May Day poems: For a better world and the best Us!

Jewelweed or Touch Me Not sprouting in the backyard_May 1st 2016. . .

William Heyen

(born 1940, Brooklyn, New York, USA)

Emancipation Proclamation


Whereas it minds its own mind

& lives in its one place so faithfully

& its trunk supports us when we lean against it

& its branches remind us of how we think


Whereas it keeps no bank account but hoards carbon

& does not discriminate between starlings and robins

& provides free housing for insects & squirrels

& lifts its heartwood grave into the air


Whereas it holds our firmament in place

& writes underground gospel with its roots

& whispers us oxygen with its leaves

& so far survives our new climate of ultraviolet


Whereas it & its kind when we meet beneath them

shade our sorrows & temper our prayers

& their colours evoke our dream of beauty

from before we were born into this hereafter


We the people for ourselves & our children

necessarily proclaim this tree

free from commerce,

& belonging to itself

as long as it

& we

shall live.

. . .

Glenn Sheldon

(Massachusetts, USA)

Years Unite to Become Centuries


There is much in accumulation:

snow becoming snowstorms,

books burning to reveal

libraries as our only eternities.


One poet murdered by a revolution

leads to other poets hanging naked

in another dictator’s courtyard.


One kiss can become kisses,

all the prodigal sons returned home

at the same time: laughter unleashed.


Not one wine bottle to toast with

but millions.


Not a stampede by one, but by hundreds

of humans with purpose

(in a universe placing its bets on chaos).


A tree looks solid, until its rings

are revealed, ripples in a secret history.


Then there are the mass graves,

where names become one – The-Stolen-From-Us.


Never forget or become forgettable, for

zero is a trickster, a turncoat, a secret tyrant.

The calendar is both a powerful ally and a foe.

. . .

Susan Lang

(Arizona, USA)

Out the Window


No one should design a kitchen

without a window over the sink.

Imagine washing dishes


when you couldn’t watch the clouds

break apart after an afternoon rain,

backlit so their centres glow


like swirling clouds in Tiepolo’s

paintings, the edges shredding

into neighbours’ trees, or like papers


you read about in the Sunday Times,

memos “tangled in the boughs”

after days of protests in the streets


of a city you’ve never visited.

You don’t know if the kitchens

in that city have windows,


you aren’t familiar with the buildings

that line the central square, or the sound

of the sirens police use


in that city. But you can imagine

the papers, imagine throwing

fistfuls of papers from the office


which does, indeed, have a window

looking out over the square;

you can feel the wind that stirs the papers


like leaves that have not yet pushed

into the revolution of a painted sky.

. . .

Luis H. Francia

(Philippines / USA)

#7: Prayer for Peace


May a bird kill a cannon

and a baby destroy a gun

May buildings banish missiles

and children stop tanks

May a mother’s love burn bombs

and hand grenades

May palm trees and olive groves

overwhelm planes with their

beauty and bounty

May the rivers and the earth repel

all things that stain and sully them

May blood spilled flow back into the

veins of the innocent dead

May families rise up out of the ashes

to break bread once more

May love curl around the barren hearts of men

May the flowers of imagination bloom in their minds

May our wars be only of words, never of swords

May the gods we pray to be

without history, without names

without nations, without creeds

without religion

May I love you in laughter and grace all the

Days without end.

. . .

More poems…


Otros poemas…


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