Vegetables – Shel Silverstein

Eat a tomato and you’ll turn red
(I don’t think that’s really so);
Eat a carrot and you’ll turn orange
(Still and all, you never know);
Eat some spinach and you’ll turn green
(I’m not saying that it’s true
But that’s what I heard, and so
I thought I’d pass it on to you).

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Body And Soul – Zachary Zuccaro

Witness all the beings who trivialize life
reduce their gift to perceptual concern
over insignificant frivalities.
Worried about their bodies and possessions
while neglecting their immortal soul.
Seeking power over mere molehills
while burying their true potential power;
attempting to gain unimportant knowledge
while ignoring buried treasures of wisdom.
Bodies controlling their lives
as they completely forget their true selves.

The soul is separate from the body,
no only are they separate – they are enemies.
What the soul needs the body protests,
what the body desire the soul detests.
Why should this opposition occur,
why should their desires not concur?
Well the soul and body have different needs
and to serve the one means to neglect the other.
Pain and hunger, thirst and knowledge
these are of the body
but joy and sorrow, anger and guilt,
love and wisdom are of the soul.
To search for food, to strive for wealth,
to benefit our bodies
means to feel envy and greed and to corrupt our souls,
but to give to the poor, and to fast and pray
feeds our souls but corrupts our bodies.

The Sum – Paul Laurence Dunbar

A little dreaming by the way,
A little toiling day by day;
A little pain, a little strife,
A little joy,–and that is life.

A little short-lived summer’s morn,
When joy seems all so newly born,
When one day’s sky is blue above,
And one bird sings,–and that is love.

A little sickening of the years,
The tribute of a few hot tears
Two folded hands, the failing breath,
And peace at last,–and that is death.

Just dreaming, loving, dying so,
The actors in the drama go–
A flitting picture on a wall,
Love, Death, the themes; but is that all? 

The Song – Paul Laurence Dunbar

MY soul, lost in the music’s mist,
Roamed, rapt, ‘neath skies of amethyst,
The cheerless streets grew summer meads,
The Son of Phœbus spurred his steeds,
And, wand’ring down the mazy tune,
December lost its way in June,
While from a verdant vale I heard
The piping of a love-lorn bird.
A something in the tender strain
Revived an old, long-conquered pain, 
And as in depths of many seas,
My heart was drowned in memories.
The tears came welling to my eyes,
Nor could I ask it otherwise;
For, oh! a sweetness seems to last
Amid the dregs of sorrows past.
It stirred a chord that here of late
I’d grown to think could not vibrate.
It brought me back the trust of youth,
The world again was joy and truth.
And Avice, blooming like a bride,
Once more stood trusting at my side.
But still, with bosom desolate,
The ‘lorn bird sang to find his mate.
Then there are trees, and lights and stars,
The silv’ry tinkle of guitars;
And throbs again as throbbed that waltz,
Before I knew that hearts were false.
Then like a cold wave on a shore,
Comes silence and she sings no more.
I wake, I breathe, I think again,
And walk the sordid ways of men. 

The Dance – Paul Laurence Dunbar

Heel and toe, heel and toe,
That is the song we sing;
Turn to your partner and curtsey low,
Balance and forward and swing.
Corners are draughty and meadows are white,
This is the game for a winter’s night.

Hands around, hands around,
Trip it, and not too slow;
Clear is the fiddle and sweet its sound,
Keep the girls’ cheeks aglow.
Still let your movements be dainty and light,
This is the game for a winter’s night.

Back to back, back to back,
Turn to your place again;
Never let lightness nor nimbleness lack,
Either in maidens or men.
Time hasteth ever, beware of its flight,
Oh, what a game for a winter’s night!

Slower now, slower now,
Softer the music sighs;
Look, there are beads on your partner’s brow
Though there be light in her eyes.
Lead her away and her grace requite,
So goes the game on a winter’s night. 

A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda’s sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What’s a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then–
How old is Spring, Miranda?