Sunday, July 15, 2018

Thought for the Day


. . . When you build a wall between yourself and others,
you are basically saying that you have stopped listening
and seeing. You have cut off contact. And how can there
be understanding without contact?
~ Helon Habila
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Quoted from Helon Habila, "The Separation Wall" in Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (Harper-Perennial, 2017), Edited by Michael Chabon an Ayelet Waldman (This is an excellent, eye-opening series of essays.)

Helon Habila, Award-Winning Novelist, Editor, and Publisher (Cordite Books) of African Crime and Detective Stories

Helon Habila's books include Oil on Water, Measuring Time, Waiting for an Angel, and, most recently, The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short is a video of poet Dana Gioia reciting his poem "The Stars Now Rearrange Themselves", from Daily Horoscope, Gioia's first poetry collection, which was published in 1986. (Additional poems from that collection and other books can be read in the Poems section of Gioia's Website.)


The video was made by Blank Verse Films, which produces a new poetry video weekly.

Dana Gioia on FaceBook and Twitter

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dateline: Syria (Poem)


Dateline: Syria, June 25, 2018

how to explain
with unwilling lips

how to un-see
the flies still harvesting

the boy being raised
from the indelicate balancing

of body meeting metal


first there is the turning away
the fire on soft skin spreading

and the quickening cold
of two small hands

insufficient protection
against what rains

from the war zone's drones


amid this indecent violence
comes love of the father

for his only son


the child who one last time
returns home

wrapped in a blanket
strapped to the handlebars

too wide to hug close
what remains

behind stone-black motorcycle exhaust

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is my response to a deeply moving photograph out of Syria of a father attempting to maneuver his motorcycle while trying to balance on the handlebars the body of his preschool-age son. During a bombing by Assad's military forces, the boy sustained injuries so great he could not be helped by medics in the area, who lacked any of the necessary supplies to even attempt to save his life.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Thought for the Day


Every author does not write for every reader.
~ Samuel Johnson
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Quoted in Jane Yolen's Take Joy: A Writer's Guide to Loving the Craft (Writer's Digest Books, 2006)

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), English Poet, Essayist, Editor, Critic, Lexicographer

Jane Yolen, American Writer of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Children's Books, and Poetry

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Thought for the Day


Why do you stay in prison /
when the door is so wide open?
~ Rumi
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Quoted from Rumi's Poem "A Community of the Spirit", Translated by Coleman Barks

Read the text of the poem at The Line Break blog. The poem is included in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems (Grayson Books, 2017), edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson. (Watch the trailer for the latter, which is a particularly lovely collection of poems. Also see Poetry of Presence Website.)