POETS ONLINE ARCHIVE
I am thinking about an undergraduate photography course I took. Each week the professor would assign us a theme to photograph and print for the following class. The themes were usually one word. The first one was "screen." The eager-to-please students went out and photographed screen doors and windows, shot through those screens, printed in the darkroom using screens, photographed an abandoned drive-in movie screen, a quarterback throwing a screen pass, a self-portrait on a television screen, and an old woman peering from a screened-in porch. We figured out after the critique of assignment one that the secret wasn't to find the "right" screen, but to look at one thing in a new way. We became quite competitive in our creativity.
Gift by Li-Young
Lee from his book Rose
(BOA Editions, Ltd.) , the gift is not what we would first
think of when we hear the title. For our one-word prompt, we asked how many
different gifts we might discover in - GIFT? Cameras ready, we went into the
field, later examining our work in the darkroom and fine tuning...
GIFT challenged to hop along I gave you a kiss Joel Ryan Langdon REASONED FORGIVING Christmas or birthday-enwrapped, is the package Your living so long without word is a wall Forgiving is half of the name of the game. Instead of scaling a wall, should I also I expect this conundrum I face is not new; or receiver of same? Just who is to blame Catherine M. LeGault The Present
Forty-two years Forty-two years Forty-two years of Forty-two years No, Sister Rosa, you surely did not wait alone for that
one, Thank you for your persistence. Steve Bizel Sister Maria, the nun who taught my fifth grade class, That night I tried to write another story, No story was there but words came to me I began to believe Pamela Milne PAPER ANGELS it was a hard life ray cutshaw FRESH BIRDSEED And under all this green and red Connie E. Goulden THE GIFT OF AN APPLE A box of apples Gregory Luce The sun like the gold Mary DeBow
in the rain, I fumble
over imaginary rocks
looking towards the grey/blue
hills that wear fog like I wear
my gift. notice the forever falling
moss waterfalling as the grass
is beat down in a downtown
traffic rhythm. even the cars are empty
like my eyes as I wear my flowing
gift like a sweater that once had the promise
of warmth but now only lets the wind
bully its way over my skin.
but you only gave me this
sufficient to make up for all of those years
of silence? I finger its decorative paper,
its stylized ribbon and ponder intent:
what is the reason for giving me this?
I've attempted to scale without help from you;
and now is it down? Is this beautiful gift
your signal for giving this person a chance
to make contact again - after all of this time?
While giving is always another side
of the coin.. Is this gift what everything's for ?
Am I to assume that my long-ago action,
forgotten by now, is no longer moot?
send you a gift? Smile a smile? Blow a kiss?
What am I missing in this; and why
do I offer resistance to a gesture so fine?
Must bearers of gifts be always suspect?
that the ages recall the results of a bribe
that led to a war instead of to Peace;
that fostered a fester of hate, not of Love.
And who was at fault, the sender of gifts,
for the blemish of Pride that tarnishes us
as we oppose most signals of peace with gestures
to further the conflict ? Oh, is there no end
to the ever-looking-down-upon givers of gifts ?
You waited forty-two years for that one, particular bus.
Most of us believe that you just sorta suddenly
Decided not to give up your seat to that white man;
That you were some kind of lone lamb;
Lamb hardly and lone never.
You waited, forty-two years of
Growing up, going to school, getting married,
Gong to work and returning home; forty-two years of
Giving up your seat to some white man or white woman; of
Giving up the seat that you paid for
That you paid the money, same as them, for.
Doing the right thing, of
Talking with family, friends and neighbors, of
Attending NAACP meetings, of
Letters and petitions and denials
Forty-two years of
Knowing it aint right;
Forty-two years of waiting;
Waiting for that one, particular bus
And that one, right white-man-in-the-wrong.
Forty-two years of planning,
Forty-two long years of waiting.
Those forty-two years must have seemed like nearly 350 years,
Cause that's how long it had been since the first African, now
Afro-American, people, the haggard survivors
The journey, pushed off the boat, of
Began lining up at that bus stop
Waiting for that one, particular bus,
Waiting, waiting for you, then,
For forty-two years, waiting with you.
Particular bus and that one particular white man.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for all the minutes of those forty-two years.
Thank you to each and every one
Of the persistent, thoughtful, patient and maligned millions
Who waited for you and with you;
Who boarded that one, particular bus with you
And who looked that one, particular white man in the eye
And said simply and complexly, No.
gave me back my Christmas story and said,
"You have a gift for writing. You must honor God
by using that gift."
The story had a red "A" at that top, like the star
at the top of the tree in our living room.
for God and Sister Maria I wrote words
and it was like grabbing at space and time.
in tiny pieces of light strung together
on electric lines. A poem. My first.
in poetry that had
no lulling prayers,
no imagined fears
not sins but peace,
living so close to the edge
an appalachian heritage
this child's only birthright
christmas then, a day to pause
and reflect on the journey
destiny so ordained
an oasis, this day of smells and sounds
sugar cane candy,
wild game turkey baking in the
popcorn strung around a little cedar
tree, covered with small paper angels
of hope , always hope if nothing more,
the worn and tattered book
my seventh grade teacher slipped into my
just a small book of poetry
that takes me back to that oasis
whenever i so desire
on the wings of paper angels
beyond the Christmas lights
beneath green cypress wreaths
I place fresh birdseed
tucked inside nook of bough
Still seems love to me
without all ornament
true and faithful
Elements and angelic sprites
add festivity to any celebration
regal as gold tassels
choral as silver bells
joy as glissando
with treasures found on
Oh! Holy night
in the common room:
take one for the walk
home and take another
An apple is a gift
on a cold night,
its snap and tart
sweetness on the tongue.
An orange is always
welcome in winter with
its taste of the sun but
the apple pleases more
sometimes with its cold
bite between the teeth.
wedge of a hoe furrowing
the sky, the ridges running
pink, and I am alive one
day after surgery, my life
given back to me by breaking
the bread of my body.
My gall bladder like
an overripe kiwi spilling
seeds into a gravel pool.
My body wracked by what
it loves: lobster, butter
in ambrosial pools. And now
the doctor tells me the liver
will learn a new job. How
smart it is to know rescue,
and succor. How sweet
the gift of my body. O sweet
mercy that brings me doctors
and the TV man and nurses
with their winged white shoes,
and a banana for breakfast,
its flesh for mine.
challenged to hop along
I gave you a kiss
Joel Ryan Langdon
Christmas or birthday-enwrapped, is the package
Your living so long without word is a wall
Forgiving is half of the name of the game.
Instead of scaling a wall, should I also
I expect this conundrum I face is not new;
or receiver of same? Just who is to blame
Catherine M. LeGault
Forty-two years of
No, Sister Rosa, you surely did not wait alone for that
Thank you for your persistence.
Sister Maria, the nun who taught my fifth grade class,
That night I tried to write another story,
No story was there but words came to me
I began to believe
it was a hard life
And under all this green and red
Connie E. Goulden
THE GIFT OF AN APPLE
A box of apples
The sun like the gold
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© 2015 poetsonline.org | | | freecounterstat