August 20, 2013 – We Take These Things for Granted
What is the greatest scientific
problem of our time?
How do you send a postcard
to a homeless person?
Can people serving prison terms
order books from Amazon.com?
We take these things for granted
but we shouldn’t.
August 19, 2013 – Summer fall
There is a slight chill
in the August morning air – Summer
withdraws so quickly, quietly –
The trees – now fully dressed –
will slowly shed – disrobe – prepare
for Autumn’s triumph march.
August 18, 2013 – Started my day
I started my day
with a walk –
and a submarine
sank and burned –
and a thousand
peaceful protesters died –
and a vice-president
and a press conference
was inconsequential –
and we had dinner
The Rains of Bissau
I miss the rains of Bissau –
the soft pitter-patter at dawn –
the heavy downpour, like clockwork,
in mid-afternoon – as chuvas veem –
the lightning and the thunder
at sunset, raging against the end of days –
I wish we had some postcards
from that magical place –
we have a painting of Joao Landing
before the Chinese built the bridge –
and statuettes from the Bijagos.
Manjaco cloth draps the sofa,
and music CD’s from the Tabanka
are on the shelf – but postcards não ha.
While we weep
Today I visited the national secular temple
to worship the Goddess Minerva, Virgin
of Wisdom and War –
we make ablution with the warm waters
of Jeffersonian idealism before we enter
the holy of holies –
we shut our eyes and ears to the hypocrisies,
and our collective birth defect gets banished
to the wine cellar –
while we weep, while we weep –
Making the bed
Since I retired my wife insists
on making the bed together every day.
I guess I was at work when all this excitement
happened before. We fluff and straighten
the pillows, aligned but not touching.
Sheets tight and tucked, folded over at the top.
All equally distributed side to side.
(She cannot think until the bed is made!)
Then she calls me an amateur when I
walk away before she has taken the final
measurements. “This is not boot camp,”
I whisper to myself. But by then
the kettle is whistling, the freshly ground
coffee requesting total submergence.
Man and the expanding universe: art
moral courage died
and corruption’s stench prevailed –
lies erased the truth
my LinkedIn friends keep endorsing me
for Government. But me and Uncle Sam
are a shrinking universe. I’m leaving
the troop that errs, the team that lies,
leaders who destroy lives for sport, as art –
themselves a crime, a sin, a plague. Farewell.