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The Same Old Colossus

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   You sang your song of liberty

from a torch that dared

straddle the countries of

hubris and humility.

You giant woman

for the new  world

with your torch in one hand

a scroll in the other 

as if you deserve to hold the love that

 ignites harmony in posterity.

    Better to have left your hands empty

lyrics to be interpreted by

ignorant polemics believing

they have captured lightening

in the harbors of darkness.

No sea-washed sunsets to replace

the blood-dimmed tide of bigotry.

Your welcome is tainted,

You,  mighty woman,

have been sterilized in dead salutations.

    The poor remain tattered and wanting

in your air-bridged harbors

for the pomp you claimed to eschew.

Too silent this colossus

as the poor  wretched huddled masses breathe

filthy air of need as they shuttle

from job to job that further

sucks the marrow from bone-hard dreams.

   And you say she looks at the refuse

expressionless lips whispering

asking forgiveness

for the lamp that no longer

lights the golden door?

 

As well she should.

To My Journalism Students: On the Subject of Truth

  Revamped repost

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She walked along the moon-lit shore

And said her name was Truth

She fell from lips of every bore

Uncomfortable in hearts uncouth

 

Her mistake was simply looking back

To gather facts from the root

But

Gaining hard from tail of the pack

Greed fought to neutralize truth

 

Dressed in cloth so tailored and fine

He put his minions just so

Greed flashed his smile oh quite divine

Promising power and gold

 

Pledging power from uncommon seed 

Promises to evil flows

Liquid influence; oh sweet mead

The returns unchecked – grows

 

Did greed succeed – making Truth moot?

I for one won’t abide

His forcible rend by nail and tooth

Believing Truth is forced to hide

 

I believe she’s on some inland street

Barren of youth and sound

Where life is sold to make ends meet

Truth, not easily found

 

Not in the burbs? Maybe in town

Hiding in campaign lore

Alley dirty, slogans all ‘round

By what was a General Store

 

I see her

 

Dress in tatters, no sun-lit shore

Can Truth hold strength to greed?

Slipped the lips of too many bores

Liberty, country called as creed

 

 

“*How strange is the lot of … mortals”

Each life, a single sojourn

Dragging Truth through hideous portals

Awaiting their gold – in return

 

Where’s the country to shelter Truth?

To wait Her patient assay

Who sees Her rape as vile, uncouth?

Beautiful mouths; adorned decay

 

Oh for the day when Truth will rein…

But truth’s always been a tool

To tease and dig the lie’s huge skein

Speaking power to those in rule

 

Truth will remain abused and lost

If we fail to sow her seed

Grab our shovels and dirt be tossed

Upon the grave of greed

FULL MOON IN CANCER

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My upper deck yields the timeless, touchable orb

Back home and sleepy

I see nothing of my worries on its face

My misery must be bending somewhere

Kneeling, in the black gaps provided by the arbor vitae trees,

in full supplication before this sweet full vanilla moon

I can hear life, at the sound of my screen door closing,

A darting, scattering to

A lightless safety

Hiding the heads of bunnies bumping together

In consternation caused by

The impenetrable garden fence

Bunnies don’t understand the science of immutability

With a lexicon fueled by the tender leaves of lettuce

They barter their bodies for change

Leaving me in brief study of Lorca

Living life in quiet desire, burning

With its greatest punishment

A body in service to fear

Selling remnants of material existence, but

Unlike the garden-bunnies, hiding in

Shadows of shame in incompleteness –

Smiling from the arms of flesh

GET A NEW WORLD

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Get a new World

throw the old one out

whatever is is not

one can drink the doubt

 

Etherized village

housing the bomb

spasms of brilliance

an end to aplomb

 

Playing in the fields

of gods abstract

nothing more deceptive

than obvious fact

 

Slouching to birth

a World’s small event

butterflies’ wings

create human rent

 

It is easy

with water & babe

throw out the bath

than new self be made

 

Cool ourselves in heat

of possibility

easy a new World

than heart’s humility

 

AROUND THE HOUSE IN A BAD MOOD

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I awake from unremembered dreams troubled yet

I’ve slept well

In spite of worldwide poverty,

Death and destruction – a chronicle of

Certain doom for the open sores; souls

Vulnerable to the underside of

All nature human

I sit on the shores of a lake

Comfortable yet homeless

Knowledgeable of the past yet

Ignorant of the future

I am bereft of the lessons that

Turn experience into wisdom

Today in a time when deeds and

Action can be parsed to the nanosecond

I’ve missed the exit

Remaining on this mobius

Loop of a life – guilty

Dining with Bacchus and

Fiddling with Nero

A DRINK FROM THE WELL OF SORROWS

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I’ve just walked a half mile down the lake, to the landing in front of the local restaurant and pub. A place that, on warm summer Saturdays, runs loud with music and laughter. But not today. Today the landing boasts a County Sheriff’s  command center in what began three days ago as a search and rescue for a 22 year old Cornell senior who, sadly it appears, will  miss his graduation tomorrow. I talked with the sheriff for a long time and we ended  our conversation by trading parenting stories; examples of how the Grace of God can spread wide and diverse even as this current situation changes from rescue to recovery.  I retrace my steps home, slower, searching, and hoping young Christopher will be found snagged unseen under some lone dock, hugging the shore – alive.

I think of Christopher’s parents and just how two people bear up under such sorrow; the greatest parental nightmare. It must feel as if one has fallen into a nightmare well – slowly descending clawing at the slick and slippery sides of hope. How can hope be so strong in the hearts of loved ones and still end in loss? I have no answers just questions and abstract visions of grace hiding in the shadows of an absent mercy.

Maybe we are here, a collective, alone expected to reach in the bottomless well of sorrows – all of us to take a pinch – just enough to be absorbed by our  own personal grace – sorrow’s counterpart. If we all share in this well of sorrows then no one has to bear life’s blows to the empire alone. Oh that this could happen. But we are a singularly proud and vain lot ever-willing to sink our faith in the material realm and be aghast when it fails us. And when the material world fails  we are unappreciative of the fact that “all” we are left with is – hope. It floats, has feathers, wings, and wells of its own. Hope abides in the hearts of Christopher’s friends who will miss their own graduations in hopes of finding him. Hope abides in the hearts of the rescue boats crisscrossing the lake as I stand on the shore crossing my fingers. Hope abides in  the hearts all the local volunteers who have reached into that dark well and pinched a bit of sorrow – pulling nature’s scripture from the dry caves of preservation and hoping against hope.

THE BOOK OF TRUTHS PAST

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Oh that there were a book

With no question to its accuracy

Where one could only look

And see mistakes of history

Learning would be inherent

No shadow of greed to fall

Across the heart the parent

Not young enough to know it all

The book would stand tall behind

The door of every man

A shotgun of knowledge kind

And aimed with a steady hand

The book would flow torrential

Facts and historical drama

No skimming of great potential

Or dreams of instant karma

Book: A dramatic monologue

Proving Adler’s aggressions

Book: The human travelogue

Of our material obsessions

A book impossible to read

Through rose tinted lens

Reality’s ugliest seed

Blooms real and honest gems

This  bible of truths past

Will center all ceremony

And anchor our future fast

Outruling hate and acrimony

Twist the question marks of life

To laws inherent day-to-day

Book of past truths will be rife

With lessons to show the way

A  dictionary to live and sleep

Between the sheets of truth

With rent my room and board my keep

And honesty for my roof

Who will the first page start

Tempting suspicion of cynics

Dare a brave message from the heart

And peacefully slay the mimics

TERRIBLE GOODNESS

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We legislate our terrible goodness

As if nature didn’t exist

As if she will not open her great maw of

Poetic justice and suck in her

Poisoned air

   As if she will forever

Keep mighty trees propping up

The stars that have died eons ago

  As if she will forever allow

Freedom to be

The barometer of a civilization

   We have failed in our charge

Blind to the vision of bleached and

Scattered bones of an

Earth free to be

Legislated to death

    The bomb in the baby carriage

Tells us

We should all be enslaved

By limitation

    There should be no freedom

To be evil

To the earth  – or

To each other