day of the dead ~ a poem

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I have dreams where just before
waking I catch glimpses of those
who have left for parts unknown

they appear as they were
their faces unaltered
alive in new settings that are
sometimes welcome sometimes not

and yet whether I’m chilled to the bone
with wonder or horror I am always grateful

grateful to know that somewhere
deep inside I remember with a clarity
as sharp as the sharpest blade
the green-gray-smoky-amber color of their eyes
the upturned-downcast flash of their smiles
even a way of moving that was theirs alone

I remember it all whereas in the waking hours
the long bright stretch until night
I find it hard to remember

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carnival ~ a poem

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self-deprecating absurdity
that comes from my pops
thanks pops

dark visions of doom
that comes from my mom
thanks mom

somewhere in between
I reside

funhouse mirrors all around
sometimes I’m this
sometimes that sometimes
I disappear altogether
into the slipstream of time

but have no fear I’ll reappear
when the carnival’s back in town

justice turns a blind eye, or the injustice of the supreme court ~ an article

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There’s the saying that “justice is blind,” but when it comes to the u.s. supreme court throughout history, the saying that best applies in many cases is “justice turns a blind eye.” See this article in the Atlantic.

Excerpt:

The justices did not resurrect Dred Scott v. Sandford’s antebellum declaration that a black man had no rights that a white man was bound to respect. Rather, they carefully framed their arguments in terms of limited government and individual liberty, writing opinion after opinion that allowed the white South to create an oppressive society in which black Americans had almost no rights at all. Their commitment to freedom in the abstract, and only in the abstract, allowed a brutal despotism to take root in Southern soil.

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court today is similarly blinded by a commitment to liberty in theory that ignores the reality of how Americans’ lives are actually lived. Like the Supreme Court of that era, the conservatives on the Court today are opposed to discrimination in principle, and indifferent to it in practice. Chief Justice John Roberts’s June 2018 ruling to uphold President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting a list of majority-Muslim countries, despite the voluminous evidence that it had been conceived in animus, showed that the muddled doctrines of the post-Reconstruction period retain a stubborn appeal.

gypsy boy ~ a poem

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sometimes i dream dreams i don’t want to dream
like the one i had about you last night
you were digging into a patch of hard ground
barely making a dent but still you dug thrusting
the blade into the earth over and over again

when you stopped for a moment to acknowledge me
i saw your eyes had lost their ever-so-welcoming
look of sardonic good humor that i remember so well
instead they were glazed and weary accepting of defeat

you said i’m tired of running and i said that’s why i came
to tell you that i knew though this didn’t make much sense
even in the context of the dream even if you were
always just a gypsy boy roaming about in one place

next time when i fall asleep thinking about you
about why i haven’t seen you in such a long time
i’m going to will my subconscious to come up with
a happier dream so that i’ll wake up maybe not
with a smile on my face but at least in a better
frame of mind than the one i woke up in today

wonder of her breathing ~ a poem

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when I was a child I once watched you sleep.
you were napping on the couch after
a midday shower with a white towel
loosely wrapped about your body.
i’m not sure why I watched but something
about your even breathing, your moist skin,
and the simple gold chain with a cross that
lay in a straggle upon your chest made me
want to fix the scene in my mind,
so that one day i would remember being
11 years old watching my mother napping,
and witnessing the wonder of her breathing
and feeling a peacefulness I wished
would always be hers. today was that day.

…for thereby some have entertained angels unawares ~ a poem and a memory

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his being was elsewhere
it showed in his face
which was fragile and pale
it showed in his eyes
which were distant and lost

he lay half on the curb
half in the street
and cars leaving target
turning right at the exit
were close to running him over
mine was one of those cars

a few blocks away
unsure and ashamed
i turned back and
i saw that his body still
lay half in the street
and his being was still
somewhere else

when i walked over to him
i realized he was very young
barely out of his teens
i said do you need an ambulance
he just looked up with vacant eyes
i bent down then to implore
that he lie closer to the building
you’re going to get run over i said
the cars will run you over

for a short while he remained
somewhere else but finally
a certain awareness came over
his youthful gentle ancient face
and he slowly pushed himself up
fully onto the sidewalk

i felt the need to leave something
so i reached into my pocket
and gave him what bills I had
and as he sat looking up
i saw the barest of acknowledgment
spark within the depths of his eyes
the spark of light we all know
that connects each to each
no matter our conditions
and i found myself saying
in spite of what i believe
god bless you take care
then i returned to my car
and cried all the way home

skyfall ~ poem

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she drove and drove into the day
into a sky of azure gray

she drove and drove into the night
without another car in sight

she drove and drove up to a cliff
and wondered quietly – what if?

but this was not a passing thought
for she got out and jumped right off

and then the strangest thing came true
she sprouted wings of azure blue

and as she floated on the wind
blue feathers soon became her skin

and everything seemed far away
except the sky of bluest gray

and so it was she flew and flew
into an ever-deepening blue