LINES by LEON

I AM THE HAPPY WINNER OF LEON’S FREE BOOK DRAWING! YAYYYY! READ ONE POEM BELOW:

THE LITTLE THINGS – by LEON STEVENS

STOP. Feel that?

The warmth of the sun

the breeze on your face

rain, it has its own unique smell

fells like tiny punches when it lands

wherever you are

there is beauty and wonder about

even if seemingly insignificant

a smell, a color, a sight, a feel

there is always something to appreciate

like cool grass under bare feet.

FEET ENJOYING COOL GRASS

WATCHING THE SUN RISE ~ FACING WEST

sunshine face in stained glass
SUNSHINE-FACE STAINED GLASS by T. Blen Parker

Feeling the heat
Of a blazing orb
Warming my soul,
Shadows begin to emerge
Across the lawn before me.

A lone cardinal rests
in a warm sunbeam
motionless, beak facing East.
Dozens of cheery goldfinch
Alight and take off,
highlighting the air
surrounding me.

Fox tumble and play,
Napping on a moss covered
Abandoned stonewall,
doorstep to their
Hillside den where mother
Awaits the next feeding.

Phoebe’s announce their presence
As though megaphones,
Competing with echoes
From the riverside
Of two pairs of
Pileated woodpeckers.

A velvety muscular buck
and his brown eyed doe
lead their frisky but timid
spotty twins through
an established path
leading from the river up
to neighbor’s gardens, just
beginning to sprout.

Mourning doves coo
And innocently peck
At seeds dropped
Around the base
Of the birdfeeder pole.

Suddenly a sharp-shinned hawk strategically swoops in
to clutch away their innocence,
returning to her nest
with a lifeless body
in her lanceolate talons.

Fat frisky grey squirrels get
A running start to jump
Halfway up the now greased pole
Hoping for enough traction
To leap onto one of four
Seed-filled feeders.

Rusty striped chipmunks,
Cheeks filled fat with seeds,
Race back and forth
From feeder to sub-porch nest
Shared with dozens
Of garden snakes.

Shadows become shorter now,
The day warms and brightens
As the little pond across the drive
Comes alive with peepers,
Providing background music
For today’s sunrise event.

HOW A ROMANTIC POET INSPIRED GANDHI AND MARTIN LUTHER KING

by Tamara Mitrofanova

How a simple poem influenced famous freedom fighters like Gandhi to adapt peaceful protests and non-violent resistance.

Image for post

Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Public Domain.


Percy Shelley, a famous poet from the Romantic Era, was the first to advocate for peaceful protests and he inspired Gandhi to adopt non-violent resistance. Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance influenced Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. They had all followed Shelley’s philosophy and it helped create a new world.


When Gandhi read Shelley’s poem, “The Masque of Anarchy” (poem below) he was instantly captivated by its message for freedom through peace. It is known that Gandhi would often quote various passages from the poem to vast audiences during the campaign for India’s independence.

“Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.

And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there;
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;
What they like, that let them do.

With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay,
Till their rage has died away:

Then they will return with shame,
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek:

Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!”


Percy Shelley wrote this poem after hearing of the tragic event known as the Massacre of Peterloo. More than a hundred working men, women and children were seriously injured when they staged a public meeting to determine how to achieve reform through “the most legal and effectual means.”


Like many others, Percy Shelley was furious over this naked governmental oppression and seized the opportunity to write what is now considered, “the greatest poem of political protest ever written in English.”


Sadly, during his lifetime his poem was considered too radical and never published until 1832, years after he died.


In 2020, this poem is still very relatable to modern events. We have seen many people throughout the world rising up in protest.


The BLM protests in response to police brutality, the Beirut explosion followed by mass protests against corruption and protests in Belarus against government oppression. The quote “Ye are many — they are few!” in the Masque of Anarchy resonates even today.


Percy Shelley’s poem had even influenced the Egyptian revolution 2011, with protestors chanting the lines, “Rise, like lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number!”


Percy Shelley is the most underrated intellectual who envisioned way ahead into the future and foresaw pacifism as the greatest weapon against despotism and injustice.


As a self-proclaimed Atheist and an advocate for freedom, he did not fit in strict and religious 18th century England. Percy Shelley was expelled from Oxford for atheism, broke ties with his rule-abiding father and eloped with two women, one being Mary Godwin Shelley, author of Frankenstein.


Discriminated against and hunted for being a political radical, he died tragically at age 29. Despite the difficulty he experienced, he never gave up hope for a better future. Percy Shelley walked around Italy wearing a ring with the good time will come inscribed on the inner surface.


Indeed good times did come and it was his poem that inspired others to take up the scepter in creating a better world.

MIDNIGHT BLUE SKY

MIDNIGHT BLUE SKY

Late moon bursting forth
with lunar brilliance
highlights a nearly black
shiny-as-raven-feathers Midnight Sky.

Sophisticated and elegant,
the artist captures colors
with loaded brush strokes
to offer his translation in
Starry Night, a painting
we discover, waiting to be shared.

Inside local museums….

Throngs of visitors
linger before the work
collectively sighing, pointing, remarking
displaying the Master’s work
with the pinnacle of respect.

Solo humans stand silently,
fascinated in the dark of night,
filled with wonder, appreciation
gazing upon this beauty,
a reflection of life on earth.

A precious midnight gift for
those who seek nature’s beauty
where others rarely slow
their pace, professing the beauty
“too dark and lonely,”
preferring to sleep soundly
under snug, warm comforters.