A Joyful Heart   Wednesday, August 30, 2017








This is from my 3rd eBook, Always to the Light from about 2011.











an atheist defends Jesus from those who appropriate his name


the church is a creation of Paul,
not Jesus,
says one of the religiosos
to the others

and in a flash
my mind is cleared
as all the contradictions
between the two thousand

years
of Christianity
and the thirty years
of Jesus

are explained -
Jesus, on one hand
claiming for himself no divinity,
(for how could he claim divinity

yet
instruct us, the least divine
creature
in all of creation,

to be like him)
claiming the god of the Jews,
not as his father
but as love, and peace,

and forbearance,
for it is through forbearance,
he taught,
that freedom and justice will come,

the inheritance
of the meek,
a joyful heart
and peace of the just -

Jesus,
the revolutionary Jew,
the greatest danger to his ministry
not the Roman or the other Jews

but the church founded in his name
by Saul who became Paul, the evangelist,
the mystic,
the counter-revolutionary

denier of the flesh
and human will…
and, so, in his church’s teaching
the favored creation became the lowest,

subject to the will and approval
of a revised Jesus,
an anti-Christ Christ
who calls upon his faithful

to grovel prostrate before
the ascendant
princes
of quarreling sects

and the dogma
that debases
his
name










Here's another one, pretty much like the last one.


Me
an atheist defends Jesus from those who appropriate his name

Richard Wilbur
A Riddle
The Mechanist
The Proof

Me
two moments

Lesley Clark
a poet's passage

Me
a 72-year-old fat ma

Cynthia J. Harper
Shades of Purple

Me
neener neener

Thomas Croft
Extremely Rococo Baroque Music
Out on the Tiles

Me
the thing most worth thinking about

Yuan Hung-tao
Watching the Boat Races at the Dragon Boat Festival, the Year 1604
Hsin-an River

Me
drinking buddies

Pat Mora
My Mask
My Hands

Me
thoughts arising from a discussion concerning gentrification

Grace Paley
On the Subway Station

Me
breathless, ahhh...

Kathleen Fraser
Claim
Losing people

Me
like Salome

Paul Hannigan
Laughing
As If It
Even the Bombardier Has His Sense of Wonder

Me
an old man sinks in a churning sea of youth

G. E. Murray
The Hungarian Night

Me
kicking the can

Me
what do we tell our children now

Me
like that thin, questing moon








These three short poems are by Richard Wilbur, taken from his book, Collected Poems, 1943-2004. It is a massive book, containing both his original work and his translations of the work of others, published by Harcourt in 2004.

Born in 1921, Wilbur has won just about ever prestigious poetry award available to the poets of our times, including winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice  (1957 and 1989) and serving as Poet Laureate of the United States in 1987.







A Riddle
      for M.M.

Where far in forest I am laid,
In a place ringed around by stones,
Look for no melancholy shade,
And have no thoughts of buried bones;
For I am bodiless and bright,
And fill this glade with sudden glow;
The leaves are washed in under-bright;
Shade lies upon the boughs like snow.



The Mechanist

Advancing with self-denying gaze, he
Looks closely at the love-divining daisy.

Sine none but persons may of persons learn,
The frightened plant denies herself in turn,

And sways away as if to flee her fears,
Clashing her flower heads like clumsy gears.


The Proof

Shall I love God for causing me to be?
I was mere utterance; shall these words love me?

Yet when I caused  his work to jar and stammer,
And one free subject loosened all his grammar,

I love him that he did not in a rage
Once and forever rule me off the page,

But, thinking I might come to please him yet,
Crossed out delete and wrote his patient stet.
















From a couple of weeks ago, early morning, the range of human beauty and despair.









two moments

on the way to my diner
this morning,
beautiful music, a female voice,
soft, ethereal, singing
a song of classical Spain
with a Moorish inflection to the music,
reminding me that the very olden days
were in some ways a more beautiful place
and time to be...

at the diner,
an older woman, a regular, white hair buzz-cut,
a body like a floppy bag of soft potatoes,
(a cancer survivor I've always assumed)
leaning against the counter, softly crying,
talking to Leanna, our long-time morning server,
our expert on all things egg and bacon and pancake
and biscuit and I hear Leanna
say quietly, "Surgery won't help?" and I know
the story, the cancer is back, old-time waitresses
and bartenders, priests of the secular world, priests
of the low voice and tender ears who hear
all the world's best and worst news first...

two moments in an early Saturday morning, ageless beauty
from a nation and time long past, and a modern despair, up close,
from the radio, the sweet sound of ever lasting melody, closer,
the foul face of death intruding, two moments in my morning











This poem is by Lesley Clark. It is taken from her book, The Absence of Color, published  Orchard Press of St. Mary's University in 2000.

Clark was born in Big Spring, Texas and raised in England. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree n Social Psychology, and, at the time of publication, was working toward a Masters.









a poet's passage

    "I pass to the other side of he page"
    - Pablo Neruda

you write incessantly
ripening your words
while I wait and harvest mine

readers will read of your works,
your wisdom, and become entangled
in your web

I believed the lie,
the love, the illusion

you are a craftsman of creativity
the lie lingers
and I stagger behind
shuffling its shadow

I age with anticipation
putting my pen to paper
bleeding blue ink
that may never be printed on a page

I drink of you, your ferment
and salaciously sow your seed into my center

I foster the roots that grow within me
your words in my womb
spreading your sound in my silence

tonight you will speak of me
tonight I am the subject of a thousand poems
for I have stripped and stood bare before you

I slit my skin with your thorns
and write myself into your wicked wrath

but before my death, I give birth,
a bud for you to bring to bloom

and I, I will be among others
waiting in the wings

launching my legacy

peeking
from the other side of the page











This poem from January, 2016, a month before my birthday.









a 72-year-old fat man

so
I'm a 72-year-old fat man

...but wait,
poetry is about truth and beauty
and while there is no beauty in a 72-year-old fat man,
truth is still important and truth is, though
I'm already a fat man, I'm not a fat a man
as I used to be and I will not be 72 for  a
couple more weeks...

so
abiding  by the poetic requirement for truth
it should be more correctly said that I am
an almost 72-year-old not-as-fat-as-I-used-to-be
and the further truth is like so many in my contingent
I hate change and mostly I hate change
(affirming that being the primary purpose of this rant
because change means I'm going to have to learn new stuff
and I believe, fervently, even,  that at the age of
almost 72, fat, skinny, or perfectly formed,
such a man should already know what he needs to know
to live an almost-72-year-old life...

I mean, like many in my regiment, I always like
to read new stuff about stars and galaxies
and dinosaurs and ancient tribes of ancient peoples,
and various oddities and monstrosities of life
unknown before my time, but I only like to learn such stuff
as long as I don't have to learn much about it,
in fact,

in fact, my imagination, churning, produces much more interesting stuff
to know than anything I would know by actually knowing
real stuff...

and that works great for me, since I read such
science news and other such stuff just looking ford
stuff to fill me like an over-ripe melon with pseudo-science
and interesting fantasy that I might expound upon here
and at other venues where actually knowing stuff
is not strictly
required...

but other than that kind of stuff,
the stuff I don't want to learn is the stuff
most sixteen-year-olds already know and I figure
if a sixteen-year-old already know it why in the world should
and almost-72-year-old, not-as-fat-as-before man bother
to because it just seems to me that such a man
ought to know
just about everything he actually needs to know to make it
through his day...

as to the rest,
well,
take my computer, so old it's almost steam-powered,
but old as it is , it is my faithful friend
and like any of my other friends
I've buried or expect to bury within the next few years,
I dread the time when its time is up
and I have to go looking for a new computer friend,
it is just like I hate the idea of going out and finding new
friends when the old ones
bite the dust...

it's oh so much more complicated...

learning a whole new set of demands and expectations and idiosyncrasies
and all the other stuff that goes with maintaining a healthy and productive
relationship...

like my phone and my wife's new car - I've been talking a phone and driving
for near on 60 year and none of what I've learned now seems relevant
to making a phone call or driving over to the corner store
for a Baby Ruth, except that the complications now on both the phone
and the car almost make me hesitant to go out in the world
without a tag-along second grader to keep me legal and in the
loop...

and, ah, Baby Ruth, now there's a constant in my life, but I'm finding them
harder to find in the candy aisle

is that the next indignity, Baby Ruths becoming another historic oddity,
confined to glass display cases in museums of the latest antiquities,
leaving me to learn all the particular rules
and wherefores and whereupons
 of Snickers or Mars Bars?

wouldn't surprise me...

but then as a not-as-fat-as-he-used-to-be man with almost 72 years upon this twirlybird
planet -

not much does...












Next, a poem by Cynthia J. Harper, from her book Snow in South Texas, published  in 1994 by  Pecan Grove Press of St Mary's University, San Antonio.

A resident of San Antonio, Harper, at the time of publication, was a librarian for the U.S. Court of Appeals and teacher of English and Creative Writing at Palo Alto College.








Shades of Purple

I made a list of all
the things that have
come to this house
since you left:
Kokopelei dancing
with his magic flute,
a horny toad
crawling up the
wall, a doll's
eyeball hanging
from a string in
the dining room,
a picture of my father
at sixteen, faced
brown as the frame.

In my room a tin heart
is pierced through
with an arrow, reflected
in a pool of blue water
that slides from my pillow.

Granny told me
long ago that when
I cried the color
would fade from my
eyes. I look at you
now with eyes as
pale as a hyacinth
left too long on
the window sill.










Trying to break the routine (with a new routine).










neener neener

trying to get back
into the daily crossword puzzle
habit, thinking it might be a way
to slow down my life
which seems to edge further
into frantic every day

I'm doing the daily puzzle
from our newspaper
which also carries the New York Times

(I shield my eyes
as I pass that page, figuring
the last thing I need as I start my day
is a "neener neener" from that master
of impossible puzzles, Will Shortz)

appears to be working
since I wrote this
instead of frantically trying
to chase down a real
poem

now,
if I could just think
of a twelve letter word
for "futility"
I could start the day on a positive
note...










Next, two poems by Thomas Crofts from his book Omnibus Horribilis, Poems 1987-2007,apparently self-published in 2007.

With a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Crofts  is a professor of Literature and Language at East Tennessee State University, specializing in medieval literature and classical studies.










Extremely Rococo Baroque Music

The great orgasmic style
the late florid tendril,
            waving a plum
just before it
collapses
under the weight of its own
ornaments.


Out of the Tiles

It's spring
and the earth is trying
with no inconsiderable difficulty
to maintain its delicate
sobriety.

Copernicus: De revolutinibus Orbium Coelestium (1593)
It was the death-blow
to Aristotelian physics and cosmology.
Galileo and Keppler: agree.
Analogously,
the keyboard innovations
of Johann Jacob Froberger (1616-1667),
     his Lamentations:
a fearful, wobbling music.

     And well it might be.

What is more proper to the mortified brain
whose age of reason is past
than the baroque?
The beauty of Lamentations lies
in the long and indeterminate rests.
These allow another music in.
And its constant starting up again.
From the previous cycle, of course,
having learned nothing

                                       Agree.

At any rate,
you cannot deny it is spring.











Here's another from early 2016.










the thing most worth thinking about

so
to begin, the scientists
who study the science of way-old
things have named the "Iceman" - the mummy
discovered in a melting glacier in the Alps,
as possessing the earliest known
tattoos...

dead for over 5,000 years and preserved
in the ice, it seems he was a hunter-warrior
suffering from many of the same physical ailments as me,
except that he died in his thirties while I'm still
hanging on in my seventies...

also, he has some obvious war wounds that I have
avoided and he also has tattoos
which
I have also avoided...

the tattoos, five on his lower legs and ankle and one
on his wist, all at bone joints and possibly
a very early attempt at relieving pain -
something like the practice of acupuncture invented
by the Chinese three thousand years after the Iceman
and two thousand years before our time -

this notice, leading, in the article I read, to an intense
discussion about the effectiveness of acupuncture
as a medical procedure, some declaring reports of
it effectiveness to be poppycock (this being a scholarly
article - such technical language is not unusual) and
others responding by declaring that anything
people do for five thousand years must be effective,
which does not strike me as a particularly effective
argument since the Iceman had war wounds
and five thousand years later we still have warriors
with war wounds and I don't see how that proves
the effectiveness of war as a prescription for health
and wealth...

but that's a whole other argument that I don't find
so interesting, nor do I find the whole
business of tattoos
pleasing

what is interesting is the wonder of finding
a five thousand-year-old corpse
sufficiently preserved
to allow for medical investigation

and the other thing, the big kabunna question,
the fact that the glacier that for five thousand years
preserved the body is melting...

it seems to me that the thing about the story
most worth thinking about....









Next, two poems from Pilgrim of the Clouds, an anthology of poems and essays from Ming Dynasty China. The book was published by White Pine Press in 2005.

The book primarily features the work of Yuan Hung-Tao and his brothers.

Born in 1568 and died 1610, Yuan, with his brothers spanned nearly the entire period of the Ming dynasty. The two poems featured here are by Yuan.

The poems were translated by Jonathan Chaves.







Watching the Boat Races at the Dragon Boat Festival, the Year Shen-chen (1604)

1.

The lake, newly swelled, is slippery as oil;
red banners a hundred feet long, flutter past the trees.
I have two or three pieces of old, coarse silk;
I tear then into strips to tie at the prow of my boat.

2.

From Pi-han Tower, the water fills the valley.
At Cho-tsu Pond, the sun sinks in the west.
On the bridge, below the bridge - people like ants;
I only hope Duke Meng Embankment does not collapse
             under the weight



Hsin-an River

The waves are bad,
              the head winds are terrible'
the foliage, all green - even the rocks are green.
From dark cliffs we hear
               the murmuring of ghosts,
wild fires wake dragons with their heat.
The trees are old - from Tang-dynasty stock;
the steles,, toppled over,
                 bear Sung-dynasty inscriptions.
Stepping ashore, we meet an old farmer
who claims that ape men inhabit these woods.

         (The poem is one of a group of ten.)












  An approximation of a memory.










drinking buddies

so
this being the story of my buddies
Butterfly McGool and Captain Rock Savage,
this being from the time
my three stages of corporal existence
were getting drunk, drunk, and
hung over...

I mostly knew the fellas
in the latter part of stage two
and early into stage three,
leaving my memory somewhat
hazy to say the least

but
I do remember that Capt. Rock
was a military man, or at least he always
wore a military hat,
cocked
back and to one side
like the flyboys back in the big one,
and  Butterfly, well, I'm pretty sure
Butterfly was a woman, wide-hipped,
full-breasted, with a pouty mouth
painted the brightest red, but not absolutely
positive, it being sometimes hard to tell
on that side of town...

always together
the two of them,
and I also remember neither one of them
ever bought a drink, always on my tab
and thinking back now
I'm not sure they were ever my friends
except I always seemed to run into them
'bout half way between drunk
and hung over,
when friends are easy...

haven't see either one of them even once
ever since I found the path to Jesus
& his step-brother Buddha and their prescription
for sober
living

ah, the good old days - remembering

makes my earwax itch
just thinking
'bout it.








These two poems are by Pat Mora, from her book Borders, published in 1986 by Artes Publico Press.

Born in 1942 in El Paso, Mora is a Latina author of poetry, non-fiction and children's books.







My Mask

Leave it by the bed.
I wear it everywhere.
It's just that your fingers
stroked so slowly, so warmly
I didn't even notice when
you eased it off. My face
must be pale, frightened.
Yours is.

Ill fling the mirror you hand me
against the wall.
No, I won't look
at a woman who hides nothing.


My Hands

comfort each other while you're gone.

Two widowed sisters, they hug
each other gently.

Sometimes they forget
and reach to rub your back.
They stop

embarrassed. They almost touched
the wrong man.

I worry
they might become hermits.











This is from mid-year, 2016.










thoughts arising from a discussion concerning gentrification

a discussion
on NPR concerning "gentrification"
reminds me of a truth
of life
we would all like to forget

no good thing is permanent

the strong and virile
days of youth;
the passion of sexual
release;
the moment of insight
when the answers
to all great questions
were apparent;
the neighborhood
with the neighbors you knew,
the little cafe on the corner where
coffee was a nickle and
a burger was a quarter
(30 cents with cheese);
the time when new meant better,
not just destruction of the old
and more humanly
designed,
replaced by
boxes for caging
people, like the cheap wire
we used to cage our
chickens...

there are many places I should have
gone to stay in my life,
gentle places
with gentle, interesting people
but it is too late now
for they have all become the place
I stayed instead, the universal place,
the "Soviet Realism" of architecture,
of neighborhoods,
of neighbors marching faithfully
in our own May Day
parades...

nothing good is permanent and neither
are the bad times, which
I suppose
is the good side or stasis,
every deviation, good or bad,
always returns to the monotony
of stasis, when the stars
in the night sky
stop
their circling, stop
the twinkle of their burning...

nothing either good or bad
is permanent,
just the redundancy
of muddied time
slowly
very slowing and
inexorable returning to where
it never left
again...









Next a poem is by Grace Paley from her book, Leaning Forward, published by Granite Press in 1985.

A short story writer, novelist, poet, teacher and activist, Paley was born in 1922 and died in 2007.







On the Subway Station

The child  is speaking to the father
he is looking into the father's eyes
father doesn't answer
child is speaking Vietnamese
father doesn't answer
child is speaking English
father doesn't answer
The father is staring at a mosaic in blue and green
and lavender       three small ships in harbor
set again and again in the white tiled
beautiful       old     unrenovated subway
station       Clark Street     Brooklyn











Dirty old man alert! Not my fault, was afraid to close my eyes lest I fall off the escalator.








breathless, ahhh...

young woman
at Barnes & Nobel,
age uncertain, but certainly
somewhere between
legal and twenty-five

(who can tell anymore?)

wearing
a long T-shirt
covering very short cut-off jeans,
very short short-shorts,
holy moses and shut my mouth short

that short...

I imagine the young woman
thought the T-shirt
provided
adequate coverage,
a little skin
but not enough to set off
the store's fire alarm,
and mostly it did, except
she must have forgotten
to think about going up an escalator
ahead of a 75-year-old man
two steps behind,
easily mesmerized by the
deliciously tanned cheeks near
directly in front of him,
shapely cinnamon buns flexing,
flexing flexing glory glory hallelujah
praise the lord and pass the ammunition
leaving the old man in the
condition
so well described by
the 50s era premier piano pounding
rocker, Jerry Lee...

"breathless, ahhh...










Here are two poems by Kathleen Fraser. The poems are from her book il cuore: the heart, Selected Poems 1970-1995, published in 1997 by Wesleyan University Press.

Fraser, born in Oklahoma in 1935, taught at San Francisco State University from 1972 to 1992, directing The Poetry Center and founding The American Poetry Archives. She is known as a disambiguation icon, which I didn't understand the meaning of until I read these poems.








Claim

Claim through and through,
breathe me now window.

Lift. Oh turn your back.
Turn will do

where no words fall
in the clearing we make.

What light still flickers our
of history glamorous?

Gibberish, self-pity
slams books to the floor

with curses. In several dresses
the dark weeds repeat

their occupancy. Enemy
season alerts these

skeletons. Listening mind,
mine. Rosy genitals

regret your hiding manifold,
the fine-creased boundaries,

long muscle,
my spoon, your face

between away
and a clearing. You were

this place made of nothing,
sniffing around. Four legs,

meadow animal, trees
called into hearing.


Losing people

Upon us white.
Open white and fall

and finally break
through late November

and strain where snow
did gather its weight

to childhood and the body.
Shifts accelerate

from a loud street,
tires where leaves rub

little at ourselves.
A day inside, gazing long

from the sea. We name it
blanket or dark.










On this day of lunar eclipse, an early morning moon poem from 2016.









like Salome

thin clouds
fast
moving
over a full, silver-bright moon

like Salome
with her seven
diaphanous
veils
dancing









Next, three short poems by Paul Hannigan, from his book, Laughing, published in 1970 by Houghton Mifflin. I was surprised to find the book (used) still available on Amazon.

In his bio accompanying the book, Hannigan says he was born in Massachusetts in 1936. Since then, he says, he has been a gas station attendant, a stockboy in a supermarket, a college student, an electrician's helper, a bookstore clerk, a research assistant, a technical writer and a poet. He says the likes the last best.






Laughing

A man so grand
He could define time

Fell down the stairs
And discovered pain.

A man so thin
He could skip in church

Fell out of a plane
But continued to fly.

A man so lame
He limped when he slept

Leapt so high on his crutches
That his legs danced in the sun.



As If It

Of the women I saw that year
One girl had the beauty
Of a plain girl in love.
Her plain face was the place
Where it was.

                       As if it
were a formality or a scar
She carried it down the street -
The burden of all our wisdom
Corrupting her otherwise
Wholesome life.


Even the Bombardier Has His Sense of Wonder

Surprising anything
So heavy could wobble
In the thin air -
but they do:

Bombs wobble
Through the thin air
as the grave earth
Sucks them slowly down

From our wonderful plane.
And then we fly home
In our wonderful plane.

Rockets never wobble; on
The way up we spin-stabilize them
Just a nature intended.












Feeling lost sometimes.








an old man sinks in a churning sea of youth

not an admirer
of old people, I tend
to hang out in places where mostly
young people abide

though I often find them both insufferable
and inscrutable in their illusions, there
is with them, at least, still some
passion burning...

I've noticed a change over the past
few years -

they can't be so easily pigeonholed
as when I was a kid and nerds
were nerds and jocks were jocks
and the dumbasses were dumb and the
hoods were hoodlums
and so on...

these days you just can't tell...

they all dress the same and they all
have the same tattoos and
they all have the same political
bumper stickers and they all have their
Apples or their notebooks or other tiny things
they look at, texting, always several
conversations at once, at least one of them digital

all incomprehensible to me - representing
a new kind of equality...

everyone equally incomprehensible





                       



                           
My last poem from my library this week is by G. E. Murray, taken from The Devins Award Poetry Anthology, published by the University of Missouri Press in 1998.

Born in 1945, Murray died in 2008. Author of eight books of poetry, he also served as poetry critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago while working as a communications consultant in the United States and extensively in Europe.







The Hungarian Night

From trees fall shavings of her darkest enthusiasm.
Her fact that rivets breezes, the chilling soil
Of our riverside walk, go warm to furnished anterooms

Of dear Budapest. We share a borrowed Cuban cigar,
Railway stories, a coin to rent two hours of heat.
Look at her green stockings hung almost unremembered.

Slipping from chairback to floor, like eels.
Night turns wet, and pronouncements of tea leaves
Govern her officious dealings with the planet.

Night is a worm in the heart, she says, an ancient worm
Eating granite. Soot drops from nowhere, the sky.
There's a battle scene we recognize carved on the bedboard.

Above attics in the musty capital, smokestacks huddle
Like brown monkeys. Someone dies crying in this place.
Someone opens to blood storm and heresy. Sirens

Mired in an alley say it's so. Downstairs a cafe stinks
Of cabbage and pepper soup, stays lit by lavender neon.
We can believe the faded meanings of tapestry
And that moment of pilgrimage now, the skull bone
Buzzing empty, without ambition or reluctance.
Next door a man wheezes and sputters, healing from
Dreams of absinthe, white suits, and slow ceiling fans.








                                   



A normal morning's observations (2016)










kicking the  can

the loud woman
is here,
wheeling and dealing
"know what I mean"
ending
every sentence

~~~

thought
I'd write a short poem
about the brightness of the sun
but lost it in the glare

brilliance
non-transferable

~~~

cars
on Broadway
speed
past

I wave poems at them
but no one notices

too busy
for stray street corner
poets
to proud to hoist
a cardboard
sign

~~~

the light is red...

everyone stops

the light is green...
everyone goes

the sign-slinger
dances
in the intersection

as there is no time for poets
no time either for terpsichorean
enticements

~~~

close enough
being
sufficient for these latter days
endeavors
and
being exceedingly
proud
of myself for coming close enough
in the spelling
of terpischorean
for "spellcheck" to correct it,
I rest on my laurels
for the day

~~~

like kicking a can
down the road, not important
where you kick it,
just the kicking of it
plenty good
enough








                                       
Though I've spent the past 8 months trying to think about the political craphole we're in, it's hard.

This is from the end of last year, post election, before the actual effects began to take hold.

A shout out here to Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs and teller of truths unwelcomed by some.






what are we to tell our children now?

the screech of the grackles
last night, as they began their nesting
and the mess of the droppings the leave behind,
coating the patio bricks and furniture
reminding me, despite my best efforts
to set it aside, our presidential election

the incessant pounding screech of fools
and the shit poured onto us from above,
how could I think of anything else?

Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs,
in a lengthy comment before last night's game,
spoke of his concern that the election showed
us to be Rome at the start of its decline

decline not because of wars lost, but
because of the loss of public morality
and basic human decency and compassion,
one citizen to another...

a candidate makes clear his low
character by his own words and deeds,
and the people hear it and see it
and shrug their shoulders and accept it
and vote for him anyway...

voting for him despite what he made clear
about his own immorality and indecency...

this recent thing we suffered, not an election, but
and indictment

~~~~~

what are we to tell our children now?

Pop's question, and mine
as well








                                   



Bringing an close to the week.









like that thin questing moon

early morning,
a cool breezy morning,
a fresh start certain to lose again
to another hot day, still as the moment
before my father's last breath...

above
a razor-thin sickle moon tries to make its mark
behind the dark, clouded sky,
and for moments here and moments there,
succeeds
as windblown clouds scud across the sky

`````

and
on another plane,
I receive notice of planning for my 55th
high school class reunion...

how like that little moon was I, trying
to make my mark, trying to become something
I wasn't, trying to be a nova, with the nova-flash
of bright and necessary, not just the pale reflection
of a tiny sliver of a far-hidden moon,
orbiting
on a path forever ordained and
unbreakable...

as with all the previous gatherings
I will be elsewhere

though I do hope
someone takes pictures










As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me



Also as usual, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and a not so diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:


Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony accusatory, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad

 I welcome your comments below on this issue and the poetry and photography featured in it.

  Just click the "Comment" tab below.






Poetry

New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces 






Always to the Light




Goes Around Comes Around




Pushing Clouds Against the Wind




And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio


Seven Beats a Second






Fiction


Sonyador - The Dreamer





                                                            


  Peace in Our Time



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