At the steps of Washington
nothing but a marionette life
Can you describe this? Yes I can
this aunt still resides in
and Mitchell asks what was it like?
even when her heart is dying.
Hope keeps singing from afar
or a flicker’s chortle perhaps
The capture of a brown marmoset
Innocent Russia writhed under bloody boots, under the tires of the Black Marias
When I see the Confederate flag
this country to moral soundness
which is never found when
freedom is based on pigment.
Every slave must be unbound.
they lead you away at dawn
The wilderness path turns
and widens, first bricks then paved,
making way for the spewing of
It was not always so, but then,
I have no memory of that –
husband in the grave, son in prison, say a prayer for me
The passenger pigeon was less than a crow
but more than a robin in size.
Nothing I observed of course,
but perhaps my grandmother
This once prevalent migrant
through circumstance or negligence
no it is not I it is someone else who is suffering
Carefree and dancing the Charleston
I let the throbbing exist
other places other times.
If I can pretend it is someone else
innocent lives are ending now
The dust upon the prairie states
Abandoning the farm, they came
to California. Starvation
for seventeen months I’ve been crying out
The battle is on and who can tell
what seed, which egg survives.
It is not just humans who die,
grenades and bombs release.
The poison sits in water that
The war that seems so moral
when genocide is launched
in nature’s well-worn cloth.
talking about your lofty cross and about death
I replay the memory, replay the past,
Replay, replay, replay at last.
Oh child, oh daughter, oh son of mine,
mother and father and brother remind me
but fed the plants we ate of.
I miss those days when organic
and not just a name for what is normal.
and the stone word fell on my still-living breast
Are incompatible it seems.
Phragmites and loosestrife
have taken over the streams of
Michigan’s watersheds – the
by ballast water, weather
you will come in any case
Polluted waters raise a stench,
Psychosomatic awareness –
dead alewives are wrapped
in the scum of circumstance.
A slippery ghost leads me forward
and I so long to follow him.
as I wearily wade in conformity.
They are all innocent of this –
Kirtland, eagle, even cowbird.
shall litter their world, alas,
a choir of angels sang the praises of that momentous hour
sans insect pest or nitrogen,
devoid of mantis, beetle, flea,
Terror darts from under eyelids
from soil treated like dirt,
all this living is worth.
Once more the day of remembrance draws near…
And the ships of the Neva sail calmly on
tornado blows right through
And more of this is better
oh, the more the better yes.