You are herePoetry
It was late,
In the middle of the second half of the night.
We were asleep.
The pipe ends at Standing Rock.
That is also where
We Dream the end to oil.
I’m standing firm and
you’re a rock.
The plinth is fracturing.
Your filter isn’t filtering
but at least it caught this poem.
My tongue is angry!
I have a snake in my shoe.
I’m in a funk:
Why aren’t we rising up
Like a thunderhead
Like a new brain in a petri dish?
A heart-shaped leaf
is waving in the breeze.
A lavender-tinted cow
stands behind me.
She is my ally.
A bird caught in a spider’s web
who I free just in the nick of time
is announcing an event
to a girls’ soccer team.
And they are listening.
I’m re-schooling myself.
My teachers were all afraid of me.
They were afraid of their own subjects.
The tests were all slanted toward
Submission and prostitution.
Monsanto is walking
With his best friend-with-benefits, the EPA:
So why are you dragging your heels
Signing off on glyphosate?
How can you know when you run? (inspired by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: ‘How can you run when you know?)
What are we running from?
Where are we going?
My feet hurt, but I don’t have time to rub them
But it’s not just the world that has lost peace.
I lost my peace.
I’m looking at a box of tissues.
It is my supermarket’s brand.
The photo on it is very beautiful and understated.
It shows a swan gliding from the left.
There is an elephant lying
flat out on the ground,
His life is giving rides.
breaking the little bones of earth
(bones of coral, bones of red wolf,
bones of bat and bee,
If the 5% disappeared
And the 95% became the 100%
There would be a tomorrow.
We could buy maybe another hundred years
We were at Shelby’s at the bar and Jeff,
Who was watching Fox News,
Slams down his empty bottle
I’m so sick of hearing about damn red herrings
We were having a bad day in the asylum,
A bad 8 years, a bad sixteen years,
Oh, heck, a bad era,
Well, let’s face it, a bad history.
But we had a good leader for a change,
Wow. I had a dream that went on all night.
There was a pink bear sighting in Alaska.
Then there were pink bear sightings
In South Dakota and Colorado,
All thought to be hoaxes but then
The New York Times published a photo, front page;
It looked real enough.
The article interviewed a hiker
Who reported talking to the Pink Bear.
He said it was standing up.
When asked what the bear said
The hiker said he couldn’t repeat it;
The bear was talking trash.
The hiker said the bear was heading for Washington.
What happened next is hard to believe.
(I mean in my dream it was hard to believe.)
There were signs that great changes are coming:
Mount Shasta was waking up, sending out a plume of ash.
Native Americans warning, This is it.
Gun tales of a pacifist
My brother and I learned to shoot
At summer camp.
That is where gunpowder
The Big Dipper is part of Ursa Major,
The Great Bear constellation
That presides over the Arctic.
Ursa shows the way to the North Star
My special gun cannot sleep.
My gun is black steel and cold as a stone.
My gun talks to itself in the wee hours.
It has a soul.
It is lonely.
It dreams about hitting the bull’s eye,
Mouse (who never had an evil thought)
Asked penguin (who never raped or pillaged),
Have you seen caterpillar
(that one who never held anyone at gunpoint)?
How short or long is a life lived --
In minutes, hours, days?
And in the ways we move with it --
How can it not amaze!
Do you hear them?
Around the block,
Just around the glass and marble corner.
Smell the smoke
Let us bomb your neighborhood
Guided by our intelligence.
Let us erase your neighbor
Out of love.
Pray for the day
When the gun-god turns to salt
And melts away.
Grieve our helplessness
To change what we believe in.
I had a gun once
With a silver bullet,
A gold bullet,
A diamond bullet.
I loved my gun so much,
I loved the bullets.
I shot the silver bullet into a cloud
And it rained.
I shot the gold bullet into a dream
And it landed on my pillow.
I shot the diamond bullet at a star.
It circled the earth
And it came down
And told me stories.
But I wanted more from my gun and bullets.
I had one more bullet
That was made of clay.
I shot that bullet into the ocean.
It didn’t change a thing.
I threw away my gun.
I turned to the land of my home
And I walked
Toward the far horizon,
Grieving and praying.
Let’s have a moment’s
Silence for Cecil (Ses’-al),
But not yet.
During that silence
Let us think about why
I watched a man whipping an apple tree.
I held the door open to him.
I knew that when he got tired
he would turn around and see me
holding the door for him.
And maybe he would come inside and we could talk.
I could see that many of the trees in his orchard
bore the scars of the whippings
they had received over the years.
Some of the older trees were bent over and knotted
as if riddled with pain.
Finally he turned around.
Who are you? he asked.
I am your door-man, I said.
I never saw you before, or that door.
Has that ever helped, I asked?
Whipping your trees?
It helps quiet my demons, said he.
And then I saw that the grass was crawling
with a nasty host of creeping and flying
and buzzing creatures of hideous appearance.
Anyone might have thought they were insects.
Nothing will make them go away, he said,
Echo, like thunder off the shell of the sky-dome.
We, all on the terrace, glance at each other,
Jump to action.
Everyone knows what to do.
Grab something quick,
By Gary Lindorff
A bear saves a crow from drowning.
A baboon and a dog and a deer frolic in a field.
A little girl feeds the crows
And receives gifts from them in exchange.
This is the planet we are living on,
Not that other one that we are beating up.
My grandmother was too frail to walk on the sand,
So we used to carry her from the car
Which made her grumble,
Which was just grandma.
We never knew how much she hated being carried
Because we were so busy feeling manly,
My brother and I.
And once we got her settled out of the breeze
She would say
“There, this is nice. . .” or something like that...
By Gary Lindorff
How inspiring is that!
Maybe we should go back to what we were trying to do
When we got discouraged:
Try to scratch together a living selling loosies in the street
As a man of color?
Maybe someone was building a time machine
And they should get back to that!
Teach a friend’s dog to speak for a YouTube video,
Go out in this snowstorm and not come in...
Something about how life or God or who ever is behind the curtain of
all things pulling all our strings,
the strings that jerk us up out of the void and into the light and
heat and cold and make us put on
our boots and start walking and talking and eating cornflakes for
breakfast and slaps us around and
dumps us in the middle of deep dark holes of despair and desperation
where monsters come out of the night
and gobble up our happiness when we aren't looking and then throws us
in the ocean of self doubt and confusion that dries up the
next minute and leaves us spread out like dead butterflies on the
specimen table of alienation...
Only to have the phone ring and someone tell us that the person we
love most in the world just died
and now we have to look at the sunrise and wonder what we ever thought
was beautiful about it and if it will
ever look beautiful again. . .
And how wonderful it is that after all that happens Life or God or
who ever it is that is behind the curtain of all things pulling
our strings now Jerks up out of the void the most incredible being
that says, "Look at me! I'm going to start it all over again.
And I'm so beautiful none of what has come before me matters a flea's
butt because I bring with me the promise that
life can be different and nobody can deny that who looks at my tiny
fingers or by big bright eyes and the way I wiggle my toes
at the cosmos because I'm alive and that's all that matters and if
at all close to pure being it's me!”
Frank Asch graciously offered to ThisCantBeHappening! This copyrighted new poem, written on the occasion of the birth of a new grandchild to a close friend. A noted children’s author/illustrator, Asch lives in Hawaii.
By Gary Lindorff
My ax is grinding
All by itself!
I can hear it giving itself to the grinding wheel
Every day when I wake up,
Most nights when I go to bed.
I am just grinding it.
What would I use it for?
To cut down my enemies to size?
To swing against the foundations of the NSA?
To destroy the diabolical machinery
That is excavating the tarsands in Alberta?
To obliterate all the missiles and missile silos...