Winter’s Weight / The Prophet
I had wandered, in the winters,
In the streets deserted, cold,
With the dreary skies above me
As I grayed from growing old.
For the one who’s old and single,
A winter can be bleak,
With neither spouse nor offspring
As a shelter from its reach.
But neither love nor kinship
Nor friendship can suffice
To free ourselves of a winter
That holds us in its vice.
A season, like a time of day,
Is a being and a mood.
In colder climes, the winter’s traits
Are often rather rude.
It blusters as it freezes us.
It dumps its loads of snow.
It takes what autumn might have left
And then it asks for more.
But seasons, much like times of day—
And moods, are transient things.
So winter, like a tyrant, reigns—
And then, the minstrel sings.
But till that little bird arrives
And perches on its tree,
We live with winter’s weight on us
And struggle to be free.
And some may look to forecasts in
Their hopes of warmer weather,
Or seek for a prophet, who’d show us how
To break from winter’s tether.
How many were the prophets false,
How many true were slain?
And yet we seek for “leaders”, who
Might free us from our pain.
In the winter, comes the "leader",
To a people turned to sheep.
He says, "Follow me to summer."
But the price is often steep.
There always are the foolish,
Who never will be wise.
Will he lead them to the slaughter
Or towards their paradise?
For it's only when we waken,
From the sleep in which we dwell,
That we know which way is heaven
And which will lead to hell.
I had walked the cold and silent streets
Of the cities of the north,
And wondered, would those songs return
That autumn’s winds sent forth.
On winter nights, I had seen in dreams
The colors of the spring.
I had huddled then beneath my quilt,
But my heart had taken wing.
How many "revolutions",
How many "springs" have turned
To bloodbaths and unreason—
And yet, the spirit yearns.
The tides of men have seasons
That last for many years.
And then there comes a prophet—
And hope that wells as tears.
I traveled to Manhattan
To hear the prophet speak.
And there I saw that Sanders
Was out of winter’s reach.
His hair, which age had whitened,
Was tousled by the breeze.
But though the wind was biting,
He stood and spoke at ease.
So winter’s weight was lifted
And grays replaced by hues.
The birds would be returning—
Although it wasn’t news. *
And riding back to Brooklyn,
I sat within the train,
Resolved that, what the winter
Had stolen, we’d regain.
2016 January 16th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York
* Sanders’ gave his aggressive Wall Street Reform speech, which I attended, at the “Town Hall” building in Manhattan on Jan. 5th. This, along with polls showing that his campaign was succeeding despite the mainstream-media blackout, did finally get him some long-due coverage in that media.
|Bernie Sanders, giving his Wall Street speech, |
at the "Town Hall" in Manhattan, 2016-01-05
photographs (very poor): A. Janah
Sanders had given his talk, in which he had attacked the excesses of the financial institutions, many of them centered in Manhattan, at the historic midtown "Town Hall" building on 43rd Street. This building, with its large auditorium, had once been a center for the suffragette movement.
After the talk, I joined a group of supporters who were waiting for him outside the building. Once he had emerged, we followed Sanders, along with some media folk, as he briskly walked, hat-less and glove-less despite the cold, east along 43rd and then south along Sixth Avenue, crossing it at 42nd Street and then stopping for awhile, at an entrance to Bryant Park, to be interviewed.
Midtown Manhattan, with Bryant Park on lower left, between 40th & 42nd Streets.
The "Town Hall" is on 43rd Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.
You can click on any of the pictures to view all of them in a somewhat larger and clearer format, in a sort of gallery show. Click on the white X at the top right of the black background to return to this post.
|Sanders crossing on the streets of Manhattan, 2016-01-06|
photographs (not the best): A. Janah
|Sanders being interviewed by an ABC News reporter,|
Bryant Park, Manhattan, 2016-01-06
photographs (somewhat better): A. Janah