Support Weekend America with your Amazon.com purchases
Search Amazon.com:
  • News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment
Welcome to Weekend America
Weekend America Primary Navigation
Play Consumed
Get Involved

How did your life collide with the headlines in 2007?
Iraq, the subprime crisis, Facebook, immigration, oil prices - 2007 had no shortage of hefty headlines. We'd like to hear about how these and other major news events of the past year affected you. Where did your life collide with the news in 2007?

What's your holiday performance story?
The office talent show, the neighborhood caroling posse, the school pageant ... At holiday time we often sing, dance, and dress as shepherds. Did you bloom in the warmth of your audience's adulation, or freeze up like the snowman you'd rather be building? Did your holiday performance change your life or that of someone close to you?

Section Bottom
Section Bottom
Poet Laureate of Texas (2004-2005), Cleatus Rattan
Poet Cleatus Rattan
Cleatus Rattan

There won't be a poet present when President Bush is sworn in to his second term next week, unlike many of the Democratic Inaugurations. Weekend America talked with Texas Poet Laureate Cleatus Rattan about the poem that he would share at the Inauguration if asked.

Making the Grade

Living on a flat land ranch
and teaching in a college on a hill
is a simple life. Six miles
from the college, I sequester myself
on my principality, but the worlds
are connected. Occasionally the radio
and tv tell me about that other world --
schedules and such. At night
Fred and ginger sometimes tap
out messages about up-hill battles.

From my place, I can see the highway
weaving its way up the hills,
connecting the quilt of country
to the college where I am mastered,
often. Each morning I eye my gate

reluctantly, pierce reality and draw
myself toward a tapestry of minds seemingly
interested only in things as simple as A B C.


My father was the point of the triangle
as I was flanked by uncles. Mother was distant,
sobbing slightly, out of sight behind the barn.
Honor was father's word, and I took
my usual bracing stance when he used it.
He looked into my eyes. Uncles were quiet
as ex-marines on parade. He put too much money
into my hand: "go to your war, if you must,
but come home with your shield or without it."

The sun and moon have circled and hidden
each other many times since that day.
I have seen my ring of friends broken
in flames, had my luck, but I have never
been richer than that glaring moment
when mother's eyes were red as cinders.

Can These Flowers Live? Listen

Maiden Aunt Mary, always Maiden Aunt
Mary, hair as short as the heels
on her black shoes, read the bible
every hour she wasn't sewing or gardening
or dressing to go to town for church.
She read to prove she had missed nothing
but the prophets and hell's fire.
She made no bones about her perennials
and planted way up there, in the middle
of the north pasture, her purple violets
and other flowers no one has names
for now. They are there, still defying
cash crops, fleshing out each year
and blessing, always blessing,
Momma's grave and Poppa's.
Cars stop and men take off their hats,
then mop their brows while women
take pictures, preserving forever
the acres of purple flowers
in the middle of cotton,
replanted year after year.

<< More stories from the January 15 broadcast
Section Bottom
As Mentioned on Weekend America
... on our December 15 broadcast:

» Weekend America
iPodEnhanced Podcast:
Skip back and forth through stories, see images on iTunes and on your iPod, all with better sound quality.
» The Huckabee Mystique: See video of Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris.
» Another Great Moment in Small Talk: Read how Charlie Schroeder became an unpopular "tool" because of Borat.
» Listener Letters: Renewable Christmas Trees: Read listeners' alternate endings to "Puff the Magic Dragon."
» Sign Up for the Weekend America weekly newsletter: Find out what's on the upcoming show, and listen to the most popular previous segments.
Section Bottom

Weekend Weather

From the July 5 broadcast

As Mentioned on Weekend America
Sign Up for the Weekend America Weekly Newsletter

Find out what's on the upcoming show, listen to the most popular previous segments, and be the first to participate stories about our listeners.

» Subscribe to the Newsletter

Section Bottom
Send Us Your Stories
This week: Have you exper-
ienced any strange seasonal changes: springtime plants sprouting; squirrels sunbathing?
Let us know...
Section Bottom