The Lay of the Land
From your smoke-coughing cities
to your desolate plains
The children of Midas have taken the reins
And left you besoiled in blood-splattered stains
With none fit to wash you to purity.
The air-waved cacophony pleads for a song
That will once more unite you ennobled and strong
To take back the glory to which you belong
To wrench freedom from dreams of security.
The old man, he wanders through librium clouds
The young take their distance
to move through the crowds
And every one fitted for life-draining shrouds
Reflect only on death's dance of conformity.
While poisoning rays permeate land and air
The high class step out like they haven't a care
They're bound to discover their world-rending tear
But can they comprehend the enormity?
Ridiculous sages exhort peace and love
Say we each have our choice of reality
So we fight over contexts and deny what we can;
But reality marches on.
Journeyman upon the road
Listening to the jungle drums
learns to bring it all together
as nightly his guitar he strums.
From the Woodstock Nation on to '84
With his banner of music he learns to keep score
And the score, as it's written, keeps costing him more
But it's also what's keeping him dancing.
With a beat in his heart and a song for his soul,
it keeps him journeying on.
Winter creeps whitely over streetlamp and spire.
Muted to whispers the Grand Freedom Choir.
A clattering chatter overtakes the high wire
Pure white like the night of beginnings.
The children have nestled all snug in their schools
In joyous rote marching, they take in the rules
Determined to never be taken for fools
Or give back an inch of their winnings.
Silent, the singers are searching for voice
They know in their souls it's a matter of choice
They need to find reason, a cause, to rejoice,
A newly turned path to felicity.
A new day is dawning, but where is the sun?
Our freedom and faith are defined by the gun.
The symbol of power overrules everyone
'Til we create our own electricity.
But under cover of darkness a banner's being stitched
Of patchwork-bright colors and radiance
To someday soon be unfurled in the breeze
As we march to freedom's song.
High upon a sacred mount,
Hearing now soft strands of sound
Journeyman no more, but quester
Nods benignly; ear to ground.
He's learned his song clearly, and clearly he sings.
Hearing an echo, he knows what it brings.
The time is approaching to fasten his wings
and swoop down to join the festivities.
A new day is dawning, and he is the son
And it's time to rejoice in the dawn.
But where are the marchers, the pipes and the drums?
Back in the schoolrooms, relearning their sums;
Or sleeping with vermin, despised in their slums
Unable to speak more than mumblings.
From time to time daylight enbrightens their souls
But most of their time's spent enslaved to the doles.
The wonder is not the dearth of their goals
But that they've not given up on their stumblings.
The class struggle's nothing compared to the fight
'Tween having it all and doing it right
'cause whether you're black, brown,
red, yellow, or white
You're hooked on the sweet rush of buying.
But the dollar's declining; and so is the yen.
From swords we'll build plowshares and take up the pen
For here is the where, and now is the when
And the choice is 'tween living and dying.
Is winter receding? Is spring on the rise?
Do we hear on the air a new melody?
Do we strive to accept; do we try to deny?
Or awaken our voices to song?
Having witnessed, having spoken
Having reached the cusp of change
Standing midst the still unbroken
Deploying troops throughout the range
A new age martyr need not die
But only stand beneath the sky
And sing each soldier's battle cry
To emanate strength and courage
To keep them true upon the course
-- An emissary of the dawn!
We shout our faith clearly, without fear or shame
We've learned to play music -- and not play the game.
We've let loose our captors and broadcast their name
That they be captured and cleansed back to purity.
It's a tried and true story we chant here anew
Of a born again many set alight by a few
Remember the Beatles, the Stones, Dead and Who
Back when freedom meant more than security.
We're learning to share in an effort of gain
To harness the sunshine and bring back the rain
To take off our blinders and learn to be sane
Yet maintain self within that conformity.
Each singing in glory, permeating the air
Feeling good to be cared for, and better to care
As we mix up the glue and mend the great tear
Finding courage to face the enormity.
We don't need the sages to find peace and love
We don't need to fight against reality.
We need to learn rhythm and reason and rhyme
And raise our souls with song.
Knowing now his goal completed
Having given all he'd learned
On his private mountain seated
Enraptured in the peace he's earned
He sings his song clearly, with joy and with fire
It's all that he has and fulfills all desire
It's getting him high, and then bringing him higher
And setting his spirit to dancing.
With a beat in his heart
And a song for a soul
Wafting aloft . . .
And he's gone.
A long and twisty journey
to find myself where I started
never having departed at all...
Half a Page of Scribbled Lines
Stone cottage, enchanted forest,
magical fireplace flickers stories
ancient and new.
Giants and waterfalls.
Flighty energy sprites
cast luminescent nets
subliminally aware of
sweep for malevolent intent.
Brain shakes. Data bombardment;
tiny spinal fractures emit
memory, reason, the capacity to love.
I am free to wander
all the stories that
could ever be,
choose the ones I
like the best
to tell myself
in sleepy morning
Psyche’s numinous doorway stands open.
My little house surrounded
in gentle blue heaven.
My landscape bold and bright,
with soft-shaded bubbles
to blessed peaks of serenity,
joined by playful
Anytime you ask
I will send you my stories
to repeat, to
interweave, to enhance.
Just outside my doorway
are eternities more.
July 5, 2008
80's legacy (happy Independence)
Don't blame the GWB administration, it was Reagan and his merry crew.
Though we protested in the post-Vietnam ‘70s
hot and sure about every error
the point is, we had that luxury. Yes, there was poverty,
groups and individuals in need; but going hungry was not the penalty
for lack of a paycheck. There was real community
spirit, especially on the lower rungs, but philanthropy as well.
There was a strong foundation that made sense
and listened to well-wrought reason.
The ‘80s brought in a different paradigm,
more wide and wild. Days of cocaine,
champagne, glamour and celebration for sweet deregulation,
when every schemer
could believe a neo-capitalist vision of wealth unbound.
Before it was found that
poisonous as plutonium, in the gleeful hands of the truly greedy,
just what we
were free to become.
Since then it's been spinning our balance off to bits of
Such harassing hatred and spitting disdain. Psychic
Cassandras said at the time, his numbers are 666.
A man possessed by
Hollywood fantasies of what we all should portray,
folie a deux with a nation.
And here are those snowy yesteryears roosting
in our rafters, laying out
the macabre future of their disaffected youth.
Who is it, really, that we as a people choose to be?
Distanced from our history,
adumbrated by convenient lies, what are our chances
July 4, 2010
Recreation at the End of the World
The end of the world as we have told ourselves it is.
Widening eyes align with changed designs, underpinnings,
first causes, metaphors, stories of us.
Disruption, distorted transition, fear and distrust
wildly gallop to trample the field, cry out the call
“Just let me rest. Just let us lie here, ashamed, afraid
to allow such blinding disarray. So much safer
to fall, over the end of the world.”
Could we edit together songs, pleas,
harmonize with birds, bees, thunder, settling sighs,
meme shattering symphony, dilated eyes happy to see
randomized patterns coalesce, myths reassessed,
zest of surprise?
Would we recreate deity as an image more easily
caressing, Empathy for the 21st century?
July 4, 2012
Freedom isn't free.
Neither need it be paid for by war.
Freedom demands integrity,
acting from the core.
not a chore.
It's how we're meant to be.
July 4, 2010
to paraphrase that great poet, Donald Rumsfeld: We work with the Congress we have, not the Congress we wish we had
Yes, of course we ought be fiscally responsible.
Yet of far more import is that we be rational.
Hyperbolic apoplectic, Apocalyptic rhetoric
reduces us from politic to stagey raving maniacs.
No need for such hysteria; learn from recent history.
The flagrant ways of LBJ, Reagan and GWB
found mitigation in administrations following.
The People, energized, expand instead of wallowing.
Exciting industries take hold, real worth -- not hollow gold.
The conversation we as a nation need
is not a war of virtue versus greed
or capturing the rules to win a game
or playing catch with sophistry and shame.
We need to ask and answer in sobriety
Who we best can be as a society
When the national project was stolen before our horrified stares
When it became our duty to kill and destroy for the convenience of profit
When humane policy became anathema, unworthy economic drag
When the will of the gambling elite gamed the rule of law to their pocket
Did you scream so loud that bitter blood poured from your lungs?
Did you set up mourning camps to gather forces,
to train grief and rage into worthy opponents against true freedom's foes?
Did you gaze into the cold eyes of propagandists and say "No!"?
Or did you march along in the parade, assured: "First they get theirs; then we get ours."?
And He became The One
as we all swarmed together
in His direction
anointing our Saviour.
We, so impatient to be saved
from evil history
from slavery, hunger, hate
to make a better fate
for our kids
(and, don't kid yourself, ourselves).
Caught up, trapped, in the trappings
of fashion, co-opted hypnotic
Drugs to cure us of our many flaws;
because if you're not flawless you
haven't got a chance.
In marketplace fierce competition,
a youthful escapade can ruin you
for a respectable life,
that adheres peers' and elders' expectations.
And then where are you?
May as well be burning in eternal
damnation -- at last.
At least Satan wants you
for your sins.
In a mythical colony,
far from their petulant King,
it is said a people
fought and died, and stood their ground
It is said such pageant plays
are widely performed today.
"Freedom is not Free; but based
on blood sacrifice." They say.
Freedom dependent on militia,
on strictly disciplined troops
firing into pregnant crowds.
Ancient wizards foretold
We will not listen.
We insist on martyrdom,
worshipping, as we do,
cults of murder.
Thus human life leads inexorably
to eternal death,
just as we demand,
when we all come together
anointing yet another One.
We Didn't Know
Efficient development requires deprivement.
No profit, no playground to feel alive in.
Those few groomed for career cheer, mocking:
"Can't you hear; that's freedom knocking."
"Work for rent, or stay in school, dude."
You get no cake for being a loser.
Orwell warned "Big Brother is watching."
We didn't know he meant on you-tube.
We didn't know our life was a crime
Sentenced from birth to pay all our time
Cast from the truck to the roadside to rot
Drawn outside of luck, all about what you're not.
Media screams their revealed truth feud.
Sell saturated garbage labeled food.
Orwell warned; we were warned:
"The best of you will be co-opted."
We didn't know they meant on you-tube.
Freedom FOR Security
Either, by nature, you're plagued with paranoia
Or you've bought pervasive propaganda.
I do understand:
It was so cheap, and in your color.
It wasn't labeled "Propaganda."
Sold as "News," common knowledge,
accommodation to the norm.
And it fits your internal dialog so well
"Danger is everywhere these days of disorder,
Just like all the days
when Freedom seems such a flimsy wage,
a cheap exchange
for sham Security.