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A Passion for Poetry

This week, the JOURNAL introduced viewers to Poets House in New York City, a space dedicated to celebrating the literary form that has been called “the queen of arts.”

At the grand reopening of the facility in a large new space in Manhattan, several writers shared their love of poetry. Lee Briccetti said:

“Language is central to our identity as human beings and poetry is central to language. Every culture has a poetry. And I believe that when people in the caves were blowing paint into the imprints of their hands, they were also chanting words to go with that. It goes very, very deep into the essence of what we are as human beings.”

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins said:

“Poetry fills me with joy and I rise like a feather in the wind. Poetry fills me with sorrow and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge. But mostly, poetry fills me with the urge to write poetry, to sit in the dark and wait for a little flame to appear at the tip of my pencil.”

Do you have a passion for poetry? Please share your thoughts and poems in the space below.


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The Wonder Years In Manila

I dreamt of belonging to a community of refugees.
With people who have nothing
whose lives revolve around hope
in the direction of randomness
chance and mischance,
a system left to itself.
Where millions of flies
and cockroaches and mutant rats - compete with me.
Like the outcasts of India
where I can learn how fragile life is
how easily lost
how easily forgotten
to feel hunger
and to ask not when to eat
but, “are we eating today?”
To really taste ice-cream for the first time
and blood tastes sweet.
Never again tasting the same way.

7am,driving to the “U of I”
my dreams turned to ashes in my mouth.
Some kind of pain
like a lamenting philosopher
I have shed tears of sadness,
tears of September,
tears of failure and confusion.
I want to feel myself expanding,
not diminishing in this beautiful for spacious sky.
I am drowning in my own river of words
this intellectual life,
this academic competition to be recognized.
Can I explain my own Jargon?
I need an antidote for these illusions
of my own brokenness and mortality.
No one knows my fear and resentment
in these unforgiving consequences
of living, eating, sitting, dying like everyone else, with background music and the eulogy.

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I See You

I see you. I know who you are.
I am no longer deceived by masks and illusions.
I know from whence you came.
I know your Source. It is my Source.
Clay is molded into infinite creations, yet all is clay.

Look at me. See who I really am.
Do you not see yourself reflected in my eyes?
We are more than siblings, spouses, lovers, friends,
countrymen, citizens of planet earth. We are all in all.

You believe I am your enemy.
I believe your actions threaten me.
But we are wrong.
You cannot rob me of my birthright.
I cannot diminish yours.

Can we let go of tattered. shabby fears, hates, judgments?
I seek the way to look past the cloak of differences
To find you; see you as a part of who I am.
And know we are not alien, but one family eternally entwined.

Please take my hand in yours.
Allow me to have my culture, my beliefs
Let it be okay that you cherish other ways
Let us enrich each other's lives without needing to agree

I see you. I know who you are.
And so I love you because I can do no less
I love you because I can do no more
I love you because I see you.

Carol Hanson

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'To stay with the herd changes nothing, to leave the herd removes nothing, Life is but objected love,

Love in a Southern Drawl

I see the cotton blooming in the hot Delta Sun, its whiteness overwhelming

I hear Mammy as she laughs at the pickaninnys waiting for her pannycakes,

I hear Love in a Southern Drawl,

I hear the chanting of the chain gangs as they go by

I hear Massa telling him he loves him like a son and know that it is a lie

I hear Love in a southern Drawl,

You heard Love in a Southern Drawl in August 63
He said he had a Dream

I sense the hate that sometimes comes from the southerns mouth and get scared to go south

The southern drawl is silent in Baraks voice,
he doenst have our replanted roots

I hear Love in a Southern Drawl from my fathers mouth as he said "Gal, get you a man from the south"

Fannie Lou Hamer was from down the street of my Love, I was shocked when he asked who is that? in his Southern Drawl.

I heard a Southern American President say "We Shall Overcome"

I hear Love in a Southern Drawl

I am hate, the voice that spews vitriolic empty words into the digital void.
I feed upon souls of the lonely dispossessed greedy and powerless.

The seven deadly sins are my breeding grounds.

Mobs are my mindless tools, acting out
scream, yell, pound your fists upon the walls, righteousness is
the meal I dine upon.

Silent judgment weaves through the minds of the masses steaming kettles coming to a boil bubbles piling upon each other, reaching for escape
More hate, more bodies upon the altar of my rage.

Racism does not exist, I use it
Religious persecution does not exist, I use it
Class systems do not exist, I use it
Borders do not exist, I use it
Wealth does not exist, I use it
Power does not exist, I use it
endless am I
I tire not!

Known only to me I cautiously reveal to you
Whom are my enemies what are my weaknesses
Love, Truth, Hope, Forgiveness, Trust, Understanding
against these shields I cannot stand. I am weak. I am without form empty as those who use me.

With Love as your shield I wither
With Truth as your shield I stumble
With Hope as your shield I crumble
With Forgiveness as your shield I change
With Trust as your shield I falter
With Understanding as your shield I am crushed.

I cannot win. I am turned to Love.

More Troops to Afghanistan
For Rumi

After the execution of the sniper Muhammad,
Who led that child, Lee Malvo, in a quick career
Of swagger and madness, murdering innocent civilians—
If any of us are innocent—men filling their gas-tanks,
Women in parking lots, arms filled with groceries:
I dreamed, seated in that bar, we watched two Turkish men
In prison uniforms chained to a stake, smoking
Their final cigarettes.

Someone in the bar yelled, “Hey, you guys, watch this!”
And everybody gathered.

The firing-squad, two guys with submachine guns, aimed,
And then a salvo. The prisoners fell, the nearer
Only to his knees. He tried to crawl away; they
Hit him with another burst. Then they began to spray
The fallen men with gunfire, for fun, I guess,
Or just to make sure. Even though the prisoners
Couldn’t move anymore, you could see they still felt
Each one of a hundred bullets slam into them.
The shooting went on and on and on.
The people in the bar sat quiet.
We looked down at our beers.
The bartender cut the TV off.

Then I woke up. Or did I? Muhammad
Lies dead along with his victims.

Oh, my friends: we keep teaching each other
These savage lessons,
But no one ever learns anything.

LOVED the segments with poets on this website and also enjoyed the TV segment aired in WI on November 15th. PBS. Hoping that we can share our love of playing with language. I post my poetry at EXPRESSIVE DOMAIN: New content almost daily. Enjoy.

Poetry enables people to express feelings, observations, treasured moments in a condensed form, less words saying more. The reader may identify with shared inner feelings from poetry with universal appeal. It takes longer to write something in a condensed or shorter form. Poetry becomes a treasure like those rocks under special lights in museums.


When I was a child
puzzling and frightening adults
were tall as trees

Time was insect sounds
in a quiet forever.

Life was a pretty nun
with a shy smile,
as mysterious as touching
another person.

Rivers and weeds were
emerald cities by day,
dark at night, full of sound,
with laughing waters,
encrypted alien signals.

As I grew older
adults shriveled
into life as a counting system
with only ten numbers,
life as lawns and cars

But above the morning news,
over all holy books,
family and tribal loyalties,
past small minded lives
poetry herself,
in her black habit
with her shy smile.


The day, I say

That the bean counters

Took over the world!

Small children cried

Their future still untold

The old their pain ignored.

Value of life forgot

A golden calf cast,

Ending of things that last,

The cost without value

A world lost forever.

The dog barks,

the cat howls...

Such a great segment on poetry tonight. I totally concur with the lady poet who mused that the enduring allure of poetry is that it is an activity you can feel "rich" and cultured in doing even if your actual station in life is anything but. It is humbling, cathartic, ennobling all at the very same time.

The ending with mother and daughter was very touching as well, simple yet extremely poignant. I would like to think that somewhere Robert Frost is smiling, to have his work still resonate today.


When words have no rules or regulations
And a sentence has no bounds
That is where the poet hides
Where truth can still be found

The word is mightier than the sword they say
When words are truly free
Poetry is the words of a poet
Then the poet has the power of Thee

There is a lesson to learn in poetry
A remedy and a cure
For poetry are words of freedom
And in freedom the truth shall set us free

What is the truth One wonders
In the phrase and phrases of a rhyme
The true poetry of a free poet
Will bring equality to All in Just time

For freedom is equality
Unity of not only mankind
The true words of a poets’ poetry
Is the beautiful true Oneness of All kind.


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