Grateful Dead

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Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
Prerequisites for Preservation

we're gonna need to get organized
live beyond boundaries
soften our hearts
talk to each other

we're gonna need to leave behind our baggage
relinquish our comfort
release our control

we're gonna need to give up our addictions
confront our pain
ask for help
give more than we take

we're gonna need to dream bigger
work harder
get dirty
take time

we're gonna need to remember
we're gonna need to forgive
we're gonna need to let go
we're gonna need to let go

we're gonna need to feel fully
revive our intuition
make up our minds
enact change

we're gonna need to look at ourselves
reconcile our ignorance
sacrifice shame

make amends

we're gonna need to need less

peel away the nonessential
go hungry
break a sweat

we're gonna need to heal our fears
tell our secrets
share with our enemies
love ourselves

we're gonna need to study existence
refine our dreams
mediate our shadows
cure our disbelief

we're gonna need to practice magic
we're gonna need to cherish water
we're gonna need to grieve
we're gonna need to move on

we're gonna need to stay focused
we're gonna need to be strong
tend our commitment to beauty
fuel our devotion to truth

we're gonna need to pray
we're gonna need to follow through

endure burning
we're gonna need to

we're gonna need to trust

we're gonna need to give light
we're gonna give light
we are light
we are

- Naima Penniman

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
American Smooth

We were dancing - it must have
been a foxtrot or a waltz,
something romantic but
requiring restraint,
rise and fall, precise
execution as we moved
into the next song without
stopping, two chests heaving
above a seven-league
stride - such perfect agony,
one learns to smile through,
ecstatic mimicry
being the sine qua non
of American Smooth.
And because I was distracted
by the effort of
keeping my frame
(the leftward lean, head turned
just enough to gaze out
past your ear and always
smiling, smiling),
I didn't notice
how still you'd become until
we had done it
(for two measures?
four?) - achieved flight,
that swift and serene
before the earth
remembered who we were
and brought us down.

- Rita Dove

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
Love Dogs

One night a man was crying,
"Allah! Allah!"
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
"So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?"
The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khadir, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing you express is the return message."
The grief you cry out
from draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.

- Rumi

slo lettuce's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2012
Happy Bicycle Day :)

All the plans
That were made
Let them die
Let them fade...
After all's said and done
Only here a moment
Then the moment's gone
I'll spend the day in my own way

from In My Own Way - Ray LaMontagne 'Ouroboros'

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
monk music

Music functions in a pattern.
Patterns function in a whiz; the
worse for patternistry which is not
there. The gems of few lines. Then
- music functions whole, patterns
into system patterns. Thus do
patterns become history and
music - forms. Yes, do pages of
phrases write motion, still things -
that move, that have lines in mystery, because the best music then forms
benign of misery.

Blues yes! The blues do. But
there is the music -in the blues
that do and mercuriate to fire
straight lines, non-curve, in
monohorizontal unperplexed –
in placate history with story-flight
that flies faster than
the bumblebees, yet
with a blue aura:

time in history does
form this semblance,
gravity in norm as
unquested and easy,
easily drawn.

Straight go: time as music alive
between the heats -plus-non-plus
quicker in deed than Hurricane
Jackson the heavyweight, more
Alice in Wonderland before the
feet think twice
is Monk's music is.

Feeling driving non-driving diz.

- Henry Grimes

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
Being Human

I wonder if the sun debates dawn
some mornings
not wanting to rise
out of bed
from under the down-feather horizon

if the sky grows tired
of being everywhere at once
adapting to the mood
swings of the weather

if clouds drift off
trying to hold themselves together
make deals with gravity
to loiter a little longer

I wonder if rain is scared
of falling
if it has trouble
letting go

if snow flakes get sick
of being perfect all the time
each one
trying to be one-of-a-kind

I wonder if stars wish
upon themselves before they die
if they need to teach their young
how to shine

I wonder if shadows long
to just-for-once feel the sun
if they get lost in the shuffle
not knowing where they’re from

I wonder if sunrise
and sunset
respect each other
even though they’ve never met

if volcanoes get stressed
if storms have regrets
if compost believes in life
after death

I wonder if breath ever thinks of suicide
if the wind just wants to sit
still sometimes
and watch the world pass by

if smoke was born
knowing how to rise
if rainbows get shy back stage
not sure if their colors match right

I wonder if lightning sets an alarm clock
to know when to crack
if rivers ever stop
and think of turning back

if streams meet the wrong sea
and their whole lives run off-track
I wonder if the snow
wants to be black

if the soil thinks she’s too dark
if butterflies want to cover up their marks
if rocks are self-conscious of their weight
if mountains are insecure of their strength

I wonder if waves get discouraged
crawling up the sand
only to be pulled back again
to where they began

if land feels stepped upon
if sand feels insignificant
if trees need to question their lovers
to know where they stand

if branches waver at the crossroads
unsure of which way to grow
if the leaves understand they’re replaceable
and still dance when the wind blows

I wonder
where the moon goes
when she is in hiding
I want to find her there

and watch the ocean
spin from a distance
listen to her
stir in her sleep

effort give way to existence

- Naima Penniman

slo lettuce's picture
Joined: Jul 20 2012
What We Need

The Emperor,
his bullies
and henchmen,
terrorize the world
every day

which is why
every day

we need

a little poem
of kindness,

a small song
of peace,

a brief moment
of joy.

-David Budbill

Joined: May 28 2015
Forward To The Past (Redux and Recovers)

Don't know about The Donald's true desires
Detail's in the devils fanning, "You're fired."
Is he building a covered bridge too far
Taking us back to the USSR?

If rushin' love's not for covert lootin'
Perhaps hushed rendezvous pleasin' Putin'
Repay debts with risky, Rusky rootin'
And addressin' Russia as well suitin'.

Trump soundly renounced all intelligence
Announcing, "Mexico pays for the fence!"
Then he chose one unworthy of two... Pence
Cheer leader for synchronized sycophants.

Trump's tenure will defile his rank's living
With labored days, no raise, no Thanksgiving.
His eviction requires complete sieving
Of toxic tax tactics, he's not giving.

Randall Lard's picture
Joined: Jul 30 2012
Letter to the Local Police

Dear Sirs:

I have been enjoying the law and order of our
community throughout the past three months since
my wife and I, our two cats, and miscellaneous
photographs of the six grandchildren belonging to
our previous neighbors (with whom we were very
close) arrived in Saratoga Springs which is clearly
prospering under your custody

Indeed, until yesterday afternoon and despite my
vigilant casting about, I have been unable to discover
a single instance of reasons for public-spirited concern,
much less complaint

You may easily appreciate, then, how it is that
I write to your office, at this date, with utmost
regret for the lamentable circumstances that force
my hand

Speaking directly to the issue of the moment:

I have encountered a regular profusion of certain
unidentified roses, growing to no discernible purpose,
and according to no perceptible control, approximately
one quarter mile west of the Northway, on the southern

To be specific, there are practically thousands of
the aforementioned abiding in perpetual near riot
of wild behavior, indiscriminate coloring, and only
the Good Lord Himself can say what diverse soliciting
of promiscuous cross-fertilization

As I say, these roses, no matter what the apparent
background, training, tropistic tendencies, age,
or color, do not demonstrate the least inclination
toward categorization, specified allegiance, resolute
preference, consideration of the needs of others, or
any other minimal traits of decency

May I point out that I did not assiduously seek out
this colony, as it were, and that these certain
unidentified roses remain open to viewing even by
children, with or without suitable supervision

(My wife asks me to append a note as regards the
seasonal but nevertheless seriously licentious
phenomenon of honeysuckle under the moon that one may
apprehend at the corner of Nelson and Main

However, I have recommended that she undertake direct
correspondence with you, as regards this: yet
another civic disturbance in our midst)

I am confident that you will devise and pursue
appropriate legal response to the roses in question
If I may aid your efforts in this respect, please
do not hesitate to call me into consultation

Respectfully yours,

- June Jordan

Joined: May 28 2015
Forward To The Past

Is Trump building a covert bridge too far
Taking us back to the USSR?


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Poets' Corner