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The painting at the top of this post by Hermann Orduña was discussed in this recent post by TITM:  The Argument


Does poetry still matter in this era of social media where the attention span has shrunk to practically zero?  At Think in the Morning we think it does.  This is our 14th page of poems combined with napkin art.  We hope you take the time to enjoy them all.  We think it is more important than ever to take a little time out of your busy day to think longer, deeper, and to ponder the difficulties life throws at us.  The last poem on this page, The Snowfall is so Silent by Miguel de Unamuno, is one of the most meaningful to us as TITM.  Let us know what you think.


The Shenevertakesherwatchoff Poem

For Marcia

Richard Brautigan


Because you always have a clock

strapped to your body, it’s natural

that I should think of you as the

correct time:

with your long blonde hair at 8:03,

and your pulse-lightning breasts at

11:17, and your rose-meow smile at 5:30,

I know I’m right.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Roy Hoggard artist


A Contribution to Statistics

Wislawa Szmborska


Out of a hundred people


Those who always know better



doubting every step

–nearly all the rest,


glad to lend a hand

if it doesn’t take too long

–as high as forty-nine,


always good

because they can’t be otherwise

–four, well maybe five,


able to admire without envy



suffering illusions

induced by fleeting youth

–sixty, give or take a few,


not bo be taken lightly

–forty and four,

living in constant fear

of someone or something



capable of happiness

–twenty-something tops


harmless singly,

savage in crowds

–half at least,



when forced by circumstances

–better not to know

even ballpark figures,

wise after the fat

–just a couple more

than wise before it,


taking only things from life


(I wish I were wrong),


hunched in pain,

no flashlight in the dark


sooner or later,



–thirty-five, which is a lot,



and understanding



worthy of compassion




–a hundred out of a hundred.

Thus far this figure still remains unchanged.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, James Maxwell artist


the fighter

Charles Bukowski


Hemingway feels it from the grave

every time the bulls run through the

streets of




he sits up

the skeleton rattles


the skull wants a drink


the eyeholes want sunlight


the young bulls are beautiful



and you were



no matter

what they say




Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, James Maxwell artist (note: Hemingway did not smoke. He felt, as a hunter, it would scare the game away.)


“Let others pride themselves about how many pages they have written; I’d rather boast about the ones I’ve read.”   Jorge Luis Borges


TITM photograph, Graphics Arts Museum, Oaxaca, Mexico


I dreamed that I floated at will in the great Ether, and I saw this world floating also not far off, but diminished to the size of an apple. Then an angel took it in his hand and brought it to me and said, “This must thou eat.” And I ate the world.   Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, James Maxwell artist


Lost in the Forest

Pablo Neruda


Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig

and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:

maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,

a cracked bell, or a torn heart.


Something from far off it seemed

deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,

a shout muffled by huge autumns,

by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.


Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig

sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance

climbed up through my conscious mind


as if suddenly the roots I had left behind

cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood—

and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Nancy Milano artist



rupi kapur


i woke up thinking the work was done

i would not have to practice today

gone were the moments i’d

split into tears because my past cracked open


how naive. to think it was that easy.


healing has no end point

no summation

no finish line to cross

healing is every day work

the act of dedicating the self to

what happened to me


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Deb artist


“For a lot of people writing is an agony; it’s a part of what we do as scholars that they least enjoy. For me writing is a complete and total joy, and if I’m not writing I’m miserable. I have always written a lot. For years, before I wrote for The New Yorker, I wrote an op-ed every day as practice and shoved it in a drawer. It’s not about being published, it’s about the desire to constantly be writing. It’s such a strongly felt need that if it was something socially maladaptive it would be considered a vice.”  Jill Lepore


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Bob Avery artist



Wole Soyinka


Your hand is heavy, Night, upon my brow.

I bear no heart mercuric like the clouds,

to dare.

Exacerbation from your subtle plough.

Woman as a clam, on the sea’s cresent.

I saw your jealous eye quench the sea’s

Flouorescence, dance on the pulse incessant

Of the waves. And I stood, drained

Submitting like the sands, blood and brine

Coursing to the roots. Night, you rained

Serrated shadows through dank leaves

Till, bathed in warm suffusion of your dappled cells

Sensations pained me, faceless, silent as night thieves.

Hide me now, when night children haunt the earth

I must hear none! These misted cells will yet

Undo me; naked, unbidden, at Night’s muted birth.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, James Maxwell artist


“A poem, as a manifestation of language and thus essentially dialogue, can be a message in a bottle, sent out in the—not always greatly hopeful—belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps. Poems in this sense, too, are under way: they are making toward something.”  Paul Celan


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Sandra Lindstrom artist



Nikki Giovanni


her grandmother called her from the playground

“yes, ma’am”

“i want chu to learn how to make rolls” said the old

woman proudly

but the little girl didn’t want

to learn how because she knew

even if she couldn’t say it that

that would mean when the old one died she would be less

dependent on her spirit so

she said

“i don’t want to know how to make no rolls”

with her lips poked out

and the old woman wiped her hands on

her apron saying “lord

these children”

and neither of them ever

said what they meant

and i guess nobody ever does


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, artist unknown


What is the most precious, the most exciting smell awaiting you in the house when you return to it after a dozen years or so? The smell of roses, you think? No, mouldering books.   Andrei Sinyavsky


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Nancy Milano artist


The Infinite

Charles Simic


The infinite yawns and keeps yawning.

Is it sleepy?

Does it miss Pythagoras?

The sails on Columbus’s three ships?

Does the sound of the surf remind it of itself?

Does it ever sit over a glass of wine

and philosophize?


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Richard Albright artist


I live to the rhythm of my country and I cannot remain on the sidelines. I want to be here. I want to be part of it. I want to be a witness. I want to walk arm in arm with it. I want to hear it more and more, to cradle it, to carry it like a medal on my chest. Activism is a constant element in my life, even though afterwards I anguish over not having written ‘my own things.’ Testimonial literature provides evidence of events that people would like to hide, denounces and therefore is political and part of a country in which everything remains to be done and documented.   Elena Poniatowski


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Bonnie artist


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Bonnie artist


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Bonnie artist


The Snowfall Is So Silent

Miguel de Unamuno


The snowfall is so silent,

so slow,

bit by bit, with delicacy

it settles down on the earth

and covers over the fields.

The silent snow comes down

white and weightless;

snowfall makes no noise,

falls as forgetting falls,

flake after flake.

It covers the fields gently

while frost attacks them

with its sudden flashes of white;

covers everything with its pure

and silent covering;

not one thing on the ground

anywhere escapes it.

And wherever it falls it stays,

content and gay,

for snow does not slip off

as rain does,

but it stays and sinks in.

The flakes are skyflowers,

pale lilies from the clouds,

that wither on earth.

They come down blossoming

but then so quickly

they are gone;

they bloom only on the peak,

above the mountains,

and make the earth feel heavier

when they die inside.

Snow, delicate snow,

that falls with such lightness

on the head,

on the feelings,

come and cover over the sadness

that lies always in my reason.


Sea Gull Cellar Bar Napkin Art, Tim artist