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:


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


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


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: