Poem : Morning along Shore by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Hark, oh hark the elfin laughter
All the little waves along,
As if echoes speeding after
Mocked a merry merman's song!
All the gulls are out, delighting
In a wild, uncharted quest
See the first red sunshine smiting
Silver sheen of wing and breast!
Ho, the sunrise rainbow-hearted
Steals athwart the misty brine,
And the sky where clouds have parted
Is a bowl of amber wine!
Sweet, its cradle-lilt partaking,
Dreams that hover o'er the sea,
But the lyric of its waking
Is a sweeter thing to me!
Who would drowze in dull devotion
To his ease when dark is done,
And upon its breast the ocean
Like a jewel wears the sun?
'Up, forsake a lazy pillow!'
Calls the sea from cleft and cave,
Ho, for antic wind and billow
When the morn is on the wave!
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Poem : Places and Men by William Allingham by William Allingham
In Sussex here, by shingle and by sand,
Flat fields and farmsteads in their wind-blown trees,
The shallow tide-wave courses to the land,
And all along the down a fringe one sees
Of ducal woods. That 'dim discovered spire'
Is Chichester, where Collins felt a fire
Touch his sad lips; thatched Felpham roofs are these,
Where happy Blake found heaven more close at hand.
Goodwood and Arundel possess their lords,
Successive in the towers and groves, which stay;
These two poor men, by some right of their own,
Possessed the earth and sea, the sun and moon,
The inner sweet of life; and put in words
A personal force that doth not pass away.
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Poem : To My Clay by Raymond A. Foss
The lump of earth
my life returning
over and over
when I stumble,
when I fall
sinning against God
Going once more, anew
my clay upon the potter’s wheel
made supple, renewed
His precious blood, poured out
washing me, applied
to my chipped, cracked clay
giving me new life
pliable once more
to the will of the potter’s hands
April 26, 2010
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Poem : The Sins of Kalamazoo by Carl Sandburg
THE SINS of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson.
The sins of Kalamazoo are a convict gray, a dishwater drab.
And the people who sin the sins of Kalamazoo are neither scarlet nor crimson.
They run to drabs and grays—and some of them sing they shall be washed whiter than snow—and some: We should worry.
Yes, Kalamazoo is a spot on the map
And the passenger trains stop there
And the factory smokestacks smoke
And the grocery stores are open Saturday nights
And the streets are free for citizens who vote
And inhabitants counted in the census.
Saturday night is the big night.
Listen with your ears on a Saturday night in Kalamazoo
And say to yourself: I hear America, I hear, what do I hear?
Main street there runs through the middle of the twon
And there is a dirty postoffice
And a dirty city hall
And a dirty railroad station
And the United States flag cries, cries the Stars and Stripes to the four winds on Lincoln’s birthday and the Fourth of July.
Kalamazoo kisses a hand to something far off.
Kalamazoo calls to a long horizon, to a shivering silver angel, to a creeping mystic what-is-it.
“We’re here because we’re here,” is the song of Kalamazoo.
“We don’t know where we’re going but we’re on our way,” are the words.
There are hound dogs of bronze on the public square, hound dogs looking far beyond the public square.
Sweethearts there in Kalamazoo
Go to the general delivery window of the postoffice
And speak their names and ask for letters
And ask again, “Are you sure there is nothing for me?
I wish you’d look again—there must be a letter for me.”
And sweethearts go to the city hall
And tell their names and say,“We want a license.”
And they go to an installment house and buy a bed on time and a clock
And the children grow up asking each other, “What can we do to kill time?”
They grow up and go to the railroad station and buy tickets for Texas, Pennsylvania, Alaska.
“Kalamazoo is all right,” they say. “But I want to see the world.”
And when they have looked the world over they come back saying it is all like Kalamazoo.
The trains come in from the east and hoot for the crossings,
And buzz away to the peach country and Chicago to the west
Or they come from the west and shoot on to the Battle Creek breakfast bazaars
And the speedbug heavens of Detroit.
“I hear America, I hear, what do I hear?”
Said a loafer lagging along on the sidewalks of Kalamazoo,
Lagging along and asking questions, reading signs.
Oh yes, there is a town named Kalamazoo,
A spot on the map where the trains hesitate.
I saw the sign of a five and ten cent store there
And the Standard Oil Company and the International Harvester
And a graveyard and a ball grounds
And a short order counter where a man can get a stack of wheats
And a pool hall where a rounder leered confidential like and said:
“Lookin’ for a quiet game?”
The loafer lagged along and asked,
“Do you make guitars here?
Do you make boxes the singing wood winds ask to sleep in?
Do you rig up strings the singing wood winds sift over and sing low?”
The answer: “We manufacture musical instruments here.”
Here I saw churches with steeples like hatpins,
Undertaking rooms with sample coffins in the show window
And signs everywhere satisfaction is guaranteed,
Shooting galleries where men kill imitation pigeons,
And there were doctors for the sick,
And lawyers for people waiting in jail,
And a dog catcher and a superintendent of streets,
And telephones, water-works, trolley cars,
And newspapers with a splatter of telegrams from sister cities of Kalamazoo the round world over.
And the loafer lagging along said:
Kalamazoo, you ain’t in a class by yourself;
I seen you before in a lot of places.
If you are nuts America is nuts.
And lagging along he said bitterly:
Before I came to Kalamazoo I was silent.
Now I am gabby, God help me, I am gabby.
Kalamazoo, both of us will do a fadeaway.
I will be carried out feet first
And time and the rain will chew you to dust
And the winds blow you away.
And an old, old mother will lay a green moss cover on my bones
And a green moss cover on the stones of your postoffice and city hall.
Best of all
I have loved your kiddies playing run-sheep-run
And cutting their initials on the ball ground fence.
They knew every time I fooled them who was fooled and how.
Best of all
I have loved the red gold smoke of your sunsets;
I have loved a moon with a ring around it
Floating over your public square;
I have loved the white dawn frost of early winter silver
And purple over your railroad tracks and lumber yards.
The wishing heart of you I loved, Kalamazoo.
I sang bye-lo, bye-lo to your dreams.
I sang bye-lo to your hopes and songs.
I wished to God there were hound dogs of bronze on your public square,
Hound dogs with bronze paws looking to a long horizon with a shivering silver angel, a creeping mystic what-is-it.