Cup of Tea

deep blue sky
reflected in a cup
of green tea


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Favorite Poems

Margo Roby has invited us to share one of our favorite poems. I unabashedly fall into the “Can it be more than one?” group. I have favorite haiku which you can find here.  I have favorite poems and quotes by others writers (yes, there are haiku there too), which you can find here.  So what else?  You’ll find them below.

Surely at least one other person had to memorize this first poem.  I did in the 8th grade.  It has stayed with me all these years.


If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)


A new favorite, which will last longer in my heart than Kipling’s:

Phenomenal Woman  BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)


I confess, there are too many.  So I will close with this:


When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)
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Paradigm Shift

I found this so thought-provoking on varied levels. Wonder what you think about it.

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Let’s Oulipo for Margo

tanks and angry alpha
what as law
that as that and had and
that Santa Barbara
what many
all had
Santa Barbara
and that
and all
as grand
as that
laws can play
and what
that laws
and Santa Barbara
that alpha and a gay man


The source:  Michael Ransom, Managing Editor — “The “Manosphere” | This is a Woman’s World Too, or Not” as posted on The Nahmias Cipher Report

Limited to one vowel.  So hard.  Only for you, Margo.

Poem Tryouts: Let’s Oulipo

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Fall 2014 Issue 3

Yousei Hime:

A new call, for new poems–what do you celebrate and where are your rituals?  [Please visit and read the latest issue of Red Wolf Journal: The River Within Us and Without Us.

Originally posted on :

Red Wolf Journal now invites submissions for Issue 3 (Fall 2014).
Our theme: “Celebration and Ritual”


Cover artwork: Roses and Urn © Carin Ingalsbe

Celebration and Ritual:

The two words are a call for a gathering of poems to be included in Red Wolf Journal, Issue 3. The two words are an intention for reflection, nothing more.

Ceremonies and rituals have always been the milestones of human experience. Baptisms, weddings, funerals, anniversaries, the changing of the seasons have long mapped the course of our collective experience.

The universe of nature provides the setting for mankind’s need for ceremony and ritual. The order of solstices, the oceans, the sun, moon and stars are the altar of the marriage between man and nature.

And there are the more intimate personal rituals and ceremonies — the dining table, Sunday mornings, ways of greeting, a cup of tea – the signs and symbols that…

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