Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken
In, sprinkled with ashes
Pop switches channels, takes another
Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks
What to do with me, a green young man
Who fails to consider the
Flim and flam of the world, since
Things have been easy for me;
I stare hard at his face, a stare
That deflects off his brow;
I’m sure he’s unaware of his
Dark, watery eyes, that
Glance in different directions,
And his slow, unwelcome twitches,
Fail to pass.
I listen, nod,
Listen, open, till I cling to his pale,
Beige T-shirt, yelling,
Yelling in his ears, that hang
With heavy lobes, but he’s still telling
His joke, so I ask why
He’s so unhappy, to which he replies...
But I don’t care anymore, cause
He took too damn long, and from
Under my seat, I pull out the
Mirror I’ve been saving; I’m laughing,
Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face
To mine, as he grows small,
A spot in my brain, something
That may be squeezed out, like a
Watermelon seed between
Pop takes another shot, neat,
Points out the same amber
Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and
Makes me smell his smell, coming
From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem
He wrote before his mother died,
Stands, shouts, and asks
For a hug, as I shrink, my
Arms barely reaching around
His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; ’cause
I see my face, framed within
Pop’s black-framed glasses
And know he’s laughing too.
This next bit comes from the BBC News:
Wales' national poet Gillian Clarke has written a poem marking Barack Obama's inauguration as US president.
Clarke said she was "delighted" to have been commissioned to pen the poem for the historic occasion.
Obama will become the first African American to hold the post when he is installed as the 44th president.
Clarke, whose work is studied for GCSE and A level exams, said she had been inspired by the reaction of pupils in Birmingham, England, to the election.
The poet originally from Cardiff but now living in Ceredigion explained: "A few days after his election I was performing in front of 2,000 schoolchildren in Birmingham.
"Academi's message that they wanted me to write a poem for Obama came through and I was introduced by the chief examiner as the National Poet of Wales who will write a poem for Obama.
NEW YEAR, 2009
Venus in the arc of the young moon
is a boat the arms of a bay,
the sky clear to infinity
but for the trailing gossamer
of a transatlantic plane.
The old year and the old era dead,
pushed burning out to sea
bearing the bones of heroes, tyrants,
ideologues, thieves and deceivers
in a smoke of burning money.
The dream is over. Glaciers will melt.
Seas will rise to swallow golden islands.
Somewhere a volcano may whelm a city,
earth shake its skin like an old horse,
a hurricane topple a town to rubble.
Yet tonight, under the cold beauty
of the moon and Venus, something like hope begins,
as if times can turn, the world change course,
as if truth can speak, good men come to power,
and words have meaning again.
Maybe black-hearted boys in love with death
won't blow themselves and us to smithereens.
Maybe guns will fall silent, the powerful
cease slaughtering the weak, the rich
will not gorge as the poor starve.
Hope spoke the word 'Yes', the word 'we', the word 'can',
and a thousand British teenagers at Poetry Live
rose to their feet in a single yell of joy -
black, white, Christian, Muslim, Jew,
faithful and faithless. We are all in this together.
Ie. gallwn ni. (Yes, we can)
"Immediately all the children stood up cheering and hugging each other and I was astounded.
"If 15-year-old kids get excited about Barack Obama winning the election, then it gives me this great feeling of hope, a hope that we can all share in.
"It is not just that we believe he's a good man or an eloquent man, but that we somehow need him to be a man who appreciates language and truth, and will make all the lies of the last eight years disappear.
"We're on his side and we'll try to make it work.
"We're all black now. And it's taught us all - from schoolchildren in Birmingham to poets in Wales - that if you're black, you can do it; if you're a woman, you can do it; if you're young, you can do it. And if you're Welsh, we can do it."
Academi, which promotes literature in Wales, has sent the poem to president-elect Obama along with another in Welsh from the Welsh-language Children's Laureate Ifor ap Glyn.
Clarke is the third National Poet of Wales, a role established in 2005 by Academi with Arts Council of Wales Lottery funding.
Gwyneth Lewis was the first incumbent, followed by Professor Gwyn Thomas.
Clarke's work is studied in schools across the UK .
From November 2008 to February 2009 she will have performed her work in front of over 100,000 schoolchildren as part of the Poetry Live! events.
In February she will read and discuss her work with 900 English students in Dubai.
And finally, an article about Elizabeth Alexander, who will read her poetry at the inauguration:
Elizabeth Alexander, Obama Inauguration Poet, "Completely Thrilled"
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Elizabeth Alexander was a toddler in a baby stroller when her parents took her to hear Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington.