Tag Archives: poetry

Poetry Tuesday: Untitled

by Katie

Eyes within the sand witness the uncertainty of the moon,
an undertow in disguise,
The weight of the sea
upon me.

Stress waves its claws
signaling that–
really isn’t as okay
as the stars have lead me to believe.

The sun washes ashore,
And collides with beached whales,
Resembling a creature
I once called mother.
And the visions of black skies she has left me with,
I try to push
into an inaccessible corner
of the unconscious, but often feel as if all driftwood
has a predetermined path to the surface

And the smirk of the horizon, it’s
all too familiar–like that of my father
His hailing laugh heard from above, within the clouds
In which they too depart, out of fear, drop
and pierce invisible wounds straight into the soul

I can feel the gusts of his breath
blowing the debris of deceit,
but never regret,
And it will not allow me
to ever
feel comfortable
within this skin
that I’d love to watch the wind carry away

I have been left with only
The earth and the sky,
but if the moon in the sky controls the tides of the sea
and the sea consumes the earth,
I will forever carry the weight of the world

Poetry Tuesday: What Matters

by J. Thiemeyer

I consider
the folderol, the hurley-
burley    and delight
in it, so in it,  the chaos that drove me
carried me for what seemed
or the forever that mattered
I forget
why I was invited
with my soul    to be here
in this place    for this
and what matters, why?
who I am,
who we are,
and all the rest
that comes with it
the folderol, the hurley-

Poetry Tuesday: Aged Earl Grey

by Therresa Kennedy

We had no money, so we asked for the free cup of hot water,
Water for the tea, the ‘aged’ Earl Grey in my pocket.
After we had sipped the grey-gold liquid, we stopped being angry,
We stopped the looks, the stares, the accusations, we stopped
And just sat, smelling the tea and our empty wallets seemed
To condemn us a little less.

Poetry Tuesday: A Roof of Stars

by Dharma Bum

Space is our body and our being
We breathe the air that we are
See with the eyes of being
See the Oneness among us
See that the skin line is not the borderline
See that We are vast and quicker than light
See the far and rising sun rising in the Awareness that we are
If you take away the labels
You take away the limits
Science says it’s so
The bible says it’s so
The Dali Lama says it’s so
The dead poets at my ear say it’s so
The speechless newborn babies
The innocent via electro shock
The ancient echoes East of Eden
The rock of ages
The voice of prophets
The ice age dreamers
The roaches waiting to inherit the Earth
The Immaculate hearts under water
The evergreen forest
The horizon that goes on forever
The ALL say, it is so!
So don’t take my word for it
I’m just the empty trumpet of the wind
Turn your eyes inside out
Expose your bone marrow to fate
Let space have its way
Die a quiet death
Clear seeing will arise where a brain used to be
You will know that the grave and the cradle are one
You will find rest and flowers will sprout everywhere!

Poetry Tuesday: Untitled

by Norm Santana

Felt kinda sorry
For the dude
Even though it
Was amusing in
It’s own way
He was screaming and
Kicking this parking meter
As if it were a guy
Who stole his coat
Or something
He said:
“you don’t get it man
This bitch owes me”
He screamed as I
Turned around and
Walked away:
“hundreds! Thousands
Of dollars! Years! Years
Of paying these things!
All I need is eighty cents!
And I want it now!”
He was still screaming when I turned the corner

Vendor Leo Rhodes shares a common bond, poetry with Oregon Poet Laureate

Leo Rhodes, Lawson Inada, Kaia Sands

Last night, in the drizzling cold, a crowd of around 50 gathered to hear several local poets read their work in downtown Portland’s Director’s Park. Among them were vendor, poet and Street Roots columnist Leo Rhodes, who was invited specifically to read with Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Inada.

Both Rhodes and Inada share a common ground, solidarity beyond even poetry.

At four years old Inada, a Japanese American, was taken prisoner for the duration of World War II and held in internment camps throughout the West. Inada has written extensively about his experiences, including the poem “Healing Gila, for the people”  (below) about Japanese experiences on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona during that time period.

Rhodes, a Pima Indian grew up on the Gila River Indian Reservation in the 1970s.

Two weeks ago, during a workshop facilitated by Kaia Sand, Rhodes was introduced to Inada’s work, and the poem “Healing Gila, for The People.”  Realizing the poem was generated by an experience from the very reservation he grew up on thirty years before, he was immediately touched, and set out to work on a complementary piece about his experience in the context of Inada’s poem.

In a simple twist of fate, Inada and Sand were scheduled to read together at an event last night put on the by Literary Arts program of the Multnomah Arts Center and the Portland Parks Bureau that is featuring a series of one-day writing excursions this summer in various locations led by local writers called “Writing Places”.

She invited Rhodes, and, in front of the gathered crowd, introduced the two poets.  Inada and Rhodes then read their poems inspired by the Gila Reservation experiences in the context of the internment camps.

Sand also read, along with several other well-known poets, including David Abel, Alison Cobb, Chris Daniels, and Joseph Bradshaw.

Sand has been featured in Street Roots and is currently working in partnership with the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, Street Roots, Sisters of the Road, and TPI on a project exploring the parallels between people experiencing homelessness and the treatment of Japanese American citizens during World War II. The project will be highlighted during the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Japanese Plaza in July.

Gila, the Internment Camp on Gila Indian Reservation, By Leo Rhodes

I didn’t know their names or faces
I really didn’t know too much of their history
All I’ve seen was slabs of concrete in the ground
Foundations I was told for peoples long ago
Elders spoke of soldiers, barbed wire, and barracks
“Prisoners?” I would ask
“No” would be the reply
With stares of pain and concern

In the sky

by Mike Vance

Tears, projectile weeping, my eyes puke

The triage, the moments of truth

After two hours the nurse comes by

and closes the curtain

I lay there and shake while I squirm

Finally, the doc comes in

The poking and probing (ah fuck!)

The incisions are made, he pries open the wounds

Puss erupts from my frail arms

I watch with twisted fascination

Gasp. (What the fuck?)

Three paramedics close me in

As I snap out of death’s hand

I look down, my shirt is cut down the center

What the hell is this about?

You were dead

You OD’d

OK, but how did I get clear over here

from way over there?

Just be quiet son

You’re coming with us

Just get me some mac-n-cheese so I can go home.

I stumble from the hospital scrubs and all

and went to the liquor store

Goddamn, did I think I was tough?

Kathie, we’d like you to come down

and identify your son

Sorry ma’am