Poetry Blog by Marnanel Thurman (2016)

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Harry O'Neill on Breakdown of "I walked in darkness" (Sat, 5 Nov 2016 04:55 pm)

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Adam Whitworth on Breakdown of "I walked in darkness" (Fri, 4 Nov 2016 09:45 pm)

Breakdown of "I walked in darkness"

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Often, when I don't understand a poem, I've been glad of people explaining it to me. So I'm paying it forward, by breaking down one of mine for you. Here it is:


I walked in darkness. Many a lonely mile,
my eyes and footsteps hesitant and blind,
I sought a kindly light I did not find
in land or ocean, asking all the while
if lightless lives are taken in exchange
for li...

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(blatant Eliot ripoff)

One fine dark night with a fine dark sky
And fine-sliced moon so bright,
A Cat leapt forth with a fine black coat
And paws of moonlit white;
If I should ask you to say her name
I'm sure you'd tell me that
She's Yantantessera,
Tessera, Tessera,
Tessera Tessera, Cat.

She had no humans, she had no home,
She had no meals to eat,
But soon, by means of a friendly p...

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My auntie met a soldier

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My auntie met a soldier;
They fell in love, of course.
They'd run away, he told her,
At midnight, on a horse.
That evening, by the garden wall,
I watched with patient hope.
I never saw a horse at all.
I saw an aunt elope.

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Kashka Georgeson, poet and friend, died suddenly last month. I wrote and read this poem at her wake.

Today the sun shone on you, Kashka.
Clouds of the north, sunlight of the world.
Golden on our tears, as we said goodbye.
Kashka, you made it shine.

Today your friends shone on you, Kashka.
Fabulous, glitterfilled, purple and gold,
Rebels, queers, revolutionaries
Kashka, you made them sh...

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limerick, after "air and light and time and space"

"I'll write when the iron is hot!"
no baby, you use what you got,
and make your art still
in a mine or a mill,
instead of excuses why not.

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Scars are my stories

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Written around me, written within:
scars of my lifetime show on my skin.
This is a tooth I broke in a fight.
Here's where I tumbled, dancing all night.
Sites of injections. Chicken-pox spot.
Name of a lover better forgot.

Words in the open, words never said,
all of my stories hide in my head.
Tell me a story: now, evermore,
life has a pattern hidden before.
Tales of a lifetime carved i...

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Ubi caritas

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I was asked for a free translation of "Ubi caritas" (http://www0.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Ubi_caritas )

As friendship fills our meeting-place,
Jesus is here;
he dwells in every friend's embrace,
each smile sincere,
rejoicing in the love we share.
Wherever love is, God is there.

As friendship fills our meeting-place
Jesus brings peace.
Divisions heal, and by his grace
Arguments cease.

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Nonbinary song

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I've noticed recently how many more people listen to the message of a poem if I put a tune to it, so here's a recording with music.

They told me when I started school
I had to join a line.
There's one for girls and one for boys
I asked them which was mine.
They asked me if my mother raised
A daughter or a son,
They sent me to the corner, where
I made a line of one.
And the line for the gi...

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