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Since I haven't written an original poem for today, I'm shamelessly borrowing one of my poet friend Lee McCormack's latest works. He's well-worth reading, so enjoy!


Means "beautiful voice" from Greek καλλος (kallos) "beauty" and οψ (ops) "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.  

 Join us every Tuesday afternoon at the Daily Kos community political poetry club.

                    Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments.

                       Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional.                                

                            The keyboard is mightier than the sword.    

A Transparency: Between Desire and Resistance

You can take me if you want
I’ve been taken before
but never this far
between the haunting
image imagined and soul
breeding underneath
some god’s reflected animal skin
as I tread on the bones
of progress littering
the shores.

Take me, return me again
to a lover's spinning ocean
of dirt and water
as I joyfully cling
to this brief form of matter
born to relish in flesh
every desired sin
for — as Blake said —
What you don't do now
you will do then.

And there will be a dance
of molecules and cells
as we change
partners, a rhythmic
prancing and rearrangement
of all we believed before
body’s civilization fell
and the feared unknown
became a welcomed known,
while we reel and spin in solar wind
blowing through this living skin.

Then may we forgive
and be forgiven
and in mercy forget
everything but
the hesitant steps
that led from possession
to any compassionate breath
taken to ease life in
a suffering, animal world.

LHM © 2014

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    What I want to know is, who's going to pay for these crimes against humanity that those b@st@rds are perpetrating against the rest of us?

    by Kit RMP on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:07:56 PM PDT

  •  The first time I asked him for permission (7+ / 0-)

    to publish one of his poems here,
    Lee graciously gave me
    blanket permission to publish
    any of his poems
    at any time
    (so long as I give proper credit, of course).

    So, I'm exercising that privilege
    as life has caught up with me
    in other ways.

    Been working on my yard,
    and the ever-and-always
    trying to find some sort of balance
    between all the elements
    of my life: work, love, health,
    and so forth.

    Summer calls for being out, so
    I've been giving a lot of time
    to my yard, lately.
    And there's a lot to do
    just like in
    all those other
    areas of my life....

    (posting with a nod to bigjac....)

    What I want to know is, who's going to pay for these crimes against humanity that those b@st@rds are perpetrating against the rest of us?

    by Kit RMP on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:22:21 PM PDT

  •  I've been reading a lot of poems to my aunt, (5+ / 0-)

    who is recovering from a myocardial infraction. A better term would be, "utter discombobulation". But she's recombobulating week by week. If she keeps going at this rate, she'll get back to pretty much normal in a couple of months.

    I enjoy reading the poems, and she enjoys listening (and sometimes saying them along with me, those that are deep-furrowed in her mind). This is not one of those. But Ogden Nash is jolly fun. so I wanted to share this with you poets and lovers of poetry. It's about how we stretch metaphors until they're basically pretty lies, confounding what they aim to describe:

    Very Like a Whale

    One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
    Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and metaphor.
    Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,
    Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
    What does it mean when we are told
    That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
    In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience
    To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of Assyrians.
    However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and thus hinder longevity,
    We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
    Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold,
    Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a wolf on the fold?
    In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy there are great many things,
    But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
    No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
    Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof woof?
    Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at the very most,
    Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
    But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them,
    With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.
    That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets, from Homer to Tennyson;
    They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,
    And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm.
    Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,
    And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly
    What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:31:51 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the Ogden Nash chuckle! (4+ / 0-)

      I needed that--been trying not to be sad about all the things I can't afford to do, lately, and worrying a little about my son, who's attempting to replace the clutch on his girlfriend's car, since they can't afford to take it to a shop to get it done. It's good that we are a crew who believes in doing it ourselves, rather than waiting around and moaning about not being able to pay someone else to do it, but there are limits. More and more of us are having to push those limits, and it's damn wearing.

      My best wishes for a full recovery to your aunt!

      What I want to know is, who's going to pay for these crimes against humanity that those b@st@rds are perpetrating against the rest of us?

      by Kit RMP on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:59:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Greetings and thanks. These poems keep (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ruleoflaw, Brecht, Kit RMP

    those purple and gold cohorts at bay. Hope they do for all of you.

    •  :^) Thanks, back! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Portlaw, Brecht

      Don't know about "purple and gold cohorts," but a breath of a "higher" air is always welcome! (Not to mention a hilarious one. ;^)  )

      What I want to know is, who's going to pay for these crimes against humanity that those b@st@rds are perpetrating against the rest of us?

      by Kit RMP on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:26:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hi Kit! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kit RMP, Brecht, Portlaw

    I got here late, but I'm here.
    Mr. McCormack's work is very fine indeed.

    . . . while we reel and spin in solar wind
    blowing through this living skin.
    makes me want to come along!

    The Copper Falls poems are coming along nicely.
    They will be popping up in some Story/Screed/Poetry diaries about the Penokee Hills in the very near future.

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:10:21 PM PDT

    •  rol, always glad to see you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ruleoflaw, Brecht, Portlaw

      whenever you show up! Looking forward to those poems!

      What I want to know is, who's going to pay for these crimes against humanity that those b@st@rds are perpetrating against the rest of us?

      by Kit RMP on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:22:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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