World Poetry Proudly Presents Leigh Nelson or mrlei From the USA!

995634_10152305678044928_1502920741_nAriadne’s notes: The World Poetry  Café Radio Show with hosts Ariadne Sawyer and Israel Mota  proudly welcomed the interesting poet Leigh Nelson to the show with a special dedication to Pete Seeger, folk music great and activist who recently left us. We also had the debut of Victor Schwartzman who did a  great five minute review of the work of a poet in California. Music by Rene Hugo Sanchez and Pete Seeger. To listen to this special show: CLICK HERE!

“The writer of Gandhi’s Lament has been writing and performing poetry and music since the age of 14.  Hailing from South County in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, he is known simply as mrlei (as in mister lee), a name bestowed upon him in the early 80’s by students of his.  mrlei has still yet to publish any of his works, but plans on using the slowdown of winter months to complete the process and get it to press.  At the same time, he is attempting to complete two plays, one called “Einstein’s Violin” and a one-man show of Walt Whitman.  He hopes that his poetry “will inspire people to awaken to their true selves and discover the voice that dwells within all being.”

 He writes: My mother was an English teacher (and model/actress) in the late 50’s thru to the early 70’s, so of course it was read, read, read (albeit TV was also very much our babysitter at times — but never before homework!)  By the fourth grade I was reading on a junior-to-high school level and also accompanied my mother to rehearsals for plays she was in and became the one child of three boys who became engrossed with the artistic “process” (really don’t like that word).  I dabbled in the theatre/tv/radio/film industry for a time and lost interest for a variety of reasons.  But that experience helped me to become a powerful speaker and presenter of ideas (my own and others) and I have continued working in the artistic milieus.” 

I’m sitting here
listening to Nii’ Nee’
sing with his ancestors
and the strong of heart
and the horizon
is just setting
into a faint mauve
dotted by crows
and icicles in the eaves

I reach for the stars
as if they are the only
light in sight this night

this night
is where
the vow lives
the stand is taken
with every breath
and furrow of brow

I will not pretend
coming through the forest
to this opening
where dirt means mind
and bear pads softly

and to know you have
come through the forest


and the ease of our minds
is but a tear from our eyes
serving to remind

cante tenza

great thanks now
for the passing of the pipe
and the sharing of dreams
of the grandmother
and her song for the men
great thanks that paths
cross at the streams
and up a hill


up ahead

the way to go

this night
through the frost

Leigh Nelson (C)

–listening to “Singing with the Ancestors” by Nii’ Nee’.   this is my Cante Tenza Olowan (“Song for the Strong Heart”  -Lakota) “At The Wood’s Edge” (Iroquois) is referenced, as well as Frost, in the last line (a play on forest and the winter – a poet nod, if you will.)

 mrlei (pronounced mr. lee) has written a ridiculously large amount of bad poetry.  Every once in a awhile, something sticks, regardless.  He hosts live nights of music, poetry, video, live art, dance, and comedy called TaoNation or Vagabond Age, in the “moment”, with little or no rehearsal.  He is a taurus cancer twin.  He is shy usually, but known to take a selfie or two.  He lives on the side of a mountain in North Adams, MA, with his blind, all white  Jack Russell terrier, Talon Jack.  He drinks, he smokes, and tells dirty jokes, but can play pool better drunk than you.  That is not a challenge.  He would like to thank Daniel Ellsburg for the release of his tapes. He likes to play piano and trumpet but has no idea what they really do.  He is a Jew, too.   Shoganai!  Kwatz!

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