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National Poetry Month: Gary Snyder

bucking_hay

Hay for the Horses by Gary Snyder

He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
—The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds—
“I’m sixty-eight” he said,
“I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that’s just what
I’ve gone and done.”

From Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems by Gary Snyder, published by North Point Press. Copyright © 1958,
1959, 1965 Gary Snyder.

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War Poems For National Poetry Month: Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, by Bob Dylan

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warnin’
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
I heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you meet my blue-eyed son ?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded in hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

And what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what’ll you do now my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
And the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell and speak it and think it and breathe it
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it
And I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singing
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

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War Poems For National Poetry Month: Thomas Hardy, The Man He Killed

'Destroy_this_mad_brute'_WWI_propaganda_poster_(US_version)

The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy

“Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!
“But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.
“I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although
“He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.
“Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.”
Why War Poems?  I explain here;
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War Poems For National Poetry Month: David Kreiger, Greeting Bush In Baghdad

Greeting Bush in Baghdad by David Krieger

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog.”
— Muntader al-Zaidi

You are a guest in my country, unwanted
surely, but still a guest.

You stand before us waiting for praise,
but how can we praise you?

You come after your planes have rained
death on our cities.

Your soldiers broke down our doors,
humiliated our men, disgraced our women.

We are not a frontier town and you are not
our marshal.

You are a torturer.  We know you force water
down the throats of our prisoners.

We have seen the pictures of our naked prisoners
threatened by your snarling dogs.

You are a maker of widows and orphans,
a most unwelcome guest.

I have only this for you, my left shoe that I hurl
at your lost and smirking face,

and my right shoe that I throw at your face
of no remorse.

Why a “War Poem?”  It’s a long month–this is just the first ‘theme’ in celebration of National Poetry Month, but here’s the explanation:

https://oldroadapples.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/war-poems-for-national-poetry-month-wilfred-owen-dulce-et-decorum-est/

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April is National Poetry Month

We missed National Ice Cream Month, and International Pancake Day (but only by a day, so we were close), but I’m damn certain we’re not going to blow National Poetry Month, even if I’m pretty sure I’ll live to regret that vow.

I’m still debating how to celebrate this exquisite holiday which begins, appropriately enough, on April Fools Day.  I’ll probably shout some “whoops” and maybe eat a cupcake–neither of which full under the purview of this blog, so I guess that each day I’ll post a poem I like.

Now, the folks who brought you NaNoWriMo are bringing us the equally titillating NaPoWriMo–and however tempted I may be to say I’ll participate, I’m rotate.php

http://www.napowrimo.net/

also old and wise enough to know better than to accept a job I know I can’t finish–I’m a slow poet, and far from prolific–I don’t have a shot at it, but will certainly support those who are, and who aspire to the challenge.

I”m sure I’ll come up with some other suitably themed celebratory posts–maybe I’ll boost the number of reposts, or note some cool poetry links.  We’ll see