Poem of the Week 88

I Met a Dragon Face to Face

Jack Prelutsky

 

I met a dragon face to face

the year when I was ten,

I took a trip to outer space,

I braved a pirate’s den,

I wrestled with a wicked troll,

and fought a great white shark,

I trailed a rabbit down a hole,

I hunted for a snark.

 

I stowed aboard a submarine,

I opened magic doors,

I travelled in a time machine,

and searched for dinosaurs,

I climbed atop a giant’s head,

I found a pot of gold,

I did all this in books I read

when I was ten years old.

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Poem of the Week 87

All the World’s a Stage

(As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII)

William Shakespeare

 

 

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,

His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Poem of the Week 86

Garden Rhyme

Phil Rampton

 

One pot.

Two seeds.

Three flowers.

Four bees.

Five hives.

Six trees.

Seven branches.

Eight leaves.

Nine birds.

Ten nests.

Eleven worms.

Twelve pests.

Thirteen gardens.

Fourteen sheds.

Fifteen weeds in flower beds.

Sixteen rows of peas and beans.

Seventeen plots of spinach and greens.

Eighteen mowers.

Nineteen hoses.

Twenty greenfly on twenty roses.

 

Poem of the Week 85

Home 

Warsan Shire

 

no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark

you only run for the border

when you see the whole city running as well

 

your neighbors running faster than you

breath bloody in their throats

the boy you went to school with

who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory

is holding a gun bigger than his body

you only leave home

when home won’t let you stay.

 

no one leaves home unless home chases you

fire under feet

hot blood in your belly

it’s not something you ever thought of doing

until the blade burnt threats into

your neck

and even then you carried the anthem under

your breath

only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets

sobbing as each mouthful of paper

made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

 

you have to understand,

that no one puts their children in a boat

unless the water is safer than the land

no one burns their palms

under trains

beneath carriages

no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck

feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled

means something more than journey.

no one crawls under fences

no one wants to be beaten

pitied

 

no one chooses refugee camps

or strip searches where your

body is left aching

or prison,

because prison is safer

than a city of fire

and one prison guard

in the night

is better than a truckload

of men who look like your father

no one could take it

no one could stomach it

no one skin would be tough enough

 

the

go home blacks

refugees

dirty immigrants

asylum seekers

sucking our country dry

niggers with their hands out

they smell strange

savage

messed up their country and now they want

to mess ours up

how do the words

the dirty looks

roll off your backs

maybe because the blow is softer

than a limb torn off

 

or the words are more tender

than fourteen men between

your legs

or the insults are easier

to swallow

than rubble

than bone

than your child body

in pieces.

i want to go home,

but home is the mouth of a shark

home is the barrel of the gun

and no one would leave home

unless home chased you to the shore

unless home told you

to quicken your legs

leave your clothes behind

crawl through the desert

wade through the oceans

drown

save

be hunger

beg

forget pride

your survival is more important

 

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear

saying-

leave,

run away from me now

i dont know what i’ve become

but i know that anywhere

is safer than here

 

Poem of the Week 84

On Aging

Maya Angelou

 

When you see me sitting quietly,

Like a sack left on the shelf,

Don’t think I need your chattering.

I’m listening to myself.

Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!

Hold! Stop your sympathy!

Understanding if you got it,

Otherwise I’ll do without it!

When my bones are stiff and aching,

And my feet won’t climb the stair,

I will only ask one favor:

Don’t bring me no rocking chair.

When you see me walking, stumbling,

Don’t study and get it wrong.

‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy

And every goodbye ain’t gone.

I’m the same person I was back then,

A little less hair, a little less chin,

A lot less lungs and much less wind.

But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

 

Poem of the Week 83

Seasons

Christina Rossetti

 

 

 

In spring time when the leaves are young,

Clear dewdrops gleam like jewels, hung

On boughs the fair birds roost among.

 

When summer comes with sweet unrest,

Birds weary of their mother’s breast,

And look abroad and leave the nest.

 

In autumn ere the waters freeze,

The swallows fly across the seas: —

If we could fly away with these!

 

In winter when the birds are gone,

The sun himself looks starved and wan,

And starved the snow he shines upon.

Poem of the Week 82

My Sari

 

Debjani Chatterjee

 

 

Saris hang on the washing line:

a rainbow in our neighbourhood.

This little orange one is mine,

it has a mango leaf design.

I wear it as a Rani would.

It wraps round me like sunshine,

It ripples silky down my spine,

and I stand tall and feel so good.

 

Poem of the Week 81

A Plate of Potatoes

Kaye Umansky

 

 

A plate of potatoes, a plate of potatoes,

There’s nothing as great

As a plate of potatoes!

 

Baked in foil, fried in oil,

There’s nothing as great

As a plate of potatoes!

 

Cooked in a curry, boiled in a hurry,

There’s nothing as great

As a plate of potatoes!

 

Stewed in a pot? Give me the lot!

There’s nothing as great

As a plate of potatoes!

 

Mashed with cheese? Mmm, yes please!

There’s nothing as great

As a plate of potatoes!

 

A plate of potatoes, a plate of potatoes,

There’s nothing as great

As a plate of potatoes!

 

Poem of the Week 80

A Change in the Year

William Wordsworth

 

It is the first mild day of March:

Each minute sweeter than before,

The redbreast sings from the tall larch

That stands beside our door.

 

There is a blessing in the air,

Which seems a sense of joy to yield

To the bare trees, and mountains bare;

And grass in the green field.