May Day poems: For a better world and the best Us!
Posted: May 1, 2016 Filed under: English | Tags: Poems for International Workers' Day (May 1st)
. . .
(born 1940, Brooklyn, New York, USA)
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
. . .
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
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.
. . .
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
May I love you in laughter and grace all the
Days without end.
. . .
. . . . .