Sunday, October 15, 2017

Commercial Break

The spiderweb shimmers
against the mist that hides the honking geese,
silverclear pearls along each strong and tattered strand.

Still there, its builder three weeks dead;
still fixed at points precisely calculated in a head
no larger than a grain of sand; still standing,
though untended and in disrepair—
this house built on the rock of evolution's certainty
(the universe, a grand design, connects us all).

Three weeks ago the wind and rain
went pounding through our town,
a shadow of what befell our other selves:
their lives torn apart,
their deaths ignored,
their fate our future.

Sunshine breaks through the fog,
the dewdrops shatter into flame, and I

          $5 buys you
          15 transit miles today—
          get your Hop card now!

reach up and rip the ugly shreds apart,
wipe the dirty water from my hands,
and walk away.

- "Commercial Break" October 14, 2017, 8:20am at the Milwaukie Main Streeet MAX platform
waiting for the northbound train (dedicado a mis conciudadanos en Puerto Rico)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What Do The Geese Say?

fields fallow fallen food forage feed
fed full fluff feathers
wings wide, wind-whipped
whisper whistling into roar
we soar we see we say WE FLY
GOOD-BYE / good-bye / bye-bye / -bye / by
the time that we return
the world will change
the things we do
will change the world

o brave new souls
who come into this day
we fly away


I've lost my way

where are you?

- "What Do The Geese Say?" October 12, 2017, 8:10am orange line northbound

Monday, March 20, 2017

Injust Spring

in this
spring when the sky is mud-
colored the raindrops
mute the shrill of

dogwhistles far and wide

where Patsy and Dick go
running to cheer for acts of
piracy perpetrated on their unwitting selves
by one who has lost his marbles
and this spring

when the world is muddled and awful

the queer
are hiding in the middle of the crowds
of women who have gathered to protect them
their children dancing

and hopping and hoping but

this spring
a club-horned goat foots it
across the hushed and verdant plains
between sea and lake
bleating terse epistles


"Injust Spring," March 20, 2017

Thanks to the Nasjonalgalleriet in Oslo for my 2012 photo of "Spring Flood" by Gustav Adolf Fjaestad (Sweden, 1909). Apologies to e.e. cummings for my 2017 poem.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

These Be Thy Gods

They worship a god that they created
Choosing their holy words with care
Stitched together from scraps of scripture
The form of Christianity, but not the function
The message lost beneath the messaging

When he is dead his hands
Will grow ten thousand bones
A golden reliquary in each town square
Where workers kneel beneath the choking sky
And mumble half-forgotten prayers

blessed are the rich
misery me
hollow be thy name

If only they had waited a little longer
To hear the wisdom they had walked so far to find
Impatient for the promised land
They cast their gold into the fire instead
And called for wine, and danced, and sang

Now we will never know what might have been
A paradise found and lost again
In Armageddon

"These Be Thy Gods," February 19, 2017

"I go [to church] as much as I can, always on Christmas, always on Easter, always when there's a major occasion, and during the - during the Sundays, I'm a Sunday church person."
"When we go in church, and when I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that's a form of asking for forgiveness."
"And I, I asked Jerry [Falwell Jr.] and I asked some of the folks because I hear this is a major theme right here, but Two Corinthians, right? Two Corinthians 3:17, that's the whole ball game!"

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm ... [T]hey that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- 1 Timothy 1:5-7, 6:9-10

image source: Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Signs Of The Times

I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim. “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” - Susan B. Anthony, in Federal Court being tried for voting (June 18, 1873)

Resistance is feasible even for those who are not heroes by nature, and it is an obligation, I believe, for those who fear the consequences and detest the reality of the attempt to impose American hegemony. - Noam Chomsky, In American Power and the New Mandarins (1969)

Resistance to tyranny is man’s highest ideal. - Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, 3rd rev. ed., ch. 3 (1917)

You may either win your peace or buy it: win it, by resistance to evil; buy it, by compromise with evil. - John Ruskin, The Two Paths, lecture 5 (1859)

The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it. - Woodrow Wilson, Address to the New York Press Club, New York City (September 9, 1912) 01/29/2017

Women's March, 21 January 2017, Portland, Oregon