A poem by Rabindranath Tagore
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it’s age old pain,
It’s ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.
You become an image of what is remembered forever.
You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers,
Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
the distressful tears of farewell,
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.
Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
“…Then from my heart will young petals diverge, As rays of the sun from their focus; I from the darkness of earth shall emerge, A happy and beautiful Crocus! Many, perhaps, from so simple a flower, This little lesson may borrow, Patient today, through its gloomiest hour, We come out the brighter tomorrow.”
from Smiles by Miss H. F. Gould in The Poetry of Flowers, 1832. >
published at AND magazine
“Q: “So what kind of music do you listen to?”
A: “Oh, I’m not picky, anything really. Except for country!”
It’s a pretty standard question, and today’s standard response.
Country music has had a long and colorful history in the psyche of the American public. Starting off in the early part of the 20th century as “hillbilly music” – a term that was later abandoned as “denigrating” – country music has developed into a form that boasts the two highest-grossing solo artists ever – Elvis Presley, who took the world by storm and emerged as number one, and Garth Brooks, the heartthrob crooner who is currently the second highest-selling solo artist in the United States.
In its various avatars – country boogie, honky tonk, bluegrass, rockabilly, and country rock – country music has garnered a group of loyal fans, many of them country-lovers for generations. However, country music has long been considered a pariah in the musical genre fraternity. Maybe it’s the association with the Deep South and pickup trucks, or perhaps it’s the rustic, lonesome sound reminiscent of expansive prairies, far from any hint of civilization. Barring those few die-hard fans, country has never really gotten a strong foothold in music fandom. Burdened with a reputation as a musical form which true music aficionados shun, country music has struggled long and hard for a chance to be part of the nationwide – and even international – mainstream music scene. Success has been elusive.
So what’s it going to take for country music to speak to today’s music-loving youth?”
Read more here.
Lightning strums the strings stretched across the sky
a melody drip drops onto my waiting skin
like warm blood bubbling up through my insides
bringing me back to life.
an inner awakening of nightmares and wishes
shadows and shapes leaping and crawling through the winding recesses of my ugly and
pockets filled with curses
like Hansel’s stones I leave a trail where I walk
where I think
and where I kill
A trail of horror and of beauty where I lose myself and everything I love and hate.
The sky is green, and I blink once, twice – maybe it is all just a dream.
The flash comes again and for a minute I can see it all –
but there it goes and now
everything is black.
It seems to me that after all,
there is really
memory is studded with darts of truth
if you could would you pull them out?
you know they stab and pierce.
it hurts to know reality.
they hold all the cards
and we watch the film roll
actors moving like puppets on drugs
if they gave you the strings what would you have them do?
what would the puppet world be like if you ran it?
you’d stab the puppets in the back and let them stab you too.
all for some morphine.
did you know morphine makes your pain disappear?
it also makes you throw up everything inside you and then throw up some more until you’re a crackly shell and you have nothing more to throw up and you turn into dust with the touch of a feather.
Yesterday two colleagues and I went to the wards after classes were over to take a case. Normally we go during the day and we have our backpacks and books, and the wards are filled with students like ourselves. But this time it was just us, a few doctors here and there on afternoon rounds, and nurses. We had our stethoscopes around our necks and notebooks to take a proper case history. Of the three of us, I felt the most confident about taking the case, but even I didn’t know very much. Something about being there at a time when there weren’t very many other students and being there in the capacity of doctors rather than students made me feel somewhat overwhelmed by the whole experience. I felt like I was playing a game of dress-up, not much different from a six-year-old girl wearing her mother’s high heels or a 10-yr-old boy carrying around his father’s briefcase. It was an awe-inspiring experience, one that made me determined to learn everything I can to become the best doctor I can be. I came home and wrote this poem. Enjoy!
White coats parade through the blinding corridors
Some have faces perched on top
others with patent leather shoes polished to perfection
pink and blue and green scrubs shout orders
codes and meds and labs and scans echo
rattle the walls
Hospital gowns wheel loyal oxygen tanks and IV stands through days and nights filled with coughing and fevers and flat lines
Friends stop coming
Families are too afraid to look
But beds are always full
Every oxygen mask stuck to a nose and mouth
Eyes filled with anguish, faces pale and empty
Those eyes, those faces, turn to me
Grasping hands and speechless mouths plead for answers and ask for hope
But I am not yet a white coat
Nor am I a set of happy pink scrubs
I carry a stethoscope and put my ear to a chest
I dream of hearing answers and solutions and dreams and hopes and souls
But I do not yet have the key
So I hear life
Soon I will feel a wrist and thoughts will come
But for now I walk the blinding corridors
And feel the walls shake
I see masks and tanks and stands and gowns and hands and questions
And I stand in awe
Or perhaps just a traveler
Starting out on a journey
To nowhere and everywhere
Paper curling under your head collecting dust collecting dirt collecting filth
Rags are silks, just a different color feel different
You don’t need my help I know I have more than you have
I have more than you’ll ever have than you can dream about
In your dreams there’s a giant fish that swallows you over and over and over
But you don’t need me
You have your silks
And your paperpillow
do you need anything else?
You stink of urine
Of dirt and hatred and guilt and capitalism
I had dinner today.
I had lunch today.
I didn’t have breakfast because I wasn’t hungry.
Were you hungry?
Probably not, you don’t have teeth.
They fell out a long time ago because you’ve never seen a toothbrush.
That’s not my fault.
Coins are jingling in my pockets.
There’s a hole in my pocket.
I might lose a penny.
I dream about being a giant fish.
Swimming and swallowing and being.
Everyone wants to be a giant fish.
You should be a fish. Maybe then you could have a bath.
And you wouldn’t smell like the government.
Think about it.
The earth halts in its whirling spins
jerking fading slowing failing
burdens too heavy too big too angry to bear
stumbles and stops
the sins of the people of the demons we call people
kill murder destroy the people the angels we call people
and the equation is unsettled
the balance swings dangerously
and we turn our heads avert our eyes and pretend.
homicide genocide ethnocide
it is all just suicide
where are the bones of steel and spines of iron
where are the hearts of gold and souls of pure mercy
what have we become that we turn away and run run run when a drop of blood falls and turns to a single tear flowing down an emaciated cheek
the earth shakes from the voices unheard
she gives up
the world is shattering.
This is a fire and brimstone world
that drags me by the hair
leaving a trail
this is a world whose lifebreath is lies.
cruel and blind lies.
but the truth of you keeps my eyes from closing.
the rhythm of your words keeps my heart from stopping.
our heart is stretched taut
a link that will not break
but will pull and pull until we bleed
you and i both
we will bleed
this is a cold world of terror and hate
that has you in a stranglehold
until you choke
this is a world whose lifeblood is deceit.
heartless and unfeeling deceit.
but the truth of me keeps your blood flowing.
the cadence of my words keeps your stomach from turning.
the link will not break.
you have me in your grip
in your hands and in your heart.
Truth, i live for you.
Do not let me go.
Without you i will not breathe.
Published in Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees; by LitNoire Publishing, 2006
At first there was nothing.
and God said, “Let there be light,”
and here we are, in the
The world began in nothingness
hardly different today.
blood in the streets
all i do in response is write this
we live in a time of typhoons.
we tear at each other’s throats like
– our suicidal world –
is on a transplant list
waiting patiently in line for a
we are the world
we are the champions
who crucified christ
who burned joan
who denounced luther
who imprisoned galileo
who called washington a rebel
who shot lincoln
who killed gandhi
who murdered king
we are the heroes
who have desecrated ourselves.
i mourn not the loss of our innocence
but that our goodness was stillborn.
i mourn that we are callow
that we serve the basest of human vices within ourselves.
that we gorge ourselves on the sour wine of
cowardice in the guise of self-respect.
we are gluttons when it comes to the bitter potion of
if there is such a thing.
we are broken.
broken beyond repair.
perhaps if we obliterate ourselves
we can begin anew
from the ash we become.