FACING NORTH

 

unknown

Ninety billion galaxies in this one tiny universe—
a billion seconds make thirty-two years.

No matter how many ways we conceive it,
this generous wedge called Ursa Major
more than fills my sight.

But now, as I turn to put out the lights
and give my dog her bedtime cookie,
my eyes become the handle of the great Milky Way,
and carry it into the house.

-by Dan Gerber


“Facing North” by Dan Gerber from A Primer on Parallel Lives. © Copper Canyon Press, 2007.


 

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THE LAST WORDS OF MY ENGLISH GRANDMOTHER

 

 

by William Carlos Williams

There were some dirty plates
and a glass of milk
beside her on a small table
near the rank, disheveled bed—

Wrinkled and nearly blind
she lay and snored
rousing with anger in her tones
to cry for food,

Gimme something to eat—
They’re starving me—
I’m all right I won’t go
to the hospital. No, no, no

Give me something to eat
Let me take you
to the hospital, I said
and after you are well

you can do as you please.
She smiled, Yes
you do what you please first
then I can do what I please—

Oh, oh, oh! she cried
as the ambulance men lifted
her to the stretcher—
Is this what you call

making me comfortable?
By now her mind was clear—
Oh you think you’re smart
you young people,

she said, but I’ll tell you
you don’t know anything.
Then we started.
On the way

we passed a long row
of elms. She looked at them
awhile out of
the ambulance window and said,

What are all those
fuzzy-looking things out there?
Trees? Well, I’m tired
of them and rolled her head away.


From The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams. © New Directions Press, 1991.


 

william_carlos_williams_passport_photograph_1921
William Carlos Williams
Poet
William Carlos Williams was a poet closely associated with modernism and imagism; he figures among the group of four major American poets born in the twelve-year period following 1874, including also … Wikipedia
BornSeptember 17, 1883, Rutherford, NJ
DiedMarch 4, 1963, Rutherford, NJ
SpouseFlorence Williams (m. 1912–1963)

WE THE LIVING

Kenneth Harper Finton

September 11, 2001 holds ugly memories for us.  Songs were written about that day, keeping with the old tradition of commemorating important events in song and verse.

This song celebrates the survivors, not the dead. Drink up to their memory, it says, and go on about your life.

WE THE LIVING © 2014 Kenneth Harper Finton

          D                         Bm         Em                    F#m
On a clear September morning, it happened without warning:
 G                            F#m            Em              A
two flights left from Boston to Los Angeles on time,
      D              Bm         …

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