Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Watching the storm and reading my new poetry book sent to me by my sister Linda King

The manager had to deliver it to me as my sister had written my last name as King which it was at one time, same as hers, but the mailman did not recognize me even though my full address was on it.  So I spent the afternoon looking outside now and then  to a nice storm pelting the sidewalks (we can always use storm in our drought ridden country).  I didn't take a photo as all the other Internet people are doing as we never get snow, just rain, and rain looks the same, winter and summer, except there is no thunder and lightning accompany this one, just a soft gentle life giving rain.
And inside I kept reading the poems in this book, giving voice to all the downtrodden of the world who might be crying for revolution to change things. A long poem about the HOMELESS IN SAN FRANCISCO reminded me of our homeless problem here, particularly around this old hotel complex. I think the homeless are always with us.  I find the two poems written by my sister and decide if I am going to include one of those it will be, oddly, the one about the ocean.  I need the feeling of peace in this poem, so I think rather than the calls to revolution poems I will write that one down.

As I see this vast body of water
I am struck in wonder and
I'm aware of how small I am
And feel a little frightened
That something so large
Moves, alive, so close to me
One giant angry wave could
Sweep me into its salty depth
Never to be seen again
I feel its moods
Sometimes angry
Sometimes playful
Sometimes calm
Bored, restless, teasing
Loving, absent, sad
In your face, indifferent
Working, just working the tide
As it rocks and rolls
Hardly noticing me
So small, of so many
On its sandy, shell-crushed beach
Yes, I gaze in awe
With reverence to its power
And its vast life teeming within
A whole watery, strange, world
That I can never know
Yet, there is a kindness here
Reaching out to me with
A thousand fingered massage
Injecting me with energy
Loving me with every sound
Of a million musical waves

-Linda King

Jack Hirshman, long known as the Red poet is not afraid to be identified with a call to revolution, selected these poems written by poets from many countries. I am just not used to keeping company with revolutionaries so haven't quite gotten comfortable with the language.  Linda wondered if she had become a communist poet by sculpturing this poet and going to his rallies for the homeless poets of San Francisco.  I did see a lot of homeless there for such an expensive city to live in.  Linda has always had empathy for the homeless and I am not afraid that she will ever accept any ideology she is not comfortable with.  I have always thought people became too afraid of words like communism in this country, exaggerating the dangers of such thinking, for I think it takes acceptance of wrong actions to turn any word into anathema.  We just have to be sure we don't accept wrong doing in the name of change, in my opinion. At the same time we have to recognize the downtrodden in the world, the indescribably poor, who when they can speak at all may burst forth with tirades at the injustice of life. Jack Hirschman likes encouraging those people without representation to write quite honestly about their grievances. 
He has traveled the world and has talked to many writers.  He speaks several languages and translated a number of these poems to English.  You have got to learn something valuable by living the life he has.  You have to give him respect for caring about those who mainly have nobody who cares. Thank you, Linda, for this book of poems called Revolutionary Poets Brigade!  It is a great Xmas present!  I can always look to you to give me a book that will cause me to think outside the box!

1 comment: said...

I enjoyed your review. I will give mine soon. I need to catch up my book as Cheryl comes Jan 3.
I have many books waiting...


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