be not dismayed whate’er betide…

 

i had
to take
aunt bea
to her cousin’s house
to discuss
some family business
en route
i bent
her ear
about
my discouragement
with
what’s been happening
throughout
our nation
how
i was
starting
to feel
like
just withdrawing
from
all the battles
i
continued
in that vein
until
we had to cross over
an old rusty
and
wood-planked bridge
the kind
that
terrified me
as a child
aunt bea
giggled
as she watched
my face
guess i didn’t
hide my
terror
too well
aunt bea
said
i still recall
when
you and your cousin
would cross over
the river train trestle
to get
to that
good
fishing hole
near
your grandmother’s house
you
never admitted
to your cousin ronnie
that
you were
scared to death
not only
of
drowning
in the river below
but
of being crushed
by
a passing freight train
but
the fishing
was good
so
you
soldiered on
it was
without doubt
a classic
approach-avoidance situation
and
although
at this point
in our nation’s history
we’d love to
avoid the unpleasantries
but

we still must cross
the bridge
to
the future
where
the fishing
will be
good

 

murder most foul…

father’s suicide
when family’s torn from his arms
happy father’s day
how strange and unnatural
this great nation has become

 

get on board…

a choir
from
a local church
was
singing
in the park
and
one of the songs
they sang
was
the freedom train
since
the brown bag prophet
was in attendance
i asked him
what he thought
of
that particular song
the prophet
said
there ain’t no
freedom train
it’s
a merry-go-round
moving
so damn slow
that
by the time
you’re aware
you’ve gone
in
a circle
you’re
dead
or
dying

 

do not disturb…

i must
apologize
for
my
verbal outburst
such
behavior
has become
quite
inappropriate
in
an age
of
denial
i
should have
ignored
the
indiscriminate
and
brutal
slaughter
of
palestinian children
and
accepted
whole-heartedly
the
sexual assaults
of
women
and
the adultery
by
the
leader
of
the so-called
democratic
free world
resigning myself
to
a judicial
and
congressional system
that
has failed
every
american tenet
of
justice
and
just
sipped
on
my white chocolate latte
and
been
happy

 

all rise…

encamped
near
the i 5 freeway
beneath
an on-ramp
you’ll find
the honorable
former
sergeant major
veteran
of
three
official wars
and
two or three
military
conflicts
tours
of
duty
have
left him
missing in action
in
his own life
and
deserted
by
the nation
he
proudly served
now
his body
is embedded
with
human shrapnel
fragments
of
memories
of

those
bloodied bodies
the smells
and
sounds
of
death
that
pierce
deep
into his soul
so now
he staggers
on
a new battlefield
an
ignored warrior
reclassified
by
society
as
a vagrant
someone
unwilling
to
participate
meaningfully
in
society
in a society
that
has given him
their disdain
while
praising
a commander and chief
that
slithered
beneath the slime
of lies
to avoid
even
the slightest sight
of
blood
especially
his own