Letter From The Front

The incidence of déjà vu increases.
My favorite cinnamon replicated;

now the two nest side by side
in the cupboard. The weatherman

predicts sunny and clear and yet
fog has swallowed the lake.

Two dates with loved ones cancelled.
The insidious hint of death and

destruction tightens my chest.
I’m eating so if my well-

being depends on diet, how
fortuitous food is available still.

Someone is nearing the end
of life and for once I hope

it isn’t me. Finally peeling
back the layers of ignorance

forced by education and language,
the theft of my inheritance, the good

earth raped and pillaged, for sale and
all the money crying in cages of the

one percent–the catchy phrase we call
our masters lately. The propagandized

mind numb to the shadows.
I’m finally open to love, standing

to claim this darkness. The hoarders
seeped in greed surround me but

their narrative can’t resonate now.
Being well in the poisoned air

requires this deliberate, delicate
shift in the clear and present danger

of endless war on war,
just a horror story after all

to seize our waking dream.
I choose to sing instead.

Inspired by: Shadow, Fortuitous, Destruction and Well-being.

Guilty By Association

Is the U.S. at war right now? If so, with whom? It is hard to rally around a cause that is not tangible or visible in the everyday lives of most, and it is impossible to rally around a cause you do not even know exists. ~ Maryanne Magnier

Last 20 years, we’ve learned war
is essential to grow
the evil empire. Civilian slaughter

Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Yemen,
East Timor, Afghanistan, Phillipines

from 800 forts, US military in 70 countries,
no budget in sight, every high school
student assigned a recruiter

Georgia, Djibouti, Haiti
Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea

Endless propaganda blaring over terse
reality (Khashoggi dismembered
in the Turkish embassy) Assange

Pakistan, Lebanon, Palestine,
Somalia, Libya, Uganda

deep in solitary, only puppets
parroting inane smears
distract from this litany

Jordan, Turkey, Chad
Syria, Cameroon, Damascus

(Our outraged tweets gaslit
by trolls’ cockiness only a true
echo chamber can provide.)

Venezuela regime change 

Trillions of secret dollars killing children,
converting their siblings to warriors
intent on revenge, and the lies

War on Terror, War on Drugs

like rusting hulks exposed on the lawns,
no attempt now to cover them, and we march-step
into certain doom, like a foray

War on Protest, War on Journalists

to an alternate planet, the promised treat
for good children: hush, kneel in silence
surely waiting for goodness and mercy

Inspired by:  Terse, Fort, Foray and Association.

You’re In The Navy Now

Hat in hand, offering his strength

in return for a little food,

some cash, a tiny house,

the promise of training

and transferrable skills.

Pushing past people

shivering with cardboard signs

and dead eyes, wrung out

and discarded on the sidewalk,

he doesn’t recognize these

brothers.  Fixed on the prized

traditions serving

my country, travel the globe,

defend the spoils of the one

percent.  He’ll carry their plunder

out of the danger zones

with a crisp yes, sir and straight

carriage, posing on command.

In ten years, he’s never voted,

and he doesn’t care to focus

on politics, his resolution

increasingly on the pixels

of pure survival.  They’ve offered

a sweet signing bonus,

the perfect segue from rags

to riches. 

I’m not consulted.

What do I know of war,

besides marching against it?

In another time, I might frame this

as ironic revenge

for the missteps of my youth.

He still calls his childhood

idyllic; truly wonders why

his brothers are in therapy.

Today the only job left to me:

relax in the arms

of the supportive universe,

watching as each taut thread

emerges now, loosening

as the tension releases

all the invisible pressure

on all these unreachable knots.

In my dreams, my great great

grandmother holds my face

between her hands and kisses me,

surrounded by ancestors

gathered to say, this is so.

The way is mysterious, lit

by what reaches through the cracks

of our carefully constructed

cages. Suspend judgment,

the entanglement of worry,

as each step is


in its fullness.

Inspired by: Traditions, Resolution, Revenge, and Segue.