Saturday, July 11, 2009

In other news

I discovered a poet that I really like today. Her name is Nikki Giovanni and here's an example of her work:

Possum Crossing
by Nikki Giovanni

Backing out the driveway
the car lights cast an eerie glow
in the morning fog centering
on movement in the rain slick street

Hitting brakes I anticipate a squirrel or a cat or sometimes
a little raccoon
I once braked for a blind little mole who try though he did
could not escape the cat toying with his life
Mother-to-be possum occasionally lopes home . . . being
naturally . . . slow her condition makes her even more ginger

We need a sign POSSUM CROSSING to warn coffee-gurgling neighbors:
we share the streets with more than trucks and vans and
railroad crossings

All birds being the living kin of dinosaurs
think themselves invincible and pay no heed
to the rolling wheels while they dine
on an unlucky rabbit

I hit brakes for the flutter of the lights hoping it's not a deer
or a skunk or a groundhog
coffee splashes over the cup which I quickly put away from me
and into the empty passenger seat
I look . . .
relieved and exasperated ...
to discover I have just missed a big wet leaf
struggling . . . to lift itself into the wind
and live


L said...

Oh, Nikki Giovanni is one of my favorites.

Desmond Ravenstone said...

Not only have I enjoyed Nikki's writings, in my previous job I helped arrange some of her speaking engagements, and had the pleasure of talking with her on the phone several times. A wonderful, charming person, so generous of spirit!

Here is a YouTube clip of her inspiring benediction at Virginia Tech after the shootings there:

LinguistFriend said...

She has been around a while, CC.
I first became aware of here in the
1970s when I was in Iowa.

Chalicechick said...

I assume there are a lot of awesome things around that I am not yet aware of.


PG said...

I got into Giovanni when she was on her book tour for Blues: For All the Changes. I recommend going to her readings if you get the opportunity; she's often shallowly compared to Maya Angelou (albeit generally by the kind of people who dislike both of them for political reasons), but she's as good at reading her poems out loud as Angelou is bad.