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The political world is quite like the poetry world. After about 15 minutes of trying to participate in either one, you start wondering where the adults are.( Carter Monroe)  .The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness. ( Christopher Morley ) To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ( Ralph Waldo Emerson) Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.(Leo F. BuscagliaThe happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.(William PhelpsAlways dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.  Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)  Creativity is seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how to bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.” (Michele Shea) To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.(Milan Kundera)

The new issue of Pirene’s Fountain contains a feature article and interview with poet Scott Owens, along with several of his poems and a poem of mine, “Mustard Seed, that is really a review of Scott’s book Something Knows the  Moment, available from Main Street Rag.

Read the entire issue.

Collin Kelley interviews me on Modern Confessional.

I am the featured poet today on “Poetry Friday” a weekly feature on Women’s Voices For Change: Redefining Life After 40 Read a couple of my poems from Seriously Dangerous and hear a video of an older poem, “The Eagle at Sunset,”  that was included in Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont.  Then peruse the magazine’s contents and archives for other interesting articles.

Many thanks to Laura Sillerman for requesting these poems.

Dr. King first delivered this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as co-pastor. On Christmas Eve, 1967, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired this sermon as part of the seventh annual Massey Lectures.

“In 1963, on a sweltering August afternoon, we stood in Washington, D.C., and talked to the nation about many things. Toward the end of that afternoon, I tried to talk to the nation about a dream that I had had, and I must confess to you today that not long after talking about that dream I started seeing it turn into a nightmare. I remember the first time I saw that dream turn into a nightmare, just a few weeks after I had talked about it. It was when four beautiful, unoffending, innocent Negro girls were murdered in a church in Birmingham, Alabama. I watched that dream turn into a nightmare as I moved through the ghettos of the nation and saw my black brothers and sisters perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity, and saw the nation doing nothing to grapple with the Negroes’ problem of poverty. I saw that dream turn into a nightmare as I watched my black brothers and sisters in the midst of anger and understandable outrage, in the midst of their hurt, in the midst of their disappointment, turn to misguided riots to try to solve that problem. I saw that dream turn into a nightmare as I watched the war in Vietnam escalating, and as I saw so-called military advisors, sixteen thousand strong, turn into fighting soldiers until today over five hundred thousand American boys are fighting on Asian soil. Yes, I am personally the victim of deferred dreams, of blasted hopes, but in spite of that I close today by saying I still have a dream, because, you know, you can’t give up in life. If you lose hope, somehow you lose that vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream.

I have a dream that one day men will rise up and come to see that they are made to live together as brothers. I still have a dream this morning that one day every Negro in this country, every colored person in the world, will be judged on the basis of the content of his character rather than the color of his skin, and every man will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. I still have a dream that one day the idle industries of Appalachia will be revitalized, and the empty stomachs of Mississippi will be filled, and brotherhood will be more than a few words at the end of a prayer, but rather the first order of business on every legislative agenda. I still have a dream today that one day justice will roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. I still have a dream today that in all of our state houses and city halls men will be elected to go there who will do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with their God. I still have a dream today that one day war will come to an end, that men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, that nations will no longer rise up against nations, neither will they study war any more. I still have a dream today that one day the lamb and the lion will lie down together and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. I still have a dream today that one day every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill will be made low, the rough places will be made smooth and the crooked places straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. I still have a dream that with this faith we will be able to adjourn the councils of despair and bring new light into the dark chambers of pessimism. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when there will be peace on earth and good will toward men. It will be a glorious day, the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy.”

This is Banned Books Week. Have you read a book today?

Exercise your freedom to read by reading a banned book. Many are classics.

Reading books expands one’s mind.

Celebrate the freedom to read. Thank a librarian.


The Office of Intellectual Freedom.

The Center For the Book in the Library of Congress.


Hat tip: Sherry Chandler

I have a short story, “Memories of a Joplin Bum,” on Fried Chicken and Coffee.

Thank you editor, Rusty Barnes.

Editor Jessie Carty has posted artwork by Jimmy Pitts to accompany my poem, Concerning Apple Pie,” on Referential Magazine.

Makes the poem seem new again.

I see more of you are beginning to refuse new Medicare patients.

“Physicians are saying, ‘I can’t afford to keep losing money,’ ” says Lori Heim, president of the family doctors’ group.

see more

Don’t you mean, “I don’t want to keep getting less money”?  How do you lose what you never had?


Almost There

Faith brings together the known and the unknown so that they overlap: or rather, so that we are aware of their overlapping. ”

Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation. (New York: New Directions Books, 1961). p. 135.

January 2023