Thursday, June 4, 2020

Poetry Friday - To Remember

         It's Poetry Friday, it's June, the month when summer arrives, at least officially! Welcoming us is  Margaret Simon at Reflections on The Teche.  Margaret writes alongside a line from Naomi Shihab Nye in a poignant letter of goodbye to her students. Thanks, Margaret!

Argument Gone Bad - full credit below

           Sometimes I wish this week weren't so, returning to the 'before' of George Floyd's death, for him. But I have hope that it will turn into good, that we can make change. I hope each of you continues to be well in light of the continuing virus threat, too. 

Do Not Forget This Week

Seeing bridge building
among people
can be as beautiful
as capturing a chasm
with strongest of steel, which we 
have managed, do manage,
will manage. 
Let us not stop!

Respecting those who are

Realizing my glass
cannot remain half-full, 
when others' stay half-empty.

Linda Baie ©

        I have been reading Richard Blanco's How To Love A Country: Poems for a while now. Several poems are favorites, but one feels right for this Friday. It is a persona poem written from a river's viewpoint speaking to us humans, humbling.

Complaint of El Río Grande 

     for Aylin Barbieri

I was meant for all things to meet:
to make the clouds pause in the mirror
of my waters, to be home to fallen rain
that finds its way to me, to turn eons
of loveless rock into lovesick pebbles
and carry them as humble gifts back
to the sea which brings life back to me.
I felt the sun flare, praised each star
flocked about the moon long before
you did. I’ve breathed air you’ll never
breathe, listened to songbirds before
you could speak their names, before
you dug your oars in me, before you
created the gods that created you.
the rest is here at Poets.Org

photo credit: natasia.causse Day 83/365 - Argument gone bad via photopin (license)


  1. Thank goodness for the
    I'm putting hope in this positive poem of yours Linda, will always remember, and work for change. "How To Love A Country," what a fascinating book, and poem that you shared. Wish my library was open I'd look for it or place it on reserve. Might have to buy it from my local Indie bookstore. I loved his "Election Year" poem and the quote from James Baldwin in the front of the book, thanks for all!

  2. What a good poem to capture my feelings. In all the turmoil, I have been encouraged by the bridge building. The book shops sold out of titles I'm now reading for my educators anti-racist book club, the peaceful protests, the cops doing the electric slide, cops in my city kneeling for a chat with a few hundred people at my local Wal-Mart, my pastor showing up with hand sanitizer and snacks for the crowd. How can I see my glass half-full when others are not? Thank you for nailing the feeling.

  3. Thank you for the inspiration to start my day. I will focus on the half full!

  4. What a strongly matched pair of poems, Linda. My heart has been hurting for my American friends, both in the Poetry Friday community, and in the wonderful schools I visited when I was there, and the many beautiful smiling faces from so many different nationalities. Do not forget this awful awful week. But grow stronger - together.

  5. Hi Linda, not sure if my first comment went through so I hope this does. Thank you for your poem about bridge building and the need to be persistent players. That seems so important now, not to forget this week. The Richard Blanco poem is beautiful and the last lines so powerful. Perfect.

  6. Thanks for your wonderful poem to rally our spirits, keep the faith. As President Obama said, it's definitely encouraging to see so many young people standing up to injustice and working for change. And thanks for the Blanco poem; I need to reread his book.

  7. Seeing bridge your strong list of doers is an encouraging voice to the tragedies of this week. We should continue to move forward. The backwards movement is too exhausting and too frightening.

  8. Realizing my glass
    cannot remain half-full,
    when others' stay half-empty.

    So powerful, Linda. So true. Thank you for your reminder not to forget.

  9. Thanks everyone! I’m working at the bookstore today, will catch up reading your posts later today.

  10. Wow, what a post: empathetic, bold, hopeful and endearing like enduring-empathizers. Thank you, Linda, for the time to step back and reflect after another horrific week of national issues.

  11. You are a "soul solver", Linda. Thank you for both poems and for always being a bright spot on the internet. Here is to all glasses being full. *clink* :)

  12. A lot of powerful stuff today, Linda. Thank you for all of it!

  13. What a powerful poem, Linda. We've had protesters over here the last few days and it is an incredible thing to see. Some many different people building bridges among themselves. They truly are the determined-doers, persistent-players, goal-getters, and hopefully, the never-quitters. I've saved your lovely poem to read in the future.

  14. Again, thanks to all. I'm glad you liked the poetry, meant for each of us during this time.

  15. Both of these poems are so profound, Linda. Your final stanza is one I will keep in my heart. And thank you for sharing Richard Blanco's heart-wrenching poem.
    "Blood that runs in you is water
    flowing in me, both life, the truth we
    know we know: be one in one another."

  16. Linda, you've crafted a powerful poem here. Like many, I especially like the lines "Realizing my glass
    cannot remain half-full,
    when others' stay half-empty." It's important to realize and remember how different (and sometimes skewed) our perspectives can be. The Richard Blanco poem tugs at my heart in so many ways. Thank you so much for this post!

  17. Thank you Catherine and Molly. With all of us together, we can learn and fight for what's going to change for black lives. I'm so glad you liked my poem and Blanco's, too.

  18. I love your stanza full of hyphenation, and the poem by Aylin Barbieri pairs well with Robyn's haiku. I saved the Barbieri poem to possibly read closely with my students next year.

    1. Sharing with your students will be wonderful, Mary Lee. I wonder what they'll think about it? Thank you!

  19. Oh, I like how you implore us to keep these painful lessons close to mind and heart. I'm pondering your final three lines, since the half-full and half-empty glasses are actually equally filled. So that has me thinking and wondering...

    1. I know, both are the same, aren't they, yet using the differing words offers an entirely opposite POV, perhaps the feeling itself makes the difference? Thanks, Laura


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