Martin Luther King

What is greatness?
What did he tell us?
Maybe King was just someone
able to lead us from small mindedness
to large intentions
Some people naturally
include others with them.
King had more than a vision.
He had a dream. How do
We learn to dream? And how do
our dreams become larger
than just ourselves?
We have to accept
no matter what we think
no matter what we know
there will be people
who say no. People who tell us
what we did wasn’t
enough wasn’t what
it should have been wasn’t
right or strong artful or good.
That No is a big part of yes.
He led, he preached
even to those of us who
don’t like preaching very much
King who died at 39
leaving behind his big story
leaving behind his certainty
about how we can and how we will.

Best Friend

and a sentence or two about yesterday.
Thank you all thank you for writing to me about poems. Mine and other people’s. Only one person wanted other people’s poems. Someone said I was like Walter Winchell sending poems. Walter Winchell made me happy. Maybe I am. I’ll keep trying this.

Best Friend

What you know best
is hardest to describe.
Maybe not for you
but for me.

We were young.
We were all young once.
What’s obvious in life
can be most elusive.

We were young for so many years
before we weren’t.
We were in college
when we met. You
talked a lot. So did I.

We have talked on the phone
every day for forty years.
What is it we don’t say
To one anther?
That’s what I wonder now.

About the Author

Some people have asked me if I will post OTHER PEOPLE’s POEMS. I’d like to. But I’m not sure what YOU think. Tell me. Here’s a poem I read yesterday that I LOVED LOVED LOVED. I am sometimes asked to write these crazy things. About the Author. Elizabeth Willis did a perfect job.

About her: the air, warm as fact.
An imaginary boat heading off to hell, her foot pushing it offshore.
The sunlit bank, emerge of the perfect past.
She was barking at the waves, thinking they barked first.
But this was not a river. It was Thursday, a word cast in lead.
Her eye had turned the water into sky.
The poet is a trespasser.
The poet is the king of Rome, New York, with one foot in a boat and one against the snowy shore of reason.
Wondering if, like a boy, she could go there for a season.

San Miguel Our Room

We arrived my friend Jenny and I
we traveled together first time
glad of that 3 AM we arrived
my Spanish is how do you say
mediocre in Spanish? maybe mediocre
security guard and I did our best
esther cohen room 19 occupied
jenny douglas room 20 occupied
our rooms were no more
when i asked why he repeated a mantra,
a song No rooms No hay No es possible.
No And then he said, out of the blue
for no reason we could determine
not because of logic or anything we did
right or wrong he said room 33 and wrote
it down so we would understand that 33
was our room. For just one night
he said. For eight days
we shared room 33.

My Row, or American Airlines Flight ll75 to Dallas

Whenever I travel
i try picking a lucky row.
New York to Dallas
24 ABC. Kim Kardashian
only sits in front. She wears
new Manolos for each flight.
My Fly Londons
seem more appropriate.
Seat A is a shy
18 year old named Bob.
Bob’s going to Fort Sill.
“I’m afraid of strangers, Ma’am,”
said Bob. Then handsome young
Thomas sat between us. He said
his mother’s from Vietnam
she never told him who
his father is she never
wants to say and Thomas’s best
female friend she’s from Korea
is in exactly the same position.

Car to Laguardia

Cab driver young white boy
Steve from Staten Island
He had a girlfriend named Angela no angel
Said Steve they broke up 3 years ago.
Angela sent him a letter
When his son Luke
Was 2 weeks old.
Steve sees Luke
On Sundays.

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