On the Pulse of Morning

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Kush
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On the Pulse of Morning

Post by Kush » Mon May 05, 2008 7:42 am

On the Pulse of Morning

- Maya Angelou

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDtw62Ah2zY


A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made, proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the Rock were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers--desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Arab, the Swede, the German, the Eskimo, the Scot ...
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours--your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.
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mat james
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by mat james » Wed May 07, 2008 4:02 am

Syncronicity!

Hi Kush,
I just posted a poem which is a record of a conversation I had once with an umbrella plant :lol:
It is on the theme of the oneness of Life, from the plant's perspective. A plant brought me to this moment, wheras your poet (Maya Angelou) perhaps came to that moment while looking at a fossil.
I also wrote a poem after visiting a fossil cave many years ago. I called it "Some reptilian day". It is also on this theme of the oneness of life.
I enjoyed reading this poem and I will visit the youtube post.
I love this attitude below.
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.
If you are interested in having a look at my chat with the plant, I posted it recently on the poetry for forum members section. Its title is:
Rhyme, Beat, Rap, Green... (Questaeon)

Matj
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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Kush
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by Kush » Thu May 08, 2008 5:24 am

Hi Mat,

Thanks for directing me to the the plant poem. Nice one. I thought the idea or seed of the poem was superb....the execution was perhaps a little convoluted, the plot hard to follow. But what do I know...I think the same about one of my favorite poems by Neruda. So if I am right you are probably in excellent company. Here is Neruda's poem that I had posted before. Its on similar lines....the grand sweep of prehistory attracts me I think.

House (Casa)

Perhaps this is the house in which I lived
When neither I, nor earth, existed
When everything was moon or stone or shadow
With the still light unborn
This stone could then have been
My house, my windows, or my eyes.
This granite rose recalls
Something that lived in me, or I in it,
A cave, a universe of dreams inside the skull:
cup or castle, boat or birth.
I touch the rocks tenacious thrust,
It's bulwark pounded in the brine
And I know that flaws of mine subsisted here,
Wrinkled substances that surfaced
From the depths into my soul,
And stone I was, stone shall be, and for this
Caress this stone that has not died for me:
It's what I was, and shall be – the tranquility
Of struggle stretched beyond the brink of time.
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mat james
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by mat james » Thu May 08, 2008 10:19 am

the plant poem. Nice one. I thought the idea or seed of the poem was superb....the execution was perhaps a little convoluted, the plot hard to follow.
Blame the plant :!:
Bloody plants need lessons on being concise. But all I could do Kush was shut up and listen. :razz: And the plant filled in the gaps on the page.
I think Naruda is onto it .
Thanks for the intro.

Matj
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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Diane
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by Diane » Thu May 08, 2008 11:36 am

Caress this stone that has not died for me:
It's what I was, and shall be – the tranquility
Kush, those lines from Neruda are fantastic. I have had to write them down. I also love the line, "I touch the rocks' tenacious thrust."

This thread reminds me of TS Eliot's (over-wordy) Four Quartet poems, which are on the similar theme of the timelessness of our connection with Nature.

http://www.ubriaco.com/fq.html

Far too long to copy here (I can't read lengthy passages on a screen), but focussing on the third of the poems, The Dry Salvages, here's the first part:


I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god - sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
The only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities - ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons, and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.
and I especially like this part, using again the image of the stone/rock as that which endures and changes:
And the ragged rock in the restless waters,
Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it;
On a halcyon day it is merely a monument,
In navigable weather it is always a seamark
To lay a course by, but in the sombre season
Or the sudden fury, is what it always was.
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Kush
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by Kush » Sat May 10, 2008 7:08 pm

Wow..it will take me sometime to read all of that from the link but I like what you have posted about the river. It reminds me a little of Bukowski's Crucifix on a Death Hand which is about land. John Hiatt uses the river metaphor and/or references it in many of his songs in very inventive ways.

Mat...I am sorry you have such a talkative plant. I hope you get some quiet time for reflection...and that reminds me of another Neruda line but his plant appears to be rather quiet...
Other days will come
The silence of plants and of planets will be understood.
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linda_lakeside
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by linda_lakeside » Sun May 11, 2008 6:01 pm

Mat...I am sorry you have such a talkative plant.
No kidding. Stop watering the thing if it keeps you up nights.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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mat james
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by mat james » Mon May 12, 2008 5:33 am

Mat...I am sorry you have such a talkative plant.

No kidding. Stop watering the thing if it keeps you up nights.
Hi Linda,
It was only talkative once, so I let it have its day :D
Modern people are such poor listeners!
...nevermind
"our questaeon is one"

Matj
Last edited by mat james on Mon May 12, 2008 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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jimbo
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by jimbo » Mon May 12, 2008 6:16 am

caress the sotne of lite
and walk in its light
this night of nights
love is not forgotten......
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linda_lakeside
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by linda_lakeside » Mon May 12, 2008 6:55 am

Whoa, a babe with flapping wings - now who could resist that? Not me.

and yes, Mat. I heard you, I just don't want awake the eon plant. sssshhsshh.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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jimbo
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by jimbo » Mon May 12, 2008 7:01 am

A cheribum Male.................
who talks to the trees and the birds and bees
and brings angels to there to there knee;s
love is not forgotten......
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linda_lakeside
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by linda_lakeside » Mon May 12, 2008 8:19 am

Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven..
Oh, I sure hope so, as it's the only way I know how to do it. They can't start changing the rules when I'm so old I might forget them. That would be soooo sad. Maybe I better get some extra time in while my memory is sill fresh.

Oh. Sorry. You weren't talking to me...OK...I'm leaving, but with a smile on my face.....
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Diane
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by Diane » Mon May 12, 2008 11:36 am

Hello Jimbo. Will we be meeting you in Dublin in June?

Hello Linda. You have flowed down the river from your lake. There's no need to pray. Everything's gonna be just fine.

Whilst I am down at the river, with rocks, with Kush, just one more thing - the ending of A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean:
I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters.
Wo.
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by William » Tue May 13, 2008 12:47 am

My heavens but that woman (Angelou) goes on a bit doesn't she?
Convoluted is one (polite) word for this colllection of generalisations
And to what end?
And, Kush, the river as a maetaphor - hardly new or original!
God bless,
William
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Kush
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Re: On the Pulse of Morning

Post by Kush » Wed May 14, 2008 10:28 pm

Hi William,

I will admit I am not really a connoiseur of poetry as you are and in fact I dont read very much period - almost exclusively sports and science magazines....but the way I see it (and again the bar ain't that high for me) Angelou and Hiatt's writing (not to mention Mat James') is some pretty impressive stuff.

God Bless you too....
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