Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Night Poetry


 Don’t take it personal, they said; 
but I did, I took it all quite personal— . 

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields; 
the price of grapefruit and stamps, 

the wet hair of women in the rain— 
And I cursed what hurt me  

and I praised what gave me joy, 
the most simple-minded of possible responses. 

The government reminded me of my father, 
with its deafness and its laws, . 

and the weather reminded me of my mom, 
with her tropical squalls.  

Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness 
Think first, they said of Talk . 

Get over it, they said 
at the School of Broken Hearts 

 but I couldn’t and I didn’t 
and I don’t believe in the clean break; 

 I believe in the compound fracture 
served with a sauce of dirty regret,  

I believe in saying it all 
and taking it all back . 

and saying it again for good measure 
while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries . 

like wheeling birds 
and the trees look seasick in the wind.  

Oh life! Can you blame me 
for making a scene?  

You were that yellow caboose, 
the moon disappearing over a ridge of cloud. 

I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard; 
barking and barking: . 

trying to convince everything else 
to take it personal too. 

      ----Tony Hoagland


FreeThinke said...

____ To a Room Mate from a Hospital Bed ____

You’re born to fit the mold; for this you think
The Lord has made you righteous, fine, “the best.”
In quiet dignity you watch the rink
Of life; cheer for your kind –– deride the rest.

And yet, your way of life shines like the morn.
Those who cannot join must yearn in pain ––
Anger for the strong who fight with scorn ––
Weeping for the weak who dream in strain.

Anguish for us all, because we hate
Anything that questions what we are.
All we know is what we’re taught by Fate
Keeping us suspicious, wary far

From joining in the glowing Christian Feast ––
As distant as the West is from the East.

~ FreeThinke - 1983

Rational Nation USA said...

Taking it personal can be both appropriate and inappropriate. Good and bad. Effective and ineffectual.

Tempered emotion with things taken personal is often an effective catalyst fot positive change.

The key to success when taking it personally is to be found in reason combined with the tempered, appropriate, and effective use of emotion.

Reggie said...

Very nice.

FreeThinke said...

That's why people write poetry, plays and novels, Les, instead of going out to shoot up schools and theaters, and mowing down pedestrians with their vehicles.

Art has many extraordinarily practical applications.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Thanks for the poem, Free Thinke. Well done.

Rational Nation USA said...

Freethinke, perhaps that's why I played the trumpet, wrote poetry, ballroom danced, and continue to enjoy writing even today. Never gave much thought as to why, other than I enjoyed doing ot all.

I've often thought about writing a novel. Perhaps when I retire. My father has written one, at 80 he is working on another. He also did some theatre back in the day. Must run in families.

FreeThinke said...

Thank you. Ms. Shaw.

Praise from Caesar ... ;-)

~ FreeThinke