He Knows the Media

He knows the

commercial media

pay way, way

too much

attention

(like the ubiquitous

fixation

with social media)

to the very vocal,

very small, out of step,

who scream

blood murder at any

new idea

because

they are scared of

their shadow on the

wall

and just know it’s

a minority

here to take

it all –

away. And while

he wishes the media

would just quit,

he knows it would

put them in a snit,

so, they just keep

scaring the wit

out of everyone to

keep them addicted to

watching what will

be the next hit.

But the really scary

thing is dummy down pols

addicted to the money of

the super rich

addicted not just to

carving out a nitch

but who think their money

makes them

Oracles of Delphi

instead of oracles of deny,

defy and decry

who can’t

settle for anything

but the whole pie

which, without a

middle class,

will shrink and in time

will pass —

away.

He Wants to Visit the Keys

He wants to visit the Keys

camping at the state parks

and have a month of ease

 

watching Parrot Fish save coral,

learning the ecosystem and

experiencing fauna and floral

 

but pulling his camper down there,

he has to burn many fossil fuels

adding CO2 to the air.

 

So the vacation is out;

he’ll just stay home and pout

 

doing his eco duty from his chair

of ease

watching a video of fly-fishing

in the Florida Keys.

 

At the Beach

The ice sheet breaks away as warm

salt water pushes upward and swirling,

whipped up winds fed by burned out

fossil fuels hasten the break away and,

as time goes by, beach front Florida all

the way to Maine slips into the sea.

Tsunamis play Lego “tear down” with

abandoned condos still belonging to

people who have taken cover behind a

three-story sand dune along the shore

of Lake Michigan while brackish water

snakes its way up the second story caus-

ing blow-outs on the lake-side opposite

where the squatters cower and listen to

the roar of the waves and water crashing

on land.

A Dustbin for the Ages

As the writer wrote, “…Carl Jung put it so well,

‘Where you stumble and fall, there you find pure gold.’”

Did that imply that after you fell,

a greater understanding of life you would hold?

 

The same writer wrote that a wise person grew

in understanding after experiencing sadness and sorrow

but that a fool would fall and fall anew

and never learn a thing that would benefit him tomorrow.

 

So, the cliché is “Not all that glitters is gold.”

The gold that glitters comes at a price so great;

if a person learns while growing old

compassion is much better than despair and hate.

 

Jesus urged his followers to be perfect as God.

God’s perfect perfection is compassion.

The Buddha taught that suffering is not odd;

It is, unfortunately, the life that never falls from fashion.

 

And that if we would wish to perfect sad fashion

into living that would be good as gold

we would wisely live lives of God’s compassion

and help others with action so bold

 

by participating in another’s sorrow.

And herein lies the way of the sages:

to help others have a more joyful tomorrow,

makes the world’s fashion a dust bin for the ages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shadow in Parentheses

He read

that Meister Eckhart said,

“I pray God to rid me of ‘God’!”

Isn’t that odd?

Is there a bad shadow

attached to the name —

letters three — a shadow

in parentheses?

 

He read

that the Buddha said,

“If you meet the ‘Buddha’ on the road,

him you shall kill.”

That gave the man a real chill.

And in the name were three more letters

than the previous three

in parentheses,

but both three in the

shadow parentheses.

 

He read

that someone said,

“Jesus is the window through which

it is God we see.”

In Jesus there are five letters and

in God just three

but, here, there are no

shadows in parentheses.

 

He said, “Maybe I need

to get rid of the two lettered ‘me’

in parentheses,

the shadow that I meet

in the reflection in the window

through which I seek to see

Thee,

but instead see

the shadow ‘me,’

that leads to the ‘Thee’ —

four letters — Thee in shadow

parentheses.”

 

For an introit, he once sang

a song, a paraphrase upon Jesus’ words

to hang,

“Follow me

where I go

what I do and

who I know.

Make it part of you

to be a part of me.

Follow me

up and down,

all the way and all around.

Take my hand and

say you’ll follow me,”  * —

the authentic Divine Me

in the authentic Thee

and no shadow parentheses

anywhere to see.

*lyrics by John Denver

 

 

Out of the Stratosphere into the Chicken Coop

Two out-of-the-stratosphere

wealthy brothers toss a pittance

here and a pittance there, here

a pittance, there a pittance, every-

where a pittance pittance, chump

change, coffee money. Do they

flip for the privilege of funding

deceptive ads watched by those

who don’t read beyond what they

watch on the T.V. which glows

so blue for the pedestrian walking

by late at night? Scare those glued

to the tube out of their fearful wits.

The brothers play Chicken Little in

the yard and cry, “The sky is falling,”

to those cowering in the coop and

old, white-haired roosters and hens

squawk and screech high-pitched,

“Bawk, bawk, bawk, bawk!” And

the fragile experiment in democracy

more and more resembles an

animal farm while a fox smiles

a shit-eating Cheshire cat grin.

Songs of His Stompin’ Grounds

I. He grew up urban near Halsted Street across from Kickapoo Woods                       through which ran a tributary to the Little Calumet River. As a kid,                                      he ran Indian wild through those musical woods,

II. along the banks and dreamed of paddling birch bark canoes                                            he read about and saw pictures of                                                                                     in his grandmother’s Encylopedia of views.

III. The Grand Kankakee Marsh, once God’s renewable pantry,                                         half a million acres, which nourished                                                                               and fed with flora and fauna the Potawatomi

IV. for months at a time and then the Europeans                                                             came with their philosophy,  noble history, scientific efficiency,                                        burgeoning commerce and economy,                                                                         plundered for progress and prosperity.

V. Lake Macatawa, Black Lake, the lake of the Ottawa Indians                                         filled with fish for the people and, then the Europeans,                                                 Dutch religious separatists to be specific, following, of course,                                             what they believed to be God’s purpose,                                                                  drained the swamp, made farms, were fruitful and multiplied                                             the silt which flowed into the dark lake darkening it from the inside.

VI. Bogs Island was a criminal hide-out on Beaver Lake                                                     in the Great Kankakee Marsh – a singular sign of prosperity on the make.                Corruption following progress progressed into the pristine swamp.                              Greed in the guise of prosperity continued to draw swampy politicians on the take,         who drained, near the Great Lakes, the then greatest inland lake .

VII. The prosperity of the once mosquito ridden Black Lake,                                        brought crops and food for the new inhabitants                                                               and they knelt in devotion and holy admiration                                                              while the Ottawa headed to northern habitats.

VIII. All seemed providentially well in the Kankakee Marshes                                               for the seemingly inexhaustible                                                                                          birds, fish, fox, and the seemingly inexhaustible                                                               desires of hunting and fishing clubs and English starches,                                                    the swamp providing Chicago with food and decorative plumage                                         for high society hunters headed to the fields called                                                        Marshall and the Gold Coast farces.

IX. Phosphorus flowed freely from the farms to the                                                         ever blackened Black River                                                                                               into Lakes Macatawa and Michigan,                                                                                 both native names facing desecration’s arrow laden quiver.

X. Drain the unsightly, unhealthy Kankakee Marsh with the monster steam dredge           and sell the reclaimed land for forty times its original worth in dollars and cents.              Illinois be damned said Indiana, dam it at Momence and remove the rock ledge;                  the capitalists are getting edgy about their leverage.                                          .

XI. The blast at Momence didn’t drain what was then the resistant ditch,                           but there was a constant assault from farms and the corporate rich                        effluence flowing into the Black Lake, hopefully, they prayed,                                               dark enough to be unnoticed and so it was as the unaware                                          people prayed in their churches on the town square.

XII. A ninety-mile ditch, a scar upon the upper mid-west earth,                                             a nod to regressive progress rebirth,                                                                                  the only thing missing upon the waters was the fire                                                            of an Ohio lake’s death before its miraculous  rebirth.

XIII. Martha, the last passenger pigeon, passed over,                                                       before Phoenix would rise, never again was seen to hover.

XIV. Chicago found fish and fowl afar for many a downtown, upscale pad.                      “The marsh land is Mother Nature’s kidneys,”  the woman said;                                       the organ keeps rising from the parched, farmland dead of living                                thriving things, the liver shaped swamp is still celebrating.

XV. Every time it rains, they now know                                                                              there have to be kidneys to filter and livers to clean the flow                                               into the lake to make Black Lake flow                                                                                 a little bit less black in order to go.

XVI. The Kankakee, Potawatomi and the Ottawa listen                                                       to the songs of the swamps. The organs bellow.                                                              The Kickapoo hear the symphony which sounds so mellow.                                           The first violin tunes up the musicians who listen

XVII. while the flora and the fauna who sit in the second balcony                                        head back down stream to the seats nearest                                                                      the orchestra’s watery, verdant valley.

For the First Time and a Half

At twenty years, he

realized he had

grief induced dementia

for

the first ten.

They went

to a Gershwin

musical

twice and halfway

through

time two,

he asked his wife

of eight years

if this was

new

and what came

next.

He certainly wasn’t

hitting on all

six

for those ten,

but for the second

ten and some, he’s having

fun

being reminded

of all the

runs (literally, runs

in running shoes)

around cities to

the north,

traveling, camping,

embracing, holding

and so forth –

reliving the fun

as if

for,

not the first time,

but the first time

and a half. “Oh,

of course,”

he laughed,

“I remember it

just fine

as if it were the first

time

and a half.”

 

 

 

Thank Heaven For….

Thank heaven for

Millennials who

aren’t trapped by

biases and beliefs

of the elder.

 

But what found-

ation is there to

choose from when

they make their

own error?

 

And such is the

dilemma of youth;

it thinks it has all the

answers and will be

here forever.