Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Elegy: for my brother

I

Born under the judgment
of an angry goddess
and her 5 o’clock hand

Born to suburban streets
you came of age
In hill & meadow

Born to darkness
born to light
before you knew your Name

II

His spirit was formed
before the dragons were born,
so he embraced the flame

I light this candle
in memory of my brother,
one year gone

I hear his voice
born of an owl’s wisdom,
echo from green rice fields

I light this candle
in his memory
for he hungered for justice

He loved justice
He lived mercy
He walked with integrity

I hear his voice
echo through the foothills
as I light this fire

I light this fire in this circle,
for my brother
now one year gone

His flame is not lost
it lingers in eternity
soaring on the updrafts

I hear his voice
I seek his justice, his
mercy, and his passion

He embraced the flame  

IV

The lost little boy face in the mirror
Does not belong to my brother or my father

Those eyes are my father’s,
The tilt of my head my brother’s

That cracked grin is mine alone.

When I sing, I hear my father’s voice
When I teach, I hear my brother’s voice

When a dark voice condemns me
it is my mother speaking

I built this poem from my memories
what’s left are the stories I’ve been told

The true fictions that build a life
The ghosts that make a lifetime

And I carry these ghosts
in an old knapsack

I bought at the Army-Navy store
These old bones these old voices

This face in the mirror,
this face I carry before me

With my father’s integrity
and my brother’s courage  

V

Your spirit soars
On hawk’s wings
above the Texas foothills

Your eternal vision
Hitch-hiking the updrafts
Seeing

Beyond the thin places
To where brothers embrace
Once again  

Work in progress

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ideé d’jour

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn:
Those to who evil is done
Do evil in return.
— W.H. Auden

Friday, February 09, 2018

Ideé d’jour

The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.
– Thomas Paine

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Idée d’jour

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
– Isaac Asimov

Friday, November 17, 2017

Idée d’jour

Through others, we become ourselves.
– Lev Vygotsky, psychologist (17 Nov 1896-1934)

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Idée d’jour

We have probed the earth, excavated it, burned it, ripped things from it, buried things in it, chopped down its forests, leveled its hills, muddied its waters, and dirtied its air. That does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here on a month-to-month basis, we would have been evicted long ago.
– Rose Bird, Chief Justice of California Supreme Court

I think Brother Dave would have agreed with this.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Idée d’jour

The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation.
– Ezra Pound

Monday, October 23, 2017

Idée d’jour

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
— J. Robert Oppenheimer

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Idée d’jour

A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life.
-R.K. Narayan [via Word-a-Day)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Idée d’jour

Music is a means of rapid transportation.
— John Cage

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Idée d’jour

What greater gift than the love of a cat?
– Charles Dickens

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Idée d’jour

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
– H.G. Wells (via Word.a.Day)

Saturday, September 09, 2017

How to make a hurricane

Not with your lifestyle;
Not with your hairstyle;
Not with who you love
nor even with who you hate.
Not with your worship
or lack of worship of nobodaddy.
Not with your wife or husband
or lack of mate.

Just take some warm water,
some strong winds, and add
some flat terrain.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Idée d’jour

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
– Edith Sitwell, poet (7 Sep 1887-1964)