And much I grieved to think how power and will
                    In opposition rule our mortal day –

                               And why God made irreconcilable
                    Good and the means of good…

                                        – Percy Bysshe Shelley (“The Triumph of Life”)

Damn-little new under the sun, our shadows stretch and shrink against
an ever-changing light. I remember the power I had as a boy, the cat
I couldn’t quite get killed and then remove from its misery, high in a tree.
A lesson not quite buried, now after sixty years. But they’ll have it all,

debating state-to-state, trading insults I hope the world is not watching,
in case one of them is elected, representing us, fresh from these playground
antics of one-upmanship like when high-school boys playing grab ass
to the mini-skirted girls in the bleachers—all trying to be cute and cool.

I hear no philosophy, no consistent thought, no high ideals, no change
in the stagnating economic status quo of amended statistics we’ve grown
deaf to. No flag, no bumper stickers on my hay rig—perhaps I am too old
to get excited, find a cause not fraught with non-sense, but good

is not bestowed like candy to children, not a blanket to wrap our fears
within, nothing permanent we can’t improve—instead it grows
miraculously right out of the dirt, upwards with water, roots down deep.
You can nurture it, tend and grow with it everyday, or just eat the fruit.

January 27, 2012

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