his life has been
a series of rivulets
rivulets and streams
Are they leading
or does he
It seems all
rivulets and streams
lead to a lake
to the sea
where all other
Even if he
It’s always wonderful
to discover what
rivulets and streams.
So, five days together 24/7 in a
17’ travel trailer and we argued
vehemently about what exactly
last night before we went to
bed and let the sun go down
on our anger against what the
good book says and plotted
revenge all night long like how
I would take quick visiting my
son/her step-son in two days
out to breakfast without her
and then in the morning it was
a foregone conclusion that we
would apologize and we would
get on with getting on? And then
we pulled the Egg Camper into
the driveway, unhitched, unloaded
everything and went out for happy
hour and then looked forward to
an evening at home, a bit of TV
and a wonderful night’s sleep.
Later we would discuss my issues
with my mother and her issues with
her father and our issues together….
The classical music radio station host told the audience
she recently discovered a nineteenth century minor
composer she liked and that the station was offering
the cd for a pledge of seventy-five dollars as the
riding lawn mower roared past their little travel
trailer drowning out the first five minutes of the
newly discovered piece of music that when he was able to
hear it sounded more eighteenth century than mid-
nineteenth. The piano had a distinctly harpsichord sound
and the lilt of the tempo made him think of young
maidens in white dresses dancing merrily through an English
garden. The riding mower roared again after the rider
took a bathroom break thus blocking out the rest of the piece.
The listener caught the next pitch for a pledge and
thought to himself, “and this is what we left home for”
thinking a camping trip would be just the needed anti-
dote to the ubiquitous roar of riding mowers in his neighbor-
hood. He had actually been looking forward to a different
roar, the roar of the concert goers after the final note by
the orchestra of the eighteenth century minor composer’s
composition but he wouldn’t even have heard that if the riding
mower hadn’t roared past because the composer only had minor
status and the concert goers probably would have given the
piece a polite but quietly reserved reception — unlike that
the man was experiencing on his getaway camping trip.
Fragile, a word most of us don’t think of when thinking
of the United States of America, until now,
but I listen
to the morning awakening with cars and trucks moving
loudly up and down the street.
Breakfast is being served
at restaurants in town. Coffee is percolating.
emerges from his house with gardening shears and clips
dead petals off of the fall flowers.
Old guys sit around a
table bemoaning yesterday’s football game.
pretty normal for a Monday morning.
And then the networks begin analyzing
the early morning tweet-storm.
He is a poet.
His wife is a mixed-media sculptor.
He is proud of her work and the shows
to which she has been accepted and
the awards she has received.
What if she were a poet?
We’ve had the six-year-old Chocolate Lab
long enough that we have bonded.
She is no longer a girl so sad.
Her tail didn’t wag when she was adopted.
When we offer her a cookie, a treat
her brown eyes plead and her tail wags.
Her tail wags on walks down the street.
No, she is no longer a girl so sad.
And, of course, that makes us exceedingly glad.
As I passed through the living room
I glanced at the TV. The image was
of a rescue vehicle in a city hit
by the latest hurricane. The pass-
enger was gorgeous — a young-
ish, white woman dressed to the
hilt. She reminded me a bit of
Melania Trump or a wealthy,
Southern aristocrat. Not.
She was an old, black woman
in a plain-jane house dress
and a sad, anxious, distressed
look on her deeply lined face.
Some things just don’t change.
When I drive along a street and there
is a speed monitor on the side of the
road, I take pride that I am a couple
of miles below the speed limit even
as my speedometer records the limit.
It’s off a little to my benefit.
Cars slow around me only to speed
back up again when past the monitor.
They go faster and faster as they
speed on down the road to God knows
where: late for work? late for a date?
late to pick up the kids from school?
(I know that one.) That must be where
the driver of the soccer mom van is
headed. Vans can go really fast in
spite of how they look. Maybe they
are late for an interview in Gehenna.
Someone told me that drivers in Chicago
are angry drivers, mean even. I’ve seen
that around here in this upper mid-west
town. More and more, angrier and angrier,
middle fingers flashing, faces grimacing,
mouths uttering silent slurs and epithets .
Are the roads Rorschach tests of our
society’s level of anxiety? Up ahead is
another speed monitor. I smile when I see
two miles under the speed limit. A white-
haired senior citizen flips me the bird
as she speeds past.
Everyday it gets worse just when you wonder,
“How?” “Oh, by the way (in a voice of incredul-
ity as if nobody could possibly have known),
there are about twelve-hundred more Hispanic
children in custody (captivity) in the US than
was known. And the government is in the process
of building accommodations to house approximately
three thousand.” Really, accommodations? Like in
a Hilton? Perhaps as in Hanoi Hilton. Where are
the parents? Frightened, in hiding? Do you hear
the screaming? And isn’t this akin, ironically,
to what we have been doing in the Middle-East,
where we bomb, making orphans of children. Do
you hear the screaming? The children then grow
up with extreme resentments, the screams subside,
they no longer cry and plan and carry out terrorist
activity. That is called “blow-back.” Every 9/11
there are memorial services in the capital and
politicians cry “Terror, terror, everywhere.” And
the president has the chance to get in hateful,
simple-minded rhetoric about Muslims and his base
goes crazy with false patriotism. So let’s all wait
around for ten maybe fifteen years when the adults
who were forcibly orphaned as children at the border
stop crying and strike out in hate-filled blow-back
giving us the opportunity to have another manufactur-
ed “day that will live in infamy” during which polit-
icians and a president can whip up the base with mis-
guided patriotism and horrible hate. Do you hear the
screams? Do you feel the blow-back?
along the way,
we lost our way
to get out to the way
of things in nature
that would kill us.
not to mention tornadoes,
would sweep across
before we had as much
as a rudimentary plan
to escape the wrath.
We were in the direct path.
Perhaps, at one time, we
like wild animals knew better.
They and maybe we
ran or flew by feather
to higher, safer ground.
Now we can’t hear, taste
or smell what’s coming around.
Try to imagine the chaos
that would come upon us.
No wonder we conjured a future hell
As God’s punishment
we would tell.
Today, science has been an aid
in detecting and warning
us to get out-of-the-way.
Sometimes, even the government
has resources well spent
to help evacuate
before it is too late
and repair our sad, post horror state.
And now our notions are taming
and no longer is it God
we are blaming.
We have our selves
and our polluting to blame
for deadly weather that aims
to cause chaos
and destroy us.
Now, even the animals
are swept along
in nature goes wrong.
No longer do we need
for a next life —
visions of Dante’s Inferno.
It’s right here, right now
for all to behold.