One Poem. One Planet. 2016


Today is the last day of National Poetry Month here in the United States. Today also marks the last of my daily posts for my One Poem. One Planet. project. I’m going to miss it.

When I set out on April 1, 2016 to show that poetry has no national affiliations or borders, I had no idea what expect. Would anyone read these posts? Would I be able to find poets in all corners of the world, translated into English, because I am mono-lingual, sad to say?

The answer is a resounding YES!

I set out to explore the world by hopping from poem to poem around the globe, discovering poets I’d never heard of before, bumping into familiar poets and old favorites I as was so glad to revisit.

Below is a list of all the poems I found this year, listed by date, poet’s name and the country they come from–(In some cases, the country they were exiled from because poets are still dangerous in this day and age.)

I want to thank everyone who read and retweeted and liked and clicked. My first goal was to read more poetry from around the world. I realize now my secondary goal was to make some kind of connection–tenuous and electronic though it be–it is still a connection with people beyond my small local view.

I checked my stats, you know the part where it lists the countries that readers come from, and WOW!!! In addition to readers in the the United States this month, I had readers from 22 countries: Philippines, Serbia, Ghana, Italy, India, United Kingdom, Russia, European Union, Canada, Ukraine, Ireland, Egypt, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Netherlands, Turkey, Vietnam, Kenya, Australia and Taiwan.

I started #onepoemoneplanet to capture these postings. I encourage anyone who wants to use the hashtag and share the poems that speak to your life with the world. I will continue to do so as well, throughout the rest of the year. And I will be back next year for sure, with a whole new batch of poets from everywhere I can think of!

Happy Poetry Month!

One poem. One Planet.


This year’s poets:

April 1, 2016: Wislawa Szymborska (Poland)

April 2, 2016: Keorapetse Kgositsile (South Africa)

April 3, 2016: Anonymous,( Greenland)

April 4, 2016: Lorna Goodison (Jamaica)

April 5, 2016: Pablo Neruda (Chile)

April 6, 2016: Hiromi Ito (Japan)

April 7, 2016: Derek Walcott (Saint Lucia)

April 8, 2016: Mizra Asadullah Khan Ghalib (Persia)

April 9, 2016 Claribel Alegria (El Salvador)

April 10, 2016 Kim Kwangsop (North Korea)

April 11, 2016 Ahmed Fouad Negm (Egypt)

April 12, 2016 Mang Ke (China)

April 13, 2016 Marjorie Evasco (Philippines)

April 14, 2016 Armand Garnet Ruffo (Canada)

April 15, 2016 Katherine Ellis Barrett (Patagonia)

April 16, 2016 Rainer Maria Rilke (Austro-Hungarian Empire)

April 17, 2016 Gunnar Ekelof (Sweden)

April 18, 2016 Lucretuis (Rome) 99-55BC

April 19, 2016 Patrick Kavanagh (Ireland)

April 20, 2016 Anna Akhmatova (Russia)

April 21, 2016 Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)

April 22, 2016 Cesar Vallejo (Peru)

April 23, 2016 Muriel Rukeyser (USA)

April 24, 2016 Janos Pilinszky (Hungary)

April 25, 2016 Federico Garcia Lorca (Spain)

April 26, 2016 Sherko Bekas (Iraq)

April 27, 2016 Robert Gray (Australia)

April 28, 2016 Ferreira Gullar (Brazil)

April 29, 2016 Taslima Nasrin (Bangladesh)

April 30, 2016 Circe Maia (Uruguay)

And one bonus poem for April 30, 2016 from me: The First Miracle of the Day 


Learn more about One Poem. One Planet.



Tribeca 2016: J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock on ‘Star Wars,’ Lens Flares, Comic Book Movies, and How to Write an Ending — Flavorwire

In theory, last night’s Tribeca Talks Directors’ Series conversation between J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock was, in fact, a talk between two directors; in addition to his stand-up and acting work, Rock wrote (or co-wrote) and directed his features Down to Earth, Head of State, I Think I Love My Wife, and Top Five. But…

via Tribeca 2016: J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock on ‘Star Wars,’ Lens Flares, Comic Book Movies, and How to Write an Ending — Flavorwire

One Poem. One Planet.


April is National Poetry Month here in the US–strange to celebrate an endeavor that knows no boundary, nor does it pledge its allegiances to any flag or political doctrine. Poetry exists because of and for the people of this planet, the entire planet.

To celebrate, I’m going to spend the next 30 days looking for poems from around the world. Russia, New Zealand, China, Iraq, Sweden, is there a poet from Antarctica? I don’t know, but I’ll look for one.

No literary discussion or lengthy biographies. Simply, the abundance that is one poem.

One poem. One planet.





Friday Night Writes–You In?


The rain outside my window is a gift and a sign–it’s time to hunker down and write.

Friday Night Writes tonight. I have revisions to work on, certainly, but the great thing about Friday Night Writes is it allows space and time for the unlooked-for inspiration to pop in.

Here’s the drill. Get home from work tonight. Make yourself a pot of tea, grab a bikkie and a sit down and write. Write til your hand cramps. Write til you can’t hold your head up. Write til the dog completely gives up on you and goes to bed on her own. Write til your familiar walls fall away and you are on your own mountain watching the sun sink down behind a horizon you created.

Write. Write. Write.

You want to join me?

Happy writing.




Friday Night Writes: TONIGHT!


Here’s what you do: Write.

Here’s how long you do it: For as long as humanly possible, until the stars come out and then go away again.

Here’s what you write: Anything. Write anything. Write.

Here’s when it starts: Right after the day job. Get your ass home and write.

Good luck!




The First Miracle of the Day




The sandhill crane enters
the race at daybreak, declaring
she would be president of the day
with her promise of flight
and her lopsided laugh through that window
I forgot to close and latch last night.

The demos is up at dawn
and demands to be reckoned with
chickadees are into the pollen,
the birch crowds surround the house
to shout their green slogans
Now! Now! Now!

All right, already, I’m up
putting away my fraught dream
of a black-haired woman
carrying her child to safety—already forgetting
who the woman was, what safety offered—all I’m left
is the weight of the child and the drone
of the mother’s voice singing one word
over and over against the child’s temple

but now the word is gone
and the child has no name.

If these magpies would shut up,
job job job
and the light is hurting my eyes
Yes, Sun, I am aware
and awake and registered

in this world that did not crumble in the night
despite the plastic catastrophe of yesterday

Even the deaf can hear
the distant thunder of the unlocked
rivers rumbling in their march to join the sea

Even the blind can see
the tangerine light
velveting every surface
with un-temperate warmth

Even the dead understand
the gossip of contemporary worms budging downward
to the anthracitic rooms of ancient worms
the earth is untightening
making space for more of us

The Elect will know who they are
soon enough for already the first miracle of the day
travels ding-toed and nose down
along our dirt road, the collie named Hola!
leading Erma, my eighty-year-old neighbor
toward a brightening mountain in the East

From behind she looks like a waterfall
her waist a vigorous coursing, supple and clear,
her free hand a flower floating at her side

The sandhill croaks one last time
from on high amongst her rally of clouds
but Erma’s eyes are poor
so when she looks up
she spills into blue



— Arlitia Jones, April 30, 2016





One Poem. One Planet. — Circe Maia



A wind will come from the south with unleashed rain
to beat on closed doors and on the windows
to beat on faces with bitter expressions.

Happy noisy waves will come
climbing paths and silent streets
through the port district.

Let the hardened city wash its face
its stones and dusty wood, worn out
its heart sombre.

Let there be surprise at least in the opaque
taciturn glances.
And let many people be frightened, and the children laugh
and the greenness of the water’s light wake us
bathe us, follow us.

Let it make us run and embrace each other
and let the doors of all the houses open
and the people come out
down the stairs, from the balconies,
calling to each other…


— Circe Maia, (Uruguay)


Learn more about One Poem. One Planet.



One Poem. One Planet. — Taslima Nasrin



I’m going to move ahead.
Behind me my whole family is calling,
My child is pulling my sari-end,
My husband stands blocking the door,
But I will go.
There’s nothing ahead but a river.
I will cross.
I know how to swim,
but they won’t let me swim, won’t let me cross.

There’s nothing on the other side of the river
but a vast expanse of fields,
But I’ll touch this emptiness once
and run against the wind, whose whooshing sound
makes me want to dance.
I’ll dance someday
and then return.

I’ve not played keep-away for years
as I did in childhood.
I’ll raise a great commotion playing keep-away someday
and then return.

For years I haven’t cried with my head
in the lap of solitude.
I’ll cry to my heart’s content someday
and then return.

There’s nothing ahead but a river,
and I know how to swim.
Why shouldn’t I go?

I’ll go.


–Taslima Nasrin (Bangladesh)



Learn more about One Poem. One Planet. 





Friday Night Writes… Tonight!


You’re invited to Friday Night Writes!

Here’s the drill: come home tonight, do whatever you need to do to get the stink of the day-job off you, make a snack, make some coffee, whatever you need, then pull up a chair and write.

Write late into the night. Write til the lead breaks or the ink runs dry. Write til you can’t hold your head up anymore. Don’t worry about the rest of the world. They’ll go out and party without you. And they’ll go to sleep without you. Just write. That’s all you have to do.

Good luck! I’ll see you at the 3 am paper shuffle. Post, if you feel like it, at #fridaynightwrites.



One Poem. One Planet. — Ferreira Gullar


when she comes
respects nothing.
Neither father nor mother.
When she struggles
up from one of her abysses
she ignores Society and the State
disdains Water Regulations
like a young
in front of the Palace of Dawn.*

And only later
does she reconsider: kisses
the eyes of those who earn little
gathers into her arms
those who thirst for happiness
and justice

And promises to set the country on fire.


— Ferreira Gullar (Brazil)


*The presidential palace in Brasilia.



Learn more about One Poem. One Planet.


One Poem. One Planet. — Robert Gray


Karl Marx was playing a parlor game
with his daughters. To their question
What is the quality one should most abhor?
he wrote: Servility.

This was found–a scrap of paper
amongst the family albums and letters;
it is the most essential of all
the Complete Works.


— Robert Gray (Australia)



Learn more about One Poem. One Planet.


One Poem. One Planet. — Sherko Bekas




Darkness came
And in its lair, a lion thought
Of how, tomorrow, to attack the neighboring tiger.
The tiger was thinking:
Of how, tomorrow, to skin the fox.
The fox was thinking:
Of how, tomorrow, to approach the
garden’s gate to eat
the baby-doves.
The dove was thinking:
Of how, tomorrow, to bring together
the hunter, the birds and
the animals of the forest.
How could she, she wondered.

— Sherko Bekas (Iraq)


Learn more about One Poem. One Planet.


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