You’re going to ask if my poem’s racist
and what I’ll say to your face is
anything can be racist in the wrong hands
something innocent here
can be weaponized in some other lands
And some will say, but a racist minority just can’t be
sure if you’re looking at it shortsightedly
Because there’s usually more than one minority around
like during the Rodney King riots
didn’t they bust up Korea town?
Sure, when one race has been handled racistly
they’ll handle questions about their own behavior evasively,
but noone’s hands are clear when dirty behavior is handed ‘round
even when who’s in charge gets turned around
It was rough, nervous days in many African countries
when power was handed to the actual, natural majorities
and in some cases
they turned on the racism against things Americans don’t think of as separate races.
What the hell is a Tutsi or a Hutu anyway?
Well, any Rwandan can readily say
YOU can’t tell the difference between Germans and Francs,
but both World Wars were simply race wars –
don’t get distracted by planes, artillery and tanks
For Americans the issue of races narrows down to two, three, or four,
but beyond our borders there are at least three thousand more
This is what it’s really about
– teeming masses at our shores
And to the average ‘Merican
it’s only Mexicans knocking at our door
Doubtless racism is a problem here
one we’ve taken steps backwards on lately, I fear
But I’ve learned the following things that lighten my heart
oddly item one is that any race can play either part
But if overcoming racism is ever going to be our goal
This Country has a better chance at making it’s society whole
It’s understanding and exposure to the other guy
that starts moving towards the better sky,
And by the end of the twentieth century
we got closer to understanding all these faces
And I think we almost got over the stumbling block
that we seem to think that race is
in our minds
When you saw me,
and my dog at the train station,
even on the platform
It was an uphill battle to convince you
that I was not gone, baby
that this was just a soulful moment
of just watching for trains to go by
It was an uphill battle talking my way
into your bed
stay in your head
since I needed a place to stay
one more day
to get to next morning
‘cause I need one more try, baby.
See, I’m always late,
and the trains run on time.
September 9, 2019
I get it
Uses your freedom of speech
to refute separation of church and state
Willing to misinterpret the second amendment
to defend your privilege from the low-hanging fruits
that you define as a threat, like the minority and the immigrant
… well anyone different,
I get it
You were born into this country
but feel torn between no-choice
… a victim to rights
you don’t care for others to have
and rights you insist protect things
which you have no right to
I get it
Because my kind,
most were born here
Thinly protected by rights that they carefully study
get down pat, … perfect as a verb
Which confounds you since you know little of these rights,
much less care for them
And it confounds you since you feel the need to vilify them,
for being low-hanging fruits
like minorities and immigrants
and people who are different
Yeah, I get it,
but it seems…
You feel more right to your feeling of injustice
which could be enforced by law-given rights
...that you care so little fort
No wonder you care so little for those
who hold those rights as precious defense
against your assaults
And you wave the word “patriot” as your personal flag
Yet as the best parent deserves the child
and the best chef deserves to eat well
Ask me whom I think deserves this country more.
September 9, 2019
Speak not of the ocean’s depth as far down
The same gravity holds it down that holds you, me
and the very material of the earth
So depth is measured
by how far up
Marianas and the Laurentian are the pillars
upon which the seas stand
But above that even the air…
The ocean is but part of the atmosphere
thickest, lowest part
But were it not there, it would not be replaced with negative space
While a good art lesson, that term does not dominate your physics
not for a good hundred miles up
Right, up like depth
as rise the waters
so rise the airs
Whether above us or below, we experiences depth as down
Whether above us or below, both rise.
Upon the concluding of a day’s lesson one of his boys
asked of Aristotle:
“What is it like to be sophist?”
By way of answer the master seized the boy
and held him into the water.
Upon letting him he he proffered it is to want to know
as much as you wanted air.
How far from down that boy must have struggled to go.
So do not measure our greatest minds by how far down they go,
but by how far up they have risen
For Einstein admitted that had he seen farther
then it was only by standing upon the shoulders of giants
So do not measure a love by how far down it goes,
but how far up it rises
If you were there when it started you saw the building,
the stacking or piling or adding upon
Never forget the pillars,
because without you’ll have shaky love at best
because without it will surely fall
and if it does
then without, however will you build back up?
September 9, 2019
just what if…
See I know that your god is that bearded old man
and in your comic book bible he’s white
and comes from your land,
but, it also says he’s everywhere and all things,
and has indomitable plans.
So I think that means a “what if...”
What if god is that child in your class
whom you teach, but you lie?
What if god is that uncle who’s leaving you a fortune
and you wish he would die?
What if god was your mother
whom you cursed out n church?
What if god was that girlfriend
whom you left at dinner in the lurch?
I’m not naiive enough to say it matters if
god is the animal you killed for meat
but if you want more serious issues then
What if god is the wife you control with terror
What if god is the wife you know you beat?
It’s easy to say he’s the homeless guy you leave in the street
but isn’t god supposed to be more than …
someone you leave as quickly as you meet?
I thought faith in him was supposed to be a part of your daily life
so god should be as important as your family,
Or perhaps you should treat them as important as he
because if he’s everywhere
you don’t know whom he could be.
September 6, 2019
You’ve lost all your sense sir
Once named by meteorologists
after the most disruptive forces in their lives
– their wives,
Then occasionally after men
to show that you were expected to be particularly
Now names just alternate
Shows we expect equal danger from
every mystery at any rate
This time the plan will work
North Carolina juts out just far enough to deflect you
That’s what it’s meant to do
Carolina was put there to protect the Old Dominion
one more reason it’s better to be Virginian
This is still going to be a mess
Just a bunch of rain this time
still anxious how much of our town sits on the waterline
I stepped out front at One AM
looking for signs like religious men
But I am a man of science so I look to bands of clouds
sounds of winds registering aloud
directions they blow and rains come down
Not just now
No, this is the other thing
During the day there was a misty rain
and driving home the first lines in the clouds arranged
Twelve hours later and there should be
the barreling down of forces screaming death
But all the world here is holding it’s breath
Message on the phone says
“Don’t worry about me it’s quiet here”
but I know I can be almost silent if I know there’s a
– a hungry tiger lying near
So many move to my town
want to pretend one can take this laying down
I know I’m looking my fortieth tiger in the twisty eye
even if this one skates on bye
I will continue to withhold my sign
– until late Saturday
– the calm wait is not a sign
that everything’s fine
This is the test of your patience and faith
The storm you can’t see is there
it’s lurking around the corner
like a graveyard wraith
unfed it does not simply stalk away
Now a second science comes into play
snakes and deer left the neighborhood during the day
birds and bats don’t dare flap a wing
despite the still air – that’s the thing
And all stridulating crickets and grasshoppers make demands
of negligent gods of whom we know little
and without understanding
human lovers’ patience grows brittle
And somehow Maryland thinks it’s time
to tell Virginia how to read Carolina signs
– of Florida weather.
September 6, 2019
This city is supposed to be a concrete jungle,
but it’s turning into a glass desert
under policies that keep sterilizing it
I see a red door and the HOA wants to paint it beige
This is why we can’t have nice things
This is why even the hip head out
and your storefronts stare out
onto the streets like dead-eyes
Eyes of ghosts all wide with
shock and surprise
not sure why they died
I see a dance floor and the HOA wants it sanitized
August 29, 2019
Wider Perspectives Publishing is ecstatic to announce that... The POET'S DOMAIN has returned to the roost here in Virginia with some new features that I think will welcome the many previous contributors back into the fold and excite some newcomers to jump aboard. The theme for volume 33 shall be Seasons and Crossroads. As before we don't want to dictate how the poet interprets the idea, but I will offer just these thoughts to get the juices flowing: It seems that what Seasons and Crossroads have in common is change. Both herald changes to come. One is predictable in timing and you might have some idea about what it entails, but really it's outcomes are out of one's control. The other comes up in one's wanderings and presents a choice, which you can control, but the outcome may still be unpredictable. If you wish to throw in a brief statement as to why you think your entry addresses the theme go for it. The submissions reading fee is $5 for the 1st poem and less-a-dollar for each subsequent poem to a maximum of FIVE submissions. So…
Items sub.= Total
1 = $5,
2 = $9,
3 = $12,
4 = $14,
5 = $15
Poet's Domain accepts only original poetry submissions from residents of Virginia or any state bordering it, individuals having significant dealings within or formerly living in Virginia, or anyone who previously contributed to the journal. The entry fee is $5 for the 1st poem and less-a-dollar for each subsequent poem to a maximum of FIVE submissions. (So $5, then $4, $3, $2, and $1, respectively) There is a maximum length per entered item of 4 pages typed(12pt., 8x11), below that any style, form or voice of poem shall be considered. English is the assumed language of the journal, but poems with mixed language will be considered. Submissions open on July 1, 2019 and close October 6, 2019 at midnight. Each accepted contributor shall receive one complimentary copy of vol. 33 with a postcard upon which they may vote for their favorite piece from that issue. The winning poet will be acknowledged with a certificate and $50 prize. Additional copies will be available to contributors at a discount. Please notify at time of submission if a poem has been submitted elsewhere (and where) or previously published. Simultaneous submission or republication can be done with coordination with other source. Submissions should be .doc, .docx, .dot, .rtf, .odt, .xml or .pdf attached to an email titled Poets Domain 33 to HRACandWPP@outlook.com. The body of the email may contain text of the poetry, too, but it’s unnecessary. Payment may be made in the form of check/M.O. paypal.com transfer to friend/family or Credit Card through paypal.
When we met we was 5th St.
Shoved to the edge
by our propensity to skate on by
That is days on wood, nights on sand.
You actually thought you were going to ride wave
to impress some other man.
Too lazy to extend you his hand
So I took you down to Croatan
where the real surf meets the sand.
Sometimes we'd leave boards at my place and play
9th street and pizza was the plan.
Bags left in the sand
We finally held hands
Into the business of falling in love,
but I might be too shy
to be the textbook surfer guy
that you need
You have certain thoughts to feed.
I couldn't really talk about it until we were 17th street,
or 19 and inland Mediterranean
and shopping led through bikinis and trunks
by those same hands.
I think you lost me in the shops like a little boy.
Maybe I was too into novelty
you like a toy.
It wasn't for 3 years that I'd see you again
picking at drinks in seaside bars.
We stopped and talked about “how far”
And decided 21st street block
was going to be our rock,
well for awhile.
Until we realized escape up 22nd to the highway
took less than a mile.
We wandered up and down the strip alone again for awhile.
How many times we glide by
and didn't recognize each other's smiles.
Little did I realize what the Boulevard had undone ...
It would take Laskin Rd. to take me back to you.
I married, with a daughter and a son
But you gleaming laying in the sun
I spotted you from 30 floors above like there's no other one.
I didn't want you to remain just a ghost
who haunts me from the strand
So when I hustled the kids down to the sand
it was to talk to you
make you real again, too.
After an hour you said you had a sick friend to look into,
but when I looked down you said
he has a place up on 52,
and suggested we could use the beach access there
to slip on through.
And so we talked late at night hidden by the dune.
Decisions made then – known better by the moon
than even to me and you ...
Yeah, better understood there than by either of us.
But it didn't seem to matter until 3 years later,
when my life had been bowled over in the rush.
And even my marriage turned out not able to last out the fading lust.
I was at 67th searching at the Cayce
to see if maybe Their answers answer best,
but on the verge of deciding they were just like the rest
with even their cards close to the vest.
By now we've learned not be be surprised
catching each other's eyes;
So when I detected your look
when you were at ARE library returning a book.
I told you I am at a loss about what to do,
though time keeps running us out
the sea and land keep crashing together to …
push me into you.
You said, "Look, you need to stop worrying
about what you're supposed to be doing,
don't worry about time.
I've finally got my own place here on 89.
It's fixed up right and I think you'll be fine,
But it's at the end of the road,
you can't come and then bail this time
just because you think life's like this
and you have to fall in line.
You've rolled back here like the tide,
and you need to unwind,
learn your mind,
and learn that if you're mine
then you're meant to be someplace
But 1st meet me for pizza back by street number nine,
but boy when you come to me,
come like you 5th St.
July 29, 2019