I read outrage from old hinterland poets
on Facebook to stir my blood, enflame
my brain, pretend that words might quell
injustice with compassion, find humanity
commonplace, or search old dialogues:
mountains, rivers and streams, for peace—
translations to bring home from foreign
lands and times that seem to work here
for a little while. I read to write
when I’m tongue-tied, lend my gravelly
voice to the ancient chorus and try
to sound nice, only to find assonance
puts most folks to sleep. No one needs
to read anymore, translate marks on paper
into better thoughts than when we started—
now that we have open minds and let
technology have its way with us, do it
all as we lay back to enjoy the ride.
No one needs to saddle-up in the dark,
untrack cold-backed broncs to mount
before going to work—they all had names
and personalities when we were boys.
No one needs to reach inside for more
than what we thought we had in those days.