Random Acts of Poetry Day–October 2017

On October 4, we celebrate Random Acts of Poetry Day.

Poets everywhere will write poems on sidewalks, blackboards, and whiteboards. They will pin poems on bulletin boards wherever they are found; and perhaps will distribute copies of poems in parks and on streets, buses, trains, and subways; and in restaurants, libraries, airports, shops, hotel lobbies, or any place encouraging public advertisements.

I offer four poems to random electronic readers to celebrate the day. Only one of the four I’ve selected is mine. The others are favorites, some of which I’ve mentioned in this blog earlier.

  • Simple Simon by Eve Merriam a

Simple Simon

Met a high man

In the government.

 

Said Simple Simon

To the high man,

“How are the taxes spent?”

 

“Billions,” said the high man

“For an antimissile system

That’s bound

To be obsolete

Before it ever

Gets off the ground.”

 

“But that’s ridiculous!”

Said Simple Simon

“If people knew

They’d make a fuss.”

 

“True,” said the high man.

“And when you take into account

That for just about half that amount

Everybody could have a decent job

And a house in a decent neighborhood.”

 

“Fantastic,” said Simple Simon.

“I don’t believe it.”

 

Said the high man,

“Good.”

                  a) from The Inner City Mother Goose. 3rd Edition. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996, p. 15.

 

  • My Brother’s Shirt, by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.b

It is mine now,

one stiff Army shirt,

THOMPSON printed

on the pocket.

United States Army

sends something home;

gives part of you back.

The part that cannot

breathe, or speak

or tease me

anymore.

                    b) From America at War. Edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, 2008, p.67.

 

  • “Racer” by Allan Roy Andrews c

Slender, thinner than one ought,

Her thighs taut, her back sloped

To drive body-force into revolutions,

She conquers nature, a captain

At the helm, married to the wind

And snarling at her upstream cruise.

A jogger on jagged steel;

A devotee to the derailleur; a lover

Lashed to drooping handlebars,

She gloats in unstopped speed,

And the sprocketed ticking

Of her spoked feet rises and fades,

A hissing siren kissing asphalt,

Luring my legs to her ways.

                    c) Originally published in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature Vol. X, No. 2, Spring, 1993, page 60. Accessed at poetrybyara.wordpress.com

 

  • i thank You God for most this amazing by e. e. cummings d

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

 

(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and of love and wings and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)

 

how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any—lifted from the no

of all nothing—human merely being

doubt unimaginable You?

 

(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened.)

                    d) From 100 Selected Poems by e. e. cummings. New York: Grove Press First Evergreen Edition, 1959, Poem 95, page 114.

 

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