Featuring Kathleen Dean Moore, Charles Finn, and ringleader Charles Goodrich, gathering a company of poets, with host Professor Barbara Mossberg for, Sunday live noon1pm, PST, produced by Zappa Johns  

Job 12:7-10 
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;  or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

Continue reading

Love in a Time of Chaos: Ah, Love, Let Us Be True to One Another! (W. H. Auden)

How can poetry be written and listened to, when the world breaks our hearts?

A midsummer, anni-verse-ary show in the midst of news


Mathew Arnold’s Dover Beach:  Doesn’t it sound like it could be written today, of today—the question, how, given the turbulent news, do we, can we, proceed, taken up by poets, as Auden does on his honeymoon? Here he is, the air is soft, the moon shines on the water, the waves lap, and all he can think about is “confused alarms of struggle and flight,” a world of war and suffering . . . . The answer, ah, love, let us be true to one another. That’s all we have—each other, our community, for joy and solace and purpose . . . redeeming our world, ourselves . . .So in the spirit of this honeymoon poem of Auden, on his honeymoon by calm waters, reflecting on the day’s news and histories of war and suffering, as he looks out the window, and concludes, let us be true to one another, I bring you today’s show live by the waters of Lake Tahoe, on a wedding anniversary, my husband and I are 41 today—driving up California’s eastern spine on our way to Moscow, Idaho, where I am at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, where poets meet soil scientists and evolutionary biologists and geologists and historians—I am talking on the role of poetry in environmental legislation—we will hear more about that conference, but meanwhile we are truckin—taking our show literally on the road, so our show today celebrates with the verse of anniverse-ary . .  .how poets extract from the daily news, late-breaking heart-breaking news,  news of true love, love in the time of crisis, which, according to history, is always . . .when we need each other more than ever—the drive was so beautiful that it humbled and silenced me—What could be said in the face of such majesty? The news shriveled to inconsequence. The only thing that matters is the health of each other. The existence of each other. That, that stands up to mountains, belongs in a landscape where you can see the earth forever, its volcanoes and valleys and deserts and groves and peaks and glaciers, extending in waves . . . and here we are, in our little boat—We consider translations of Omar Khayyam, Kabir, Neruda, poems by Chuck Tripi, Whitman, e.e. cummings, Dickinson, Wendell Berry, and others, and some of my poems and reflections on our anniversary,

And poems to match! Thank you for listening.

© Barbara Mossberg 2015


FROM OREGON’S FAMED HAYWARD FIELD TO INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP ASSOCIATION WAVES OF POSSIBILITY CONFERENCE, TO GRADUATION CEREMONIES, TO ANNIVERSARIES OF YEATS AND MY MOTHER’S BIRTHS, AND GERARD MANLY HOPKINS AND ANNE FRANK’S DEATHS, FEATS OF LEAPING SHENANIGANS AND SPRUNG RHYTHMS OF SPIRIT AND HEART AND BODY, applied to a NCAA track meet, dawn, life and death, nature, love, poems themselves as feats that win and save the day, when gravity would pull us down—all the ways we find to fly beyond our limitations, in poems of Wordsworth, the Bible, Yeats, Rumi, e.e. cummings, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emerson (identified by UO Clark Honors College graduation speaker for us, Luciano G Dolcini-Catania), Billy Collins, William Ernest Henley, Tennyson, Dickinson, Nikki Giovanni, Gerard Stern, Chuck Tripi, Pablo Neruda, Philip Levine (chosen by Joan Houlihan in the post a poem a day challenge), William Blake, and from my new collection Sometimes the Woman in the Mirror Is Not You (feisty resistance to all that weighs us down). It may have been slowing down to sit at the track meet in front of hurdlers hurtling that I was thinking about leaping, keeping in mind my father’s “I love hard work. I could watch it for hours.” But Emerson reminds us much may be leaping within. One leap leads to another, and we will celebrate the leaping that is the heart of threshold moments at the heart of life, as we slow down with our Poetry Slow Down, for, produced by Zappa Johns, with me, your host Professor Barbara Mossberg.

Live Sunday noon-1pm, podcast at

© Barbara Mossberg



Gordon Lightfoot, Wherefore and Why: The Touch of the Poet as Poetry Engages the World and Makes a Life Out of It

The music for our show today probably says it all—Nat King Cole’s That Sunday, That Summer, Stylistics You Make Me Feel Brand New, Andy Williams’ or Mason Williams’ Moon River, and the Farini’s Pack Up Your Sorrows.

something inside of me told me that this would be my day: Special moments treasured forever, feeling alive and brimming with new life, our Huckleberry Friend, poetry touches us, offering comfort and joy. But what do we touch? What don’t we touch? Are we not inextricably inherent in this universe of ours? Our poetry today celebrates people’s late Spring efforts to engage the wild and wonderful journey of being conscious on earth, essential being. We’ll hear from the Spring Creek Project out of Oregon State University (its Wild Critters “Campus Wild”), the International Leadership Association’s Asilomar Conference on Possibility, the chapbook of your host, Professor Barbara Mossberg, Sometimes the Woman in the Mirror Is Not You, and other hopeful news postings, poems on running (Pre is on our minds), and philosophy about our mutual attraction with lover earth, including rain, even as flooding and drought occur: we’re singing in the rain, saying “hello sunshine,” clearly “touched.” What does it mean to be touched by rain, by weather, by the universe’s happenings, and what does it mean to touch this very universe? Is our love reciprocal? What does it mean to speak to sun? Do poets have the touch for what we need to know?

Stay tuned for our Poetry Slow Down, on, Sunday noon1pm and podcast at, produced by Zappa and the Good Vibrations crew, live from our Monterey Studios.

© Barbara Mossberg 2015