Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Winter is Coming

Sleety rain decorates the windshield
Leaving drops of glistening tears

I park with the others
Cars turned inward
Wiper blades folded down

Our cars look like optimists
In an unforgiving season

It's surely just habit
We should put that car cover on
Before the serious snow

Be well prepared, fellow drivers,
For the ordeal ahead

We could be polar bears with dwindling ice
Or Native people doused with water cannon
My little fears dwindle

My advice, stay warm,
Stay alert
And keep your phone handy

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Suffering Human

The story/lap people
look up from their crosswords
and smile with that sadness called wisdom …
And young girls look anxious
and pace and smoke Camels
and wonder when someone will kiss them …
Their mothers are weary
of paper-doll lovers
like Kennedy, Browning, and Ibsen …
While the angry young men
crack their knuckles and frown
and write black power slogans in prison …
As the men who wear watches
tick off the crash/crises
their words fade to ashes and glisten …
All the clich├ęs turn sour
and dry-mouthed, we holler
that words can’t describe our condition …
While the trees tell the seasons
I am here watching silent
and suffering/human, I listen …

I wrote this 47 years ago ..
August 14, 1969
(photo taken May, 1971)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Sad Clown

What if it was all an experiment?

What if researchers wanted to find out if they could prop up a leader so odious, so crass and full of lies, so downright disgusting, that every time he opened his mouth, people were compelled to listen?

What if they only wanted to find out how easily people could become addicted to the entertainment of watching someone fall on his ass day after day, not because he tripped on something, but because he forgot he had feet?

What if people became so addicted to his outrages that their only pleasure was watching pundits eviscerate him?  The more lampoons and clever reposts the better.

What happens when he leaves the scene?  Do people then have to pillage somebody else because they’ve gotten so used to it?  Will they be in withdrawal from a horribly addictive behavior they can’t stop doing?  Will it be possible to remember how to treat each other with civility?

Or maybe we’ll keep trolling for his miserable outbursts even after he loses.  Maybe he’ll never really leave the scene, but will continue to provide the scandals we’ve all become accustomed to, until he repeats himself too much and ceases to be entertaining.

Careful, people.  Are we in danger of losing our humanity?  Are we like survivors on a sinking iceberg who resort to cannibalism?  Okay, that’s harsh.  But seriously.  We need to hold onto that central core of kindness and rational thinking and wisdom and equanimity – all those noble qualities that allow us to sleep through the night.

And until then, okay, let’s keep watching the show, but remember, we may be under a microscope. 

I imagine the day the clown takes off his mask, and he looks around and says, “Was I good?  Was I good?”

"Je Suis Perdu" - Artwork by Miles Ballew