MiomboDrumBEaT  Image may contain: one or more people, eyeglasses, sunglasses, smoking and closeup Michael Rothenberg is a mesmerizing, hard working and committed poet. His poems beat the underneath of our ears like the luring rhythm of a new African djembe. The beat of his poetry resonates with  his capable abilities in international  literary arts  diplomacy and Events organisational skills. Rothenberg is the co-founder of two great global poetry initiatives, Poets in Need and the 100 Thousand Poets for Change.  MP is greatly humbled to feature this formidable literary arts guru, who is also an advocate for global peace and change in our humble journal.

MP invites comments , follows and likes from the wide range of global  readership interested in arts, poetry and stories. Contact us at  miombopublishing@gmail.com

Image may contain: 4 people

THE BLUE JAYS

 

The Chinese horses march across the wall again

A quiet biography of leaves

The war continues

 

Books

A collection of sufferings

I don’t want to see them anymore

 

Take me back to the blue jays

To the squirrels munching in the redwoods

The dogs and Terri and I

 

My son, on a better day, full of wonder at Saturn

On New Year’s Eve in the Everglades

An alligator!

 

Take me back to the blue jays

Nature noises. Open beams

Tongue in groove

 

But I miss my friends in Italy

“Come back!” she says

I’d like to do that now, I say, but the blue jays,

somebody has to look after the blue jays

while I’m away…

 

Take me back to the blue jays

To another time and place

 

When I was angry and had something to say

When The Buddha lived on the deck at night

and incense brought me home.

 

michael_rothenberg_reading_at_finger_lakes_community_college

 

REVOLT OF THE DONKEYS

         for Noureddine Bazine, May 2014

 

Only fools

plan

 

for a better

world

 

Five minutes

a day

 

under

the carob tree

 

we speak

without

 

fetters

But mostly

 

we carry

carts

 

of sweet

oranges

 

to the market

Lean

 

against

the heat

 

and blood-

fissured

 

fortress wall

and weep

 

for our

masters

 

Not so much

for ourselves

 

The road

is long

 

and awkward

We stop

 

at the gasoline

station

 

for rice

and olive salad

 

The water

comes

 

from the cooler . . .

And

 

the American

donkey

 

tosses

in the back seat

 

and thinks of

an air-conditioned

 

nightmare

Which raises

 

the price of travel

Making

 

life

more difficult

 

for a donkey

on a third

 

world income

But

 

for scholars

who need

 

to be cool,

we pay

 

the price

and continue

 

our journey

east

 

While

Africa

 

weeps

While

 

Mexico,

Macedonia,

 

Egypt,

Tunisia,

 

Libya

Syria

 

and

some

 

very

specific

 

regions

of the USA

 

weep

Actually,

 

we bray

not weep

 

Grunt

not weep

 

Everywhere

permaculturists

 

and

counterculturists

 

Even

journalists

 

like you,

Nourredine,

 

who write

for the culture

 

section

of the national

 

news,

bray!

 

I will never

understand

 

why

we don’t

 

give up

our revolt

 

and pay

attention

 

to the authorities

who know

 

best how to

manage

 

our fragile

resources

 

Still,

together

 

we weep

Bray

 

and weep

Like

 

Um Rabi’a

River

 

which lately

has been

 

running

dry

 

Oh,

poor donkey,

 

save

your tears!

 

There’s

nothing

 

we can do

about it

 

The Chinese

are coming

 

soon

to build

 

the future
and

 

donkey

meat is cheap.

 

 

REMEMBERING THE MAJOON TRAVELER

 

Exotic poverty

and public

 

drunkenness

Souls

 

that climb

like the Atlas

 

Mountains

Going up

 

and down

freely

 

by themselves

We never

 

talk about

the gluttony

 

of kings

Dyed

 

in the wool

in the old way

 

There are no

books

 

for modern

intellectuals

 

Travel abroad

is difficult

 

And men

still go

 

hand in hand

on

 

uneven streets

and beach

 

promenade

Like the old days

 

they bring

mint tea

 

in tall glasses,

steeped

 

in sugar and sky

That’s what

 

Habib told us

He says

 

he will take us

there

 

to some forgotten

butterfly

 

long before

the death

 

of Gabriel Garcia

Marquez

 

Or the birth

of Mohammed

 

Mrabet

When honey

 

stuck

in the teeth

 

of the astral

shepherd

 

And the spotted

goat

 

climbed

the argan tree

 

to the realm

of Jilala

 

and the sleepless

beggar.

 

Michael Rothenberg No automatic alt text available.

is the editor of BigBridge.org, co-founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and co-founder of Poets In Need, a non-profit 501(c), assisting poets in crisis. His most recent book of poems is Drawing The Shade (Dos Madres Press, 2016). A bi-lingual edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story and the poetic journals Tally Ho and the Cowboy Dream/The Real and False Journals: Book 5 will be published by Varasek Ediciones (Madrid, Spain, 2017). Wake Up and Dream will be published in 2017 by MadHat Press.  He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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