Tag Archives: poem

Mixed Signals

13 Dec

**Not sure where this came from – kind of how I’ve been feeling this week.  Been trying to organize my future and every time it seems like I’m on the right track, something else goes wrong. It’s like the world is sending me mixed signals on where I’m supposed to go from here.  A bunch of my friends are experiencing the same feeling. Still, it’s the little moments of hope that keep us moving on, trying again and again no matter how often life shuts us down.**DB

Highs and the lows
Ups and the downs.
Feels like fate’s spinning us round and around.

Back and then forth
Good mixed with bad.
Nothings the same, till it feels like we’re mad.

Kissing and fightin’
Kissing and fightin’
Hoping and Dying and Loving’ and Cryin’.

Forcing each win.
Demanding our share.
World dragging us down, we get up on a dare.

Not Looking Back
Not Giving Ground
Living the dream, eking every last pound.

Kissing and fightin’
Kissing and fightin’
Hoping and Dying and Lovin’ and Cryin’.

Loreena McKennitt ~ The Highwayman

28 Apr

Do You hear the Children Weeping?

10 Apr

Sweet, but sad poem written before the child labor laws were enacted.  Still applicable in many countries today.

The Cry Of The Children 

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows,
The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young fawns are playing with the shadows,
The young flowers are blowing toward the west— 
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly!
They are weeping in the playtime of the others,
In the country of the free.

Do you question the young children in their sorrow,
Why their tears are falling so?
The old man may weep for his tomorrow,
Which is lost in Long Ago;
The old tree is leafless in the forest,
The old year is ending in the frost,
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,
The old hope is hardest to be lost:
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
Do you ask them why they stand
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers,
In our happy Fatherland?

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their looks are sad to see,
For the man’s hoary anguish draws and presses
Down the cheeks of infancy;
“Your old earth,” they say, “is very dreary;
Our young feet,” they say, “are very weak!
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary— 
Our grave-rest is very far to seek.
Ask the aged why they weep, and not the children,
For the outside earth is cold,
And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering,
And the graves are for the old.”

“True,” say the children, “it may happen
That we die before our time.
Little Alice died last year—her grave is shapen
Like a snowball, in the rime.
We looked into the pit prepared to take her:
Was no room for any work in the close clay!
From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her,
Crying ‘Get up, little Alice! it is day.’
If you listen by that grave, in sun and shower,
With your ear down, little Alice never cries;
Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her,
For the smile has time for growing in her eyes:
And merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in
The shroud by the kirk-chime.
It is good when it happens,” say the children,
“That we die before our time.”

Alas, alas, the children! They are seeking
Death in life, as best to have;
They are binding up their hearts away from breaking,
With a cerement from the grave.
Go out, children, from the mine and from the city,
Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do;
Pluck your handfuls of the meadow-cowslips pretty,
Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let them through!
But they answer, “Are your cowslips of the meadows
Like our weeds anear the mine?
Leave us quiet in the dark of the coal-shadows,
From your pleasures fair and fine!

“For oh,” say the children, “we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap;
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping,
We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring
Through the coal-dark, underground;
Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron
In the factories, round and round.

“For all day the wheels are droning, turning;
Their wind comes in our faces,— 
Till our hearts turn, our heads with pulses burning,
And the walls turn in their places:
Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling,
Turns the long light that drops adown the wall,
Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,— 
All are turning, all the day, and we with all.
And all day, the iron wheels are droning,
And sometimes we could pray,
‘O ye wheels,’ (breaking out in a mad moaning)
‘Stop! be silent for today!’ “

Ay, be silent! Let them hear each other breathing
For a moment, mouth to mouth!
Let them touch each other’s hands, in a fresh wreathing
Of their tender human youth!
Let them feel that this cold metallic motion
Is not all the life God fashions or reveals:
Let them prove their living souls against the notion
That they live in you, or under you, O wheels!
Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,
Grinding life down from its mark;
And the children’s souls, which God is calling sunward,
Spin on blindly in the dark.

Now tell the poor young children, O my brothers,
To look up to Him and pray;
So the blessed One, who blesseth all the others,
Will bless them another day.
They answer, “Who is God that He should hear us,
While the rushing of the iron wheels is stirred?
When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us
Pass by, hearing not, or answer not a word.
And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding)
Strangers speaking at the door:
Is it likely God, with angels singing round Him,
Hears our weeping any more?

“Two words, indeed, of praying we remember,
And at midnight’s hour of harm,
‘Our Father,’ looking upward in the chamber,
We say softly for a charm.
We know no other words except ‘Our Father,’
And we think that, in some pause of angels’ song,
God may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather,
And hold both within His right hand which is strong.
‘Our Father!’ If He heard us, He would surely
(For they call Him good and mild)
Answer, smiling down the steep world very purely,
‘Come and rest with me, my child.’

“But, no!” say the children, weeping faster,
“He is speechless as a stone:
And they tell us, of His image is the master
Who commands us to work on.
Go to!” say the children,—”up in heaven,
Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are all we find.
Do not mock us; grief has made us unbelieving— 
We look up for God, but tears have made us blind.”
Do you hear the children weeping and disproving,
O my brothers, what ye preach?
For God’s possible is taught by His world’s loving,
And the children doubt of each.

And well may the children weep before you!
They are weary ere they run;
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory
Which is brighter than the sun.
They know the grief of man, without its wisdom;
They sink in man’s despair, without its calm,— 
Are slaves, without the liberty in Christdom,— 
Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm,— 
Are worn as if with age, yet unretrievingly
The harvest of its memories cannot reap,— 
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly.
Let them weep! let them weep!

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their look is dread to see,
For they mind you of their angels in high places,
With eyes turned on Deity;— 
“How long,” they say, “how long, O cruel nation,
Will you stand, to move the world, on a child’s heart,— 
Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation,
And tread onward to your throne amid the mart?
Our blood splashes upward, O gold-heaper,
And its purple shows your path!
But the child’s sob in the silence curses deeper
Than the strong man in his wrath.”

Continue reading

Annabel Lee

10 Mar

I wanted my Poetry students to see how Poetry is supposed to sound–not as flat words read off a page, but with the emotions of the author. There are alternative theories as to the identity of Annabel Lee, but this is the more common belief, and the one I personally subscribe to.

Music: Felipe Sarro (Bach, Orchestral Suite 3)

Please let the following artists know if you liked their pictures!
Art (in Order):
“Sandcastles” by SloppyGee
“Kingdom” by BobKehl
“Annabel Lee” by PrincessJesus
“Annabel Lee” by Lockjaw
“Annabel Lee” by CanoeGuru
“Blowing Wind” by Pinkflamingo61
“Annabel Lee” by Shane Gallagher
“Ocean Lovers” Wallpaper
“Stay” Wallpaper
“The Nightmare” by John Fuseli
“Annabel Lee” by Skyred1409
“Annabel Lee” by Anne Bachelier
“Eyes” by NightDV
“Annabel Lee” by RavenxCorpse
“Killing my Annabel Lee” by Snow Valkyrie
“Annabel Lee” by MariNa
“Virginia Poe” Painting (after her death 1847)
“The Raven” by Dante Gabriel Rosetti
“Annabel Lee” by MirellaBlack
Valentine for Edgar from Virginia

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

11 Nov

Brings back many elementary school memories ❤

 

Paul Revere’s Ride

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Keep Calm” by xXxIzabellaMaexXx

Listen my children and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march

By land or sea from the town to-night,

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–

One if by land, and two if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be,

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

“The British” by AlexandraTitanic1912

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,

Just as the moon rose over the bay,

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

The Somerset, British man-of-war;

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

Across the moon like a prison bar,

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified

By its own reflection in the tide.

“Phantom Ship” by SiddarthNagarajan

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street

Wanders and watches, with eager ears,

Till in the silence around him he hears

The muster of men at the barrack door,

The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers,

Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

To the belfry chamber overhead,

And startled the pigeons from their perch

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

Masses and moving shapes of shade,– ‘

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,

To the highest window in the wall,

Where he paused to listen and look down

A moment on the roofs of the town

And the moonlight flowing over all.

“The Moon” by Odenphotography

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,

In their night encampment on the hill,

Wrapped in silence so deep and still

That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,

The watchful night-wind, as it went

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”

A moment only he feels the spell

“Cemetary Night” by MikaelHell

Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread

Of the lonely belfry and the dead;

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

On a shadowy something far away,

Where the river widens to meet the bay,–

A line of black that bends and floats

On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride

On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

Now he patted his horse’s side,

Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,

Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,

And turned and tightened his saddle girth;

But mostly he watched with eager search

The belfry tower of the Old North Church,

As it rose above the graves on the hill,

Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

“St. Patrick’s Church” by A Clarke Photography

He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,

“Old Town Scene” by Liamnich88

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,

The fate of a nation was riding that night;

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,

And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;

And under the alders that skirt its edge,

Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

He heard the crowing of the cock,

And the barking of the farmer’s dog,

And felt the damp of the river fog,

That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,

When he galloped into Lexington.

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed

 And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

He heard the bleating of the flock,

And the twitter of birds among the trees,

And felt the breath of the morning breeze

Blowing over the meadow brown.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read

How the British Regulars fired and fled,—

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

From behind each fence and farmyard wall,

Chasing the redcoats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;

And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm,—

A cry of defiance, and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo for evermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

“Paul Revere” by Fluid Geometry

The First Snow

19 Mar

🙂 Here is a short poem I wrote in honor of winter wrapping up.  While I always enjoy the first snow, I’m about ready for spring!

Snow

A picture of our first snow here in Iowa

As the first winter snow starts falling down,
It covers her hair with a crystal crown.
Sparkling white diamonds covering her clothes,
Bring pink to her cheeks, and rose to her nose.
 
The world seems to stop, as she passes it by,
The whistling wind croons to the sky.
The roads are all quiet, the businesses closed
The park, like a picture, is prettily posed.
 
Suddenly out come the children with joy,
Laughter and shouts come from each girl and boy.
As three find a sled, and four the best hill,
they slide and they slide, till each has his fill.
 
The houses are lit, their warmth shining bright,
To neighbors and family who visit this night.
She walks down the lane and watches it all,
Storing memories and smiles to later recall.
 
Her steps in the snow as she walks up the lane,
Leave the first mark on a pure snowy plain.
A home of her own is waiting ahead,
With family, and fire, and chocolate, and bed.
 
As the first winter snow starts falling down,
It covers her hair with a crystal crown.
Sparkling white diamonds covering her clothes,
Bring pink to her cheeks, and rose to her nose.

Encouragement for Students Job Searching!

19 Feb

Students everywhere are beginning to feel the coming dread; summer ever approaches, nearer and nearer.  It is officially time to find internships and jobs for the summer.  The interview period has arrived, particularly for law students who are facing the early interviewing period at their law schools.  These are the weeks when the top law firms around the nation visit school after school looking for the best interviewees to hire on for the summer.  For those chosen, it means increased odds for an excellent/high-paying job after graduation.  For the rest, it means disappointment, rejection, and the continued need for determination and faith in oneself and the potentials of the world. 

As such, I thought I’d share this poem by Rudyard Kipling in honor of those students heading off for the wonderful world of applications, dressing up, and much praying.  His words of wisdom have gotten me through college applications, several job interviews, and every other time in my life when I needed a few drops of extra courage.  I actually have it pasted to a bulletin board in my bedroom so I have it on hand every day. Hope he does the same for you!  Good luck!

If

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too/
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.
 
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master;
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools.
 
If you can make one heap of all your winning
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss.
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings–nor lose the common touch.
If neither foes not loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!
 
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