Fall branches hang low
dropping leaves in the current
hues of death float by
my Country I did carry
in my pocket
secure in the confines
I wanted it to be
as long as I did not disturb
its place of rest
it was a thing of limitless ambition
and infinite possibility
when I finally thought to check
the well being of my charge
I found a hole in the pocket
where my country
all traces of glory
fallen beneath my feet
and trampled in
in my other pocket
amidst the dirt collected there
is the seed of a hope
afraid of holes and those who
trample countries in the dust
It would not be fair to say she was accident prone,
but we were never surprised when one happened.
The earliest story I remember was apparently
my fault, something about taking my first steps
while she was separating frozen pork chops
with a steak knife.
It was rarely anything serious, no string of limbs
in a cast, not on a first name basis with anyone
at the emergency room, but there was often
a bruise here or there, most of which she never
remembered the cause, and we always made
fun of her for wearing white at a meal. She was
very good at stain removal.
Her first date with my Father was in September,
they were married nine months later
on the twenty-first of June (6-2-1), and were
together, through all of the accidents, for forty-
five years, three months and six days. She died
on the twenty-seventh of September, in the ninth
year of this century.
Some months before as they were walking
the beach, her favorite pastime, she stopped
and made him promise to scatter her ashes
at that exact location. If you are ever in Hilton Head,
South Carolina, be sure to stop by beach marker
number fifty-four and say hello. She is sure to be there early,
never did miss a sunrise.
You may consider the recurring ‘nine’s’ odd,
a mere coincidence or simple chance. Maybe.
It is something I cannot explain, but I refuse
to believe it is an accident.
Margo Roby asks for a poem centered around ‘accidents’.
The recurrences of ‘nine’ are factual, and not all are referenced.
The cover this week is spot on,
“Fun and Games in Congress” the artist
titled it, with quite the cast of characters:
The Hatter is there (yes, still quite mad), dispensing
copies of the Constitution which Bozo
proceeds to deface and the Jester, motley fool
that he is, stamps with a “NO” while wielding
his gavel. Batman’s Joker is in the house
and playing with a stacked deck, the white collar
criminal looks good in his orange and black stripes
while Rich Uncle Pennybags kicks back with a big cigar.
The lady is quite astute in the art of snake charming,
knowing the real trick is to pull their fangs
before you play them a tune.
Yes, it is all fun and games until…until you read
what is inside.
Not being from, or even an infrequent visitor to,
New York, I skip over the Goings On About Town
and land in the Talk Of The Town, where one
contributor is naive enough to believe
our representative woes could be solved
by voting in a more diverse crowd,
as if women or blacks or hispanics or asians
would be less susceptible to the corruption
of power and money than the current
ensemble of rich white men.
Continuing with the political theme…Jeffrey
Tobin goes into great (incessant, protracted,
never-ending) detail on the subject on appointing
judges, which, it turns out, is perhaps the most
important aspect of politics, and one the voting public
understands the least. Oh, but the politician
understands, control of the judiciary through
the lifetime appointment of judges extends
the reach and power of the Party, and, after all,
being right is not so important when you have enough
votes to validate (rubber-stamp) your actions.
Abortion, too, gets an article. We can never miss
a chance to inject the subject into the debate,
especially just before an election. The information
is bland in presentation, and there is really
nothing new to argue, the inanities
and hypocrisies of those presenting the arguments
on both sides are enough to make one wish
for a vacuum tube to be inserted into your skull.
Ebola, of course, must get an article, mustn’t stray
from the mainstream. The dissertation attempts
to humanize the epidemic in a very scientific way,
because it is critically important for us to understand
the dimensions of an ebola particle and how it
compares to the size of a human hair. Unfortunately,
the only thing I can think about while reading
the article is to wonder if the Harvard genomics
scientist always wears the low cut top with the knee-high
leather boots and really tight jeans to work,
or only on days when a photographer from
the New Yorker is going to be there?
There was some good news amidst
the miasma: Billy Joel said he needs
to get to know more poets.
I can hear the voices as they
whisper in meadow grasses
and murmur among forest
boughs older than lore,
their song is a lament of futures
foretold where two legs replace four
and the old voices are drowned
out by clamor and chatter.
I hear them restless upon the shore,
skittering with the gulls on the sand
raised in a roar amidst the ceaseless
beat of the sea against the beach,
a barrage of anger and protest
against the onslaught of progress
and change, a sardonic sigh
accompanies the retreat of every wave.
They are the same voices I hear
echoing from the broken plaster
and rust of forgotten buildings
and overgrown playgrounds,
yearning for a time history ignores
when the energy of commerce
made for vibrant lives and the laughter
of children lit up the night.
I do not sleep well on full
It may be an issue of proximity,
the push and pull of gravity
in competition, swaying the pattern
of brain waves in one hemisphere
as the tide goes out in another.
It may be the physical response,
an aching and discomfort which makes
aimless, midnight wandering
the added stress of Luna’s presence
bringing forth the revolution
in my bones.
It is somewhat…ironic(?)appalling(?)
the very youth
who (rightfully) scream
out, who stand with fist in the air,
who use their bodies as signs
in protest against authority, who incite
violence one night and peacefully
protest the next, marching arm in arm
demanding their God-given rights…
all in the name of democracy,
are the very same youth who
will surely fuck it all up once they
understand the power of the ballot
while completely misunderstanding
the nature and function of power.
I revolve the glass in my hand,
marveling at how the image of what
is swirled within always stays the same,
Condensation forms into drops,
runs down my arm, or falls to the carpet
to be absorbed.
Upon further examination,
perhaps moon is merely
the witness to another hopeless
revolution, and shares no responsibility
for my sleeplessness.
Yellow daises grow wild beside the road,
swaying in the wind of each passing car,
radios spewing the latest bit of chaos —
ebola has moved into the neighborhood
and the welcome wagon crashed,
the knife cuts in a sawing motion
as the media ignores the reason
for another severed head,
democracy dies in Hong Kong, buried
in an a grave marked only
by international apathy,
politicians change the dialogue daily,
hoping the new crisis will lessen
the sting of the last,
blame runs rampant,
solutions continue to hide —
as the news drowns out life.
I turn off the radio, roll down
the windows and wonder
has truly died.
Last night I dreamed of a young girl,
chanting “he loves me, he loves me not”
as she plucks the petals from
yellow daises growing wild beside the road.