I was writing a poem today about the future
when looking at the date, I remembered.
I remembered 22 years ago how thousands
were planning a future which in one
day’s time be no more.
How could we forget the dramatic and tragic
loss and the fear, and the united, determined
America which responded to the threat?
And wallow instead in the disputes and
divide we see today, and worry about a
future some never grew old enough to see.
We have a future we should value,
we have a loss we should remember, and
we should maintain our hope in America.
A prayer today
for those who lost their future… and
for those who fought for all of ours!
I rewrote this as I was editing for new book of poetry…
Keep Stress Outside the Wall
Keep stress outside the wall
do not answer, no matter
its mindful mournful call.
Call the archers to the fight,
light all the fires you can and
bring light to the darkest night.
Never tire defending, for the stone
laid in your castle walls are strong
and look and see you’re not alone.
If it breaches, it fights eviction,
like an unwelcome tenant
challenging fervent conviction.
And if the wolf is thru the door,
and it is howling at you, then
you must wrestle it to the floor.
For you can and will surely win
you have weapons and help,
so never give-up, never give-in.
Art by Marianne Elias
The Soul of the Sea
The soul of the sea speaks to me
as the waves sing in harmony
and winds of wisdom push us along
playing the rigging in rhythm of song
The glorious glowing golden sky bright
with the shine of life-giving sunlight
dancing and mingling amongst the waves
bearing upon the hearts and souls’, it saves.
Is it the reflection of the sea on the sky we see
or is overarching horizons coloring a mercurial sea?
Is it the mysteries of unfathomable deep which inspire,
or is the ever changing sky which lights souls’ on fire?
The music of the birds, the expression of the sky
with reason and purpose we ask ourselves why
not to imagine distant travels on a fair quartering wind
as we fancy ourselves like ancient voyagers of our pretend.
But it is the journey of the soul we always know
which puts us in the middle of this timeless show,
where the sky performs, and the waves sing
and imaginary worlds and journeys begin.
When infrastructure is weak, and fates align
then disaster and its twin, tragedy will find
their chance to do whatever they desire
bringing forth flood, collapse and raging fire
to the people who fatefully left to neglect
infrastructure for which time would decrepit
and they would then say how could this be?
When all along it was they who didn’t see,
it was up to them to invest in their own
lest the twins bring forth horrors unknown.
Sadly, there will be more sins of omission,
leaving the twins opportunity for commission
of ever greater disaster and tragedy
as we continue unobservant, failing to see.
In a time of divisiveness, justice may be blind
but the people must see for themselves to find
that the system is fair, arguments of facts prevail
not spun to determine prosecution success or fail.
Defenses cannot be given as opinion or hearsay
and the authority of witnesses clearly on display
so that truth can be seen and carefully judged
and lies, and stories terminally be smudged.
Bring the unblinking cameras into the room
to give public witness and we may assume
that the spinners, the shapers of the story
will be drowned by truth in its raging glory.
The biggest story of our lifetime.
The greatest injustice and crime
being perpetrated on democracy
deserves a change in long-standing policy
Bring the cameras in and show doubters the truth,
and if there be a defense worth hearing, let loose
for this is how justice works, on vertible facts
not crazy stories and insurrectionist acts.
For the defense of our democracy
in the face of attempted autocracy
requires everyone seeing it’s the rule of law
which will be the mighty’s down fall.
Last night I laid awake
thinking of a poem, or was
it a song, which went on
and on in my head.
I thought to get out of bed,
to get it to paper, but I
persuaded myself I had
written it already.
It was a grand flight of
fancy, travel to another
time and place, but it
seemed totally in reason.
Something I could sing
to the moon, and it was
beautiful, but now it is
but a memory of a feeling.
The song is gone, the poem
unwritten, but the feeling
of flight remains
etched in my heart.
Unrelenting when it blankets deaden lands
causing waves and ripples across desert sands.
Creating its own tumultuous winds as a fire burns
and the choking dust, heat, smoke swirl and turns
paradise into hellscape, and lives once prosperous
become unbearable, deplorable and ponderous
from the enormous weight of the blanket of heat
which has now a life of its own, as it takes its seat
on the throne of all concern for what we have done
bringing climate to our lives, and what’s more to come
in the future of this world, for is this just the start
of something worse, and everything falling apart?
Geography and time Separate
and also Unite…
if we allow them such powers.
Ushered by a child to a table
to sit invisible in a service
Watching service rendered
inefficiently to all others
by new highschool graduates.
Where one thing at a time
belays the visually apparent
fact they have two hands.
A drink served, from a bar
poorly provisioned without
limes on a busy weekend.
But we have bread and oil
and water, for the hour we
wait for our salads.
And yet we are seated,
listening to piped in jazz music
and each other…
We are not in a hot sun
waiting in some monstrous
queue for a handout of food.
We are not lacking for
indoor air conditioning
and restroom facilities.
Our car waits in the lot
and we need not trek
to a border, or crowd in a boat.
We only require patience
and the recollection of how
greatly we are blessed…
and newly thankful for the lesson.
I’ve cried the Star-Spangled Banner
I’ve traveled America the Beautiful
I’ve faithfully Pledged Allegiance
I’ve sworn to protect her secrets
for which I had privilege to know.
I’ve saluted independence in poem,
and yet I’ve seldom realized
this is by fortune of birth for which
my joy and pride and all I respect
and hail as great is so rare and precious.
Independence and freedoms won
through blood and sweat and tears
and intellect and high ideals in times
long before, and in moments everyday
by those who keep the faith and
keep a most holy watch.