“After all, I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I turn to see Bella
part the sea
a million tiny miracles
under my feet.
“Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.”
– Annie Dillard
I follow bar rules for blogging – never discuss religion or politics. But the ongoing spectacle the media is selling as a presidential campaign is just too entertaining to resist. My wife and I follow the daily madness and wager what will make Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Many times we are right. And just as the circus roles into my hometown Philadelphia and I didn’t think it could get any better, the Republican front runners are urging John Kasich, the only sensible candidate in their party, to drop out.
When will people come to their senses?
Like the immortal Joan Didion put it, I need to write to know what I’m thinking, so I hammered out this poem to make sense of the 2016 presidential campaign.
The day I told her I love her more than Charlie Brown loved Lucy
Someone wearing a Donald Trump mask threatened to jump from the Statue of Liberty
Some things never change; Marcie still resented being named after her mother’s pet guinea pig
It was maddening to watch her pull the football away every time he was about to kick off
And the Democrats said he had a crack in his head the size of the Liberty Bell
Maybe she didn’t like pets
But as long as it made sense to him, that’s all that matters
Meanwhile Fred, Marcie’s husband of twenty-five years, reverted to the solace of hashish
While Charlie Brown made hash browns on Super Bowl Sunday
Which is essential when planning a long-term strategy, whether in love or politics
The vagrant in a John Adams wig sitting in Tun Tavern has nothing to do with this story
Though Maggie, Fred’s daughter, got pissed when her toddler found his hash pipe stuffed in the front seat of his Bonneville
Lucy finally figured it out on Champs-Elysees in Paris on their fortieth anniversary
And Marcie took a long toke and made salacious eyes at Fred
Fortunately, voters woke up on election day and realized there was no turning back
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” – John Muir
I would like to acknowledge the raptor who soared overhead while I sat at Pulpit Rock yesterday.
sitting on Pulpit
watching you glide
in those wings you grew
and flew away too soon
even from the other side
you fill a room with laughter
like you leaving us
with no chance to say goodbye
and no choice
but to take you with me
everywhere I go.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
April is National Poetry Month and Philadelphia celebrated beginning with Philly Poetry Day on April 9th with readings throughout the city in venues ranging from the main branch of the Philadelphia Library to cafes, pubs, parks and street corners.
Moonstone Art Center hosted The Philly Loves Poetry Festival at the Brandywine Workshop April 15-17 with a cast of headliners including Sonia Sanchez, Afaa M. Weaver, John Balbaban, Gregory Corbin, Amy Small-McKinney and many, many more. The celebration concluded with launch of The 20th Anniversary Anthology and the 20th Annual Poetry Ink: 100 Poets Read.
Next up: Philadelphia Poetry Festival on Sunday April 24th at the Rotunda in West Philadelphia. The festival will spotlight readings by poets representing poetry and literary journals, art centers, workshops, publishers and more.
From the 20th Anniversary Anthology:
It wasn’t until I watched Markie outside the kitchen window
pull on a worm that hung on to the soft earth for dear life
the way it stretched and grew reminded me of last night
how I felt so pumped at bedtime, I wondered if
it was something in the egg salad
I watched you make yesterday for lunch.
I thought nothing of the celery you chopped,
but got suspicious when you added walnuts and avocado,
and when you sliced the perfectly arched banana, I began to suspect
it was something in the egg salad.
I lay in bed this morning thinking about those sandwiches
the way you winked at me as you toasted the bread, then added the spread
so I Googled aphrodisiac foods and knew for sure
it was something in the egg salad.
“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.” – Samuel Beckett
Never accept “Just Because”
unless, of course,
it comes with California Stars
“If your feet are firmly planted on the ground you’ll never be able to dance.” – Iris Johansen
Happy Birthday Billy Holiday, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania April 7, 1915. Billie grew up in poverty and dropped out of school in the fifth grade. She first heard jazz records at a brothel in Baltimore where she ran errands and scrubbed the floor as a young girl. When she was 12, she moved to Harlem with her mother.
Billie wanted to be a dancer, but when she couldn’t find work at local clubs, she tried her hand at singing. Her breakthrough came in 1933 when she was discovered by jazz producer John Hammond. By the early ’30s, she was touring with jazz legends like Count Basie and Lester Young, and by the 1940s she was being called the greatest jazz singer of all time.