Petit Testament

if you cannot hear, my babes, it is because your mother had your ear from your day one and past a year or two – and so because of this you mostly misconstrue the merit of my argument: that ALL told lies though many meant no ill [nor knew untruths to be untrue] in warning you of sin and pains of hell; yes, they meant well but [so it goes] they too had known a mother – she herself lied to, being just a simple person with no way to lay a claim to truth concealed beneath the dungheap of lies called truth revealed – fictions of lunatics and epileptics and all manner of conniving souls down through the ages… and few the stalwarts daring contradict, and few the sages – For such it is that wealth may shield the truth from simple eyes [how I do despise them who knowingly wield their prestige and ill-gotten fortune thus] In short, my babes: Religion is a scandal, rank contagious pus – The Lie Imperium – to keep poor peoples cowed, head duly bowed and fearful of Almighty Scarecrow none can see save in delirium – keep us hoping for a cock-eyed afterlife although the sun alone, true light of heaven, may rise once it has fallen. The light that ripens wheat and leaves the trees…? The only truths there are are these: Let it be plainly said and never feared that once you die, you’re dead; there is no sin, just ignorance. Live life, sweet babes in loving tolerance and believe – if you see fit – that men were good before one word was writ. Live This Your Life and, henceforth, babes …try to live it in the present tense.

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WINGS

…so he called her stupid
and said how can there be angels
if there is no god
? And she
[who had never even heard
the name Quantico] said Easy,
just imagine The Round Table
without Arthur.
At which he pulled
his oh-you-poor-dumb-creature face
and groaned – that’s what I mean:
who tells them what to do
?
And she said, no one needs to;
they know what to do;
they know what goodness is –
they’re angels
!
Arms folded now, but less belligerent
he questioned: So they know what’s right,
right? Yes,
she said, but she could see
he still didn’t get it, so she went on
It’s easy, really; all the goodness
there ever was – every impulse
ever spawned in consciousness –
[because to be good an act must be
more than instinct- inherited behavior ]
goodness in the universe
began at last to aggregate
because it is by nature cohesive
and it’s kinda like the amino acids
that eventually became life…
goodness grew … evolved …
and eventually there were angels

Oh yeah, he smirked and what about
all the EVIL impulses?
Evil
tends rather to isolation,
she replied
evil is divisive…
Goodness
is more like a snowball…
it grows bigger and stronger and
I guess it will some day
hold evil in check
I dunno but I think eventually
it’ll all come out right…

IF nothing stops it, he challenged.
Nothing can, she said. It can’t be
destroyed completely…it’s
like a network…

and what about when there’s a new angel ?
he wondered aloud, sincerely…
It’s only a virtual table
she answered
smiling

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aww, cantchya leave the thumpin to Thumper?

it isn’t the clothes they are wearin’
[believe me, I couldn’t be carin’]
it’s all that electioneerin’
my god, how I fear the god-fearin’!

to spout verses they always are willin’
such obsessions, to me are quite chillin’
– as if print words condoned interferrin’
my god, how I fear the god-fearin’

they think there’s a heaven they’re earnin’ –
if they catch me, I know I’m fer burnin’
or shot like a deer in a clearin’
my god, how I fear the god-fearin’

there really’s no way of explainin’
the hatred their god’s entertainin’ –
I’m certainly not volunteerin’
my god, howIi fear the god-fearin’

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One Nation, Indivisible

a postage stamp of skinny metal
[with name and address there embossed]
to slip between a toddler’s teeth
so tiny corpses don’t get lost:
my country loves to scare her own
near witless – keep ’em docile, coast
to coast [so no one dare to pick a bone]
as mute as if they’d seen a ghost;
there was a time [pre-Syngman Rhee]
we didn’t need Poseidon’s clan –
we pledged allegiance, you and me,
sans Allah, Abba, Peter Pan;
inserting “god” in fact defied
our constitution to the letter –
Hitlerean* the claim god’s on our side…
I frankly liked the old pledge better;
patriot I am – although I choose
a rugless life beyond the pews

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Nazi military emblem: Gott mit uns – god with us

In 1952 New York City bought and distributed 2.5 million dog tags. Kindergarten to fourth grade kids had a tag with their name on it. Many other cities did likewise – San Francisco, Seattle, Las Veagas and Philadelphia. Between Korea and the threat of a Russian sneak attack….(plus ça change…
)

1892
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
1892 to 1922
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
1923
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
1924 to 1954
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
since 1954
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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emergent turmoil

however explicable
there are natural events
that seem to point beyond
themselves, as if
to make us question

…all that was left of trees
were pre-schooler sketches
[brown twisted lines
smudges where leaves had been]
and all that was left of green
were the splintering promises
in the neighbour’s shutters…

and the tall white birches
echoed my disbelief
etching their Ys on cobalt

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Bittersweet Prophesy

and the inner
will be as the outer
the grass and trees
will take over
and no stone remain
save those
the ivy holds
together

/

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Millenial Remake: Once Upon A Time Tomorrow

as originally appeared in Earth Advocacy News (2016)
http://www.earthadvocacynews.com/poetry/

They saw the date and time –
it was in every sorry excuse
for a newspaper –
but curiously it prompted them
only to buy out all discount store
green glass beakers, tumblers –
porch lanterns even –
and distribute them
among those they liked to think
might someday be real friends
and in every city
from coast to coast
at the appointed hour
they put on sweaters, jackets, shawls
turned the effing set off
lit their tiny candles
and headed not for malls – no –
to the municipal park they went
and spent the hour and a half or so
half-silently dreaming together
of the America they had lost
at the corner of 42nd Street
and The Painted Desert

.

…just sayin’

Who sees me sees the teaching – buddha
I am the way the truth the light – jesus
have you ever noticed –
only dead men can get away
with this degree of narcissism

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Parallax

the dog chases his tail
a magpie chases another
the children chase each other
around the yard first day back –
chin on knuckles, elbow on thigh
I wonder where that other year went
and why my heart is seeming rent
and why the dog insists, pursues,
tracing curlicues on the linoleum floor;
one day he will spin fast enough
to bore a hole straight through
and all the answers will fly out –
notes tucked in oragami –
a joyous butterfly profusion –
ending the chase that always ends
in tuckered-out confusion

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On The Road Forever

Loneliness
is the wrong brand

of empty

Lonely is some half-screwed
lightbulb
packing carton, useless
having flipped
its lid
a bottom drawer
with only one handle

Loneliness is a scandal
a painted cucuguru bird
that you do try to understand
listeningbetweenthelines

but it all comes out in the east-west wash
“garrish yellow flower” in a kimono

Loneliness is a lamppost chair in the attic old bathmat

First light is not always day never dawns on some
still, the long low wail of a trucker all alone
who calls his cab a home

just can’t be translated

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On First Looking Into Chapped Lips and Homing Pigeons

time
zanillusion
or is it ?
[brush up
your physics
and posit]
can times coincide?
do photons collide?
the connundrums
are simply exquisite!
we’re in a light year
[going nowhere]
vibration is all that there is;
horizons are always imagined
[say, why does this feel like a quiz?]
some mornings
it gives me a headache
[someone tell me, please, why I should care!]
no, I don’t give a hang
but before the big bang
something or other was there...

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