The Tuesday Morning Talking Stick
The times as they change are here to remind
That nothing has changed -not even time;
I've loved you forever, it hasn't been long - just enough now
To keep me in song
We howl from the window hungry with need
And pity the hearts
Where we've all come to feed; a bitter last supper,
The cup passed along - one for the road
That keeps us in song
I've stood at the water
Where this land has run out
Of any idea
What we might be about.
We're asked to make do
With what we know to be wrong - what leads us astray
But keeps us in song...
The churches, the nurses, the company store,
Have joined and concluded there will be no more - no credit on mercy,
No forgiveness here on, for any not willing
To keep us in song
It's grey and it's colder
Than it was yesterday
When hope was eternal,
-A blooming array;
With one more good rain all these leaves will be gone, their falling designed
To keep us in song...
Last night I lay thinking I'd dropped the last thread that stitched every dream to the top of my head; they'll all fly and leave me but I'll get along
With yours here beside me to keep me us song
DEATH SURPRISED YOU by Irma Pineda
Translated from Spanish and Zapotec by Wendy Call
Death surprised you in a place far
from home, from your people
you were thrown nameless in a hole
without songs to brighten the way
for your feet
and you stand
at the beginning of a path
while your mother seeks someone newly dead
to entrust with
your favorite clothes
the flowers that never scented your body
the cries that never filled your ears.
She knows you await her . . .
YOU WILL NOT SEE ME DIE (an archived episode of Earshot from ABC Radio National)
In the southern Mexican city of Juchitán, Oaxaca, Zapotec is spoken. It is the oldest written language in the Americas. Although Zapotec is one of Mexico’s most widely spoken Indigenous languages, it is in danger of extinction—like half of all the languages currently spoken in the world.
First we meet the Zapotec-Mexican poet Irma Pineda, born and raised in Juchitán, who is keeping her language alive through poetry. We also meet a young rapper from a nearby town, who has transformed Pineda’s poetry into hip-hop.
Can poetry and music ensure that the next generation will retain their connection to Zapotec language and culture, in spite of large-scale migration and other threats to cultural continuity?
1831 - Edgar Allan Poe removed from West Point military academy. Poe tried hard to get kicked out of West Point, and in 1831, he succeeded. Rumor is that the final straw came when he reported for drill wearing belts for his cartridges, a smile and nothing else, but did he actually do it? . . . But there are no records of Poe showing up for drill naked. Instead, Poe was court-martialed after he stopped going to class, parade, roll calls and chapel in January 1831. The following month, he was dismissed.
1836 - Battle of the Alamo: After 13 days of fighting 1,500-3,000 Mexican soldiers overwhelm the Texan defenders, killing 182-257 Texans including William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett
1857 - Dred Scott Decision: US Supreme Court rules Africans cannot be US citizens. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 ruled that slaves should be counted as 3/5 of a person for voting. Slaves should be free to vote. Slaves are not citizens and have none of the benefits of citizenship. Slaves are citizens of the states in which they reside, but not of the United States.
1951 : The trial of suspected spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were indicted for conspiring to obtain national defense secrets for the Soviets starts in New York. From the L.A. TIMES: Grand jury transcripts from the biggest espionage case of the Cold War raise questions about whether Ethel Rosenberg were convicted and executed based on perjured prosecution testimony. Rosenberg and her husband, Julius, were convicted of passing nuclear weapons secrets to the Soviet Union and were executed in 1953. Since then, decrypted Soviet cables have appeared to confirm that he was a spy, but doubts have remained about her role. At the Rosenbergs' trial, the key testimony against Ethel Rosenberg came from her brother and sister-in-law, David and Ruth Greenglass.
1962 : It was reported on this day that Prime Minister Diefenbaker had approved Canada’s desire to take a stand against nuclear weapon testing. As a result, provisions were being discussed, one being the possible mutual disarmament arrangement being made between the Soviet Union and Canada
1970 : The British government announces an indefinite ban on the importation of domestic pets following a pet dog imported from Pakistan dying from Rabies. Britain is one of the few countries in the world where rabies has not entered the wild animal population and cases of rabies are not often seen.
I meet once a month with a small group of friends ... to have dinner, read poetry to each other, and basically just engage in conversation. Two or three of the others will usually bring poems they've personally written. Poetry writing does not come easily to me. But I really enjoy talking about poems that have something powerful to say, about something I care about. So most of the time I bring copies of another poet's work, usually connected to current events and/or progressive spirituality/politics.
In between meetings I post "poetic things" to TALKING POETRY AND SHARING STORIES IN LOUISVILLE on Facebook. Feel free to take a look. Join if you like. It's an open group. Since the group was my idea, shamelessly borrowed from a more academic group my brother in law meets with in Albuquerque, I allowed myself to make up our one and only guideline/rule: "If you think it's a poem, it's a poem."
Okay ... with Barry Lopez to get us going ... let's talk.
"A dangerous bit of American folklore is that our social, environmental, and political problems, which grow more ominous by the day, call for the healing touch of a genius. They do, but if we're intent on waiting for some such remarkable individual to show up we can count on disappointment. The solution to what threatens us, however, is already here, in another form. It's in our diverse communities. Most often we recognize the quality of genius in an individual man or woman; but the source of that genius lies with the complicated network of carefully tended relationships that sets a vibrant human community apart from a solely political community."
-- Barry Lopez
Lopez shares wisdom about the power of a good story. In this series of bites from our wonderful Standing on Sacred Ground interview, Barry asserts that "a good story helps" and it must be about "us."
Oregon Humanities’ 2015 happy-hour series kicks off with renowned essayist and fiction writer Barry Lopez, author of books such as Resistance, The Rediscovery of North America, and the recent collection Outside. Lopez will join Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities, for a conversation followed by a question-and-answer session.
Lopez argues that the ways indigenous knowledge can help lead us out of our environmental — and spiritual — crisis.
In conversation with REPORT FROM SANTA FE, Lopez explains his humanitarian and environmental concerns. He has won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for "Arctic Dreams" and his "Of Wolves and Men" was a National Book Award finalist.
Barry delivers THE SINGAPORE WRITERS' FESTIVAL 2014’s closing lecture: a reflective and enlightening journey through diverse landscapes and literatures – complete with insights into our ethical responsibilities to human communities and the living world.
In "Home Ground: Language For An American Landscape," dozens of writers and poets use their own personal experiences to create nearly one thousand original definitions of the natural landscape, for our lands and waters. Co-Editor Barry Lopez spoke with Jim Foster on this episode of "Conversations On The Coast" in San Francisco.
Now THE TALKING STICK is in your hands ....