Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shanty Towns/Pennies/Vartnaw/Kay Ryan


P1 Political

Only One Paycheck Away

These photos of tent cities or shanty towns in Sacramento and elsewhere in America appeared March 11th in the British publication Mail Online. It wasn't only the pathetic reality of what our economy has come to during the past years of deregulation, but rather that America is now being studied by other countries in this way. It's like when we Americans see photos of camps in Darfur. Notice that the black and white shanty photo was taken during the Great Depression. As I watch and listen to Sacramento's mayor Kevin Johnson discuss the plight of so many of his constituents, I call to mind the old saw that goes something like, "The great bulk of Americans are only one paycheck away from homelessness." These people in the camps are car salesmen and construction workers. Unemployment rises daily.

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P2 Philosophical

Nothing Of Value

Throw away a jar of pennies,
This is very good advice.
Then nickels, dimes and quarters
Worth little more than lice.
In the soul’s progression
Such ridiculous device
As a coin, a dollar or a million,
Clocks and clothes and mice,
Nothing lasts forever,
And ever’s worth the price.

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P3 Poetic

Vowel Poem X

a note at night
ignore the gnats! the bats!
watch the net of beauty
from your boat
fireworks!
I bet you can't beat it
not with a bit of cheese
some nuts
(but don't eat the bait?)
it's neat to nit-pick
which of these stars stir you?
& about the darkness
how it stares from behind


© 2008 Bill Vartnaw




Vowel Poem XIII


tick tock
the white cat at the window
takes a toke of air
it's kite season

tick tock
I took the kite kit & cut
it's low tech
yet I still can't duplicate
the parakeet
I have tacked on the wall

tick tock
I stroke the cat's coat for solace
a cute tyke somewhere
sits on a cot w/ a teak toy
it will tuck between its blankets


© 2008 Bill Vartnaw


U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan is scheduled to read at the free MARIN POETRY FESTIVAL, Sunday, April 26 in Dunphy Park located off Bridgeway at Napa Street in Sausalito, Calif.

This year's festival starts at 1 p.m. and features.four hours of music, spoken word and sunshine.

Other invited poets include Jack Hirschman, Aggie Falk, Sharon Doubiago, Clive Matson and the street corner stylings of poetry al fresco, & music by Avtocja, Owen Wilson as well as open readings.

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name" or "Anonymous" if you like, but please be sure to sign some facsimile of your name. Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net if you have difficulty.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

bill & ed,

thanks for the plug, but sunday's event has been moved north to the bay model visitors center (so we have shelter in case of rain).

see http://isledesk.com/Festival

martin