Sunday, December 4, 2016

Poetry Pantry #331

By Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA (Holiday decoration  Uploaded by Jacopo Werther) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Greetings, Poets!  Where does the time go?  We are already in December!  Soon we will be facing another new year.  Looking forward to reading some more poetry from you for the rest of 2016!

We had another great week at Poets United, with wonderful features by Sherry, Susan, and Rosemary.  Do check back to see what you missed if you had a busy week.
And this next week will be another  good one.  It will begin with Sherry's feature with Grapeling, a very special poet.  And, if you love dogs, don't miss this!  I just previewed it and was 'blown away.'

Susan's Midweek Motif next week is "Aviation."  Did you know that December 7 is International Aviation Day??  How do you feel about flying nowadays?

With no further delay, let's share poetry.  Link your poem below. Stop in and say hello in the comments.  Visit the poems of others who have shared.

Looking forward to seeing YOU on the poetry trail!

Friday, December 2, 2016

I Wish I'd Written This

Children Unplug

By Tug Dumbly

Children unplug
this world isn’t virtual
dejack and eject
put down the control
don’t let a machine
hijack your mind
home invade
your nascent soul

Children unplug
this world’s not pixels   
the real liquid crystal’s
alive in that stream        
you don’t have to snap it
shoot or share it
your eyes are camera
to catch your dreams

Brother your fingers
and thumbs are wonders
hands to grip sticks  
shaped to fling stones
be dazzled be nuzzled
be roughed up by nature
get down in the dirt
of your earthy home

Sister you’re worth so much
more than devices’
iPhoney fantasias
of selfy esteem
those shuffling fields
of wilted-neck flowers
heads wired up
pinned to a screen

C’mon now kid
just put down the tablet
come out with your head up
check out the sky
pluck the buds from your ears
hear the birds of the earth
build bowers of beauty
in which to abide

Build bowers of beauty
nests of memory
a clandestine cave  
where sweet senses hive 
pluck the buds from your ears
hear the birds of the earth
and croaking creeks    
of creature cry  

Build bowers of beauty
nests of memory
come out with your head up
check out the sky
pluck the buds from your ears
hear the birds of the earth
and scroll to the end
having been alive 

I've introduced you to Tug before. Click here to refresh your memory. Doesn't pull any punches, this poet! And yet, with what beautiful language and images he makes his points. And with what passionate urgency! 

There's not a lot I need to add about this one, is there? The message is clear, and I can't see anyone arguing – nevertheless, it so much needs to be said.

The kids aren't going to discard their devices, of course. And what an irony that I first saw this poem on facebook, and now I'm sharing it more widely on the internet, where it will be appreciated by people using those very devices which we think we can no longer do without. Of course, many of us are on our laptops or even desktops, and will move away from them eventually. It's the tablets and phones that are so insidious; they are the things we can stay connected to pretty much non-stop. (Yes, I love mine, too.)

Well, it IS sad and horrifying if children and adolescents grow up permanently at a remove from the wonders of our natural world. It IS a real risk that they may too easily be manipulated and brainwashed by the stuff they ingest via the earbuds and screens. And, what happens when we are young shapes us for life – and therefore shapes the world.

That's one good reason for posting poems online!

But we may need to do a bit more than that. I think parents and teachers have a great responsibility – as always. So do we all. We are all the adults whom children are observing.

I am forever grateful to my Grandpa, who spent a lot of time with me, from my toddlerhood to his death when I was nine, going for walks and pointing out the many interesting and beautiful things we passed. I believe I have always loved nature – but perhaps that love was inculcated by my Grandpa and would not have existed otherwise. It's clear that he intended to impart it.

And it's true that, as we are often told, children learn by example. I suppose we might get our own heads out of the devices more often, and accompany the kids outside.

And please – share this post, or the link to it, all over the place!

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Social Stigma

Midweek Motif ~ 
Social Stigma

Social stigma is not ordinary fear, but rejection that is culture bound.  Except social stigma about some mental and physical illnesses is universal.

Group of people outside
December First is World Aids Day.  The World Health Organization's goal is to have no new cases, no more deaths and no more stigma attached to the disease by 2030. Social stigma surrounding the disease inhibits communication and treatment.  

Have you seen social stigma at work? 

Your Challenge: Compose a new poem with a motif of social stigma.  Don't feel restricted to stigma surrounding AIDS and HIV.

Some Quotes:

“The stigmatized individual is asked to act so as to imply neither that his burden is heavy nor that bearing it has made him different from us; at the same time he must keep himself at that remove from us which assures our painlessly being able to confirm this belief about him.”  ― Erving Goffman

“The animal part of him in pain accepted my caring. But the part of himself watching himself in that pain didn't believe I could ever respect him again.”― Diane Ackerman

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”― Audre Lorde

“I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack got tested for AIDS. There's no shame in being tested for AIDS.  It's an important thing.”  Joe Biden

"AIDS occupies such a large part in our awareness because of what it has been taken to represent. It seems the very model of all the catastrophes privileged populations feel await them."― Susan Sontag

Some Poems:

excerpt from The Four Humours

Related Poem Content Details

I. Blood                                 
We wondered if the rumors got to her.
I’d seen her with that other girl behind
The Stop and Shop when I was walking home
from school one day. I swear, the two of them
were kissing, plain as that, the grass so high
it brushed their cheeks. I told my teacher so,
and maybe it was her who called their folks.
Before too long, it was like everyone 
in town had heard. We waited for them at
the dime store once, where Cedric grabbed her tits
and said I’ll learn you how to love how God 
intended it, you ugly fucking dyke.
Thing was, she wasn’t ugly like you’d think.
She had a certain quality, a shyness
maybe, and I’d describe the way she laughed 
as kind of gentle. Anyway, we never saw her with 
that girl again. They say she got depressed—
shit, at the service all of us got tearful.
I got to thinking what an awful sight
it was, all that red blood—it wasn’t in 
the papers, but I heard Melissa’s mother,
who was the nurse in the Emergency
that night, say how she was just covered up
in blood. I can’t think how you bring yourself
to cut your throat like that yourself—I asked
the counselor they called in to the school,
and she said something like, What better ink
to write the language of the heart? I guess
it proves that stuff from Bible school they say, 
that such a life of sin breeds misery.
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (314)

Related Poem Content Details

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - 
That perches in the soul - 
And sings the tune without the words - 
And never stops - at all - 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard - 
And sore must be the storm - 
That could abash the little Bird 
That kept so many warm - 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land - 
And on the strangest Sea - 
Yet - never - in Extremity, 
It asked a crumb - of me.
Excerpt from  The Bell Jar

My mother smiled. "I knew my baby wasn't like that."
I looked at her. "Like what?"

"Like those awful people. Those 
awful dead people at that hospital." 
She paused. 
"I knew you'd decide to be all right again.” 


Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others  in the spirit of the community.  AND: please put a link to this prompt with your poem.  

(Next week Susan's Midweek Motif will be Aviation )