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You are here: Home --> Pictures --> Art Car Index --> Hope Springs Eternal --> Poems of Hope
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Women and Power Tools
spacerby Beth Heller


they don't call them power tools
for nothing

a small woman
with a chain saw
can make quite
an impression

turn it on and, suddenly
it is leaping
yanking at the leash

it wants to tear things
to pieces
I can take down a building
cut things down to size
I could chew you up
if I wanted to
(but I don't want to.)


Riding Song
spacerby Greg Rea


spacer(How much is the bus fare? It's completely fair)

Shall I read a poem to you on the bus,
spacerJust to you? Yes, to you!
Shall I get up from this sticky blue vinyl?
spacerCan I get up in your face,
spacerIn your sad dark velvet moment,
spacerSing a song about my sadness,
spacerTell you: you, you're not alone?

Can I walk and prance and beam up down this aisle?
Should I place my loving palm upon your shoulder?
Will you smile because beneath your shell you've got one saved up?
Will you dance with me tonight, uncontained on this rolling blue ballroom?

And laugh about my audacity
spacerAnd speak back witha mockingbird's conviction
spacerAnd meet me next week over coffee?
spacerAnd you, will you break all the rules
spacerTo smile out loud and be my friend?

If I stand up to touch our eyes and damn the fluorescence
If I shatter my glassy silence and sind
spacerMy riding song
Then will you please stand and blast that wall
spacerAnd read your poem too?


spacerby Beth Heller


Hope slips through my fingers
like sand
I grieve when I see the last few grains
clinging to the palm of my open hand

But there is always more

Howling or Gentle
Wind Water Waiting

There will be more sand


The Persistence Of Hoping
spacerby Beth Heller


Hope is a pale apparition
in the corner of my eye

Hope is the carrot on a stick
always out of reach
but always promised

Hope is Wylie Coyote off the cliff
in the moments before he remembers
the lack of wings

Hope is our little girl
in a white dress
at the top of the stairs

Hope is a shaft of light
down the well
where we are stuck

Hope is incense
atop the stench of death

Hope is candles burning
candles lit
again and again

Hope is bees humming
centuries of wax
And Hope is a wax figurine
melted and remade
going up in smoke
and returning
in living clay


Do Dogs Believe In God?
spacerfor Silvinha Cavalcante,
spacerBrazilian Indian, age 12


My life has been simple,
day swallowed by night,
prarie stretched long, then longer,
until the distance almost blinds,
like a stare into sun.
God put me on this trail,
alone except for my ragged dog,
half asleep in his footsteps.
At the horizon a tree rises above the dust
stirred by the feet of many winds.

My life has been simple.
My hair is woven in the style of the past,
my skin knows only cotton cloth.
Yesterday, I let God's eyes wake me,
walked to lonely timber left in the new clearing.
The hair of God hung in the branches,
the breath of God rustled among the leaves.
Near a splash of grass folded in the shade,
I lifted my sundress, let wind touch me
where no one has ever touched me.

My life has been simple.
Memories of Mother comfort my childhood.
Her beauty never changes, floats
as summer rain rides on warm air,
streaks the face of barren soil.
My land has no corn, no cattle,
only the smell of hands stealing the forest,
easing trees like aching tongues into mouths of wagons,
leaving long scars anchored in the earth,
the earth of long hunger.

My life has been simple.
Today I leave my name among the tales of wise men,
yield my soul to the Rope-Spirit.
Mother will be waiting, holding a place for me in Paradise.
Only my dog is here, to nose my bare feet,
smell my girlhood furled in my dress.
An old dog, so old he should come with me.
But his duty is clear - mourn my spirit and defend my offering,
a simple brown body
swaying in the last breath of a summer afternoon.
(Larry Fontenot)

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Last update April 1, 2004