Poetry Blog by Fernwood Press

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Fernwood Press on 2 (Sat, 27 Apr 2019 04:05 pm)

Fernwood Press on Tornadoes (Sat, 27 Apr 2019 04:04 pm)

Fernwood Press on Pig on trial (Sat, 27 Apr 2019 04:03 pm)

Fernwood Press on What I Don't Want to Hear (Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:58 pm)

keith jeffries on What I Don't Want to Hear (Fri, 12 Apr 2019 10:49 pm)

Fernwood Press on What I Don't Want to Hear (Fri, 12 Apr 2019 09:01 pm)

Fernwood Press on Lilacs (Wed, 3 Apr 2019 08:02 pm)

Stephen Coombe on Lilacs (Thu, 28 Mar 2019 01:24 pm)

Fernwood Press on Why I Want to Own a Platypus (Mon, 25 Mar 2019 08:38 pm)

Alan Travis Braddock on Why I Want to Own a Platypus (Fri, 22 Mar 2019 08:07 am)

2

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What we think is lovely

shapes what we think

is not.

What we think is good

defines the bad.

 

Life defines death.

Long defines short.

High can't exist without low.

 

The Spirit-filled teacher

sees clearly,

is not trapped

in the pull of opposites.

She teaches

with her mouth shut,

nurtures others

with non-possessive warmth,

setting them free.

...

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beautydeathlovelytao te ching

Tornadoes

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Not all tornadoes

      rip and ravage wide swaths

      across grasslands, the flat prairies

      nor deep into the wet pungent air

      of old plantation country.

      No! No Joplin nor Tuscaloosa, here.

                       These drop

                         bomb-like

                         from the

                         turbulent

                       ...

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HopesLoss of hopepainrebuildturmoil

Pig on trial

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It's hard to live a making, hard, hard to make a living

even without the exorcist interferes. I've been a fog

harmer, a hog harmer. I have hogged farms all my life

and my father's life before that. I'm so mad I can't talk right

and the priest will probably say I'm witch crafted too.

 

I've already paid the lawyer more than the pork

is worth. The lawyers available to represent ...

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bibledeathfunnyjokepigtrialword play

What I Don't Want to Hear

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My health insurance got cancelled last week.

This

I do not want to hear.

I do not care that I can

reinstate it today.

I do not care that I emerge

five days later, insured

and unscathed.

I am not grateful for the miracle

of good health which

is not a small miracle.

I do not want to hear

that I have to do it all

now alone.

My back-up man is gone—

the one ...

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#deathlosslove

Close to the Ground

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I choke on the word spirituality.

Not so much on the reality

but the sometimes solitary focus

on the ethereal, mystical, and utterly

invisible. I lose my way in the mist.

My spirit hums closer

to the ground, often emerges

with mud on its face. It scrounges

truth among the mushrooms and

lichen. Peels off labels from

discarded tin cans, and there among

the roaches an...

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godNatureprayerspirituality

71

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To know

you don't know

is a gift.

To think you know

when you don't 

is a disease.

 

To know you are diseased

is a gift

that allows you

to lift yourself

into health.

 

- Jim Teeters from Because of This

 

http://www.fernwoodpress.com/2018/01/10/because-of-this/

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adviceknowledgetao te chingWisdom

My father's gift

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I remember hearing my father's voice

      from beyond the grave.

      No dream—a single, scratchy vinyl

      had captured his characteristic

      lilting, homiletic style,

      that seemed,

       in and of itself,

       to be the message—

       no surprises there,

       nor flights,

       yet a resonance

       that touched

       and stays with me

...

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deathfathergriefoldsonvinylvoice

The day before the croquet match

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Clubs, ace to king, prepare for a day of wicketness.

Yoga (downward dog) helps. Limbering ointment

promises more flex, less ache. If cards crease, it's

 

Off with their heads!

 

Diamonds are dispatched to capture

hedgehogs. They trek into the woods with hedgehog

horns and nets. Problem is, hedgehogs who've played 

croquet past years are not invited for rematch.

The mo...

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aliceinwonderlandchildrendeathextinctiongenocideRoyalty

Lilacs

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Between the last customer

and morning light

in the parking lot of the Korean Gentleman's Club,

he picks lilacs for me.

Standing high against a warehouse wall,

these always bloom early, and 

he goes annually, covertly, in the still dark,

unsure of welcome by the

Korean Gentlemen.

He fills the car.

 

I imagine that damp, spring-scented ride home,

his fantasy of be...

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crimeflowerslilacslovememorypolicereminisceromancetheft

New White Urban Pioneer

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Deep is the dampness settling upon my brown skin.

A layered onion would not succumb to its 

seduction.

 

An Oregon rain is persistent, precipitated by

a scowl of dirty clouds, a Creole-colored frown,

its sound preceding as if pitter-pattering feet running

free like caribou on an open plain.

 

Nothing tastes better than Jovino's Pinot Gris,

recommended by Emily, a wine...

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black lives matteremily dickinsonpocwine

Why I Want to Own a Platypus

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I have this collection of wooden

birds from Bolivia. Parrot,

toucan, woodpecker, hummingbird,

owl, goose, duck, flamingo and a flock 

of small, nameless warblers

perch on convenient spaces

around my apartment. All native

to South America, they stir

memories and fill this indoor

air with silent song. On my last

trip to La Paz, I noticed a few

wooden platypuses for s...

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boliviafunlaughlight-heartedplatypussouth americatourist

Poem 64 of "Because of This"

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64

Stop, look inward.

Be aware by becoming still.

Notice your thoughts.

They are seeds.

Plant with care.

 

This may be difficult

because we want

progress quickly,

but even the longest journey

starts with

a single movement.

A tower rises from

a single brick.

 

Just be. 

Don't worry about failure or success.

Breathe.

Step by step,

life emer...

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beingbelongingcalmcentermeditatetao te ching

Poem 64 of "Because of This"

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64

Stop, look inward.

Be aware by becoming still.

Notice your thoughts.

They are seeds.

Plant with care.

 

This may be difficult

because we want

progress quickly,

but even the longest journey

starts with

a single movement.

A tower rises from

a single brick.

 

Just be. 

Don't worry about failure or success.

Breathe.

Step by step,

life emer...

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tao te ching

There is a Later Train

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This isn't the last train. But the late train

has no quiet cars. If a baby squalls no conductor

shushes her. You must shush her yourself.

The late train has no dining car. So board

 

this train now, or pack a picnic, your own

tablecloth, napkins, napkin-rings, silver,

porcelain. The late train has no schedule.

Depends on how many girlfriends the brakeman

 

wants to vi...

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dichotomyevangelismevangelistheavenironymetaphoroppositereligionsegregationtrain

It's a Miracle, I Tell You

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The staccato rain on the roof

The sudden parting of clouds

 

The silent worship of morning

The kettle's steamy clicking on the stove

 

The stellar jay defending the nest

The gang of crows flying off

 

The 100 bones of feet

The climbing of mountains

 

The slenderness of throat

The fullness of hymns on Sunday

 

The meeting of you

The knowing of me

 

...

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collectionconnectionlovemiracle

Come Down from the Clouds

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Come down from among the Clouds

Come down from among the clouds and seat yourselves.

I will set plates for y'all. There will be no wooden flatware,

no metal cups, certainly no raggedy napkins. The ceramic

made in China, flatware in the USA, tempered glass in 

Argentina, and napkins cut and sewn by a little old colored

lady in Little Rock, Arkansas, while her great granddaughter

...

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black lives matterhistoryironypoliticssarcasm

Response to Section 63 from Tao Te Ching

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Be more by doing less.

Accomplish more by taking a rest.

Taste more by eating slow.

What seems unlikely

may bring the greatest reward,

as when we treat our adversary

with kindness.

 

Big weeds grow from a tiny seed.

Infection comes from a small scratch.

Small acts deter disaster.

Humble beginnings can grow into greatness.

 

The wise one perceives potential

...

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growthpacifismresttao te chingwise mind

Player Piano

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Player piano in the empty funeral parlor foyer cranks

out old standards with a Dixieland flourish. The old

wooden cross. How great thou art. Take my hand precious

Lord. No one hears it. No one is here to discuss pre-planning.

 

No one peruses coffins for his aunt who has been sick so long

the family forgot she would die. No one is scooped out

by grief at the accidental death o...

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deathfuneralgriefmarriagemorticianold

Poem from One of Our New Collections

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Less Than a Second

Less than a second

is the time it takes to fall in love.

             That summer night

             you walked out of the bright house

             on to the dark deck

             ready for the next day's wedding,

             already celebrating every damn thing

             anyone could think of,

             laughter floating out of your pores

...

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ALSdeathdementiadisabilitylosslove

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