Monday, April 14, 2014

MOdPo'er Lowell Murphree is donating proceeds from the sale of his book of poems, Bindings, to ModPo'er Jamie Givens health fund.  Please buy the book and please donate to the cause, because ModPo is not just a poetry class, it is a movement.


Ok ModPo, THIS is it!
BINDINGS by Lowell Murphree is now published and let loose on the world!
Here is a FREE pdf for all our wonderful community to enjoy! Lowell and Jeremy will not take any financial reward from this enterprise, all we ask is that if you like the book you will make a donation to Jamie's health fund – let's see what a difference poetry can make!
 
Brigitte Pellat Here is the link http://www.gofundme.com/jamiegivens

www.gofundme.com
Our dear friend, Jamie Givens, is on a two year journey to wellness after being ...diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer this year. The sole owner of a licensed massage therapy practice, Jamie hasn't been able to work since October 29, 2013 due to the cancer and treatment. Covering daily expense...See More
 
BINDINGS by Lowell Murphree
The book can now be downloaded at Dropbox, here is the address.
Please share it with any of your friends outside this group who may enjoy Lowell's work. Poetry has raised nearly $100 for Jamie's health fund, and it would be fantastic if we can generate more interest and more donations
 

 

Monday, April 7, 2014

DC Poetica, April 6, 2014.

Counterclockwise from bottom left: Lori, James, Treva (on computer), John, Susan, Ray, Kelleyanne.  Ursula is the photographer. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014!

Cross-posted from napowrimo.net

 

Get set . . .

On March 31, 2014
Tomorrow is the first day of NaPoWrimo. I hope you are feeling excited and inspired.
Today’s poetry resource is the Big Poetry Giveaway. Now in its fifth year, the Giveaway celebrates National Poetry Month by giving participants the opportunity to get books of poetry, for free!
I know that by the time I post the first “official” prompt, it will already have been April 1 for a while in some parts of the world, so here is an extra little prompt (totally optional — as all our prompts are) for those of you who are experiencing NaPoWriMo earlier than me.
The prompt for all you early birds is an ekphrastic poem – a poem inspired by or about a work of art. There’s no rules on the form for an ekphrastic poem, so you could write a sonnet or a haiku or free verse. Some well-known ekphrastic poems include Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo and Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn. But ekphrastic poetry is alive and well today, too, as your efforts today will reflect.
Happy writing!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Poems by ModPo'ers published in Filipino anthology

Poems by ModPo'ers T. De Los Reyes and Dennis Aguinaldo are included in the book, Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets, which has just been released today. 

The official press release can be read here: http://versestyphoonyolanda.blogspot.com.

The anthology was created for fundraising purposes. If you buy a copy, profits from the sales of the book will go to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Langston Hughes poems posted in February, 2014

Langston Hughes poems posted in February

2/1      Youth
2/2       I too, Sing America
2/3       I Look at the World
2/4       Let America Be American Again
2/5       As I Grew Older
2/6       Daybreak in Alabama
2/7       Dream Variations
2/8       Theme for English B
2/9       Negro Speaks of Rivers
2/10     Love Song for Lucinda
2/11     Afro-American Fragment
2/12     The Weary Blues
2/13     Pennsylvania Station
2/14     Harlem Sweeties
2/15     Midwinter Blues
2/16     Cubes
2/17     Montage of a Dream Deferred: Dream Boogie
2/18     Montage of a Dream Deferred: Children's Rhymes
2/19     Mississippi - 1955
2/20     Advertisement for the Waldorf-Astoria
2/21     Freedom's Plow
2/22     Open Letter to the South
2/23     I Dream a World
2/24     Mother to Son
2/25     Militant
2/26     Old Walt
2/27     Harlem
2/28     Hope for Harlem

 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

DC Poetica discusses two Rilke poems Sunday, February 2, 2014

L to r: back row: Lori, James, John, Ray.  Front row: Kelleyanne, Susan.
Joining us on Skype (internationally): Treva, Carol, Moshe, and Kent.  

Friday, January 31, 2014

Poems by ModPo'ers: Lalarukh Lasharie

Let Us Name The Dead

I have walked among the dead
My eyes shut
We are the dead
Let us name the dead
They are you and I

2537 dead
Trust us!
These are bad guys we are killing!
Only militants
No combatants
No collateral damage

Let us name the dead
Sakina, Bano, Amjad, Gul Mohammad...

These deaths will haunt us
As long as we live
No boots on the ground
No tanks, no seals
Only hawks raining fire
No humans, just robots

Let us name the dead
Zainab Bibi, Fatima, Imran, Fazal Jan...

Single strikes are obsolete
Doubles are all the rage
Just to make sure, you see.
How pathetic, they congregate
For rescue and mourning!
Strike again! Just to make sure

Let us name the dead
Baby Noor, Faiza, Ayesha, Afzal Khan...

Reaper Drones
We weep when we sow
The grimmest reaper.
Surgically precise
And an effective tool.
This is a false narrative!

Let us name the dead
Ayub, Khadija, Ejaz, Dilawer, Zarina...

I have walked among the dead
My eyes shut
We are the dead
Let us name the dead
They are you and I

©2014 January.
Lalarukh Lasharie

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Amiri Baraka on his poetry and breaking the rules

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHG60P2ECNk

"...My hope is that the great poets that have existed in America will find their voice in a collective way and that we will be able to rescue all of the lost and the obscure, the willfully hidden poets in Poetry....the powers that be hide that literature which speaks against their rule, and they have done that since the beginning of time, and they will do that as long as they can, they will do that until, finally, we are in charge, the people are in charge of what needs to be published..."

Monday, December 30, 2013

a winter solstice poem (still under construction)

new books arrived in the laundry room
(my wife lets me do laundry more often since I retired)

German novels, African American history,
Native American languages, British plays -
I thumb through all the new additions,

while the whites wash and the colors dry. 
An eclectic collection, well kept (I can tell) and
carefully read by a conscientious reader,

perhaps a tenant, now departed, her books
abandoned, left behind to testify
on her (or his) behalf.  And launderers

like me now benefit from such largesse.
I thumb through them all,
and wonder will my volumes end up here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Poems by ModPo'ers: Lowell Murphree

Still and All

Still and all, if you ask in that way, I might reply – “peace.”
Although the wind would likely disagree and would be
Pressed to bring the gushing creek to share the thought

Among our loose wrapped memories are few 
With ribbons tied -- 
No disappointment showing

The fireplace chafes at 
Keeping all that pent up sun between the blackened dogs
And calmly turning twisted pine unto soot

Something’s wild and vengeful
In your eyes – something like to hate that 
Shakes the earth and strips the forest bare

Tornados, hurricanes, wars and derision, 
Let these come Christmas Eve. 
We’ll find some virtue in combatting 
Joy in gritting our bared gnashing teeth

It’s when becalmed our canyons start to gape
Our wolves are still, I 
Know my insides come unzipped 

It’s then I cannot stand or understand 
The shepherd or the sheep 
But longing (though I wish it weren’t so) 
And thoroughly betrayed by -- Love. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Poems by ModPo'ers: Sophia Pandeya

Solstice

Elongated in your tresses I am
the opposite of sleep
Shab-e-Yalda, tonight
it is myself that I weave

Poet, pour the night’s
darkest wine, let me unlock
the keys to my ruin
your lips, Shab-e-Yalda!

Your wine is a deep
inkwell, let me drink it all
and die, no need to write
my name, just see

the stars, Shab-e-Yalda!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Poems by Modpo'ers: Mark Herron

Winter Solstice

The shortest day is upon us, and our structures
Built to observe, like Stone Henge, the pyramids
Track the sun’s alignment, demonstrate this day
We look out, on this, the closest day to Heaven

If each concentric sphere were like our world
They too would face the Sun, not this Earth
Our guiding constellations - people and animals
They would turn their backs on us as well

We watch the Sun each year; we map his path
Beloved being, like us, we wonder at your span

Like fond farewell, the Sun but lingers in the sky
Again, we pray the days run longer from here
In hope, dread, we measure on this shortest day
For a longer tomorrow, another beautiful year

Monday, December 16, 2013

Poetry by ModPo'er Mary Thompson Hardwick


LAST WEEK

Sunday
teary
Can’t cheat
Death

Monday
leary
Another one
Out of gas

Tuesday
dreary
Read “Life”
at Death

Wednesday
weary
Road tired
Home

Thursday
theory
Big Bang
TV

Friday
eerie
Feverish sleep
Dreams

Saturday
query
Maybe
O’leary’s

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013 meeting of the DC Politics and Prose Poets Society



Today Isn’t Everything
by Pablo Neruda

Something of yesterday clings to today,
a flag or a potsherd;
or simply a notion of light,
the scum on a midnight’s aquarium,
an unwithering thread---
essential tenacity, gold in the air:
something persists, whatever passes away
a little diminished, to fall under the arrows
of the hostile sun and its combats.

Else, why
in the glowing autonomy
of the positive day
that we lived
did a portent of seagulls
stay on, circling back as if it would stagger
the mix of its blue with the blue
that had vanished?

I tell you:

Inside the light
your soul makes its circle,
refining itself to extinction, 
or enlarging its rings like the stroke of a bell.

And between death and rebirth
the space is less grand
than we thought, the frontier
less implacable.
Light’s shape is round as a ring
and we move ourselves by its movements.

Translation: Ben Belitt
From Late and Posthumous Poems: 1968-1974

Sunday, December 8, 2013

a short poem for a sad moment (originally titled Metro Center)

He always knew
his enemies
would not be able
to destroy him -

nor would
violence or disease
conspire to
take him out –

nor would he be
behind the wheel
when he crossed
the River Jordan –

one night he would
fall asleep, as usual,
and wake up
in Beulahland.

a luta continua...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A favorite poem of my favorite high school math teacher

A Prayer
By John Drinkwater (1882–1937)

LORD, not for light in darkness do we pray,
Not that the veil be lifted from our eyes,
Nor that the slow ascension of our day
            Be otherwise.

Not for a clearer vision of the things        5
Whereof the fashioning shall make us great,
Not for the remission of the peril and stings
            Of time and fate.

Not for a fuller knowledge of the end
Whereto we travel, bruised yet unafraid,        10
Nor that the little healing that we lend
            Shall be repaid.

Not these, O Lord. We would not break the bars
Thy wisdom sets about us; we shall climb
Unfetter’d to the secrets of the stars        15
            In Thy good time.

We do not crave the high perception swift
When to refrain were well, and when fulfil,
Nor yet the understanding strong to sift
            The good from ill.        20

Not these, O Lord. For these Thou hast reveal’d,
We know the golden season when to reap
The heavy-fruited treasure of the field,
            The hour to sleep.

Not these. We know the hemlock from the rose,        25
The pure from stain’d, the noble from the base,
The tranquil holy light of truth that glows
            On Pity’s face.

We know the paths wherein our feet should press,
Across our hearts are written Thy decrees:        30
Yet now, O Lord, be merciful to bless
            With more than these.

Grant us the will to fashion as we feel,
Grant us the strength to labour as we know,
Grant us the purpose, ribb’d and edged with steel,        35
            To strike the blow.

Knowledge we ask not—knowledge Thou hast lent,
But, Lord, the will—there lies our bitter need,
Give us to build above the deep intent
            The deed, the deed.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ModPo'er Monica Saviron reviews New York Film Festival films with a poet's sensibility

Read her essay on the first nine films in Lumiere here.  Check out how she masterfully weaves ModPo poets and their works into her review.

Read her essay on the next 14 films here.   Same as above, but also check out how she riffs about the relationship between poetry and film.   

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Poems by ModPo'ers: Mark Snyder

Let’s go dance (End of ModPo ’13)

after reading the first poem
my head went numb–
have I answered your question?
how do I get started?
a quick rough sketch, warts and all
I think you’re going to enjoy THIS–
when they were good they were incredible.

Most of us don’t sleep,
I’m pretty sure Al doesn’t.

Most of these poets would have been sent
to the Ministry of Love and vaporized,
bourgeois decadence–
degenerate art–
making sense is overrated.

What do you make of her use of windows and doors?
What else could she have meant by Paradise?
I hadn’t the slightest idea.
You’re only disqualified from the group
if you forget your towel. Don’t panic.

How would one avoid the “splinter”
that shunts the brain out of its groove?

What do you see?
Isn’t any creative work bullshit
if you look at it in a certain way?

What I assume you shall assume–
she leads her alien invasion
as Williams dances like a lunatic
and Kathleen and the baby sleeps downstairs.

I’m not a lit guy, so I don’t know.
It’s always a conversation between you and the poet
Experiment, see what works for you.

Let’s go dance in front of the mirror
but make sure you have at least
one post per week
in the poem-specific subforums.

My ModPo wrap-up poem: Goodbye but not farewell

Goodbye but not farewell.
We will continue our conversations
and social media chats –
with new friends,
with old friends.

And we will continue writing poems:
together in small groups,
and at home, alone,
in the midnight hour that is not
midnight, but that
floats between isha and fajr -
the darkest part of night -
when passions die,
and distractions fall to the side.

The songwriting teacher said all I needed
was a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary –
but it hasn’t proven sufficient –

and there are no final words, anyway,
no bridge, no chorus, no refrain,
just a tight hug, a soft sigh, a tender kiss,
and a throw-away “see-you-tomorrow,”
maybe, if you’re lucky. And all my
countrymen are poets, and sailors.

No, goodbye is not farewell.
There is SloPo on Facebook,
and sudden spoon is resurrecting,
and the Breakfast Club opera is on track,
and KWH is always open,
and there are Sunday get-togethers in DC
whenever you are passing through.

And all our blogs and our websites are up,
and NaPoWriMo comes in April,
and Postcard Poetry Fest comes in August,
and before you know it, ModPo14!

Poems by ModPo'ers: Therese Pope

Mothers of Poetry

Who is this mother?
She sits and waits by a window
Tears streaming down her cheeks
With bratty babe sniffling at her sleeve

Is she Jane Austen's melancholy, forlorn side-kick
The kind who reads too much weepy Shakespeare
By candlelight, on a stormy night?

A hopeful Romantic
Now withered by form

Is her blood noble
Or is she strong and brazen
Stein-like, contemplating sentences?

A wild vixen who shushes grammar
Sinister, slinking
Sneaking up behind you
To scare the daylights out of rhyme

Look how she poses
Dabbing at her cheek

Who are these mothers?
Dancing around silky syllables
Accenting hazy lines
Plying us with
Diatribes that never really speak

These mothers of poetry
Sit,
Slumping in overstuffed chairs
That never fade with time

Forcing a half-smile
And with a woeful wink,
They wait for us
Words pressed to silent lips.