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Our Places, Our Poems

  • 4 months ago

    9 Comments

    Lansing Sidewalk Poetry Information-grey

    “Mi Pueblo,” by Cruz Villarreal

     

     

    Old town, my town, bound by the Grand River,
    the Río Grande,
    lined with walkways that welcome strollers, bikers,
    and rainbow families.

    ...

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  • 4 months ago

    14 Comments

    ”Austin, Texas,” by Kwame Alexander (Winter 2001) and ”Barton Springs,” by Tony Hoagland (July/August 2007) Information-grey

    ”Austin, Texas,” by Kwame Alexander

    i
    would
    Climb
    The hills of Mt. Bonnell at dawn blindfolded
    Swim
    the Colorado at noon barebottomed and
    Dance
    a poet's salsa at midnight barefoot
    along the pavement
    Of your soul
    To get closer to this poem
    to that fresh air music
    of people coming
    and going
    in Austin, Texas


    ...

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  • 4 months ago

    33 Comments

    "Imitation of Life/HARLEM Hopscotch," video by Dianne Smith and "Harlem Hopscotch," poem by Maya Angelou Information-grey

    Imitation of Life/HARLEM Hopsctch from Dianne Smith on Vimeo.

    Harlem Hopscotch is part of my Imitation of Life Series which I like to call digital storytelling. The work consists of a compilation of videos and images.

    These images and videos are mostly what I have documented as I move through my beloved Harlem community. They are a string of day to day occurrences. They are simply a sum of my lived experiences, that together become very performative.

    The videos and images are layered, in a sort of stop motion like way. The aesthetics of the work speaks to a place that is textured, unique, spirited, animated and diverse. With this series I show the dichotomy of the community how the old or nostalgic view of Harlem is ever present, while...

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  • 4 months ago

    33 Comments

    "Along the East River and in the Bronx Young Men Were Singing," by Ariel Francisco Information-grey

    I heard them and I still hear them
    above the threatening shrieks of police sirens
    above the honking horns of morning traffic,
    above the home-crowd cheers of Yankee Stadium
    above the school bells and laughter
    lighting up the afternoon
    above the clamoring trudge of the 1 train
    and the 2 and 4, 5, 6, the B and the D
    above the ice-cream trucks’ warm jingle
    above the stampede of children
    playing in the street,
    above the rush of a popped fire hydrant
    above the racket of eviction notices
    above the whisper of moss and mold moving in
    above the High Bridge and the 145th Street Bridge
    above mothers calling those children
    to come in for dinner, to come in
    before it gets dark,...

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  • 5 months ago

    48 Comments

    "Union Square," (NYC, 1911) by Sara Teasdale Information-grey

    Painting by Isabel Bishop

    With the man I love who loves me not,
    I walked in the street-lamps' flare;
    We watched the world go home that night
    In a flood through Union Square.

    I leaned to catch the words he said
    That were light as a snowflake falling;
    Ah well that he never leaned to hear
    The words my heart was calling.

    And on we walked and on we walked
    Past the fiery lights...

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  • 9 months ago

    4 Comments

    "Ballad of Birmingham," by Dudley Randall (1968) + Youth produced video in Kelly Ingram Park Information-grey

    Ballad of Birmingham

    BY DUDLEY RANDALL

    (On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963)

    “Mother dear, may I go downtown
    Instead of out to play,
    And march the streets of Birmingham
    In a Freedom March today?”

    “No, baby, no, you may not go,
    For the dogs are fierce and wild,
    And clubs and hoses, guns and...

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  • 9 months ago

    17 Comments

    "Alum Rock Canyon," [San Jose, CA], by Carrie Stevens Walter (1895) Information-grey

    Alum Rock from Chris Donegan on Vimeo.

     

    Once, long ago, when Nature’s hand
    ––Was busy at formation,
    She found a box of chaos scraps,
    ––The loveliest of creation.

    And so, in sweet caprice––who knows––?
    ––To please some dear companion,
    She took the store of beauty-scraps
    ––And made this matchless...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    3 Comments

    "The Sacramento," Jeff Knorr Information-grey

     

    The river is pressing itself into banks drifting against light and stones.
    The wind is flittering just a little brushing grasses and shifting against
    the oaks and cottonwood trees. A few swallows dive sharply for insects and a heron
    hides in the reeds while the red tailed hawk circles above on a distant cyclone of air.
    They search the tall grass for the secrets that hold us together.
    Cyclists hum along the hot asphalt of the bike trail then out past parks
    where families picnic, where children learn the mysteries of minnows and of mud.
    ...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    "Fall [for Orlando]," Susan Lilley Information-grey

    for Orlando

    As I left the post office the other day,
    a friendly tourist, family in the car,
    pulled over for advice
    on Asian restaurants within a one-mile radius.
    I fanned myself with a useless L.L. Bean
    winter catalogue as we discussed his options.
    He said, You must miss the seasons.
    The seasons? We have seasons.
    Oh, yes, he smiled. Summer and summer.

    O visitor from somewhere cold and gray.
    Do...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    5 Comments

    "Facing It [Washington, D.C.]," Yusef Komunyakaa Information-grey

    Wall

    My black face fades,
    hiding inside the black granite.
    I said I wouldn't
    dammit: No tears.
    I'm stone. I'm flesh.
    My clouded reflection eyes me
    like a bird of prey, the profile of night
    slanted against morning. I turn
    this way—the stone lets me go.
    I turn that way—I'm inside
    the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    again, depending on the light
    to make a difference. ...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    8 Comments

    "a song in the front yard" and "Beverly Hills, Chicago," Gwendolyn Brooks Information-grey

    a song in the front yard

    I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
    I want a peek at the back
    Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
    A girl gets sick of a rose.

    I want to go in the back yard now
    ...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    9 Comments

    "Swimming Hole, Buck Creek, Springfield, Ohio," Henri Cole Information-grey

    Like an echo,
    it comes back,
    the bend in the creek,
    like a uterus’
    bleeding flow,

    tangible again,
    as memory revisits,
    with unusual
    concreteness,
    territories of the past,

    rebounding, circulating,
    surging, vexing,
    panning our naked
    bodies – some of us
    in the water, loin-deep,

    making animal sounds;
    ...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    4 Comments

    "Revival" (music by Bobby Watson & The I Have a Dream Project) and the contribution to "Ghost Over Water [Kansas City]," Glenn North Information-grey

    Kansascity-18thandvine0011

    This city of song:
    Bird gave birth to bebop here.
    Now bullets blast loud

    composing dark symphonies
    played for liveless brown bodies.

    Kansas City knows
    terror is a tricky tune.
    Like America,

    we still want to dance, we just
    need to remember the moves.

     

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    11 Comments

  • ~ 1 year ago

    2 Comments

    "Belle Isle [Detroit], 1949," Philip Levine Information-grey

    We stripped in the first warm spring night
    and ran down into the Detroit River
    to baptize...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    5 Comments

    "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Le Grande Jatte in the City of Columbus," Patricia Miranda Information-grey

     

    You can’t recall how many times
    you’ve walked into a conversation
    only to wish you could back out—
    backward through the crowd, dragging
    wisps of chatter with you, backward
    through the double doors and out
    into the hall, twenty paces
    to the place where smokers huddle
    to share...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    "Red Banks," [Wisconsin] Denise Sweet Information-grey

    for the Ho-Chunk Nation

    I. Beauty at its best is undisturbed in winter
    the white wings of ice and snow
    wrap round this forest without
    so much as a whisper

    The dry oak savanna fills and fills
    without warning, without witness
    and then one day we are buried
    in our own mock amazement—

    Where did all this snow come from?

    as though drifts of snow and slates of ice
    ...

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  • ~ 1 year ago

    1 Comment

    "So This Is Nebraska," Ted Kooser Information-grey

    Nebraska

    The gravel road rides with a slow gallop
    over the fields, the telephone lines
    streaming behind, its billow of dust
    full of the sparks of redwing blackbirds.

    On either side, those dear old ladies,
    the loosening barns, their little windows
    dulled by cataracts of hay and cobwebs
    hide broken tractors under their skirts.

    So this is Nebraska. A Sunday
    afternoon; July. Driving along
    with your hand out squeezing the air,
    a meadowlark waiting on every post.

    ...

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