portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative global

actions & protests | energy & nuclear | environment

The Daily Poetry Movement

Two Selections: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas. I thought this was a pretty funny one to celebrate the solstice with. The other one is Fierce Green Fire by Treesong. This one is much more impressive. It took a few moments to grow warm to the poem but I think it is a most impressive way to celebrate the light coming back. The more hardcore poets will probably stay up all night to welcome the dawn. You don't have to stick to candles.... Celebrating science, isn't it wonderful? Resist! Refuse! Recycle!
By Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Fierce Green Fire
by Treesong
(12 November 1999)
The steel-toe boot of progress
stomps down on a pile of dismembered trees
that were standing when Columbus
killed his first Indian.
A river of blacktop blood
tears across the Great Plains
and the West is subdued
with sterile shopping malls
and eight-lane information superhighways.
Manifest Destiny
has crushed the land
beneath a thick rubber heel,
but behind the red, white, and blue
that is draped across the country
like a flag over a casket
you can still hear
the call of the wild.

Take an American flag
out to a dark forest clearing
at midnight.
Dangle the Stars and Stripes
over a raging campfire
and watch the hungry flames
lick across the face of the flag.
When the synthetic fibers
begin to burn
a fierce green fire
will rise up into the moonlight
and the howl of the wolf
will fill your lungs
with a burning passion
that blacktop sprawls
and shopping malls
can never conquer.

A letter and a URL 22.Dec.2003 05:21

Migratory Bird

Meditation on traditional revolution in art 25.Oct.2002 23:17


Migratory Bird

I know that this may never be read but in case someone wanders back to reread a poem I wanted to speak a little about the poetry revolution. (If I may call it that.)

I was on a long walk with my grandmother about 10 years ago. I was talking to her about how she got started writing and the way I felt when the world shifted for me as I read a particularly inspiring poem. She says "AKA Migratory Bird, I had my first poem published when I was in high school."
"In high school?"
"Yes, I won a poetry contest the newspaper put on."
Wait a second, the newspaper? What newspaper has poetry contests or even publishes poetry today?
"In those days it was quite common for the newspaper to publish poetry. They had a wonderful luncheon for me and they presented me an award."

This was here in Portland that they had these wonderful poetry contests. Where they celebrated art and literature. Now it is illegal to paint a mural (Diego Rivera) or inaccessible to publish a poem in the newpapers. No one rights serial stories (Dickens, Upton Sinclair "The Jungle") for the local paper. We celebrate death and have disappeared the arts and literature.

Here at Indymedia we are given an oppurtunity to return to more traditional values of folklore, serial stories, art work, and poetry!!! It is my sincerest wish that folks will publish basic herbal remedies and warnings (i.e.basil is bad for pregnant women, it makes you pee more.) Create beautiful short stories, exchange vegan recipes, share our art and lives on a more refined scale as well as the daily news. How much more pleasant is it to read a wonderful recipe, a poem and then deal with tactics to save tree sitters from malfunctioning helicopters? How wonderful to read a fabulously funny cartoon while you've been crying over the slaughter of the innocent Iraq's. With art we can retain our humanity and sensibilty. I hope everyone here will help create the revolution and continue to share original art, folk lore, and remedies.
I hope there is someone strumming a guitar right now creating songs as they read the news. If there is and you think the song is good, why not record and download it for people to hear on indymedia?. That way (Woody Gutherie) the song can be sung during marches, in cities and forests far away. Bring art to the revolution and the movement will sing!!!
Each one of us makes the movement. As long as we keep art out of the movement the movement will remain fractionalized. The more we bring of ourselves to each other the more we can respect and learn to support one another.
Grandmother, I love you. Thank you for telling me the tales of old so I can share them with others. Thank you for helping to build the revolution, grandmother. I hope that tonight we are sharing the moon together. May we all listen to her wisdom.
The revolution is yours now, dear readers, do with it as you will.

PS 12/21/03 Please feel free to post an article for the day under teh Daily Poetry Movement with original or reposted poetry! It is us together who build this movement and make it strong!