Unspoken Word
September 15, 2020
I Take Photographs With Words

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2020
Leonard Cohen on Where He Found His Song

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2020
How to Listen to the Beloved

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Excerpted from Full Moon at Sunrise

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:40 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2020
I Have Written 1,000 Poems for You

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I have written a thousand poems for you
that have never left my room,
they fill the pages of notebooks
stacked high on a shelf no one can reach,
orphans they are,
beggars afraid they are not
noble enough for the King,
would never make it past the guards,
I make a vain attempt
to dress them up,
disguise their ridiculous origins,
but still they smell bad,
even so, there are times, late at night,
when they think I'm asleep,
I can almost hear them talking to each other,
conjuring ways to make it to your court,
oh, the arguments they have,
the brawls,
the lunatic moments of staking their ground!
Some of them actually believe
all they need is a shower and a shave,
others, unsure of who they are or might have been,
insist on practicing, all night long,
their perfect way of greeting you.
Of course, there is much to be said
for these backroom bards,
these arm wrestling vagrants from another world,
indeed, if I was dead,
my slightly deaf biographer,
after paying his respects to my dear, sweet wife,
would borrow them just long enough to search for pearls,
find the perfect turn of phrase,
the sudden storm of brilliance
even my harshest critics
would have to praise,
he'd think of clever little titles for the tome,
describing, in his mournfully halting way,
the "man who left his muse too soon"
or some such thing
that might make you stop for a moment and wonder
why I never gave these poems to you --
the one for whom it all makes sense,
even when it doesn't.

Excerpted from Full Moon at Sunrise
Photo: Aaron Burden, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:43 AM | Comments (0)

He Always Wanted to Say Things, But No One Understood

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The following poem was written by a senior high school student to his teacher, in Canada, two weeks before he committed suicide. This is quite a powerful piece of writing -- one that gives voice to what, I imagine, many students, around the world, experience when their individuality and creativity is not honored or encouraged. The poem was sent to me by Mohammed Azim, a very caring and tuned in teacher (Head of the English Department, Coach, and Team Leader) at Al Siraat College in Epping, Australia.

Mohammed has shared this poem, for years, with his Year 9 and 10 level students and it always has a huge impact on them. He especially remembers one of his students asking, "How can we demonstrate creativity when we are always preparing for exams?"

If you are a teacher or parent, pause for a moment and ask yourself how you can allow more time and space for the young ones in your life to express their creativity. Yes, there are things to learn and tests to study for, but there is also the deep need for creative expression. In your classroom or home, there are not only future doctors, lawyers, carpenters, welders, entrepreneurs, and teachers, there are also future artists, dancers, musicians, and writers. Maybe THEY don't know that yet, but in time, they will -- that is, if you give them the time and space they need to explore and express their God-given gifts.

PS: For maximum impact, read the poem aloud, slowly and with feeling. The young man who wrote it committed suicide two weeks later. May his life experiences and his poetry be of great service to all of us.

Continue reading "He Always Wanted to Say Things, But No One Understood"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2020
May I Stay Here Forever

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TimelessToday
Excerpted from this book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:24 PM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2020
Face Your Life Like a Cuban Trumpet Player

Face your life
like a Cuban trumpet player
standing his ground
for whatever comes next,
eyes straight ahead,
not a thought in the world
and blowing,
I said blowing his horn
at the peak of his power
so his long gone grandfather,
the man who worked the sugar cane fields
and always had a kind word for strangers,
will hear.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2020
What Is the Difference Between a Grocery List and a Poem?

Poetry is
really nothing more
than a list
of unexpected words and images,
one line following another,
like this one, for example,
and this one,
each adding
a little something extra,
to the flow,
a shade of meaning,
a wink, a hint of perfume,
woman nowhere in sight,
not unlike what follows,
perhaps something you have carried
in your pocket for weeks,
without knowing it,
crumpled.
Bananas (one bunch),
tomatoes (ripe),
three avocados,
hummus, pickles, and feta cheese,
a pint of chocolate ice cream.
Tell me,
what is the difference between
a grocery list and a poem?
Give up?
Good.
(We all have to give up, eventually).
A grocery list gives you things to get,
a poem gets you things to give,
things you will not find in Aisle 3,
but high up in the many selves you are,
especially the one
who measures how long it will take you
to get from the parking lot
to the front door of the supermarket
by how many haikus it can recite
without rushing.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:12 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2020
WHERE MY LIFE BEGINS

The space between thoughts
is where my life begins,
God's temple, cathedral, and mosque,
places that do not need to be swept,
already clean as they are,
no incense needs to be lit there,
the perfect perfume of God's air present,
no prayers need to be spoken,
the brief pause between now and whatever comes next -
the perfect invocation.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

Rilke's Late Night Violin Music

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Rainer Maria Rilke, the genius German poet
who translated God in ways
no scripture has ever come close to,
once wondered why every time he walked
beneath a high window
(out of which violin music could be heard)
he thought it promised him a future lover.

When I die, I want to meet this man,
standing, as I imagine he will be, just beyond
the gathering of my long gone relatives waiting to greet me.
I don't think he will be saying much of anything,
just looking in my general direction, his dark eyes singing,
his body completely at ease, having just released
a thousand poems he never needed to write,
the lips of his high-windowed lovers still unkissed,
summoned as they were by violins to embrace him
far beyond the body's few pleasures.

Rilke will not be looking up,
remembering as he was, from a few years ago,
a beautiful young couple crossing the street before him,
laughing, talking, holding hands, but not his glance,
always reserved, it seemed, for someone else,
but if you dared to ask "for whom?"
he would fumble for his pen,
reach inside the quiet pocket of his favorite coat,
and find the old notebook he always kept there
for precisely moments
like this.

Rilke's Duino Elegies
Painting: Leslie Dietrich
More of my poetry here

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2020
TAKEN UP

I do not write, I evaporate,
drawn higher by a heat
I do not see, but feel.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2020
SOAKED!

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People ask me
what it was like being with you
five days in a row.
Here's what I tell them:
It was like spinning around in a monsoon,
cup in hand, trying to catch the rain.
Every time I noticed my cup was full,
I opened my mouth to sing,
but my mouth filled up with water.
I gulped, I drank, I bailed my boat of joy.
Somehow, in between the tidal waves of love
and my odd little habit of trying to understand
what in the world was going on,
I heard what you said:
"Get wet! Get wet!"

Photo: Courtesy of TimelessToday
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:15 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2020
PLUM TREE

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Today, I imagined everything I owned had reduced itself down to a singular plum tree -- the kind an 85-year old Japanese poet, sipping sake, likes to tend at the end of the day. This plum tree, this solitary plum tree, has suddenly become the still, ripe center of my life -- the axis around which all my desires dissolve, stunned as I am, ALIVE, purple fruit everywhere.

TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:17 PM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2020
Prometheseus Speaks

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2020
They Are Still Laughing

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TimelessToday
Words of Peace Global
PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2020
Where Poetry Comes From

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TimelessToday
A Man of Few Words
Choosing the Poetry of Life

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2020
Tradition!



A great story from Fiddler on the Roof

It's Steve Ornstein's birthday!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:26 AM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2020
POETRY

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Full Moon at Sunrise
Photo: Sydney Rae, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2020
EVA SNYDER: Good About It

Wonderful song by upcoming singer/songwriter Eva Snyder.

Eva's YouTube channel

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2020
Give Everything You Have

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Excerpted from this book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)

Want more? Read our Archives:
September 2020, August 2020, July 2020, June 2020, May 2020, April 2020, March 2020, February 2020, January 2020, December 2019, November 2019, October 2019, September 2019, August 2019, July 2019, June 2019, May 2019, April 2019, March 2019, February 2019, January 2019, December 2018, November 2018, October 2018, September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018, May 2018, April 2018, March 2018, February 2018, January 2018, December 2017, November 2017, October 2017, September 2017, August 2017, July 2017, June 2017, May 2017, April 2017, March 2017, February 2017, December 2016, October 2016, September 2016, August 2016, April 2016,
“I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.”
— John Cage

Welcome to my new blog — brief ruminations on what it is that moves me (and maybe YOU, too). If any of my poems inspire you, please forward them to friends. Good muse travels fast. Or could, with your help.

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© Mitch Ditkoff