Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Boy's Thanksgiving Day

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather's house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Thanksgivings

We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we are here
          to praise Him.
We thank Him that He has created men and women, and ordered
          that these beings shall always be living to multiply the earth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Harvest Moon

It is the Harvest Moon!  On gilded vanes
  And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
  And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
  Deserted, on the curtained window-panes

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Pumpkin

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Half a Pint of Beer

Every girl knows her limit,
even if she won’t admit to it.
So as I sit beside you,
backs resting against the bar—
listening to the girl in the light
fill up the room with her blues

Friday, November 18, 2011

Somehow Brought Up

Somehow brought up
    on the rules of the game

Somehow brought up
    to the plate

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nikky Finney Wins National Book Award for Poetry

Nikky Finney has won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry. In a ceremony last night in New York City, Nikky Finney beat out a stellar group of finalists to claim the National Book Award for her fourth volume of poetry - Head Off & Split.

I Am Drowning

Seconds drag like years. Stuck in a silent mist.
My mind like a "For Sale" sign, tethered
Constrained. An occasional sway in a breeze,
Resulting in an unoccupied state of mind.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hall, Dupré Win Canadian Poetry Honors

The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the winners of the 75th Governor General’s Literary Awards, worth $25,000 each. Poets Phil Hall and Louise Dupré won the Poetry Award in their respective languages.

Sue Kenney's Camino: Walk, Write, Listen, Live

After being suddenly downsized from a career in the corporate telecom industry, Sue Kenney decided to walk 780 kilometers on a medieval pilgrimage route in Spain known as the Camino de Santiago do Compostela. She was on a quest to find more purpose in life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yo También

I, too, am Dominican.
My husband’s family asks me to go to the kitchen
to help Tía Rosa peel plátanos;
when half the plátano
comes off with the skin, they laugh
they say
that’s not a banana you know.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Wedding on Writers' Walk

The only straight line in Central Park is formally known as Literary Walk or The Mall. Most people know it as Writers' Walk. It is a place where dreams are imagined and enacted. Vendors line its' sides selling poetic chapbooks, photos of New York City, of John Lennon in his iconic New York City t-shirt and kitsch such as fridge magnets. Standing on guard at Writers' Walk are statues of William Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Walter Scott and the forgotten Fitz-Green Halleck.

open links

hooded sweater pulled deep in my face, heavy
space falls on me with galaxies exploding
in the black part of my eye, pacing dirt-dipped
streets for fresh air, care-less thoughts, search for
the grit, feel like shit and zero fits together 2day — heavily
blurry, i'm too weary to type these lines, but they
shout, form riots in my mind, resurrections from
what i thought was long dead, i freeze, bind

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

bring in all the poets

bring in all the poets
their flesh
with broken steps and gestures
with their lives and suffering
that live the poems
with a large swoop
scoop them up in a loose net

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

voice with a name

i heard the news today

another kid jumped
away from the pain,
landing on rocks far below.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Iconoclast James Baldwin Inducted into American Poets' Corner

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
A solemn corner of letters in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

James Arthur Baldwin was inducted into the American Poets' Corner on November 6, 2011 becoming the 44th inductee. While it is true that Baldwin wrote one volume of poetry — Jimmy's Blues — he is better known as an essayist in the tradition of Thoreau and Emerson. Baldwin's essays reached novel length.

Monday, November 7, 2011


It seems we have created a society wherein everybody wants to be the teacher, yet nobody wants to take the time to be the prudent student...

That said it must be taken into account that life is a series of events that make up an entire journey, and there is no one event that dubs all the others obsolete or unnecessary.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember, Remember: Guy Fawkes Day Poem

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.

Friday, November 4, 2011


despair consumes in a world of despair
assent withheld by deep gloom’s ascent
bare malice weighs heavy, too much to bear
lament of obscure fears, a dire lament

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Día de los Muertos: Images of Death and Hope

Día de los Muertos isn't a time to mourn. It is a time to celebrate life after death. On November 1st - All Saints Day - it is the children who are remembered. On Novemeber 2nd - All Souls Day - it is the life of departed adults that is revived in the heart and minds of family, friends and loved ones. Spend two minutes with Teresa Puente, listening to the soul of Mexico while the images of Dia de los Muertos dance before your eyes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Día de los Muertos: An Introduction to Mexico's Day of the Dead

More Memorial Day than Halloween, Día de los Muertos brings the dead back to life in the early days of November through remembrance and rituals passed down from generation to generation. The Days also afford a lighthearted poke at the upper classes.

For many small Mexican towns, like Barra de Navidad, there are no extravagant parades or painted faces. What you will find are handmade altars with offrendas placed in front of homes remembering those who came before.