Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Poetry and President Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy’s last major public address was at Amherst College Oct 26, 1963. He was at the dedication of the Robert Frost Library.

Kennedy said:

“When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitation. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses...”

Thank for joining me on National Poetry Month.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Poetry, obviously, is not just a personal expression and experience of my poetic nature. It is also the appreciation of the warmth and grace of other poets.

One of my favorites is Rumi.

"What Was Said To The Rose

What was said to the rose that made it open
was said to me here in my chest.
What was told the Cypress that made it strong
and straight, what was
whispered to the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made
sugarcane sweet, whatever
was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in
Turkestan that makes them
so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face, that is
being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in
language, that's happening here.
The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,
chewing a piece of sugarcane,
in love with the one to whom every that belongs!"

Monday, April 28, 2014


The Teahouse of the Summer Sun
© 2012 Rolland G. Smith

Beyond the thought of standing still
And wondering what’s held within.
A teahouse blessed by heaven’s trill
Allows the prayerful to begin.

Young trees stand sentry to this place
To grace love’s presence everywhere.
Especially in shadowed lace
When setting sun releases care.

The teahouse is a place of proof
for souls who’ve gone and those who stay.
It blends beneath its raftered roof

A place to think and one to pray.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Georgia Off My Mind

I must interrupt the grace and rhythm of poetry month to acknowledge the detritus of America in the state of Georgia.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal just signed into law a statue that allows guns in bars, churches, nightclubs and libraries.

The law also eliminates some criminal charges against people who mistakingly bring guns into airports and other buildings where guns are federally prohibited. The law even permits certain school teachers and administrators to carry firearms inside their schools.

I know there are regional differences all across America, but I didn’t think there were such profound intellectual differences.

As in stupid!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Night Tide

I hope you’ve had the pleasure to sleep near the ocean at night; close enough to hear the rhythmic crash of tidal waves. It is peaceful both in storm and calm, but it is the gentle pulsing of a normal night that I’m thinking about for the post.

Night Tide
©2014 Rolland G. Smith

Hear the rolling waves of night
And their dark folds ending bright,
With its crest that calls again
Back to where we’ve always been.

Dark below the waxing night,
Bright above with starry sight,
Soon the wave cannot be seen
Passing o’r the life marine.

Hear it, yes, and feel it too
As rhythm flows in and through,
Then your tide within thereon
Feels the glow of celadon.

Take this rhythm when you leave
And a peace you will receive,
No matter where you abide

Your breath within is your tide.
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