Poem of the Week 23

Sea Fever

John Masefield

 

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

 

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

 

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

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Poem of the Week 22

Democracy

Langston Hughes

 

Democracy will not come

Today, this year

Nor ever

Through compromise and fear.

 

I have as much right

As the other fellow has

To stand

On my two feet

And own the land.

 

I tire so of hearing people say,

Let things take their course.

Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.

I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

 

Freedom

Is a strong seed

Planted

In a great need.

 

I live here, too.

I want freedom

Just as you.

 

 

Poem of the Week 21

Bird-Table Blues

Clare Bevan

 

In Winter, Grandma feeds the birds

With kindly thoughts and friendly words,

And biscuit crumbs, and broken baps,

And bacon rinds, and breakfast scraps,

And plates of freshly buttered toast,

And bags of chips, and Sunday roast,

And dumplings (huge and hot and steamy),

And home-made pies, and gravy (creamy),

And every sort of cheese and bread,

Until each hungry bird is fed

To BURSTING point, to bitter end,

Until their legs begin to bend,

Until they cannot flap or fly,

Until they simply want to die,

Until they roll around the floor

And weakly twitter, ‘Stop! No more!’

 

Then Grandma smiles and says ‘Oh good.

I think they’re ready for their pud.’

 

 

Poem of the Week 20

The Day I Got My Finger Stuck up My Nose

Brian Patten

 

When I got my finger stuck up my nose

I went to a doctor, who said,

“Nothing like this has happened before,

We will have to chop off your head.”

 

“It’s only my finger stuck up my nose,

It’s only my finger!” I said.

“I see what it is,” the doctor replied,

“But we’ll still have to chop off your head.”

 

He went to the cabinet. He took out an axe.

I watched with considerable dread.

“But it’s only my finger stuck up my nose.

It’s only a finger!” I said.

 

“Perhaps we can yank it out with a hook

Tied to some surgical thread.

Maybe we can try that,” he replied,

“Rather than chop off your head.”

 

“I’m never going to pick it again.

I’ve now learned my lesson,” I said.

“I won’t stick my finger up my nose –

I’ll stick it in my ear instead.”

Poem of the Week 19

The Only Poem

Leonard Cohen

 

This is the only poem

I can read

I am the only one

can write it

I didn’t kill myself

when things went wrong

I didn’t turn

to drugs or teaching

I tried to sleep

but when I couldn’t sleep

I learned to write

I learned to write

what might be read

on nights like this

by one like me