Here are poems from a couple of years ago.
JULY 4 NEIGHBORHOOD
No more parade; a shopping cart squeals
On a quiet avenue; next door
A brown dog complains over and over.
The distant fireworks we hear
Will be surrounded by excitement
For the makers of horns and banners
In an unfree country across the Pacific.
Somewhere, zeal will puncture people
Before turning the weapon on itself.
Somewhere, a child will play with fire
And blow off a hand or an eye.
But freedom together has become a rune
Whose key no one can discover.
We harangue one another over and over:
“Learn to be free!” rehearsing our speech
In an empty ballroom, a bathroom mirror,
While, below, the progression
Of tasks and pleasures grinds to a halt.
We should at least attend the wake
If we cannot make the celebration.
ONE SMALL NOTE
Some would say, why not give it up
Entirely, as just another fantasy –
The notion of a god who cares, the universe
Holding together like one gigantic song,
The magical mornings when my pen flows
With mysteries I could not have concocted?
God, the creative, have served their purpose,
And now I could shed all my baggage
And learn about money and influence
And do a whopping charity fundraiser
Before my body collapses and is burned.
But then how would I face the song
Of a thrush, or the redbird’s flash?
How would I feel in the cold ocean
Or before an empty, silent sky?
The blood in my ears would accuse me
And the birch in the meadow would turn away its leaves.
Even the skyscrapers, even Liberty,
Those symbols of eager hope and pride,
Would stand witness against me:
That I had one small note to hold,
And just because I was tired, or hurt,
Or lonesome, or bored, I let it fall.
Happy Memorial Day.