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Poetry readings

by on 28 Jun 2011

Recent wearings of the poetry hat:

The Sound of the Sun, read by Rob Duarte (with apologies for the photo  as we were unable to get a shot in the moment. But Rob can wax poetic in any hat. ).

Short verses read by Mez Welch and Rick Brown

To Be of Use, read by Ed Levin

*     *     *

Rob Duarte

The Sound of the Sun

It makes one all right, though you hadn’t thought of it,
A sound like the sound of the sky on fire, like Armageddon,
Whistling and crackling, the explosions of sunlight booming
As the huge mass of gas rages into the emptiness around it.
It isn’t a sound you are often aware of, though the light speeds
To us in seconds, each dawn leaping easily across a chasm
Of space that swallows the sound of that sphere, but
If you listen closely some morning, when the sun swells
Over the horizon and the world is still and still asleep,
You might hear it, a faint noise so far inside your mind
That it must come from somewhere, from light rushing to darkness,
Energy burning towards entropy, towards a peaceful solution,
Burning brilliantly, spontaneously, in the middle of nowhere,
And you, too, must make a sound that is somewhat like it,
Though that, of course, you have no way of hearing at all.

—George Bradley

Mez Welch

Carved on the back of a lute:

I was alive in the forest,

I was cut by the cruel axe

In Life I was silent

In death I sweetly sing.

—Anonymous

*     *     *

Rick Brown

Another anonymous saying:

A man must be a little crazy lest he not cut the rope and be free.

*     *     *

To be of use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were meant to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

—Marge Piercy

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