hopeful

Here are some hopeful lines:

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<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/hopeful/”>Hopeful</a&gt;

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Urban Renewal

urbanrenewal-jo-whitby-tree

“Urban Renewal”  by Cardiff artist  Jo Whitby

Here’s a poem by contemporary American poet Yusef Konumyakaa:

Urban Renewal

 

The sun slides down behind brick dust,

today’s angle of life. Everything

 

melts, even when backbones

are I-beams braced for impact.

 

Sequential sledgehammers fall, stone

shaped into dry air

 

white soundsystem of loose metal

under every footstep. Wrecking crews,

 

men unable to catch sparrows without breaking

wings into splinters. Blues-horn

 

mercy. Bloodlines. Nothing

but the white odor of absence.

 

The big iron ball

swings, keeping time

 

to pigeons cooing in eaves

as black feathers

 

float on to blueprint

parking lots.

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/renewal/”>Renewal</a&gt;

 

the bursting shell, the gateway wrenched asunder

peter-bruegel-the-elder-dulle-griet

Peter Bruegel the Elder,  “Dulle Griet”  1562

Here are the last seven stanzas of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Arsenal at Springfield” written in 1843:

:

The tumult of each sacked and burning village;

The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns;

The soldiers’ revels in the midst of pillage;

The wail of famine in beleaguered towns;

 

The bursting shell, the gateway wrenched asunder,

The rattling musketry, the clashing blade;

And ever and anon, in tones of thunder

The diapason of the cannonade.

 

Is it, O man, with such discordant noises,

With such accursed instruments as these,

Thou drownest Nature’s sweet and kindly voices,

And jarrest the celestial harmonies?

 

Were half the power, that fills the world with terror,

Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,

Given to redeem the human mind from error,

There were no need of arsenals or forts:

 

The warrior’s name would be a name abhorred!

And every nation, that should lift again

Its hand against a brother, on its forehead

Would wear forevermore the curse of Cain!

 

Down the dark future, through long generations,

The echoing sounds grow fainter and then cease;

And like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations,

I hear once more the voice of Christ say, “Peace!”

 

Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals

The blast of War’s great organ shakes the skies!

But beautiful as songs of the immortals,

The holy melodies of love arise.

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/pillage/”>Pillage</a&gt;

How to Stay Awake

driving-at-night

I was looking for something that contained the word “ovation” and came across this quote. The quote from the poet Marilyn Nelson, describing the poetry of John Drury:

“Fiercely intelligent, carefully honed, Drury’s poems trust in the myth of the way things are, singing of memory and loss to our sad world of ovation and applause.”
—Marilyn Nelson

Then I went to Drury’s poems and found this gem:

How to Stay Awake

 

Late at night on the interstate, driving

while drowsy, you crank

open the window

so the wind starts shoving

 

with its cold fingers.

But even with coffee, the sedative is silence,

a calm that lingers

 

in the slow drone of tires on the highway,

like the hushed waves

against a hull that’s rocking on the bay.

 

In any car,

the wind, however loud, is still a murmur.

What’s a sure

 

way to keep yourself awake? Just click

the radio on

to something loud enough, not talk but rock,

and don’t just listen—

that’s how a siren lures you to slip under,

seductive assassin,

 

and merge into a gulf of harmonies.

You have to sing,

open your mouth wide, belt it out, and praise

 

the means you have

for rescuing your own self from yourself,

to stay alive

 

by keeping the muscles moving in your mouth,

so your eyes can’t close,

so the song becomes a counter-spell to death.

 

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/ovation/”>Ovation</a&gt;

The day lifts its face

sunriseongreenmeadow-from-campus-companion

 

Here’s a poem by Luci Shaw:

On Retreat

New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur

This early morning, in the chill before light,

I lie open, face upward on the little bed,

a supplicant, body reflecting soul,ready

for something I cannot see, but crave.

 

I’m waiting, like any fern in a garden,

to be rained on, or sun-drenched.

Oh, I am little, little.

 

The day lifts its face over the Pacific

and a corner of sun touches the thin pillow.

I shift my head under its warm hand;

it moves across my face as I lie quite still.

It blesses my forehead with its holy oil.

 

What is blessing but a largeness

so immense it crowds out

everything but itself?
 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/retreat/”>Retreat</a&gt;

Our calm hearts strike only the hour

woman-inside-bird-art-yuko-hosaka

Woman inside Bird    by Yuko Hosaka

 

Here is a wonderful poem by Jane Kenyon:

Notes from the Other Side

 

By Jane Kenyon, 1947 – 1995

 

I divested myself of despair

and fear when I came here.

 

Now there is no more catching

one’s own eye in the mirror,

 

there are no bad books, no plastic,

no insurance premiums, and of course

 

no illness. Contrition

does not exist, nor gnashing

 

of teeth. No one howls as the first

clod of earth hits the casket.

 

The poor we no longer have with us.

Our calm hearts strike only the hour,

 

and God, as promised, proves

to be mercy clothed in light.

 

 

ancient_doorways

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/calm/”>Calm</a&gt;

To cast toward shadows, where the sunlight fails

father-silhouette-15

Here’s a poem  by A. E. Stallings:

Fishing

 

By A. E. Stallings

 

The two of them stood in the middle water,

The current slipping away, quick and cold,

The sun slow at his zenith, sweating gold,

Once, in some sullen summer of father and daughter.

Maybe he regretted he had brought her—

She’d rather have been elsewhere, her look told—

Perhaps a year ago, but now too old.

Still, she remembered lessons he had taught her:

To cast towards shadows, where the sunlight fails

And fishes shelter in the undergrowth.

And when the unseen strikes, how all else pales

Beside the bright-dark struggle, the rainbow wroth,

Life and death weighed in the shining scales,

The invisible line pulled taut that links them both.

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fishing/”>Fishing</a&gt;