Friday, January 20, 2017

MARIE PONSOT ~






Here is Marie Ponsot, half circled by five of her seven children once upon a time — author of a first book, True Minds, published in 1956 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti for his City Lights Pocket Poets series, and a second book published twenty-five years later — Admit Impediment in 1981. During those in-between years, she divorced her husband, the French artist Claude Ponsot, and raised the children as a single parent. To help raise that family, Ponsot taught basic composition at Queens College. She also translated more than 30 books from French into English. One of those celebrated translations include versions of La Fontaine’s fables and Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. 
Her Collected Poems was one of remarkable books in 2016.



_____________

Among Women


What women wander?

Not many. All. A few.

Most would, now & then,

& no wonder.

Some, and I’m one,

Wander sitting still.

My small grandmother

Bought from every peddler 

Less for the ribbons and lace

Than for their scent

Of sleep where you will, 

Walk out when you want, choose

Your bread and your company. 



She warned me, “Have nothing to lose.”



She looked fragile but had

High blood, runner’s ankles,

Could endure, endure.

She loved her rooted garden, her

Grand children, her once

Wild once young man.

Women wander

As best they can.


_________________________

Marie Ponsot
COLLECTED POEMS
Knopf 2016


THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE ~










TO THE WORDS ~









To the Words


When it happens you are not there



O you beyond numbers

beyond recollection

passed on from breath to breath

given again

from day to day from age

to age

charged with knowledge

knowing nothing



indifferent elders

indispensable and sleepless



keepers of our names

before ever we came

to be called by them



you that were

formed to begin with

you that were cried out

you that were spoken

to begin with

to say what could not be said



ancient precious

and helpless ones



say it


________________

W. S. Merwin
Migrations
Copper Canyon Press
2005







AMEN ~








TO MY COTTAGE ~









To My Cottage


Thou lowly cot where first my breath I drew,

Past joys endear thee, childhood's past delight

Where each you summer's pictured on my view,

And, dearer still, the happy winter-night

When the storm pelted down with all his might

And roared and bellowed in the chimney-top

And pattered vehement 'against the window-light

And on the threshold fell the quick eaves-drop.

How blest I've listened on my corner stool,

Heard the storm rage, and hugged my happy spot,

While the fond parent wound her whirring spool

And spared a sigh for the poor wanderer's lot.

In thee, sweet hut, this happiness was proved,

And these endear and make thee doubly loved.


__________________

John Clare  (1793~1864)
poems selected by Paul Farley
Faber 2007









HEARTBREAK ~










THE MAN COMES AROUND ~










TOMORROW ~









AYNUR AND MORGENLAND ORCHESTRA ~












CORNEL WEST ~








DO WE? WE DO ~










TREVOR NOAH ~














HEAR MY CALL, HERE ~









ROMARE BEARDEN ~





Pittsburgh Memory, 1964, collage on board






Departure From the Planet Earth, 1975, mixed media collage on board






Mr. Blues Leaves A Calling Card, 1981, mixed media collage on Masonite







Childhood Memories, 1965, mixed media collage on board





Watching the Good Trains Go By, 1964, collage on board





DARKER THAN BLUE ~










KIZER AND CLIFTON ~










KOTO SONG ~













CLEANUP TIME ~









LIKE A TYRANT ~










LONG AS I SEE THE LIGHT ~










KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF MY POCKET ~










SAYAT NOVA ~









JAMES BALDWIN ~











THE MOON LOOKS DOWN AND LAUGHS ~









INAUGURAL BRAT ~












Thursday, January 19, 2017

JAKOB DYLAN ~ (AND FRIENDS) ~














PEOPLE GET READY ~




Photo

Donald Trump told The Washington Post that he may have military parades in America like this one in North Korea in 2015. CreditEd Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

I continue to be astonished that not enough Americans are sufficiently alarmed and abashed by the dangerous idiocies that continue to usher forth from the mouth of the man who will on Friday be inaugurated as president of the United States.
Toss ideology out of the window. This is about democracy and fascism, war and peace, life and death. I wish that I could write those words with the callous commercialism with which some will no doubt read them, as overheated rhetoric simply designed to stir agitation, provoke controversy and garner clicks. But alas, they are not. These words are the sincere dispatches of an observer, writer and citizen who continues to see worrisome signs of a slide toward the exceedingly unimaginable by a man who is utterly unprepared.
In a series of interviews and testimonies Donald Trump and his cronies have granted in the last several days, they have demonstrated repeatedly how destabilizing, unpredictable and indeed unhinged the incoming administration may be. Their comments underscore the degree to which this administration may not simply alter our democracy beyond recognition, but also potentially push us into armed conflict.
Last week, Trump’s secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson, saidduring his confirmation hearing that the United States had to “send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

K E E P      R E A D I N G     B E L O W









Continue reading the main story

The only way to do this is with some sort of naval blockade, which China would undoubtedly interpret as an act of war.
Indeed, as Business Insider reported, Chinese state-run media responded in an editorial, “Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish.”
Business Insider quoted Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who pointed out that Tillerson’s position could easily result in war.
If the United States put “a cordon of ships around one or all of the islands, and the Chinese flew in aircraft to one of their new islands, what are we going to do? Shoot it down?” Glaser asked. “We’d certainly end up in a shooting war with China.”

But even short of the conflict over the islands, The Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Browne suggested Tuesday, Trump’s talk on trade alone could escalate into an armed conflict with China. Trump has said he will make continued adherence to the “one China” policy — which recognizes Beijing as the sole government of China — conditional on negotiations over what he sees as currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices by China.
As Browne points out:
“The gambit has profound security and military implications. Taiwan is a regional flash point. Beijing regards the island as an inalienable part of Chinese territory; ‘One China’ expresses not just its political desire for unification but a core part of Chinese identity. Chinese leaders will fight for it. They can’t lose Taiwan.”
Make no mistake: As bad of an actor as China is, the United States actually depends on China. It is one of our biggest trade partners, but furthermore it is one of the last remaining checks on an erratic North Korea. China could simply stop using its influence to make North Korea behave.
And as you may recall, during the campaign Trump suggested that the way to contain North Korea was for nuclear proliferation in the region. In March, Trump said of nuclear weapons: “You have so many countries already — China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia — you have so many countries right now that have them.” He continued: “Now, wouldn’t you rather, in a certain sense, have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?”
Then there is the destabilizing and downright frightening random rhetoric. Trump has suggested that he equally trusts America’s friend-in-arms Angela Merkel and his friend-in-spirit Vladimir Putin.
Trump told The Washington Post this week that he may start having military parades in major American cities à la North Korea: “Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country.” He continued: “And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military. That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”
And, Trump continues to trash NATO, calling it “obsolete.”
This is insanity. But too many Americans don’t want to see this threat for what it is. International affairs and the very real threat of escalating militarization and possibly even military conflict seems much harder to grasp than the latest inflammatory tweet.
Maybe people think this possibility is unthinkable. Maybe people are just hoping and praying that cooler heads will prevail. Maybe they think that Trump’s advisers will smarten him up and talk him down.
But where is your precedent for that? When has this man been cautious or considerate? This man with loose lips and tweeting thumbs may very well push us into another war, and not with a country like Afghanistan, but with a nuclear-armed country with something to prove.
Are you not alarmed?

OCCUPY WALL STREET LIBRARY ~







"...on November 15, (2011). . .the New York Police Department
seized and destroyed more than two-thirds of the collection (originally almost 3,000 books) when they raided and vacated the premises of Zuccotti Park. Today this library no longer exists. As a result of
a lawsuit filed by Occupy Wall Street against the City of New York
(then governed by Mayor Bloomberg), the material damages and loss
of the book collection were met with a payment of $47,000 the
following spring. The activist group distributed this compensation
among other social groups, public institutions and politically engaged 
businesses. . ."

___________________________
from Fantasies of the Library
edited by Anne-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
M I T     P R E S S








Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

HOW TO MAKE A DECISION ~








Sap



In slush of the laundromat

Parking lot, stepping

Down out of his old truck

Rubbing a big hand across

His whiskered jaw, we

Have known one another

A few seconds as I

Load three sacks of

Clean laundry into the

Trunk while he quickly

Sizes the Dodge up and

Down, glancing at mud

High on the doors, sipping

The warm sun on his

Face and the spring

Feeling he gets that

Makes him have to say

To anyone who will listen —

Bet the trees are pissing today









Wood For Water




How come this night

You wash in a pan

A shallow draw of stream water

Spilled down from wild apples

Of the mountain, where deer

Browse, make trail

Leave droppings



Hand over hand, you may

Think of it this way, or

Water that simply flows

Spreading into a sound of peepers

Where I’ve entered

Truck low geared

Flushing every redwing

From trees we were to clear



Blackberries grew then

Tickling stone walls

While working in the heat, high boots

Rolled pants

Many came apart wet in my hands —

Couldn’t save any, not even for you



That was a half year ago —

Now dead wood dropped, hauled, split

Chickadees perch closely, fluttering pine

There is firewood to stack dry

Someplace through winter



At night you bathe cold, cold water

Heated warm —

When you dress you forget underwear

And the thin white blouse —

Just a dress, sleeveless and red









How To Make A Decision




This morning very early

Thinking to catch a logger

At home and knowing full

Well he would be deer

Hunting I called anyway

And receiving his wife

On the line who was not

At all helpful or friendly

I decided to call another

Logger who was off deer

Hunting but his wife was

Forthright and clear and

Honest and I decided to

Buy logs from her man








Tough



Leaf hangs

To one beat-up

                                                                                      Sawmill log









———————————

Bob Arnold
Once In Vermont
Gnomon