A child said, What is the grass? by Walt Whitman

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
hands;
How could I answer the child?… .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child… .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward… .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
luckier.
By Walt Whitman, © -1, All rights reserved.


MY SOAPBOX

I started another blog...Families Occupy Together. I wanted to keep this one a bit lighter. Families Occupy Together is mostly news articles about Occupy Wall Street…right now. I started it in response to the OWS protesters being depicted in the media as 20-something radical leftists. Yeah, there are some, but it’s people from ALL walks of life. They are protesting the extreme inequalities in this country, a diminishing middle class, and a government that serves corporations and not The People.

I consider my husband and I to be pretty lucky…he works full time and receives good benefits (health insurance, yay.) I’m a stay at home mom, but will need to find part time work to supplement our income. As far as saving for a house, college tuition for our girls and retirement…well, that will be a struggle. I am grateful and like my quality of life, but it’s fragile. People are losing their homes and jobs. People are without health care. I want to live in a country where its’ people are thriving.

I’m not sure what will come out of this movement . Some say, OWS doesn’t have clear demands, but bringing attention to the inequities that exist, seems like an awesome start. Hopefully, our policy makers will do SOMETHING. Parents for Occupy Wall Street contacted me to organize a “sleepover” in my city on the 21st. They have and will be spending the night with their families in Zuccotti Park. I admire what they are doing, but don’t feel safe enough to do this with my girls. Also, I don’t think I could organize something so soon.

A Blade of Grass by Brian Patten

You ask for a poem. I offer you a blade of grass.

You say it is not good enough.
You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.
It has dressed itself in frost,
It is more immediate
Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem,
It is a blade of grass and grass
Is not quite good enough.
I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.
You say it is too easy to offer grass.
It is absurd.
Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
And so I write you a tragedy about
How a blade of grass
Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older
A blade of grass
Becomes more difficult to accept.