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Poetry Submission from Jill Scurato

Constantly Risking Absurdity by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
climbs on rime
to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of the day
performing entrachats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing
for what it may not be
For he’s the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap
And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
of existence

Those Who Do Not Dance by Gabriela Mistral

A crippled child
Said, “How shall I dance?”
Let your heart dance
We said.

Then the invalid said:
“How shall I sing?”
Let your heart sing
We said

Then spoke the poor dead thistle,
But I, how shall I dance?”
Let your heart fly to the wind
We said.

Then God spoke from above
“How shall I descend from the blue?”
Come dance for us here in the light
We said.

All the valley is dancing
Together under the sun,
And the heart of him who joins us not
Is turned to dust, to dust.

Trying to Write a Poem Against the War by Katha Pollit

My daughter, who’s as beautiful as the day,
hates politics: Face it, Ma,
they don’t care what you think! All
passion, like Achilles,
she stalks off to her room,
to confide in her purple guitar and await
life’s embassies. She’s right,
of course: bombs will be hurled
at ordinary streets
and leaders look grave for the cameras,
and what good are more poems against war
the real subject of which
so often seems to be the poet’s superior
moral sensitivities? I could
be mailing myself to the moon
or marrying a palm tree,
and yet what can we do
but offer what we have?
and so I spend
this cold gray glittering morning
trying to write a poem against war
that perhaps may please my daughter
who hates politics
and does not care much for poetry, either.

The Voices Live by Andrew Motion

The voices live which are the voices lost:
we hear them and we answer, or we try
but words are nervous when we need them most
and shutter, stop, or dully slide away

so everything they mean to summon up
is always just too far, just out of reach,
unless our memories give time the slip
and learn the lesson that heart-wisdoms teach

of how in grief we find a way to keep
the dead beside us as our time goes on -
invisible and silent but the deep
foundation of ourselves, our cornerstone.

To submit your favorite poem(s), send an email to Margot Brown. Include the title (if applicable), the author (this is a MUST), and the full text of the poem. Original works are accepted, as well as the works of published poets.