Category Archives: Poetry

The Sparrow

I thought this card was appropriate for this year’s election season.

It’s also not party specific, so apply the little poem to whomever you despise the most! The card is actually the size of a business card, and I believe it to be around 100 years old. There are no markings to identify the printer, author or date, but I assume it’s that old because it was with a box of postcards that are 100 years old. The paper has the look, feel and color of the old postcards.

I did a quick internet search of the poem and came up with zero results. If anyone has heard or seen this before, please leave a comment to satisfy my curiosity.



Filed under AMERICANA, Humor, ODDITIES, Poetry, Politics, Postcards

“Somehow We Live and Die Again” ~ poem by Richard Brautigan

Somehow we live and die again,"Eye of God" - image from Hubble telescope
I wonder why to me it just seems
     another beginning.
Everything leads to something else, so
     I think I’ll start
          over again.
Maybe I’ll learn something new
Maybe I won’t
Maybe it will just be the same
     beginning again
Time goes fast
     for no reason
Because it all starts
     over again
I’m not going anyplacehalo
except where I’ve
     been before.


Filed under AMERICANA, Faith, Poetry

When You Are Old

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;


How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;


And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face among a crowd of stars.


Filed under History, Poetry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

The Artist And His Muse painting by Wayne Wildcat


Filed under AMERICANA, Faith, Human Rights, Poetry

How To Be a Poet by Wendell Berry



Make a place to sit down.   
Sit down. Be quiet.   
You must depend upon   
affection, reading, knowledge,   
skill—more of each   
than you have—inspiration,   
work, growing older, patience,   
for patience joins time   
to eternity. Any readers   
who like your poems,   
doubt their judgment.   


Breathe with unconditional breath   
the unconditioned air.   
Shun electric wire.   
Communicate slowly. Live   
a three-dimensioned life;   
stay away from screens.   
Stay away from anything   
that obscures the place it is in.   
There are no unsacred places;   
there are only sacred places   
and desecrated places.   


Accept what comes from silence.   
Make the best you can of it.   
Of the little words that come   
out of the silence, like prayers   
prayed back to the one who prays,   
make a poem that does not disturb   
the silence from which it came.

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Parsons High School auditorium, Monday Feb. 8th at 7:00pm.

FREE admission.

Please support our local arts, especially at the high school level.

Recitation and performance are major new trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theater into the English class.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with State Arts Agencies of the United States to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

After successful pilot programs in Washington, DC, and Chicago, the second phase of Poetry Out Loud was launched in high schools across America in the spring of 2006 with tens of thousands of students participating. Last year, over 300,000 students competed. William Farley from Virginia was named National Champion on April 28, 2009.

The program will continue to grow during the 2009-2010 school year, culminating in the 2010 National Finals in Washington, DC, on April 27, 2010.


Filed under Poetry

Some Things Will never Change

In the fullness of our lifetimes, the emptiness of goals,
We will strive to make perfection, we’ll run aground on many shoals
some will try to be conformist, others find out what is strange
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

‘Tween sea and sky we spend our time, all cycles writ in stone,
from birth to death we play our roles, carried through with flesh and bone,
while some stay put and never move, now others roam the range,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

Through the wonders of perception, we question time and space,
we grapple with the issues, but never that of grace,
in seeking God we kill ourelves, I find this so deranged,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

He said the times are changing, twas but a superficial act,
the face of man will never shift, so violent his pact,
yet born to love and knowing this, he chooses to estrange,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

Of being human cast aside, we look into our face,
reflections in our mirrored souls, our final resting place,
we must believe in tolerance, and somehow to arrange,
that in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

The cry of birth, the rise of sun, the waning of the moon,
the pass of breath, the still of death, will come to all too soon,
but life imparts a strength of force, which we cannot explain,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

The stars innate defiance, of distances untold,
of life to be discovered, of love to yet unfold,
the myriad millenia will pass like tears in rain,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change.

poetry by Shawn Phillips – all rights reserved


Filed under Poetry

“Howl” by Alan Ginsberg ~ for Crazy Vince

 This video is dedicated to, or in memory of, whichever would be be appropriate;

….to Vincent Morris, who at my last knowing, was holed-up in a sleazy weekly-rated motel, drinking himself to death with the cheapest booze, amidst a foggy haze of cigarettes and marijuana smoke.

Vince, my Beatnik friend, take care of yourself. Take a shower and get something to eat.

Your grandmother would want it that way….

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Filed under AMERICANA, Jazz Music, ODDITIES, Poetry, Tributes

Live in Joy

Live in Joy, In love,
Even among those who hate.

Live in joy, In health,
Even among the afflicted.

Live in joy, In peace,
Even among the troubled.

Look within. Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.


There is no fire like greed,
No crime like hatred,
No sorrow like separation,
No sickness like hunger of heart,
And no joy like the joy of freedom.

Health, contentment and trust
Are your greatest possessions,
And freedom your greatest joy.

Look within. Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

from the Dhammapada, Words of the Buddha

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Filed under Artwork, Faith, History, Poetry

AD ASTRA PER ASPERA a poem by Ironquill



 A motto appears 

On the seal of a State —
     Of a State that was born
     While the terror was brewing;
A motto defying
The edicts of fate;
     A motto of daring,
     A legend of doing.

A perilous past
And a cavernous gloom
     Had enshrouded the State
     In its humble beginning;
But courage of soul,
In repelling the doom,
     Of failure made hope,
     And of losing made winning.

Through scars to the stars,
Through the pall of the past,
     Through the gloom to the gleam
     Rose the State from the peril;
Then gleam became gloom,
And the laurels at last
     Were scattered in ashes
     Repugnant and sterile.

But Kansas shall shine
In the stories and songs
     That are told and are sung
     Of undaunted reliance.
Tile gloom yet will gleam,
And the evils and wrongs
     Will shrivel and crisp
     In the blaze of defiance.

The future shall bury
The now — as the woe
     On the field of a battle
     By verdure is hidden;
And hope will return
Like the harvests that grow
     Where cannon have plowed
     And the cavalry ridden.

ABOUT “IRONQUILL” Continue reading

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Filed under AMERICANA, History, Kansas, Poetry, Southeast Kansas, The Four States