11th June, 2008
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A Thought for Today
Greatness lies within
the individual, not within his comprehension of it.
One Does It For Me!
I've always admired Mr. McKuen, none more so than when he's in patriotic
I know he's written beautifully about our country in "The Power Bright &
Shining" and would appreciate it if you could post something from this
book one day.
I've always thought some of Rod's best work appeared in this volume,
Tom, so it would be my pleasure.
The Summer Olympics are just around the corner so I thought it
appropriate the featured poem today should have an Olympic flavor.
You'll find "Olympic Gold" at the foot of this page.
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||Adrienne Barbeau o
Wilma Burgess o
Jacques Cousteau o
Christina Crawford o
Joey Dee o
Chad Everett o
Athol Fugard o
Gina Gershon o
Madeleine Grey o
Irving Howe o
Joshua Jackson o
Ben Johnson o
Shia LaBeouf o
Vince Lombardi o
Shelly Manne o
Paul Mellon o
Joe Montana o
Jeannette Rankin o
Hazel Scott o
Lawrence Spivak o
Rise Stevens o
Richard Strauss o
William Styron o
Richard Todd o
||Green is Gods most abundant color.
Without regrets there are no aspirations.
Grief in its passing leaves but little light... the night sky
mantel with a single star, the roadside just across the street, blurred like the hedge
grown wild without the trimmers shears.
||(Note: This poem was written in frustration at the 1980 U.S. boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow.)
They give medals pressed in gold
for running longer
than the next young woman
or the next young man.
Medals you can wear
around your neck on ribbons
while passing past reviewing stands:
then later framed and hung upon the bedroom wall.
Athletes train the whole
of their young lifetimes
for one small moment on the track,
in the arena, pool or ring.
somersaulting through the air
or bouncing on a trampoline
for just a minute
our youth can go down in the record books
Gold keeps rising in the marketplace
its value doubling and more.
Maybe it's coincidental
but as an ounce of gold keeps spiraling
The value of a human life
Should the world's priorities be rearranged.
to fit the politics of last week
or the next?
Should these young athletes
who gave up all their afternoons,
their weekends and their evenings-
their childhood sacrificed to training
for a chance to palm a gold or silver medal-
be awarded crackerjacks or prizes
for sleeping late on summer mornings.
How difficult it is to want something so much
to be prepared for it, dressed up and ready
then in the end be told
chance and competition have been closed.
Some have made the correlation
connecting battlefields to playing fields.
in this there is a distant link-
if you catch the culprit who blew your brother's head off
and engage him in a battle to the death
your government will send a medal in the mail
why not present medallions
to that young man or this young woman
who make the world better
by bettering themselves,
even if the legend reads
Olympics Nineteen Eighty, I Stayed Home.
What was once a contest,
Man in competition with himself.
Has now been turned by politicians
Into Man against Mankind.
The trouble is that old men
legislate the wars
just as they make up the rules for sprinting.
The young are left to trip the triggers
in the battles
and tear their ligaments in racing.
The more the mind and then the heart
considers the quandary
the clearer it becomes-
The race toward Olympic Gold
is not Man against Mankind
It is youth against the ages and old age.
So only youth should finally decide
which, if any, arenas they will march into
and for what reasons.
-from "The Power Bright &