Adios, amigas y amigos!

Shifting sands have brought to me
Familiar hands, familiar eyes,
Souls I never thought I’d see
Held fast and blind with roots and ties.
Taken away have been the fragile ones
Their thin facade not meant to last,
Tears a mirror for cold grey stone
Their faces flat and polished like glass.
I kick the pale sand with a weary foot
It sprays up high into the atmosphere,
And returns to me as black as soot
Grist for my meal of hope and fear.
Goodbye, I cry, and fare thee well,
Adios, amigas y amigos!
So long, until we meet again and when
the wheel stops, well nobody knows.
I cannot lay a tribute at your feet
that could measure your worth to my heart,
Merry we part and merry we meet
I treasure both crack and the eggshell start.

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Mug Shots

Echo, her whisper forever a tale to be told, gave to him her heart

but Narcissus was not to be content. Yet another saw his heart

beholden to the careless countenance of the world’s most beautiful man,

and poor Ameinias, fool that he was, fell upon the gift

of a sword. Bright as the sweetest smile, varied as the most fickle heart.

And so ended a love that could never be. Ameineas, as foolish as we…

Today we build, flash upon flash, with footsteps upon a carpet red

meant only for the glitterati, those every day

Adonis born of myrrh, and Narcissus so enamored

with his own reflection and beauty so exquisite to nurture

Echoes enough to occupy the stars. We applaud when they stumble

and rejoice when they are submerged as deep

in the muck we manufacture to make opaque

the natural light of their fragile star. Could not we see them

as worthy of mercy as our own flightless arrows,

our own oft-missed marks? Twinkle twinkle Little Star

no one knows how deep the mar,  and with envy as odoriferous

as sulfur, we calculate how thick the tar.

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Louisiana (The Fen)

Tail feathers spin, a whirling dervish aerial dance

the Coopers Hawk has ten eleven more

he won’t miss it. It is the wing he needs the most.

Moss, a carpet made for padded feet and the tender cheeks

of children, rhizoids anchored to the undersides of Bald Cypress

and Southern Magnolia, with their flowers white and impressively large,

a nod to the Goddess the world over. More moss, tangled in shadow,

in North facing crevices of stone. The fen is alive

with mating dragonflies, their eyes cut stones, faceted but unaware of a plane

for dew drops precariously perched on folded wings, not long for falling.

As the rain comes down and streams pour into the body of the Gulf, boats set sail

for the teeming nets, and calloused hands hold the line. One

with the Life, One with purpose, the Coast and the bogs and the heartbeats

keep time.

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With our feet firmly planted and our pupils pinned to the sky
we dream. Bones still growing, teeth departing with a yank
and pants that fit us just yesterday, we shout out
to a world that would prefer we remain silent: I am
here, I am the mirror of you many years ago while your spirit faded
into responsibility and speculation. I know now
and you did then. As young and eager souls we flew
our hearts, and our minds were soaring. Children own
the days the grown ones surrendered. Newborns
with their memories beyond the veil, and the mission
of today like a sign post when whimsy seeks
to lead them so very far astray. Born into a world
not of their making; born into a world they will mold
pliable as clay, light as a feather on a breeze of their choosing.

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Do not write what I have sung, rather write
what I have seen. For that you will need my eyes.
Take these words, may they serve you well. May they be
the eager vowels and bold consonants that show
such complete disregard for the fine blue lines that guide
your hand as you write your own name upon the cobblestones
and the delicate roots of your tree. These words?
Life. Alive. Live. They are the puzzle that make one
word for all your eternities.

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One Note

Keeping time with your breathing
as our bones shake and our eyes close. Your wings
your heart strings your flight
and the way we hold fast to each other. The ivory keys
were once tusks, mammoth and only a memory
and the ebony? The space we filled
before we knew the beating of our hearts
and the way our hands fit together
so perfectly.

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For the Record

For the Record.

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Children on the Playground of the World

I look at the events of the world today, and throughout all of human history, and I can’t help but think that we are like children on the playground of the world. Some of us are bullies, some are the bullied. Some play nice and know how to share, and some inflict pain while the bystanders look out only for their themselves. We’ve seen it countless times, played out in innumerable situations; sometimes we nod knowingly and other times we shake our heads. I’ve been around long enough to be sure of certain things, and this is one of them: the Rich and the Powerful look out for themselves first and foremost. If you think they care about the rest of us then you are sadly mistaken.

There’s been a lot of talk in some circles here in the USA about how we can protect our borders, how we can protect our citizens and our institutions. It’s all nonsense. We can’t protect against harmful intentions anymore than we can come together as a nation and put aside our petty differences. The fact is, I believe, that the more discontent and conflict there is between artificially divided groups of people the easier it is for the powerful to commit their crimes against us. The fact that humans are so easily manipulated because they can’t think for themselves has been a major contributor to the success of humanity’s petty tyrants, emperors and fascists. I hate fascists, don’t you? They are typically such narrow minded, self-centered little ego maniacs, convinced of their own importance and the insignificance of the rest of the world.

We recently came up on the one year anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon and a fellow blogger posted something very thought provoking around the subjects of terrorism and “protection”. It was his post (toritto) that sparked this stream of consciousness below. It is my tirade for a Saturday morning and it was completely cathartic, I assure you.

I really want to talk about power today. From my perspective, any discussion on power has to shoot like an arrow to the heart of the matter, and that space is occupied by the Plutocrats. First let me say that I don’t believe they care at all about petty terrorists (Boston) or organized cells of terrorists (Twin Towers) or blown up American citizens anywhere. In fact, it helps them tremendously to have these acts of terror shake us up and convince us we need to let them do what they need to do to “protect” us. Fear based strategies are very effective.

They care even less about the human beings killed globally by our “foreign policies”; policies which should, in fact, be called what they really are: government sanctioned strategies implemented by multinational mega-corporations to control the world’s most prized resources. (Arab Spring-ing up so suddenly? Perhaps they had CIA help in fanning those early flames at a time when the winds were perfectly high. Destabilize the entire area and make way for American corporations once the dust settles? Sort of like what we had hoped for with Afghanistan back in the 80′s, except it didn’t quite work out that way?)

Today the United States so closely resembles Russia in terms of our posture and tactics that together we make China look like benign Capitalists. While China wins over the hearts of African nations by building roads and schools, they also gobble up those vast resources… Resources that America and Russia will want to get their hands on soon enough. Meanwhile, Russia plots how to quietly conquer Ukraine and secure the port of Odessa. The rest of the world, apparently, is too preoccupied with wringing their hands, and mesmerized by Vlad (Mr. Universe) Putin’s flexing muscles.

America? We quibble over how to put more of the middle class into the poorhouse, and more of the poor into early graves. We maintain our ridiculous Cold War with the fading image of Castro’s Cuba, hoping to reinforce the belief that we are still anti-Communist for propaganda’s sake; meanwhile Europe establishes economic ties that will ensure that Cuba continues to boycott America. And while we’re allowing guns to flow freely into Mexico, American Corporations are setting up shop south of the border, with low labor costs and free reign to pollute the environment.

Here’s the thing about our fearless leaders, our Congressional Representatives, our Executive branch: they are smarter than we are. They know that if you stir people up with fears that Mexicans are flooding over our borders and grabbing up jobs that Americans need and want (like picking tomatoes under the hot sun, or scrubbing toilets, or washing dirty dishes in roach-infested kitchens, or slaughtering pigs) then THEY are free to do what they want. They know that if they let the urban gangs run rampant and kill each other off then the disenfranchised won’t come together anytime soon and start another Black Power movement or another massive Worker’s Rights movement or demand jobs that pay a living wage. They know that if Americans are fearful of Muslims (extremist, fanatical or otherwise) then we won’t think to be fearful of what THEY are doing to us.

And this massive, utterly ridiculous swing to the right? It is a race to the bottom. Who will be the next moderate Republican to hold their nose and swim deeper into the cesspool of I, ME, MINE? Truth: The Plutocrats would like to make us all out to be bottom feeders, and proclaim themselves to be the engine that drives this massive Capitalistic machine. An engine needs gears and pulleys, nuts and bolts, conduits and housing, and a purpose, my friends. You and I are the moving parts that are so replaceable. The Capitalist system, as we know it today provides the housing of the machine. The conduit, of course is power and influence. And the purpose? Well, it isn’t to make the moving parts rich.

I single out America because I live here and I witness every day the shifting terrain and the hairpin turns. My criticism is not limited to our national boundaries, however. I see the same twisted logic being employed globally. Austerity measures being shoved down the throats of nations across the face of the planet. Do you think the rich are suffering under these austerity measures that are imposed with such conviction and without compromise?

Back to America’s role in the world… We are not the world’s cop or rescuer- we only step in when: A) It benefits us economically or strategically, or B) the outcry is so deafening that it can’t be ignored (Bosnia/Herzegovina). What about WWII, you might ask? Look how long it took us to get involved. So many countries crushed, so many millions slaughtered, and yet after the war we brought German scientists over here to work for us. Under Truman’s Operation Paperclip we wanted their expertise…

Think what you will about the aid we send to so many nations, but in my mind it cannot make up for the atrocities committed, the puppet dictators we’ve installed and propped up, or the people we have slaughtered. In that context, humanitarian/financial/military aid is about as sincere as the flowers an abuser sends after the beating has occurred. We are the bullies that make deals in dark alleys with an assortment of ruffians and hoodlums, then roam the streets brandishing clubs we call persuasion. Shameful that such a great nation has its priorities so screwed up. Shameful that we operate inhumanely and illegally without consequence or conscience. Shameful that the world community is not a community, and that we still haven’t learned to look out for each other simply because it is the right thing to do.

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Francis (The Woman Who Bucked the Bronco)

No one will remember her and that is why I speak her name.
Francis Farmer. Hollywood saw a Hit dragged from the cranium
of one of their own, and so invented a fairy tale
so that seats would be filled, money (crisp green money)
would be made. And so it was. Francis Without The Fable
lived as if the world was her battlefield, and mostly she lost.
The world had seen her on the silver screen and picked out
her profile on the glamorous stages of Broadway. The white coats
saw her on gurneys, their needles at the ready. This was the original
shock and awe. This was insulin. Shock Therapy. This was warrants
for half-paid fines, and jail terms because inkwells were thrown
at the heads of Judges. Why
should one human being
be the Judge of another?
How is it that punishments
are meted out with such confidence, certainty
and firmly furrowed brows? Here’s your dole, you brazen broad,
here’s your just deserts.
Every tyrant needs a scarecrow. Francis, you were the unruly warning
for the world, with the post up your ass and the sign
on your forehead. Don’t overstep your lace designated lane. Don’t
go to Russia because you want to. Don’t drink, don’t drive, don’t strategise
don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t

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Each town wears the faces he knows so well. They come to him, puffy
and pink with eagerness, their hands like platters of gold. They come, too,
sharp and shadowed with greed, and the wares they seek are stark
as splinters. He presents them only in black and white. Sometimes
the faces are gaunt and starch white with abandon
or surrender. Their fingers are too fragile to hold the prize
and for them he pulls down a cloud from the sky
with silver lining in all the right places, and whispers of wings
upon which they are delivered to the feeble.
He reads each one as easily as well fingered pages, their corners
dog-eared like ancient puppies, their margins embellished
with lead scribbles denoting self importance and superiority,
their covers flamboyantly dedicated to those long dead church-going
soup-making, lace-wearing, cane-wielding
pioneers of Life. He laughs, of course. What else is there for a peddler
to do? The silver has dripped from his moist lips, the shine
has dazzled their eyes and mesmerized. All there is left to do
is get them to sign. To sign on a very dotted line.

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