Archive for February, 2011
The past, to be sure, requires little imagination
So there’s no need for profundity at this time
And no call for the whole gamut of bittersweet
We count blessings, not the ones we lost, one, two, three
Isn’t that better? Or to dust off the old violin
And let the world know we can’t play
Or write a supercilious poem about how
Crop circles are made at night
How giant ground squirrels with bucket-size eyes
Orchestrate everything from beneath
Then stuff the entrance with dirt
And go tunneling? I saw one do it once
But he wasn’t big enough for this poem
O, yes, we did pour oil on gullible waters
Never have gods and prophets, three, two, one
Been more crippled by the hour
You don’t ask anyone to go to hell anymore
They’ll bring it to your door
Firstly, Tahrir Square
Should be named Tahrir Circle.
No more hard edges
No more corners to cut
No rigid boxes –
Just the smooth, all-encompassing
Circle of democracy.
Soon, though, the people will realize
That flying is easy
Compared to landing.
Peace is, at best, an annual plant.
And this might be the time
To bring up Nietzsche –
And observe the hand
That will kill with kindness
Just as easily as with a shovel.
Pick a color, say, red as asphalt,
And it will be someone’s favorite.
They know this in countries
Where they treat octagonal stop signs
Than citizens living on the street.
Secondly, who knows?
You don’t need a military man
To know which way the gun blows.
This might be the time for Mr. Blaine
To come home. This could be the end
Of a beautiful friendship.
My mother taught herself to prefer
When you can’t get what you want
You learn to want what you need.
She loved her books, her clay pots of herbs on the patio
And her mother’s leather bound bible
With all the good parts lined in red.
Now that’s all gone. The same can’t be said
For my father’s biggest worry in life—
That he would die unexpectedly,
With no time for a change of underwear.
One afternoon, wanting things not to change,
She handed me a pamphlet, “New Facts About Marihuana,”
At a time when my worry was not owning a Gibson guitar
And the smell of gravy was all I inhaled.
The cover had a drawing of a Black man with Rasta hair.
“The book is against it, isn’t it?” she asked a few days later
Leaving out the word Marihuana
Just like so many things were left out
Unless you could point them out, lined in red.
But now—with shadows a tad longer
I suppose they might have been right
My mother, my father, gracious people,
Or at least they had the right reasons to be wrong.