28 March, 2017

Barter : Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff, 
Soaring fire that sways and sings, 
And children's faces looking up 
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell, 
Music like a curve of gold, 
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold, 
And for your spirit's still delight, 
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness, 
Buy it and never count the cost; 
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost, 
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

02 March, 2016

A Freedom Song : Marjorie Oludhe-Macgoye

Atieno washes dishes,
Atieno plucks the chicken,
Atieno gets up early,
Beds her sacks down in the kitchen,
Atieno eight years old,
Atieno yo.

Since she is my sister’s child,
Atieno needs no pay.
While she works my wife can sit,
Sewing every sunny day:
With he earnings I support,
Atieno yo.

Atieno’ sly and jealous,
Bad example to the kids,
Since she minds them, like a schoolgirl,
Wants their dresses, shoes and beads,
Atieno ten years old,
Atieno yo.

Now my wife has gone to study,
Atieno is less free.
Don’t I keep her, school my own ones,
Pay the party, union fee,
All for progress! Aren't you grateful?
Atieno yo?

Visitors need much attention,
All the more when I work night.
That girl spends too long at market.
Who will teach her what is right?
Atieno rising fourteen,
Atieno yo.

Atieno’s had a baby,
So we know that she is bad.
Fifty fifty it may live,
And repeat the life she had,
Ending in post-partum bleeding,
Atieno yo.

Atieno’s soon replaced;
Meat and sugar more than all,
She ate in such a narrow life,
Were lavished at her funeral.
Atieno’s gone to glory,
Atineo yo.

09 September, 2015

I Knew a Man by Sight : Henry David Thoreau

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,
Where I had chanced to roam,
And volumes stared at him, and he at me.

In a more distant place
I glimpsed his face,
And bowed instinctively;
Starting he bowed to me,
Bowed simultaneously, and passed along.

Next, in a foreign land
I grasped his hand,
And had a social chat,
About this thing and that,
As I had known him well a thousand years.

Late in a wilderness
I shared his mess,
For he had hardships seen,
And I a wanderer been;
He was my bosom friend, and I was his.

And as, methinks, shall all,
Both great and small,
That ever lived on earth,
Early or late their birth,
Stranger and foe, one day each other know.

Be a Friend: Edgar Albert Guest

Be a friend. You don't need money;
Just a disposition sunny;
Just the wish to help another
Get along some way or other;
Just a kindly hand extended
Out to one who's unbefriended;
Just the will to give or lend,
This will make you someone's friend.

Be a friend. You don't need glory.
Friendship is a simple story.
Pass by trifling errors blindly,
Gaze on honest effort kindly,
Cheer the youth who's bravely trying,
Pity him who's sadly sighing;
Just a little labor spend
On the duties of a friend.

Be a friend. The pay is bigger
(Though not written by a figure)
Than is earned by people clever
In what's merely self-endeavor.
You'll have friends instead of neighbors
For the profits of your labors;
You'll be richer in the end
Than a prince, if you're a friend.

Ode to Friendships : Anonymous

They're the few people who accept silence over conversation;

A relationship like this denies silly promises and persuasion;

You don't feel the need to second guess thoughts or measure words;

Their love comes in wholes, not halves, not thirds;

They're the ones that guide you through when fate takes a turn;

Fights, small and large, end in forgiveness, never a burn;

You forget about first impressions and the feelings they brought;

You're grateful for who they are and you forgive 'em for what they're not.

06 August, 2015

Charity: Anonymous

For when the one great score comes,
to write against your name,
he writes not that you won or lost,
but how you played the game.

Think big. Talk small.
Love much. Laugh easily.
Work happily. Play fair.
Pay cash and be kind.

08 July, 2015

After a While : Victoria Shofstall

After a while,
you learn the subtle difference between,
holding a hand and charming a soul,
and you learn that love doesn't mean learning,
and company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn,
that kisses aren't contracts,
and presents aren't promises,
and you begin to accept your defeats,
with your head up and your eyes ahead,
with the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child

And you learn,
to build all roads on today,
because tomorrow's ground is,
too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way,
of falling down to mid flight.

And while you learn,
that even sunshine burns if you get too much,
so you plant your own garden,
and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting,
for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn,
that you really can endure,
that you are really strong,
and you really do have worth,
and you learn and you learn,
with every good bye you learn.