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Advent

03 April, 2017: Advent

READ A POEM

by William Greenway
Advent
Kids have sprayed the boulder
orange, given it
Black eyes, a stitched
mouth.  My neighbor tells
about the ferry, how birds
at the edge of Erie, whirling
in the white skies like pepper,
wait for blue weather, play
statues with a winter
that can open one gray eye
and freeze them halfway
across.  We hang suet,
sow millet, as if winter
were another crop, snow warm
cotton, sleet nourishing
as rice we would die without.
The leggy marigolds we pulled up
lie on the driveway
still pushing out their suns,
and we begin piling leaves,
stuffing them in plastic
sacks, stacking
the pillows so high
it must seem to the circling
birds, to the squirrels in their
holes, to the knuckleheaded
jack o’lantern in the park,
that we are hoping someone
will fall and save us.

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“Advent” by William Greenway, from How the Dead Bury the Dead. University of Akron Press, 1994. Used by permission of the author.

ABOUT TODAY’​S POET
William Greenway’s Selected Poems is from FutureCycle Press. Both his 10th and 11th collections won Ohio Poetry Book of the Year Awards. He has published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner. He’s a distinguished professor emeritus of English at Youngstown State University.
 

WRITE A POEM

Write a poem about a holiday you do not celebrate: Diwali, Solstice, St. Patrick’s Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Buddha Day, Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans, World Vegetarian Day or another that you know or find for this exercise.

 
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N. K. Hasen
Obon Holdiay

People walk to love one's graves
Some ancient from long ago
While others still freshly new
Clean the scatter leaves way
Visit who they've lost
They give their solemn thanks,
They place a light;
They stand or kneel in silent
To let ancestor's spirits know
They think about them day and night.

Evening comes, light fill the sky
People gather near the waters
Paper lanterns burn solemnly
For ancestors spirits dead and gone
Flame flickers their spirit
They will release upon the waters
Songs as old as time are heard
As people gently place lanterns in water
They watch it go slowly,
Peacefully home to far beyond.

Now, the solemn time has pass
Dressed in light cotton kimonos
Celebration and joy fill the streets
Drums beat in rhythm of time
Joyful music uplifts one spirits
They dance the Bon-Odori
Remembering ancestor and their sacrifices
They send their love one's spirit back
To permanent dwelling place under the guidance of fire
In mid-summer evening of the seventh month.
4/21/2017 9:50:57 PM

Ginger Meeder
Día de los Muertos

Prayers are offered up
on Allhallows eve
the trees are but
gray branches laid bare
the grieving
lay their dead
at altars of despair
Incantations are recited
prancing chanting
heard and seen everywhere
murmurs of the faithful
found where the solitude
of flickering candlelights
cascade the sanctuaries
with the steady hum of prayers
bounce ear to ear
playing tin can telephone
just as they did way back when
younger in their years
they await patient
in faithful fervor
until they hear that
first small voice
that speaks from
the spirits
no longer here
who comfort them
with their whispers
in death you should
no longer fear
confident you will
remember us in this
way when you return
year after year
one can only hope
that when you too
find your way
to death’s door
others will honor you
as you have those
that have gone before.
---©g.a.meeder, 2017®
4/12/2017 3:13:26 PM

Chantelle Brady
A Chinese New Year

Everything is so colorful
From the costumes
to the floats
to the dragons
and the fireworks

Bright lights light up the sky
my favorite being the
dragon firework
it seems to slither in the sky

People line the street
throwing paper confetti all around
flowers are more common in China
Cleaning up afterwards must take hard work
unless we used flowers

Vendors are selling this year's zodiac
an animal associated with each new year.
red paper for all, tangerines, and oranges
are given for luck in the new year.

Some people have work in the states
the US doesn't recognize this holiday
But Chinese restaurant workers are free
as are many Chinese in California.

I received a red paper diamond
with brushed on words wishing luck
this New Year will be lucky
because of gifts and this year being my Zodiac.
4/6/2017 9:16:05 AM

lhb
Green Shamrocks

The leprechaun jumped out from the pot o' gold
and shouted, "Merry Christmas!"

Hey - wrong holiday fella.
Yours is St. Patrick's Day -
You know, green shamrocks, parades and beer;
the luck of the Irish drawing near.

Lenny the leprechaun,
head hung low,
walked away slowly
through the Christmas snow.
4/5/2017 12:33:35 PM

Debbie
We share a full moon,
ushering spring.

And I watch from afar,
excitingly concurring. The festivities in full swing.

So long ago, the stories took place.
Holi and Purim unleashing!
4/4/2017 1:56:24 PM

April Mason
Candelabra
Endless lists. A candle is lit. An Angel tops the evergreen. A candle is lit. Homes littered with lighted plastic figurines. A candle is lit. Carols are sung. A candle is lit. Mistletoe and holly. A candle is lit. Sleigh bells. Reindeer. A candle is lit. A mantel with stockings. A candle is lit.
4/4/2017 1:51:16 AM

Beverly
St. Patrick's Day

There's Mommy
in her wedding dress
at only seventeen,
as she sets up housekeeping
in a small white
farmhouse,
arranges orange crates for chairs,
sets the supper table
by the glow of an oil lamp
on this
her wedding day.
4/3/2017 10:19:46 PM

Santina
Laurie--

Thank you so much! I haven't written poetry since I was in grade school and have only started reading it in earnest recently, so this marks the first poem I've written and posted publicly. I was super anxious and really appreciate that you liked it.
4/3/2017 10:15:31 PM

Rachel
To Follow a Strange Creature

What a strange little creature,
With a bushy red beard
And bright green hat.
He gestured not to follow
Into the thicket of green
into an old hollow.
I saw a sparkly shape in an odd pot so dark.
My heavens! It was gold,
and bright as the song of a lark.
The little man he laughed
with an accent so strange,
Told me to scram, get’way from his pot o’ gold
And never come again.
4/3/2017 10:11:11 PM

Ryan
Arbor Day
Replace a tree that's been cut away
Grows tall and strong and here to stay
Oh the beauty of Arbor Day
Full and green
Mr. Sun creates quite the scene
Shade to cool a summer day
Oh the joy of Arbor Day
4/3/2017 9:03:43 PM

sal
Shortest day and longest night.
The beginning of the end.
We look back at where we've been,
then turn eyes front toward the light.
We dream dreams of bright new days
and shut out cold and darkness.
Longest night breaks into dawn.
4/3/2017 8:18:24 PM

Penny Knight
Passover,
I celebrated in the past
when by conversion for my husband,
a reform Jew was I.
But, alas, this unsatisfying marriage came to an end.

Since that time, a search for truth I embraced
to find a replacement for Judaism
because it no longer held meaning for me.
Without the dogma of religion,
I discovered a great universal verity.
Now I embrace a belief in reincarnation.

Even though Passover I no longer enjoy,
when it is celebrated by others, I buy a box of Matzo
for my personal pleasure.
4/3/2017 3:26:02 PM

Laurie
Santina, I like much about your poem, including this:
"but I am a girl with a library and a crow's mind."
4/3/2017 2:52:15 PM

Santina
I won't pretend I'm not nervous because I am super nervous here it is.

---------------


The holiest moment I ever felt in my life was on a boat,
the ferry from the lake shore to the islands:
A pale day, the sky grey-white
the murmuring waves cobalt-grey.
I stood at the ship's bow,
feeling an electric tingle spark along my carapace,
the atoms of me sharing gravity with matter
and the silence in that moment was heavy
with the grace of a museum, my temple.

Religion for me was always the spine slowly cracking,
soft off-white pages and rows of little black diacritics,
Book Antiqua, Garamond, Palatino,
hyphens, perispomenes,
Rhetorical figures of meaning.
Dragons being vanquished, princesses rescuing.
Similes of the soul.

In December, worshipers sing joy to the world,
the Lord is come,
but I am a girl with a library and a crow's mind.
When I see the faithful mid-March with crosses drawn
in ash on their foreheads,
I remember reading about survivors
tattooing flowers over their self-harm scars.
Taking the cadence of the soul and transmuting it into art.
4/3/2017 12:28:21 PM

Patrick McCune
World Vegetarian Day
Beef,Pork, Chicken and Fish all the things you do not wish.
The lines are shorter at the hotdog stand.
Bacon cries into greasy hands.
I cant believe my luck while your all away celebrating Vegetarians Day.
Eating meat is a passion and never out of fashion. I bet the farmer worked all day on this and last Vegetarians Day..............................
4/3/2017 9:13:12 AM



READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.