h1

villanelle

May 31, 2009

Pulling sheets over hospital beds,
And cleaning out bottles and pores,
You press loving hands on heads.

Thought life had offered you ways to wed
The world not so close to others’ sores;
Pulling sheets over hospital beds

Seems to be what is needed for the dead.
And all the time you may have in store
You press loving hands on heads.

Hands don’t forget their way over heads.
Hands take gentle strokes and keep score;
Pulling sheets over hospital beds…

Don’t rush the days you clothe her bed.
We need you here to help us more:
You press loving hands on heads,

Even when we have lost our head
You have kept her smiling more.
Pulling sheets over hospital beds,
You’ve eased our way of approaching the dead.

h1

girl at deli counter 51409

May 14, 2009

She begins as a simple beauty
Like the first taste of cream
The opening of oh
With words surrounding her in laurels
And trees in the past background dancing out her silent name
With her ride sylphs made of iron ored from mountains that bore pilgrims away to love
And her duties will lie with oracles and medicine men
She begins a simple shape cut from galaxies beyond even her
And near her no creature or creation is without her influence.

(for Read.Write.Poem.)

h1

oprah drinks the antivax kool aid, from Bad Astronomy

May 4, 2009

Dr. Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, posted this earlier today on his blog, Bad Astronomy.

I knew that Oprah Winfrey was prone to antiscience; she has all sorts of New Age nonsense on her show, and the one time Randi was on in recent years he found the experience frustrating; Oprah unabashedly promotes all kinds of superstitious garbage.

But now she’s gone way, way too far: she’s signed Jenny McCarthy — notorious for her misleading statements about vaccines and autism — on for a multi-platform deal.

McCarthy has advocated a link between autism and vaccinations for years. She has written and spoken about it at length in very large venues like Oprah’s and Larry King’s shows, but her claims are wrong. Worse, they’re dangerous: by claiming vaccines are dangerous, she is scaring parents into delaying or even preventing their children from being vaccinated.

I don’t think this threat to the health of our children can be overstated: we have already seen a dramatic rise in outbreaks in preventable diseases due to the rise in media presence of antivax claptrap, and there have been deaths of children, deaths of babies, because of it.

And now Oprah is giving the premier mouthpiece for this movement a huge loudspeaker.

The timing of this couldn’t be more ironic, with Australian TV slamming the antivax movement due to the death of a four-week-old infant girl from whooping cough — a death directly related to the antivaxxers in Australia — with a growing response online to the distortions and outright lies of the antivaxxers here in the U.S, and with antiscience knee-jerking exacerbating the global reaction to swine flu.

Oprah: you have screwed up on this one, and in a huge, huge way. Jenny McCarthy has loudly and publicly increased fears over vaccinations based on nonsense and bad science. By giving her a platform, you are virtually guaranteeing that vaccination rates will decline further, there will be more outbreaks of easily preventable diseases, and therefore we’ll see an increase in deaths of children all around the world. You have claimed to want to make the world a better place — and you have actually done so in many ways — but this one act will completely negate any good you’ve done in the past.

Antivaccination rhetoric kills. It is that simple.

h1

so shall I be free 42809

May 2, 2009

For free do run streams and snowfalls
And so shall I be free.

For free are the birds to take their flights where they will
And so shall I be free.

For free are mountains to rise unrestricted,
Unfettered from tectonic plates and magma oceans
And so shall my mind rise.

For free are the words dribbling from tongue and lip
Over winds to tell stories of what freedom is
And so shall my words be free
And so shall we all be free.

(for Read.Write.Poem.)

h1

corpus christi 42009

April 22, 2009

Sun postures steadily over long drawn waves
The pulse of the world:
My thumbs buried deep in pressure points to tell the tides.

Church bells sing Gloria!
To each stepping stone, each breaking wall
Hibiscus turns like trumpets
A red fanfare to salute the morning

An ebbing applause,
The words the Gulf speaks to say its good mornings

Where silently I stand, bracing myself against a wooden banister
Fighting back the tears shed for only Kings of the People.

(for Read.Write.Poem.)

h1

ocean children

April 18, 2009

(Okay, so I’m on vacation with my band, and we’re on a beach. Most of these students have never been to the ocean, and probably half or more will never go again. That’s your backstory.

They are brand new ocean children
Made of the saline solutions of vacation.
Their pasty skin is newly bronzed;
Even cloudy skies don’t keep out
Dreams of sun and summer.

Birds are not new
Waves are not new
But in their sudden transformation
They become ageless nymphs
Freshly native.

(for Read.Write.Poem.)

h1

stop, collaborate and listen, #1

April 17, 2009

(The gracious and wonderful Mrs. Chili has helped me write a poem for today. Go see her site. She’s a beautiful soul. She had lines 2 and 4, fyi.)

Half a flock of birds feasting on morning meal; the other half in conversation
The warmth from my coffee cup seeps into my fingers as I ponder my own migration
A besting from the morning is a trend I learn to daily break.
The open sky is foreign to me; my wings feel insufficient to the task
From whence the sun rises, so now I do soar.

(for Read.Write.Poem.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.