Sheepherder Coffee, by Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill, Writing for Peace AdviserCommemorating Ten Years of Poetic Resistance, PAW Post No. 17

During the month of February, Writing for Peace  commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with Daily PAW Posts from a host of contributors.

*Parental Guidance Warning –The poets featured during our February Daily PAW Posts write of war and its effect on the human heart. Writing for Peace has not censored these poems, and we encourage parents to review the content before sharing them with children.

To purchase a copy of POETS AGAINST THE WAR from Powell’s independent bookstore, click here.

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Sheepherder Coffee

by Sam Hamill

I used to like sheepherder coffee,
a cup of grounds in my old enameled pot,
then three cups of water and a fire,

and when it’s hot, boiling into froth,
a half cup of cold water
to bring the grounds to the bottom.

It was strong and bitter and good
as I squatted on the riverbank,
under the great redwoods, all those years ago.

Some days, it was nearly all I got.
I was happy with my dog,
and cases of books in my funky truck.

But when I think of that posture now,
I can’t help but think
of Palestinians huddled in their ruins,

the Afghan shepherd with his bleating goats,
the widow weeping, sending off her sons,
the Tibetan monk who can’t go home.

There are fewer names for coffee
than for love, Squatting, they drink,
thinking, waiting for whatever comes.

“Sheepherder Coffee”, was previously published in Poets Against the War, edited by Sam Hamill with Sally Anderson and others (Nation Books 2003).

Sam Hamill, Writing for Peace AdvisorAbout Writing for Peace Adviser, Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill is the founder of Poets Against the War, and the author of more than forty books, including fifteen volumes of original poetry (most recently Measured by Stone and Almost Paradise: New & Selected Poems & Translations); four collections of literary essays, including A Poet’s Work and Avocations: On Poetry & Poets; and some of the most distinguished translations of ancient Chinese and Japanese classics of the last half-century. He co-founded, and for thirty-two years was editor at, Copper Canyon Press.

Learn more about Sam Hamill here.

February Writing for Peace News:

All during the month of February, Writing for Peace is commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with a Daily PAW Post. If you are interested in arranging a reading this month in honor of Poets Against the War, please contact us with the details at editor@writingforpeace.org, and we will be happy to share your information on our site.

2013 Young Writers Contest

Contest Deadline is March 1st! The Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest is in full swing, with entries coming in from all over the globe.  The contest is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, for ages 13 to 19. Spread the word to young writers everywhere! You’ll find contest guidelines here.

DoveTales,  An International Journal of the Arts

The first issue of DoveTales will be released this month, featuring poets, writers, artists and photographers from all over the world.  We are also looking forward to seeing the winners of our 2012 Young Writers Contest in print. Watch our posts for news of the journal’s release. The new submission guidelines will go up on March 1st. Thank you for your support!

 

 

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