The US did this

The US did this

The US did this

The tragedy of Afghanistan

Used the people of Afghanistan

as collateral damage

in their Cold War

against the Russians

The US did this

The pain of a poet

writing about his father

with Alzheimers

Compare the pain

of being born in

a country of Imperialism

A country of

death and destruction

Crisscrossing the world

like an all-powerful global tornado

creating a wide path

of death and destruction

The poet

trying and failing

to get his father

with Alzheimers

to use the toilet

The woman born

in the USA

trying and failing

to get her country

to respect human rights

to give up global hegemony

to give up militarism, war

and nuclear weapons

Watching Afghans trying

to escape the Taliban

created by the US

to attack the Russians

The pain becomes anger

shouting at the television

The US did this

Re-reading the Heart’s Garden

Rereading The Heart’s Garden

The Garden’s Heart

By Kenneth Rexroth

has sustained me

through decades

His words continue

Almost unknown

Almost forgotten

But they are there

And re reading

Tears of recognition

of thanks and also of sorrow

What else have I forgotten

What else have I left behind

What else is there

To think

To do

To write

To paint

To believe

To remember

What happens to the environment

the earth

the forest

the birds

the plants

the animals

encased in layers of concrete

glass and steel

overwhelming the natural

yet doomed to failure

to falling

Thank you Kenneth Rexroth

Clouds and Trees

Looking out the window

through the glass sliding door

Clouds moving across the sky

Grey underbellies

White above

Illuminated by the sun

Blue patches in between

Always moving

Changing shapes

Cloud diversity

 

Tree diversity

Branches straight

Branches convoluted

Branches intertwined

Branches bare

Branches with leaves

Moving with the wind

Trunks stationery

Roots underneath

Out of sight

Pushing earth

Enveloping rocks

Clinging to the side

of eroded stream beds

 

Invisible movement

of trees

Visible movement

of clouds

 

Look up again

 

Sky more blue

Clouds

motionless

Suspended

Swallowed up

One wisp drifts away

Dissolving in the blue

Shapes slowly shifting

Grey and white masses

Silhouette flying across

small black bird

 

How long

How long will I stay

in this expanded space

Walking through life

with increased senses

Aware of nuance

Listening to a talk

about the intelligence of birds

Thinking of a book

Thinking of a friend

Thinking of family

Thinking of life

Advising a friend

to write a fictionalized

story of her family history

To put her father in the world

To respect his life

Not to honour or elevate

That’s what I’ve done

with my father

Immersed in Finland

Immersed in Finland

although I’ve never been

and probably never will go

Finnish films have taken me

into humanity

Skiing though snowy forests

Cutting through ice

A cold cold land

bathed in the warmth of humanity

Why did it take so long

to feel connected

Sleep walking through life

Awake and not aware

Tears of being human

Wanting everyone everywhere

to feel the depth

of their own lives

This is new

12 April 2020

 

Time

Is that the engine of change?

Is it time?

How do we change

as a person

as a society

My changes

slowing down

not just physically

due to age

i.e. time

but psychologically

with thought

with letting go

letting go

of judgment

of guilt

of anxiety

of worry

Is that what anxiety is?

Worry

Forecasting doom and gloom

Forecasting

Unnamed unknowable

Fear

Yet there is an ongoing crisis

Pandemic of COVID 19

And

Global warming

Consuming the globe

with various levels of understanding

and reaction

 

How to be more aware

Awake

Alive

To watch a bee circling a shrub

Listen for birds

Squawking

Distant hum of traffic

Sitting on a balcony

On a no street

A slow street

A street where

Three cars pass in a day

More birds pass than cars

Accepting that life is beyond control

Yet not beyond action

 

Pleased

with a new found ability

to sit and look

and listen

without doing

anything

This is new, different

 

Loss and grieving

I am in Canberra Australia
Far far from the USA
I grew up in Kansas City
Moved to the San Francisco Bay
Listening to the music
of Soul, Motown
Thinking of that music
today
The hope
The love
The promise
Otis Redding
Aretha Franklin
Nina Simone
The Temptations
Stevie Wonder
Diana Ross
Ray Charles
Smokey Robinson
The Temptations
Sam Cooke
The Supremes
Lou Rawls
Percy Sledge
Margin Gaye
Tina Turner
Gladys Knight and the Pips
(Partial list)
Listening today
on YouTube
after reading about overwhelming
numbers of deaths of African Americans
in the USA
during the COVID 19 pandemic
Mourning the loss
Listening to the music on YouTube
Remembering the joy
in an African American café
in Oakland California
November of 2008
The election of Barack Obama
44th President of the USA
People crying
shouting
dancing
singing
saying “I wish my mother was alive today”
People believing
“A Change is Gonna Come”
(Sam Cooke song)
and yet
and yet
Who is dying today
in the USA
in the pandemic?