Dreaming of a White Christmas

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

-e.e. cummings

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A Father’s Day Moment: Only a Dad, But the Best of Men

A Father’s Day Moment: Only a Dad, But the Best of Men

Only A Dad

By Edgar Albert Guest

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

Sharecropper Bud Fields at Home with His Family in Hale County, Alabama (1936)

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

James Agee

Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.
The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through
his great power from the beginning.
There be of them, that have left a name behind them,
that their praises might be reported.
And some there be which have no memorial; who perished,
as though they had never been born; and are become as
though they had never been born; and their children after them.
But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten.
With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance,
and their children are within the covenant.
Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes.
Their seed shall remain forever, and their glory shall not be blotted out.
Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth
for evermore.

Bright Eyes: First Day of My Life

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Pablo Neruda: I’m Tired of Being a Man…

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

“Walking Around”

It so happens I’m tired of being a man.
It so happens I enter clothes shops and theaters,
withered, impenetrable, like a swan made of felt
sailing the water of ashes and origins.

The smell of a hairdresser’s has me crying and wailing.
I only want release from being stone or wool.
I only want not to see gardens and businesses,
merchandise, spectacles, lifts.

It so happens I’m tired of my feet and toenails,
my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I’m tired of being a man.

Still it would be a pleasure
to scare a lawyer with a severed lily
or deal death to a nun with a poke in the ear.
It would be good
to go through the streets with an emerald knife
and shout out till I died of cold.

I don’t want to go on being just a root in the shadows,
vacillating, extended, shivering with dream,
down in the damp bowels of earth,
absorbing it, thinking it, eating it every day.

I don’t want to be so much misfortune,
I don’t want to go on as a root or a tomb,
a subterranean tunnel, just a cellar of death,
frozen, dying in pain.

This is why, Monday, the day, is burning like petrol,
when it sees me arrive with my prison features,
and it screeches going by like a scorched tire
and its footsteps tread hot with blood towards night.

And it drives me to certain street corners, certain damp houses,
towards hospitals where skeletons leap from the window,
to certain cobbler’s shops stinking of vinegar,
to alleyways awful as abysses.

There are sulphur-coloured birds and repulsive intestines,
hanging from doorways of houses I hate,
there are lost dentures in coffee pots
there are mirrors
that ought to have cried out from horror and shame,
there are umbrellas everywhere, poisons and navels.

I pass by calmly, with eyes and shoes,
with anger, oblivion,
pass by, cross through offices, orthopedic stores,
and yards where clothes hang down from wires:
underpants, towels and shirts weeping
slow guilty tears.

-Pablo Neruda

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