Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Proud People

a proud people once stood
on a hissock in the hill
and surveyed the land that was rightly theirs
the black hills of south dakota
and many surrounding plains
all were theirs
claimed not only through tradition but through honor and sacrifice
a strong and fearless people
who ruled the land with fair and just rule
one day to become wards of the state.
oh where did these people go?
forced off the lands they once surveyed
onto reserves no bigger than the state of long island
much smaller than what is really theirs
an outrage to their living and their dead
caused by a government which does not care
about the people or the air.
and in this vein
there will be no peace
until these lands go back
to those who really own them.
high above the proud black hills,
the clouds danced in the baby-blue sky
while far below
there lingered abuse and violence
among the people who once stood proud
among their sacred lands.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ride the White Wave

ride the white wave
that curves over the rocks in the bay
and crashes down onto the sand below,
scooping up the driftwood and seaweed as it goes.
ride the white wave
that scatters the dust from the sand
and traces the outline of the water,
bringing in the wind.
ride the white wave
that shapes the clouds
and dapples the colours on the tree trunks,
shaping the reflections on glass.
ride the white wave
that empties the dishes in the soapy water
and rinses the thoughts,
moving feelings and apathetic tendencies.
ride the white wave
that removes memories of pain and sorrow
closing books on the past until tomorrow,
saving what's left and destroying what's not.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Paper Mache Mask

and then, out of the sparkling darkness
a face pasted out of hope,
the edges smeared and soaked in glue,
dried on a shelf during a hot afternoon,
the colours slightely faded by the light.
features shaped by loving hands,
flowing into the paper and cardboard,
wrapped by the thin outer forcefield
of craft glue mixed with water
and then dried.
still slightely tacky,
and smelling of glue,
the face carries hope on its way to you.
concealing human emotion in paper,
i leave you this gift
the only expression that you will need
on your journey.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

south dakota

my brother
and i
once drove
across the bottom
of south dakota
in an old
station wagon
it was very dusty there
i don't know why
we went
he said he liked
the grasses there
he claimed the breeze
was nice and fresh
as it skittered off into
the west
i don't know why
we went
there instead
of montana or idaho
he said he preferred
the bottom of
south dakota.
the land there
was very flat indeed
with rocks
and dried out river beds
and funny looked grasses too
which stood quite still
against a brilliant sky of blue,
and beyond those little specks,
sometimes a rock or too
would the horizon crest.
we stopped and took a rest
by the zig-zags in a crooked fence,
that curved again
into the west.

The Purple Roses

buy me a kite
and paint it black
like the fur that grows on your cat
who sits up by the purple roses
that i bought for you
on a hot summer's day
in may
when the sun shone bright
and made the green grass glow
and i looked at those flowers
and thought
they looked
like the shadows you can see
in your eyes
when you tilt your head to the side
and look in the mirror
with a flashlight