We drive through the gloom
of low hanging cloud cover,
eyes down, ignoring the dirty
There is a moment
when we enter a break
in the clouds — a rip in the clothe
letting light shine through —
and every head lifts,
seeking the source
of newly felt warmth.
Then, just as quickly, we enter
the gloom again,
each head lowers.
There is another shaft
of light ahead.
Where truth is irrelevant
Where reason is abandoned
Where justice is ambiguous
Where innocence is ignored
Where motives are misguided
Where hope remains hidden
Where anger rules emotion
Where dreams are shattered
Where hatred sets agendas
Where hope for change
…..dissipates with the tear-gas
I count fourteen vultures
serene and graceful
as they circle,
tempers flare as room-temperature
on a synagogue floor
and permeates the pages
of the Pentateuch.
reason readies to boil over
into mis-directed righteousness, guilt
or innocence pre-judged
to the burning to come.
the temperatures drop,
four horses blow steam
and stamp the frozen grass
of the field where they await
Fists will be raised,
tears will be shed,
decisions will be made,
wisdom will not be found,
peace will not be an option,
prayers will not be enough.
There was a time when we believed
we could achieve anything,
when we strove to overcome
when we prayed for everything.
we pray for nothing,
have come to view success in terms
of survival, not the possible,
and the concept of achievement
is considered a betrayal.
How far we have fallen from the land
of giants and dreamers,
to a land of dependents who wish only
for the demise of others.
We have a President who does not believe in the American dream.
Debates in Congress are a fraud, outcomes predetermined by dollars.
Seven judges rule: not even one still believes in the rule of law.
Voters celebrate, thinking one overlord better than another.
History will judge us, these times marked as the beginning of the fall.
The lake was lowered over the weekend,
last remnant of summer drained
like mercury from a broken thermometer,
where there was calm water on Friday,
nestled against a tree lined shore,
Monday reveals barren mud flats,
less than a trickle flowing under the bridge,
cracks already forming as the dirt dries.
The lake is in a prosperous county
where last year there were almost
10,000 children born — 3,300 of which
were to unwed mothers, another 900
to teenagers — and 2,700 conceptions
were classified as induced terminations.
Twelve percent of the population receives
government assistance, $200 million worth
of lottery sales, $10 billion deposited into banks
and forty-five hundred reported cases of child abuse.
On Tuesday there was an election: people
in office changed, party control changed.
Wednesday morning, the victorious
rhetoric filling the airwaves was strangely familiar.
Wednesday night a nineteen year old boy
was arrested when found standing over the man
he had stabbed to death, his father. There was
no mention of whether either had voted.
Come spring, the newly elected will be
in office — learning the expectations and rewards
of power and control — filling the air
with empty promises and their version
of vacuous pomposity. The gates on the dam
will close with the coming of rain, returning
the lake to the tree line and hiding the mud
beneath artificial waves. More scared girls
will be making appointments at the clinics,
and more young men will be going to jail.
The political season has turned. Nothing
of importance has changed.
Filed under Poetry, Politics
We like to think there is a simple
the guns with flowers,
animosity with openness,
aggression with diplomacy…
Unfortunately, these things only work
when the adversary agrees to the terms,
and our enemies do not.
Our enemies see diplomacy
as subversion and misdirection,
openness as weakness,
and an aversion to using weapons
as an opportunity.
So, plant tulips in your gun barrels
if you must,
but understand the difference
between your intent and our
your gesture may be intended to show
a willingness to live together
but make no mistake,
it will be perceived as vulnerability,
and a willingness to be conquered,
ruled and oppressed.