Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Naima" by Edward Kamau Braithwaite

 

for John Coltrane

Propped against the crowded bar
he pours into the curved and silver horn

his old unhappy longing for a home


the dancers twist and turn

he leans and wishes he could burn

his memories to ashes like some old notorious emperor


of rome. but no stars blazed across the sky when he was born

no wise men found his hovel. this crowded bar

where dancers twist and turn


holds all the fame and recognition he will ever earn

on earth or heaven. he leans against the bar

and pours his old unhappy longing in the saxophone.

by Edward Kamau Braithwaite


For more information on poet, Edward Kamau Braithwaite, see:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/kamau-brathwaite

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Ode to Teachers" by Pat Mora


I remember
the first day,

how I looked down,

hoping you wouldn't see

me,

and when I glanced up,

I saw your smile

shining like a soft light

from deep inside you.


“I'm listening,” you encourage us.

“Come on!

Join our conversation,

let us hear your neon certainties,

thorny doubts, tangled angers,”

but for weeks I hid inside.


I read and reread your notes

praising

my writing,

and you whispered,

“We need you

and your stories

and questions

that like a fresh path

will take us to new vistas.”


Slowly, your faith grew

into my courage

and for you—

instead of handing you

a note or apple or flowers—

I raised my hand.


I carry your smile

and faith inside like I carry

my dog's face,

my sister's laugh,

creamy melodies,

the softness of sunrise,

steady blessings of stars,

autumn smell of gingerbread,

the security of a sweater on a chilly day.

by Pat Mora


For more information about poet, Pat Mora, see:


Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Tuesday Poem: "Who Makes These Changes?" by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi


Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.

It lands left.

I ride after a deer and find myself

Chased by a hog.

I plot to get what I want

And end up in prison.

I dig pits to trap others

And fall in.


I should be suspicious

Of what I want. 

by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi (translated from the Persian by Coleman Barks with John Moyne)


For more information on the ancient Persian poet, Rumi, see: