Morning, River Camp – Chris Hoffman

Morning, River Camp

(Desolations and Gray Canyons, Green River)

It is early yet—the hour of the gray dawn.
All night we have slept on the smooth thigh of the sand.
Our first waking breath is of air scrubbed
clean by sage and sun, tamarisks and swift water.
Just upstream, the rapids
are still scouring the silence. The river
continues its long, gathering slide.

In the gray dawn the river is dull
as are the canyon walls, while the high gap
of sky floods with luminous blue.
A bird proclaims itself; and then another.
Rising sunlight slants slowly down cliffs
of ancient lakebed sediment, kindling colors on its way—
tawny rock with horizontal bands of reddish brown,
then talus slopes verdigris with sagebrush,
tufted with juniper green. The river’s ripples
play with light now, pushing polished patches
of blue sky, roan cliff, and green-leafed cottonwood.

What a good thing it is to wake every day,
and how soon our minds are ordinarily clouded.
Here, like brother canyon wren and sister whipsnake,
we always awaken to the first day. This earth
opens the shutters of our inner house
so the one who is always present
can flow through us into the world.

 

Chris Hoffman is a poet and ecopsychologist living and working in Boulder, CO. His book, Realization Point, was published by Poetic Matrix Press in 2011.

Bells – Raphael Block

Bells

No bells ringing
no incense burning
no one but you.

No spoken sounds
no embracing arms
no one else but you.

Inner voices buzzing
deepening breathing
you’re coming to you.

With or without stilling
something is flowing.

You’re entering
a cavern resounding
of echoes beyond.

What will you bring
when you return?

Figments of darkness
bursts of light?

Or, perhaps
just you
hewed a little larger?

Raphael Block is a poet living just outside of beautiful Sebastopol, California, north of San Francisco. His book, Spangling Darkness, is being published as part of our Spring 2013 Season of Poetry.

New from Poetic Matrix Press by John Peterson

Welcome to our new blog, Poet’s Comments into the World.  Continuing the on-going commentary by poets and others on poetry, contemporary culture and the world.  James Downs, Associate Editor, proposed this for poets and readers of poetry to have a place to enter into discussion.  James will continue editing this blog and we welcome your comments, ideas, critique etc.  For poetry submission please see our submission page.  This blog is for an on-going conversation, we welcome your input.

Welcome from John Peterson, Publisher

Welcome to our new re-visioned website and this our latest version of our poetry journal.  We started this in the late 90s as an occasional mail-out newsletter, changed to a twice yearly on-line version in the mid 2000s and now we change again to a blog format that will allow us to updated it with new poetry weekly, and even daily, as new pieces come in.  This format will also allow us to archive, on-line, all the work that we post forever, thus the Forever Journal.  Come back again and again, check out the new work and look over all the work that has been posted.  Poetry is our gift to the world as it is the poets and you, the reader.

tadpoles – John Peterson

-for devon

last night the pond was the size of a small hat

ten or fifteen of you holding on enough water

only to cover your back and keep the sun off

foot prints of coon and coyote dog and deer

and small bird circling down from reed covered

banks across cracked mud and soggy bottom

you squirm hoping against time and biology that

legs will sprout in time a race against summer sun

large and small creatures an eternity of narrow chances

one of you moves from runny mud back legs

near strong enough unsure that this is the time

but choices going fast as noon day

feeble hop out of dwindling mud toward

parched landscape that may offer escape

from the certainty of diminished water

you will make it if time and biology

                                     cross           precisely

 

Shadab Hashmi’s new book of poetry KOHL & CHALK

 

“These poems ring with clarity, restraint and humanity. My admiration for Shadab Zeest Hashmi’s poetry continues to grow.”
— Sam Hamill

Shadab’s poetry does what some commentators over the years say is impossible; to write extraordinary poetry while making a political statement. Shadab does this and more. Her poetry is beautiful, there is no doubt about that, go to any page:
from Swat page 52

I would have bottled the tingle in birdsong
eaten the coconut-white river
climbed the far end of the ladder

and it is full of subtle and not so subtle political insight:
from The Road page 54

The sirens of her police escort
will neatly bury
the cacophony
of the explosion
in the mosque

but mostly she brings the two together, not to make the political beautiful, not to make the horrible beautiful but to do as Gandhi said in a quote I once saw on a high school teachers wall. ” It has always been about beauty, always!”
from U.S. Air Strikes page 68

Just when I finished rinsing the carafe,
a whole city was under cement dust and smoke,
and I thought I heard screaming behind walls of fire
in the kettle’s sharp whistle,
just when I added the cloves,
the last green lime.

You see she will not let you collapse into horror, she will demand that beauty stays with you and heals you as she shows you what we do in each others name. What we do and what we must not do, she shows us what in truth we must do, we must always be about beauty.

You really must read all of this book.
John Peterson, publisher

About the book

“The bride who contemplates her half paralyzed face on the eve of marriage (in the opening poem “Facial Palsy”) is emblematic of the larger story of Pakistan: an ancient culture fractured by new and divergent identities. The poet, like the bride whose face is divided into “lit” and “dim” halves, gazes into the mirrors of history and politics to make sense of the disjunctive parts that refuse to come together as a whole. The very multiplicities of culture that the poet celebrates (“Socrates/mangoes cut in cubes,” “Iqbal’s poems on marble construction paper,” “rouge from Paris, coconut oil from Orissa”) are also the cause of dissonance (“War cries of the Greeks/ in plume red/Mongols/ in horse-leather red,” “Gunga Din’s ghost lifted from the tennis courts/of Peshawar Club”)— dissonance that is further amplified in the post-9/11 wars to which a Pakistani-American response in poetry has thus far been absent. Kohl & Chalk is that response in the voice of a daughter, a mother, a global citizen.”

Work of Antoni Gaudí – Kiirsti Peterson

Kiirsti Peterson studied at the University of Barcelona, Spain in the summer of 2012 and had the opportunity of seeing the work of the amazing architect and builder Antoni Gaudí. Here are a few of the photos she took.

Sagrada Familia
Church at Colonial Gûell Church at Colonial Gûell
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Gaudí
Gaudí