March 15: “New York City” by Day Williams

NEW YORK CITY

 

A prisoner who had forgotten chains,

He wakened in another place, New York,

Discovered that his chains were tight, and fought

To free himself from demons’ teeth and nails.

The traffic roar and clatter ground like salt

On metal shells, corroded Spirit’s core,

And canceled credit former loves had earned.

The push to hone his craft had lured the man

To bare himself before the strangers’ streets.

Skyscrapers’ lights illuminated dusk

On Broadway, Times Square, and Fifth Avenue;

High heels of debutantes and office girls

Clicked like a Bushman’s speech; bag ladies picked

Through rubbish in a canister for cans

To peddle; taxis honked in traffic jams;

Electric billboards blinked and boasted wares;

The junkies jostled corporate lawyers’ wives

And friends who shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue

For blouses, skirts and dresses; models posed

By sculptures; traffic lights winked green and red;

The watchman for the three-card monte game

Whistled a warning to confederates;

Graffiti subway cars slid open doors,

Swallowed suits, gangs, and clerks, the poet’s peers.

~Day Williams

 

“South Bronx Subway” by Danny Lyon

March 8: Poets

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
March 8
Poets

 

186.

Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,

But gold that’s put to use more gold begets.

~William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis (1593)

 

187.

The only thing that can console one for being poor is extravagance.

~Oscar Wilde

 

188.

How quickly nature falls into revolt

When gold becomes her object!

For this the foolish over-careful fathers

Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains with care,

Their bones with industry.

~William Shakespeare

 

Money Matters.05b

 

March 7: Songs and Poems

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
March 7
Songs and Poems

 

184.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

~T.S. Eliot

185.

Weep not that the world changes—did it keep

A stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep.

~William Cullen Bryant, Mutation

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March 5: “The saddest noise, the sweetest noise” by Emily Dickinson

The saddest noise, the sweetest noise,
The maddest noise that grows,—
The birds, they make it in the spring,
At night’s delicious close.

Between the March and April line—
That magical frontier
Beyond which summer hesitates,
Almost too heavenly near.

It makes us think of all the dead
That sauntered with us here,
By separation’s sorcery
Made cruelly more dear.

It makes us think of what we had,
And what we now deplore.
We almost wish those siren throats
Would go and sing no more.

An ear can break a human heart
As quickly as a spear,
We wish the ear had not a heart
So dangerously near.

March 4: Change

March 4
Change

175.

In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds

On half the nations, and with fear of change

Perplexes monarchs.

~John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book I, line 597

 

176.

Till Peter’s keys some christen’d Jove adorn,

And Pan to Moses lends his Pagan horn.

~Alexander Pope, The Dunciad (1728 to 1743), Book III, line 109

 

177.

See dying vegetables life sustain,

See life dissolving vegetate again;

All forms that perish other forms supply;

(By turns we catch the vital breath and die).

~Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle III, line 15

 

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March 4: “Cloony The Clown” by Shel Silverstein

Cloony the Clown
I’ll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, “Go back to bed!”
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, “I’ll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown.”
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees
With “Hah-Hah-Hahs” and “Hee-Hee-Hees.”
They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around
To every city, every town,
Over mountains, ‘cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
And he said,”THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT –
I’M FUNNY JUST BY ACCIDENT.”
And while the world laughed outside,
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.