July 14. Bastille Day

There was another shooting in Paris as they celebrated their “independence day.” There is no end to the carnage.
Here in the USA we are suffering under a different kind of oppression. It’s called a presidential campaign. Since politics is on most of our minds (because it is impossible to escape), I shall share a poem today that tries to express my feelings about the horror that was born and still lives in the Land of Enchantment.
I went up into the mountains just east of my city a year or so ago and looked down upon a huge military facility which is the site of the first atonic bomb test. And this is what I thought:


I am sitting under a bowl of perfect blue sky
on a hillside east of the Organs.
I see a line of distant hills and a green plain,
a vista that stretches for miles, and, over all,
a blanket of blowing dust.

There is a white ribbon near the horizon,
which I know to be a mystery of shifting sands.

A cooling breeze blows over me,
trying in vain to blow away
my thoughts of what is really below.
for it is a valley of death,
a place accepted because its jobs bless the economy
while it curses mankind with weapons.

There must always be new weapons,
new ways to kill,
new ways to be top dog,
to rule the world,
to smother love and mercy.

And so the dusty mist tries to conceal reality
just as clouds of unconcern blur our minds

and the wind blows on,
moving the sands tiny grain by tiny grain,
toward oblivion.

Poets are told that they must revise, revise, revise ! Sometimes I find it difficult to do that. Words seem to flow and tho’ I try to revise, many times it just doesn’t work. Just today I wrote a poem that I shall share here, altho’ it has not been “revised”. At least, not yet.


…about growing older—
appearances are made that
were not there just yesterday—
new pains, new stiffness in the joints,
and new pills to take,

pills multiplying rapidly, mysteriously,
prescribed by doctors who weren’t
there before either. They come
out of the shadows, gravely announcing
your fate as though they were wise.

Avoid them, my child! Their tribe and
their wealth increases as mine declines.
Seek out good health, pursue it as
a pearl of great price; sacrifice all
to obtain it.


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