The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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Tuesday’s Poem

Raindog. Photo by Slobodan Dimitrov

Easy Reader News profiles RD Armstrong, better known in the underworld of poetry as Raindog.  The well known  San Pedro poet started the Lummox Journal, “with the idea that I might be able to sell enough subscriptions that I’d be able to buy stamps for my own stuff, to send out submissions to other magazines.” He pauses. “What it ended up being was that it took up all my time and basically I published myself in my little magazine – which worked out fine because I didn’t just publish schlock, you know? I was a very rough editor on myself.”

Lummox Press has come into its own over the last three or so years. Last year, the Lummox Journal was revived to be published once a year. The 2013 installment is in its final stages before being shipped to the printer.

Mozart at 22

by RD Armstrong

“My life sucks, man!”

He was 22

His hair was cut like the Dutch Boy

and dyed jet black

His overcoat covered

ragged jeans and jackboots

He leaned against the lamppost

bumming cigarettes from

passersby

A group of young men milled around him

muttering their agreement with

his wisdom and profound insight

he was 22 and life was

passing him by

He looked dejectedly at me

“Why can’t I be like you, man?”

22 and he wanted to double his grief Continue reading


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Cowboy Poet – Who Knew?

Keith Ward performing an original poem at The Pizza Shop and Dry County Brewing Company’s Open Mic Night in Spruce Pine, NC on January 19th, 2013.

Ward has been writing poetry since childhood, and he attended his first open mic poetry gathering in 2008.  Since then, Ward has continued writing and performing.  “My only connection to the west as a boy were those old TV westerns,” Ward recalls in the introduction to his poem “My Heart Beats Free.”  Ward brings the spirit of the west to his life as a horse trail guide and through his poetry.


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Haiku-Writing Suspected Killer Hunted by Japanese Police

Japanese police are hunting a poetry writing killer after the bodies of five people were discovered in a remote mountain village

The Telegraph reports on a  poetry-writing suspected killer who is being hunted by Japanese police after the bodies of five people were found in a tiny mountain village.

The chief suspect is a 63-year-old villager at whose home police found a “haiku” poem stuck to the window.

The haiku is a traditional Japanese form, a three-line verse of 17 syllables in a five-seven-five arrangement. It customarily evokes natural phenomena, frequently as a metaphor for human emotions.

The haiku reads: “Setting a fire – smoke gives delight – to a country fellow.”


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Mystic Monday

I imagine I should call today Mystic Monday as everything I’ve posted so far has to do with art, poetry and mysticism.  Don’ t worry, I’ll get back on track.  I had wanted to focus on this yesterday in keeping with our religious tradition of setting Sunday aside for prayer and reflection.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so.  Instead of passing over all of this wonderful information, I decided to publish it this morning and move on to the general tenor of the site later today.  I hope you enjoy it.


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The Poetry Drone

'The Poetry Drone'

 

Hector Tobar delves into the reasons behind poet David Shook ‘s Drone in the LA Times:

The idea behind “The Poetry Drone” is to buy an actual flying drone — which can be had for as little as $5,000, Shook says — and fly it over some populated place and have the drone rain poems (instead of bombs) on unsuspecting people below.

“The Poetry Drone is exactly that: a drone for the deployment of specially commissioned poems by leading US and world poets, which aim to bring the US military’s covert drone operations into the spotlight,” Shook writes in a statement he calls “Beating Drones into Plowshares.” The larger aim, he says, is to promote discussion about drone warfare and “to humanize their victims, and to explore the political responsibility of poets, artists, and citizens.”


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Seeking Solace in mysticism

ISLAMABAD: Tucked away in the library of Kuch Khaas, a group sat to dissect the poetry of 13th century Persian poet Rumi on Tuesday. Known as the “Mathnawi Circle”, the group members gather every week to read out and interpret select verses, forming a story, from “Mathnawi”, one of the sufi saint’s finest pieces.

Shazray Hussain, who moderated the session, has been inclined towards theology, mysticism and spirituality since she was a teenager. Moreover, it was during a recent trip to Konya — Rumi’s birthplace — that this interest was rekindled, as she became a part of the sufi tradition.

Originally transcribed in Persian, the epic poem “The Mathnawi” has been translated into various languages including Urdu and English. It is in these three languages that the participants read out some stanzas at the event. The discussion centred on the story about “The Jewish king who would kill Christians out of his fanaticism”.

The “cross-eyed” king is a foe of Jesus and his followers. He sees Jesus and Moses as different beings when in fact, “prophets were one at heart.” Hussain related the concept of “Tauheed” or Oneness of God, expanding it to individuals. As according to religion and spirituality, all beings are one, everything is interconnected in the universe, she added. Continue reading


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Monday Prayer

Please Accept My Condo

Her cell phone cut my deepest sympathies
short. The fault of a patchy connection, she guessed,
when she showed me days later and we laughed off
our faces at my truncated text. I didn’t know her
adequately to ask who she’d lost; we were barely
close enough to suffer a telecommunicational blip.
“Please accept my condo” was all that had not
been swallowed by the gaps the sky works
into an ether between towers, as though solace
were the embrace of a room so new you were
certain no one had died in its thoughtless hold.
Or maybe the defective note was meant for me;
I needed to make real the imperative of that
half-sentence and tell this woman in her grief
to care for my concrete cocoon, while I emerged for her
as a mourning cloak butterfly, of the family nymphalis,
so weightless in those winds I was the drunk
who bobbed without sense on the ocean-filled waterbed
of the earth, no path too straight for me to fail it.
Future phones should be programmed to make new
our tongues. “We must  honour the memo”
will be our promise to the bereaved, and to dads
and moms freshly minted we’ll cry: “Congratulations
on the birth of yo.” So novelly mobile,
so strangely celled, we will be as original
as the back-flipping dog who learned to leave
his trick unfinished and dangle, flea-bitten, in the air.

__________________________________________________________

Daniel Scott Tysdal is the author of The Mourner’s Book of Albums (Tightrope 2010). His first book of poetry, Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method (Coteau 2006), received the ReLit Award for Poetry (2007) and the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Award (2006). His work has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies, and has earned him honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards (2003) and the Matrix Lit Pop Award (2010). He currently teaches creative writing and English literature at the University of Toronto Scarborough.