Etude for a hero

The radio blares in the car I drive,
blowing by green leaves and dead birds.
I drive on in a surge of speed
as you shine above me, Polaris,
you lead and I follow.

I notice you shyly,
as you appear-a diamond in the sky.
I am afraid to follow at first
for fear you are a falling star
or just the lights of an airplane
on its way down.

But you keep rising higher,
shining brighter,
letting the world revolve around you
while the universe follows.

I applaud your courage,
I’m proud of your humility,
I cheer for every ball you catch
and every bat you break.
I build your ego
your house
your morale-
and you, like any blind fool, let me.

You, Polaris, will fall someday
and Vega will take your place.
I will shift the gears of my car,
make a right turn
and head towards Vega-
my new northward star.

I read in the news someday-
they buried Polaris
in a gleaming white cemetery.
Polaris, Polaris, I think…
Polaris who?

 

1970s

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Bellicose United

This is how democracy dies.
Take a Saturday night massacre
and make it common
like daylily yellow in June –
other colors subdued.

This is how the outraged cry –
‘I will not be that one.’
The tank at Tiananmen Square
is an image that remains
though the spirit is crushed
human beings undone.

This is where kindness goes-
an underground class teaching
language to the wordless-
a girl empowered though her face
is unseen. Some live
some die
The usual mess it seems.

This is where the refugee lingers-
on a boat that is nationless
adrift on waters that see
no land.
They returned to Germany
And certain death.

This is how humanity dies:
remove the word humane,
add egotism and disdain,
mix in righteousness and lust
and you have the picture of us.

1/31/2017

Knife

Cool steel
you are,
sheen bridled in a glassy tone.

You, magnet
of my dreams,
draw me, enclose me,
wrap me in your strength.

I am the beginning,
you are the end,
shall we meet?

1980s

I can I will

I have bathed in you long.
I have doused your crystals
on the strands of my hair.
I have welcomed you,
splashing your waves
against my thighs.
I have lived through you.

But now I let the arid sun
burn me dry.
Your sweet cool
bubbles do not belong on my skin
anymore.

Find another home
pain,
I can, I will,
cut you free.
A bastard father,
I need no bastard son.

1980s