable deaths like Harpo Marx   girls on Vogue covers   my own

     I do not know just how horrible Bombdeath is   I can only imagine

      Yet no other death I know has so laughable a preview   I scope

      a city   New York City   streaming   starkeyed   subway shelter 

        Scores and scores   A fumble of humanity   High heels bend

            Hats whelming away   Youth forgetting their combs

          Ladies not knowing what to do   with their shopping bags

            Unperturbed gum machines   Yet dangerous 3rd rail

          Ritz Brothers   from the Bronx   caught in the A train

                The smiling Schenley poster will always smile

                   Impish death   Satyr Bomb   Bombdeath

                     Turtles exploding over Istanbul

                         The jaguar's flying foot

                        soon to sink in arctic snow

                     Penguins plunged against the Sphinx

                        The top of the Empire state

                    arrowed in a broccoli field in Sicily

                 Eiffel shaped like a C in Magnolia Gardens

                       St. Sophia peeling over Sudan

                     O athletic Death   Sportive Bomb

                       the temples of ancient times

                         their grand ruin ceased

                      Electrons   Protons   Neutrons 

                         gathering Hersperean hair

                    walking the dolorous gulf of Arcady

                          joining marble helmsmen

                       entering the final amphitheatre

                     with a hymnody feeling of all Troys

                        heralding cypressean torches

                         racing plumes and banners

                 and yet knowing Homer with a step of grace

                       Lo the visiting team of Present

                           the home team of Past

                       Lyre and tube together joined

                     Hark the hotdog soda olive grape

                      gala galaxy robed and uniformed 

                      commissary   O the happy stands

                      Ethereal root and cheer and boo

                     The billioned all-time attendance

                          The Zeusian pandemonium

                            Hermes racing Owens

                          The Spitball of Buddha

                            Christ striking out

                           Luther stealing third

                      Planeterium Death   Hosannah Bomb

                     Gush the final rose   O Spring Bomb

                     Come with thy gown of dynamite green

                       unmenace Nature's inviolate eye

                         Before you the wimpled Past

                   behind you the hallooing Future   O Bomb

                        Bound in the grassy clarion air

                         like the fox of the tally-ho

                  thy field the universe thy hedge the geo

                 Leap Bomb   bound Bomb   frolic zig and zag

                The stars a swarm of bees in thy binging bag

                      Stick angels on your jubilee feet

                    wheels of rainlight on your bunky seat

                     You are due and behold you are due

                       and the heavens are with you

                   hosanna incalescent glorious liaison

                 BOMB O havoc antiphony molten cleft BOOM

                    Bomb mark infinity a sudden furnace

                 spread thy multitudinous encompassed Sweep

                         set forth awful agenda

              Carrion stars   charnel planets   carcass elements

             Corpse the universe   tee-hee finger-in-the-mouth hop

                       over its long long dead Nor

                    From thy nimbled matted spastic eye

                    exhaust deluges of celestial ghouls

                      From thy appellational womb

                   spew birth-gusts of of great worms

                        Rip open your belly Bomb

               from your belly outflock vulturic salutations

               Battle forth your spangled hyena finger stumps

                       along the brink of Paradise

                         O Bomb   O final Pied Piper

                both sun and firefly behind your shock waltz

                          God abandoned mock-nude

                 beneath His thin false-talc's apocalypse

                        He cannot hear thy flute's

                        happy-the-day profanations

               He is spilled deaf into the Silencer's warty ear

                    His Kingdom an eternity of crude wax

                      Clogged clarions untrumpet Him

                        Sealed angels unsing Him

                      A thunderless God   A dead God

                       O Bomb   thy BOOM His tomb

                 That I lean forward on a desk of science

                  an astrologer dabbling in dragon prose

               half-smart about wars   bombs   especially bombs

              That I am unable to hate what is necessary to love 

                That I can't exist in a world that consents

            a child in a park   a man dying in an electric-chair

                    That I am able to laugh at all things

          all that I know and do not know   thus to conceal my pain

              That I say I am a poet and therefore love all man

           knowing my words to be the acquainted prophecy of all men

                and my unwords no less an acquaintanceship

                           That I am manifold

                     a man pursuing the big lies of gold

                      or a poet roaming in bright ashes

                    or that which I imagine myself to be 

                a shark-toothed sleep   a man-eater of dreams

                   I need not then be all-smart about bombs

              Happily so   for if I felt bombs were caterpillars

                   I'd doubt not they'd become butterflies

                         There is a hell for bombs

                      They're there   I see them there

                       They sit in bits and sing songs

                    mostly German songs

                      And two very long American songs

                    and they wish there were more songs

                   especially Russian and Chinese songs

                  and some more very long American songs

                    Poor little Bomb that'll never be 

                       an Eskimo song   I love thee 

                        I want to put a lollipop

                            in thy furcal mouth

                     A wig of Goldilocks on thy baldy bean

                  and have you skip with me Hansel and Gretel

                        along the Hollywoodian screen

                      O Bomb in which all lovely things

                   moral and physical anxiously participate

                O fairylike plucked from the 

                          grandest universe tree 

                      O piece of heaven which gives

                     both mountain and anthill a sun

                I am standing before your fantastic lily door

                I bring you Midgardian roses   Arcadian musk

                 Reputed cosmetics from the girls of heaven

                   Welcome me   fear not thy opened door

                     nor thy cold ghost's grey memory

                   nor the pimps of indefinite weather

                       their cruel terrestrial thaw

                          Oppenheimer is seated

                       in the dark pocket of Light

                    Fermi is dry in Death's Mozambique

                         Einstein his mythmouth

                 a barnacled wreath on the moon-squid's head

             Let me in   Bomb   rise from that pregnant-rat corner

                nor fear the raised-broom nations of the world

                           O Bomb I love you

                 I want to kiss your clank   eat your boom

                    You are a paean   an acme of scream

                      a lyric hat of Mister Thunder

                        O resound thy tanky knees

                     BOOM   BOOM   BOOM   BOOM   BOOM

                      BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns

                    BOOM BOOM ye moons   ye stars BOOM

                     nights ye BOOM   ye days ye BOOM

                 BOOM BOOM ye winds   ye clouds ye rains

                    go BANG ye lakes   ye oceans BING

                     Barracuda BOOM and cougar BOOM

                       Ubangi BOOM   orangutang 

                 BING BANG BONG BOOM   bee bear baboon

                        ye BANG ye BONG ye BING

                       the tail the fin the wing

                 Yes   Yes   into our midst a bomb will fall

                 Flowers will leap in joy their roots aching

          Fields will kneel proud beneath the halleluyahs of the wind

            Pinkbombs will blossom   Elkbombs will perk their ears

           Ah many a bomb that day will awe the bird a gentle look

                 Yet   not enough to say a bomb will fall

                  or even contend celestial fire goes out

                Know that the earth will madonna the Bomb

         that in the hearts of men to come more bombs will be born

            magisterial bombs wrapped in ermine   all beautiful

               and they'll sit plunk on earth's grumpy empires

                     fierce with moustaches of gold

For audio link Click here

Please send poetry submissions for the May issue to:
[email protected]