December 30, 2012

December 28, 2012

Poetry Friday--2013 Nengajyou

Happy New Year! Once again I'm participating in a New Year's haiku postcard exchange, a nengajyou in Japan where the custom originated. (See past posts here, here, and here.)

I've already received about a dozen New Year's greetings and I expect more will be trickling in over the next few weeks. This year I sent about three dozen cards to 16 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, India, Ireland, the Sultanate of Oman, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United Kingdom.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

The year 2013 is the year of the snake, so I've included a photo with not one, but two snakes! The photo is from 1927 and comes courtesy of Library of Congress. To learn about the characteristics of the zodiac symbol, the snake, click here.

The text on the postcard did not reproduce well on the blog, so if you're having trouble reading it, here is the haiku:
first show and tell--
"I told Santa I love
surprises!"
"First" is a kigo, that is, a word that is used to imply a season or time, in this case, the new year, without coming right out and saying it! For example, if I wrote "pumpkin," you would automatically know it was fall. "Snow" = winter. "Robin" = spring. "Fireworks" = summer (for the 4th of July in the U.S., in another country, fireworks might imply something else).

The last Poetry Friday Round-Up of 2012 is being held at Carol's Corner. Have a safe and happy New Year!

December 25, 2012

Haiku Sticky #181

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

December 23, 2012

December 21, 2012

Poetry Friday--A Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is a marking of the time when light will begin to return, little by little, leading to its culmination in the summer solstice. For now, in this mid-winter, celebrants light the darkness with fire and candles.

December 13, as you may know, is St. Lucia's Day (Luciadagen) in Sweden, Italy (Lucia was born in Sicily), and other countries. Before the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, the date of the winter solstice also fell on December 13. It is no coincidence, therefore, that St. Lucia's Day is a celebration marked by lights. It is an example of how Pagan and Christian meld.

The name Lucia (or Lucy) means light or lucidity. St. Lucia (circa 283-304 AD) became the patron saint of those with eye problems and also of glassworkers. The story arose that Lucia, who was blinded, had her sight restored by her faith in God. (Depending on which story, she either plucked her eyes out herself to thwart an unwanted suitor, or, she was tortured by the authorities after a spurned suitor denounced her as a Christian.)

The celebration of St. Lucia's Day in Sweden traditionally begins with a daughter waking her parents and serving them coffee and saffron buns (saffraan broodjes) for breakfast. This child (Lussibrud, which means "Lucy bride") wears a white dress with a red sash, and a crown of greens and lit candles.
Lussibrud

Trembling
with concentration
she carries her head
as if the candles were
not battery powered.

Innocent
but no martyr, she
will have her share
of sweet buns before
catching the bus.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Carl Larsson, "The Feast of St. Lucy on 13th December, 1916."

As a result of the events of last Friday, I found St. Lucy in my thoughts and wrote this, obviously not in the same spirit as the poem above:
The Day After St. Lucy's Day, 2012

Lucy, your holy-day passed
quietly, unnoticed by most,
and the day that followed
put an end to any thoughts
of the forthcoming light.

A crushing, unrelenting
hopelessness fell upon us,
like it must have come upon
you as the judge ordered your
eyes ripped from your skull.

Who was there for you, Lucy,
enduring your screams? Don't
tell me your God! It was
your mother--only she could
look in your face and not recoil.

Your blindness is your faith.
Your faith is your blindness.
If our vision is to be restored
we will need more than light--
we'll need a mother's selflessness.

You're free to pray, Lucy,
but we have mothering to do.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

18th century oil painting, probably Peruvian, courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Heidi is hosting a special celebration of the solstice and rounding up all the Poetry Friday posts. Visit her at My Juicy Little Universe.




December 18, 2012

December 16, 2012

December 14, 2012

Poetry Friday--Spark

I recently completed my fourth Spark challenge. (I wrote about past experiences here and here.) This time I was paired with poet Karen Jakubowski.

This is the piece I sent to Karen as inspiration:

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I had created the piece using my photo of a flowering vine, an out-of-copyright
illustration of the sun, and some words taken from a poem by Samuel Cobb, which I found in an old book (1707) on the Project Gutenberg site.

Karen responded to the piece with this poem:
Fleur-De-Lis
by Karen Jakubowski

Monday morning arrives
Scorched spark of yellow hope
Rolls in like a dime-store sun
Sultry eyes spill ocher beams

Arms laden with freesia,
Greens and tangled brambles
Snagged at Chelsea market
Bundled fragrance fills the air

Nestles week-old stargazers
Wilted lilies in a paper grave
Sense soother finesses fresh blooms
Whimsical arrangement remains unfinished

© Karen Jakubowski, all rights reserved.

I love Karen's choice of words--scorched spark, dime-store sun, tangled brambles, bundled fragrance, finesses fresh blooms. She did a fine job I think!

It's fun to be challenged to create. I'm not an artist, but I participate as an artist in the Spark challenges because there always seem to be more writers than artists or musicians. The challenge, therefore, is even more of a trial as it forces me out of my regular comfort zone--writing.

I dabble in photo manipulation through the wonders of free software. I started with Picnik back in 2010, but after Google purchased it, it was closed down. PicMonkey is a nice replacement. It keeps adding features, which is great, because there were some on Picnik that I really liked and I'm hoping PicMonkey will one day offer. PicMonkey is currently free, so if you want to try your hand at photo editing, now's the time to do it.

Since the Spark challenge is an exchange, Karen sent me an inspiration piece, too. Karen's inspiration piece, and my response to it, can be found here.

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Jama's Alphabet Soup where there's always something cooking!

December 11, 2012

December 9, 2012

December 7, 2012

Poetry Friday--A Book of Fireside Poems


One of the older books on my shelf is A Book of Fireside Poems, compiled and edited by William R. Bowlin, Albert Whitman & Co., 1937. I love flipping through its pages because the variety of poems is wide. Mr. Bowlin sneaks in a lot of commentary and a little bit of naughtiness and humor, too! Here are a few examples of the latter:
How Very Modern
by Thomas Moore (1779-1853)

"Come, come," said Tom's father, "at your time of life,
   There's no longer excuse for thus playing the rake--
It is time you should think, boy, of taking a wife."
   "Why, so it is father--whose wife shall I take?"


A Dollar Down
by Anonymous

I bought a dress
On the instalment plan;
The reason, of course,
To please a man.
The dress is worn,
The man is gone;
But the blamed instalments
Go on and on.


A Large Edition
by Anonymous

"May I print a kiss on your lips?" I asked;
   She nodded her sweet permission;
So we went to press, and I rather guess
   We printed a large edition.
As much as I enjoy A Book of Fireside Poems, it is a product of its time--racism and sexism run throughout--some of it is downright cringe-worthy.


Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by the multi-talented Robyn Hood Black.

December 4, 2012

December 2, 2012

November 30, 2012

Poetry Friday--Ekphrastic Tanka

Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka is a site that contains English language tanka (5-lined Japanese-style poems) relating to physical locations around the world. Atlas Poetica periodically publishes special topical collections of 25 tanka. The most recent of these is Ekphrastic Tanka, edited by Patricia Prime. "Ekphrastic" refers to art about art, in this case tanka about works of painting and sculpture.

Take some time to explore the 25 tanka selected, making sure to click on the links to the inspiration pieces. Be warned, though, not all the links worked on Saturday. Others didn't take you near enough to the art you're looking for. I found links that work for the ones that were either broken or cumbersome:

#2 "Minoan Fisherman at Akrotiri, Greece"

#3 "Sculpture in the grounds of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra," I couldn't find a link, since I wasn't sure what the work is that was referred to in the poem. I assume it is the one titled "Pear," but there is no image on the National Gallery's site.

#4 "The First Abstract"

#18 A direct link to "Wild Waters."

#20 "Lane in Normandy"

My favorite tanka of the collection, #23 by Carole MacRury, has a good link to "Women with a Pink" by Rembrandt van Rijn.

I enjoy reading and writing ekphrastic poetry, and I thought about submitting a tanka when the call came for submissions. Alas, time got away from me and I missed the deadline, but, here is one I would have sent (I have placed the poem directly on the work--it eliminates all the clicking!):

Inspired by "The Peasant Dance" (1568) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Tanka © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Click on the image to get a larger view.

[Note: I have a tanka in the Atlas Poetica collection, 25 Tanka for Children (and Educators).]

Check out the rest of this week's poetry offerings. Amy at The Poem Farm is playing host.

Image courtesy ibiblio [WebMuseum].

November 27, 2012

November 25, 2012

November 23, 2012

Poetry Friday--A Rant

As each year goes by, I become less tolerant of the American obsession with shopping. I try hard to stay away from shopping (destination shopping, recreational shopping, bargain hunting), but it's an ingrained habit.

This fall has brought me to the conclusion that the habit must be broken. Who needs Christmas music in late October? Who needs to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day instead of spending quality time with the family. Who needs more stuff?

Small local businesses are being pushed out by large corporate interests. The corporation is invading our lives for the sole purpose of making money--not for the improvement of humanity. It's basically brainwashing us into thinking we have to buy, buy, buy to love, or to be loved.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

If we must buy this weekend, then think about buying locally, at what used to be known as "mom and pop" stores. Wait until tomorrow to do it and participate in Small Business Saturday™. (I have some reservations about promoting a day that American Express has trademarked, but it has the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration.) Today, make soup with the turkey carcass. Make a list of things you're thankful for and forgot to express yesterday. And read poetry! Start off at Mary Lee's A Year of Reading!

November 20, 2012

Haiku Sticky #176


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Entry in last week's 15 Words challenge on Laura Salas's blog.

November 16, 2012

Poetry Friday--"The Garden Seat"


Here, today, is a poem by Thomas Hardy, whom you may not know was a poet as well as a novelist:
The Garden Seat

Its former green is blue and thin,
And its once firm legs sink in and in;
Soon it will break down unaware,
Soon it will break down unaware.

At night when reddest flowers are black
Those who once sat thereon come back;
Quite a row of them sitting there,
Quite a row of them sitting there.

With them the seat does not break down,
Nor winter freeze them, nor floods drown,
For they are as light as upper air,
They are as light as upper air!

Found in Garden Poems, selected and edited by John Hollander, part of the "Everyman's Library Pocket Poets" series.
I suppose it would be more fitting for Halloween, but I think "The Garden Seat" is more about memory than ghosts. November is certainly a time for thinking back and holding onto what has past. What do you think?

This week the Poetry Friday Round-Up is found at Anastasia Suen's Booktalking.

Photo © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

November 13, 2012

Haiku Sticky #175

In memory of a good old dog; © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

November 11, 2012

November 9, 2012

Poetry Friday--We Done Good!

Windham, NH, 8/18/12 rally, © Diane Mayr

I must admit that Tuesday night, I was elated. And oh, so, proud. Record turnouts. Scads of women elected across the country (remind me to tell you about New Hampshire). Barack Obama and Joe Biden returned to Washington to complete the job they began in the dark days of four years ago. I was filled, once again, with hope. Duh, I probably should have written a poem! Instead, I found this one that I wrote on the eve of the Inauguration in January 2009. I think it'll do:
The Better Angels of Our Nature

They're coming in--
wings outspread
flapping, flapping
fluttering
fluttering
slowing themselves,
gently
touching down,
making us aware
as they land
that they are only
here in recognition
of a new us.

After eight
long years,
our chest
and shoulder muscles
have been strengthened.
Our hearts beat
at unnatural rates.
We can feel
the lift as we allow
the angels to take us
under their wings
to teach us
how to fly.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
The people have spoken, the special interest money doesn't seem to have made as much a difference as individuals talking to each other--reaching out with well-reasoned arguments for voting. We voted. We made a difference.

Yesterday, Laura Salas held her 15 Words or Less challenge and I couldn't resist turning it into a comment on my how I see America this week (although greatly wrapped in metaphor). Click here to see the inspiration photo that Laura gave us.
November 7, 2012

In the front row
for the opening
chord of a tie-dye
Stratocaster.
Let it begin!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
When I looked for a photo of a real tie-dye Fender Stratocaster, one of the sites I visited had a customer reviews section. The guitar was labeled as "sex on strings." I thought that might make a great final line, but, 1. Laura has some younger poets posting on her site now, and 2. I didn't want to leave anyone with the impression that I'm hot on the POTUS (if they made the connection between the poem and the election), so I left the final line as is.

About New Hampshire: on Tuesday, we elected a woman for governor, and two women as U.S. representatives (we're small, we only have two). They join the two incumbent women senators. No other state can match us! I'm happy to draw your attention also, to the other places around the country where women are beginning to win the "war."

Hurry over to Think Kid, Think! for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

November 6, 2012

November 2, 2012

Poetry Friday--Decisions


I had to make a momentous decision last weekend. My first grandchild, Julian, was born nine days early. I was forced to decide what it was I wanted my grandchild to call me. I had been thinking about this for a long time. Even before I learned of the pregnancy. I knew I didn't want to be grandma, nor a granny, nor a gram. I have Polish, but also some Austrian, Scots, and Irish roots. It felt pretentious to use Babçi (Polish for grandmother), since I don't speak Polish, nor do I follow many Polish traditions. But, on the other hand, since my paternal grandmother was Babçi it would be nice to pass on some personal connections to the "old country." I decided to go with Babçi (pronounced Bahb-chee) or Babka (another Polish word for grandmother and also a coffee cake). I kind of like Babka--what's not to like about coffee cake?--but, Babçi slips off my tongue more easily. For now, it's Babçi, if Julian ends up calling me something else (like Crazy Cat Lady?), then it may be up for discussion again.

I went looking for a poem about decision-making and I found this one:
The Decision
by Jane Hirshfield

There is a moment before a shape
hardens, a color sets.
Before the fixative or heat of   kiln.
The letter might still be taken
from the mailbox.
The hand held back by the elbow,
the word kept between the larynx pulse
and the amplifying drum-skin of the room’s air.
The thorax of an ant is not as narrow.
The green coat on old copper weighs more.
Yet something slips through it--
looks around,
sets out in the new direction, for other lands.
Not into exile, not into hope. Simply changed.
As a sandy track-rut changes when called a Silk Road:
it cannot be after turned back from.

from Come, Thief: Poems
It's not hard deciding to head over to Mainely Write--the Poetry Friday Round-Up is in full swing!

October 30, 2012

October 28, 2012

October 26, 2012

Poetry Friday--The Dodge Poetry Festival, Part 2

Last week I attempted to give you a taste of this year's Dodge Poetry Festival. Today, I'm going to give you a whole mouthful!

I promised to tell you about Nikki Finney, my new "favorite" poet! Finney, is intelligent, compassionate, an award-winning poet, about my age, and, she has a great website! What's not to like? I'd suggest browsing her site if she is new to you. Watch some of the videos. Read a few of the poems.

Photo courtesy NikkyFinney.net.

As I did last week, I'm going to post a few quotes from the sessions I attended. These are from the ones in which Finney participated. I think you'll come away with an idea of her spirit and her generosity.
"Sometimes a poem walks right into the room."

"If you're proud of what you've done, you can take it anywhere."

"I'm from the Harriet Tubman school of life: if I get through the door, I'm going to bring somebody with me."

"You can imitate and steal, but you also want to invent--be inventive."

"I like contemplation. I like to think about things."

Her "Conversation: On Craft" session was full of hints such as thinking mathematically about poetry by counting syllables, or lines, etc. About writing a poem she told us, "I like to come in through a window, not a door." And, one of those ways in is to use an epigraph. She also suggests that poets engage in the "art of listening." Finney compared writing to being a photographer who uses different lenses. I particularly liked the idea of a fisheye lens relating to magical realism--something to think about...

And if that's not enough to give you a feel for Finney, watch this:



Finney told us that she hadn't prepared a speech until a friend had suggested that she might want to consider doing so! Aren't we glad she took that advice!

Now, take my advice and head down to your local public library and pick up one of Finney's books, I'm sure you'll become a fan! One more piece of advice: the Poetry Friday Round-Up is in full swing at TeacherDance, so stop by.

October 23, 2012

October 21, 2012

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Original photo © Janet Buell, all rights reserved.

October 19, 2012

Poetry Friday--The Dodge Poetry Festival

NJPAC, the site of the 2012 Dodge Poetry Festival

Last weekend I attended the Dodge Poetry Festival, which was held in Newark, NJ. Need I tell you it was AWESOME?

I didn't find as much variety in the workshops and poets this year, as there was in 2010, but it was still awesome.

I took lots of notes, but, many of them are totally indecipherable! So, I'm going to pick through what I can read and give you a taste of what the poets had to say about poetry.

Eavan Boland and Henri Cole in a conversation

Boland: Similes are "like the appendixes that have lost their function."

Cole: "I adore similes."

Much of their conversation was a playful back-and-forth.

A number of the poets I saw several times over the course of three days. They were run ragged between readings, conversations, signings, etc. Boland was one poet I sought out as I greatly admire her work.

Boland signs a book I purchased from the festival bookstore

Boland recalled an editor at the Irish Times who once told her, that "only 10% of the Irish population like poetry, but 45% write it!"

One of the poems I heard Boland read at least twice was "Quarantine," a poem about the Hunger.
In the worst hour of the worst season
    of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking – they were both walking – north.

She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
    He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.

In the morning they were both found dead.
    Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins of a whole history.
But her feet were held against his breastbone.
The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.

Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.
    There is no place here for the inexact
praise of the easy graces and sensuality of the body.
There is only time for this merciless inventory:

Their death together in the winter of 1847.
    Also what they suffered. How they lived.
And what there is between a man and woman.
And in which darkness it can best be proved.
Not all the programs were held at the beautiful NJPAC, others were held in churches, the Newark Museum, the NJ Historical Society, etc. Here's Dorianne Laux in a talk on craft, held at the First Peddie Baptist Memorial Church.


Laux: "Poetic instinct--you develop it over time by listening."

It was sometimes difficult to take my eyes off the craftsmanship evident in this old church--both the poetry and the surroundings were inspirational:





















Here are a few more quotes from some of the featured poets:

Philip Levine on poems: "I came to see them as little animals. When they want your attention they bite your shin..."

Gregory Orr on poetry: "We feel it's the way language can give testimony to the human experience."

Raul Zurita: "Poems are often responses to ideas not yet formed."

I'll end with one from Nikki Finney. I plan to revisit Finney next week as I have developed a bit of a "girl crush" on her!

Finney: "We pick up the pencil one more time to try to get it right."

Irene Latham is just waiting to welcome you to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held at Live Your Poem... Make sure to stop by!


Photos © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

October 16, 2012

October 12, 2012

Poetry Friday--"With a Bang and a Flash"


A few weeks ago I explored newspapers from 1949 and wrote briefly about a puzzle that appeared in the Hamilton Daily News Journal (OH) on September 22, 1949. On the same page was a huge ad from King's Cut Rate [drug store]. I picked out a few items of interest in case you have trouble reading the ad:
J. & J. Bandaid Tin of 36     29¢
Welch's Grape Juice Pint Bottle     22¢
50¢ Value Aspirin Tablets Bottle of 100     7¢
Electric Heating Pad     $2.98
Save Money on Sanitary Protection Box of 48 Modess     Now Only $1.27
Lilly's Insulin U40--10CC     $1.26
Squibb's B Complex Tablets 100's     $3.19
Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol: Shoots With a Bang and a Flash     59¢
The Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol tickled me and I wanted to write a poem about it. Ultimately, what I wrote didn't tickle me, as an idea sometimes gets away and takes on a mind of its own.
Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol: Shoots
With a Bang and a Flash (1949 ad copy)


WITH A BANG AND A FLASH

On Jim's ninth birthday
his Grandpa bought him
a Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol.
Jim was the envy of all
the gang at the playground.

Little by little Jim changed
the rules of war. Finger guns
were dismissed as stupid.
He scoffed at their dirt bombs
and their sharpened sticks.

The mushroom cloud of all
their imaginations grew with
each threat of a bang and a flash.
Intimidation turned to domination,
turned at last to realization that

a bang and a flash were simply
a matter of percussion and friction.
False gods and friendship can
never co-exist. A choice had
to be made. Which would it be?

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I'm in New Jersey for the Dodge Poetry Festival. I hope to give a report next week, so come back on Friday.

Now, head over to Teaching Young Writers for another fabulous Round-Up!

October 9, 2012

October 7, 2012

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo © Gretchen Mayr.

October 5, 2012

Poetry Friday--Spark Challenge

A few weeks ago I participated in the 17th Spark challenge. To quote the Spark website,
Open to writers, musicians, and visual artists of all kinds, SPARK takes place four times each year.

During each 10-day project round, participants create a new piece of work using someone else’s art, writing, or music as inspiration.
This was my third time participating, and my randomly assigned partner was Amy Ludwig VanDerwater from The Poem Farm! How lucky was that?

The first time I participated, I did so as an "artist." I hardly consider myself an artist in the normal painter sense of the word, but I have been working for a few years with photographs and combining my haiku and other poems with manipulated images. Since there was an over abundance of writers who wanted to participate in that round, I volunteered to be an artist. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to continue as an artist for Spark challenges.

I sent Amy a photo for inspiration and she sent me a poem. Amy has written about our partnership here and here. I thought I would share my process in creating my response piece to this poem that Amy sent:




Isn't it great? And I love the strong visual images. Here are things that came to mind after reading it: dreams, horses = dreams, nightMARES, flames = heat. And then, this thought came unbidden, "The heat of our dreams is not the same as night sweats." At that point I started to think about putting together images.

I found this image from an out-of-copyright book at Project Gutenberg. I liked it immediately because it showed a sleeping girl surrounded by books.




I cropped the illustration so that the girl was central. Then I thought about adding a horse, but decided that it would be too overpowering. I definitely wanted to include the flames from the poem and the heat of one's dreams. I layered a photo of a fire over the girl and made the flames fade so that they're not-in-your-face (disclaimer: I don't know anything about the jargon that graphic designers use, so I hope you understand what I'm talking about. Maybe one day I'll take a class.)

I discovered that Amy likes birds, and I like birds, so I wanted to add a bird to the image. Again, I used an illustration I found in an out-of-copyright book. I like the way it illustrates how dreams can be both beautiful and fleeting.

Since I didn't use a horse, I decided to use a line from Amy's poem that included horses, and made it gallop across the page in red. I finished up with the "heat of our dreams" line that I mentioned above.


As I said, I'm not an artist, but, I think artists and writers probably approach projects similiarly. All this explanation was to get you to consider signing up for Spark #18 when it comes around in December. You can challenge yourself to move out of your comfort zone and become an ARTIST in another medium. Just be creative!

Head over to see Laura Salas for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Laura is one who is not afraid to take on new challenges--if I remember correctly, she recently did a stint in a marching band as one of the people who waves big sticks!



October 2, 2012

September 30, 2012

September 28, 2012

Poetry Friday--100 Thousand Poets for Change

Tomorrow, September 29, there will be a worldwide poetry happening sponsored by 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

As of last weekend, there were events scheduled in 115 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. If you check the event listings here, you may find one happening near you. In New Hampshire, there's something in Exeter, and over the border in Massachusetts there's a program at the Boston Public Library.




In the event that there's nothing in your area, you can sit in front of your computer or tablet and tune in to the livestream events that are listed here.

I'd like to think that 100 thousand poets could effect a major change in the world, yet, I'd be happy if they could just get a few people to stop and think about adding their voices to the call for change.

Here's a poem by Rita Dove that I think can help people be more aware of possibilities.
Dawn Revisited

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don't look back,

the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits—
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours

to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You'll never know
who's down there, frying those eggs,
if you don't get up and see.
The Round-Up this week is being held at Paper Tigers.