There are little birds that fly and perch
And chirp and sing out loud.
The wind is blowing through the leaves
And chasing waves on grass.
I hear the sounds as water flows
Along the little creek.
It rushes and it idles, swirls,
As frogs and insects leap.
The fish are splashing in that creek
And swimming in the pond.
The clouds are sailing through the sky
Of hues of blue above.
Who cares, on such a day as this,
While blinking in the sun,
For all the things for which this race
Of humans madly run?
The thoughts I thought upon that day,
The feelings that I felt,
Have risen in my mind today
And help me live again.
I remember sights and sounds
And scents—and on my skin
The touch of air and rain and sun—
And all that rain cleared day.
I saw the raindrop as it shone,
Suspended from a leaf.
I saw the rainbow in the sky,
While breathing in and out.
How pleasant was that air, that warmth
Of sun upon my skin.
In such a trance as that, it seemed
This world was free of sin.
We've had enough of gizmos and of new, addictive apps.
We’re thirsting now for teatime with the old, familiar chaps.
We're weary of this slaving that enriches banks yet more.
We'd like to switch from racing ‘round to walking, nice and slow.
We'd love to be like puppies and like kittens. Dogs and cats
Are better at this living than our modern human rats.
We sit all day in cubicles. When home, we're staring still
At glowing screens that make us dull and also make us ill.
We're penned within our cities—where we cannot see the stars.
We live in violent "peace"—and then we die in needless wars.
We scurry and we're anxious, lacking time for grief and love.
We cannot feel the ground below or see the sky above.
Let us be no more as rodents that are trapped in metal cages.
Let us touch the trees as primates that had known them through the ages.
Let us sit beside the ocean or the stream or lake or pond.
Let us look and let us listen. Let our hearts be gentle, fond.
Let us weep—and join in wailing. Let us sing and let us dance.
Let us plan—and see our planning turned to nonsense then by chance.
Let us smile and join in laughter. Let the sun and rain and air
Then sweep away the prisons that we've built from lack of care.
Let us cease then with our buying. Let us savor night and day.
Let us open up our purses, so our savings blow away.
Let us leave the mines and offices, the factories and schools.
Let us free ourselves from Mammon, and then be again as fools.
We are tired of being clever as we're driven with the herd.
Let us feel the joy of tasting and of letting go a turd.
Let us leave the wretched cities—or turn them inside out.
Let us gather 'round in circles. Let us join our hands and shout.
Let us take then our vacations here at home. That vacancy
Is what we need to be again—the fools with sanity.
2017 November 4th, Sat. Berkeley, California
(first 4 lines of 2nd stanza & 1st 2 of 3rd added later, in Brooklyn, New York)
When desperate and caught, it seemed,
within the devil’s coils,
I turned to verse to calm the storms
that roiled my inner seas.
And so I found a quietude
that lasted then a while—
an interval of peace, in which
that clamor would subside.
I typed out lines and sent them out
as if into the ether,
and now and then I’d hear a voice
that spoke in text to me.
And so it was for many years,
until my writing ceased—
but still at times I write my lines
and send these out to be.
For sentences can live awhile—
and even when we’re gone.
Perhaps my musings still may bring
my solaces to some—
or so I still imagine, though
the chances may be slight.
But in this way, I find relief
to carry on my life.
2017 October 27th, Fri. Berkeley, California ---------------------------------------------------------------
They tried it first in the U.S.A. and honed it to an art—
For selling what they wanted folk to fork up cash to buy.
And then the Nazis used it too—and others, so that men
And women bought the party line—and did not question why.
Some call it “propaganda”, and others, “advertisement”.
Some do it rather plainly and others are more subtle.
It’s useful. It can take a lie and turn it into truth.
And that’s a transmutation you can bet they’ll never scuttle.
A lie that is repeated—that is whispered in your ear,
That’s written into textbooks and is linked with what you cherish,
That you hear and read and then repeat—is turned to something dear,
And so in time becomes a truth—a staple that you relish.
And so it is for me and him and her and all around.
In every place and every time these methods have been used,
They’ve worked as they were meant to do. So lies have long prevailed,
And those who held to truth or questioned lies have been abused.
So what to do? Remember this—it’s only things you’ve seen
And heard and smelled and tasted, felt—and not through others—that
You should believe without a doubt—for you were there yourself.
All else is sadly suspect. Till you’ve seen, the world is flat.
What’s that? You read me right. Or else, convince me I am wrong.
But first of all, convince yourself. It’s science, not religion.
And science can be questioned—and it shouldn’t just be priests
Or scientists that you believe. It’s fact, not an opinion.
But every doctrine is a lie. And so it is with this.
We cannot catch the whirling flow within the nets we weave.
A life that’s caged is sad indeed. So ignorance is bliss,
Until the knowledge that’s ignored says, “Here! Do you believe?”