I just wanted to inform anyone who might subscribe or visits that I have recently set up a second blog. Please check it out. Thanks. This new blog contains a lot more resources on poetry learning.
WE ALL HAVE TO LEARN TO LOSE…
It’s a part of winning.
Do not despair, they’ll always talk
about the will to win,
but I ask you—
Do you amaze and delight at having raced?
Does winning not feel better when
you’ve tried and tired but only seen defeat?
It’s not the glory of winning
that propels me across my deepest pain;
It’s the triumph of having crawled
beaten and bruised–waist deep through mud.
The will to lose and lose again,
no matter the odds or the whispers of men,
is what sets you apart
and makes winning all the better
when you rise up and finally win.
POETRY ABOUT THE WORKING CLASS…
and the struggles therein.
Old bearded men drifting
in the alleys of night
have died with the sunset
and as I have overlooked
their bodies beneath
green park benches and bridges
they too have overlooked my feet
passing quietly by
as the waitress slips silently
into her second or third
I can see that she is no longer
with the romance of kids
and a husband to love,
she long ago packed away the luggage
that she so desperately wanted.
The coils of her golden hair,
disheveled and muted,
surely hide what was once
her bubbly persona
as she steps into her nice little car.
I see it all the time
the look of mountains of debt
and the pressed smile
that struggles from the lips,
and I see the children
who’d trade their toys for her
I see the husband and wife,
all of their earthly love
are no longer in it.
The joy just jumped
out of their bed,
and it is not to say they don’t
still jump in the covers
and take that car for a spin,
but between the work hours
and the wages
and three wonderful kids
it’s a miracle that
more of the people don’t
end up under green park benches.
The lions roar is very loud–
He voices his power just like a god,
And none would ever doubt
The terror as it strikes them down,
But lions know little of courageous things.
They are the politicians of the Serengeti,
Beating their chests with words
And telling you what you shouldn’t believe.
Of antelopes and wildebeests they say,
‘They are weak and cowardly things
That run and flee at the slightest of breeze,’
But what would a lion know of courage
When he has never had to face its fangs.
I’ve seen enough creation,
And gazed long at the depths
Of fathomless oceans,
And deeper still into the stars
To find, in you, a depth unmatched
By even the cosmos pitched to black-
-ness so dark that it leaves a void itself,
And I’ve known the torment of loss,
And I’ve known it well enough to lose
My smile into the black hole of the mind
And the torment that one must feel
When the depth of unspoken things
Seems deeper than all that has ever been.
Long, at last, The Vostok had pierced the darkness
and thrust Yuri into the firmament;
We leapt from spherical craft to the vault
of heaven and waded ourselves in a bit
with legs new formed like a tadpole in morph.
In fire and sparks the Saturn 5 was born:
Mighty Zeus himself had crafted the name
and Leto surely guarded Neil and Buzz
as they blasted their coarse in a craft—we launched
Apollo, the old Olympian God
and thirty two million horses aloft.
The world and all of its kin found itself
as moths circling the television flame—
pinned to Cronkite and the radio wave,
as both Eagle and Buzz set down to Sea.
One great leap for mankind—we would follow
and pierce the darkness to glimpse the mount
and seat of Gods again. Our hearts would lead
and our feet would follow, but the veil of heaven is
thin and the forest is dark with life.
For fifty years we’ve kept our feet on Earth
and filled the vacuum with The Kardashians,
Kanye, and the endless noise of Nancy
Grace, fairly unbalanced in her pulpit cries.
From its jeweled coffers life feeds on life.
The tusk of the narwhal was built from blood—
in its spirals eons stack up the cost.
Even the helical form of fractal
Romanesco Broccoli is bathed in the dead
of the lifeforms that could not out complete
such a splendid looking broccoli as it.
At worst Fermi has left us with millions
of civilizations dispersed,
surely we should have heard some noise by now—
some distant music from a farther room.
We have gone out in the darkness in waves
to the places between the stars
and traveled beyond that first awkward step
as Marconian ambassadors,
broadcasting our whereabouts—
a little blue planet—just left out of the caves.
If the forest wasn’t dark and the hunter
was not lurking about the trees,
surely we would have heard the children singing,
surely we should have heard the chirps of birds
or the thunderous feet of some flower
become sentient now after a gigayear
spent smiling up at a dwarf sun.
Life feeds on life, and in the dark of ages
hence it has gathered about the Goldilocks
and clutched its young with something like arms,
and being reasonable decided to lock the door
rather than chance the great mistake of waving
a leg or a tentacle our way.
She is the source:
the matriarch, and the material,
the mad spring, and it’s ever renewal,
the pregnant valley that blooms en masse
from the depths to the valley cleft,
and she is a place of return and rest
when strange and wicked foreign lands
offer no safety but that of the moon,
and no comfort, lest that of hell and death.
If it were that Churchill had saved the world
and we had been delivered from the purge
of those most foul and infected fingers
would the Doomsday Clock still near its strike?
Are we delivered
out of the depths of that sorrow and sacrifice?
That we should have to give again,
that we should be called to this sad task
and give again that most full of measure
has never been an easy thing to say,
but men will throw their bodies to the pit.
They always have–so that our babes can sleep
on cotton as soft as a summer breeze.
It is a time for choosing,
a time to cast aside the oldest lines;
do not believe there is a left or right
there is only an up or down from here.
In October of 64 we ‘rose
from the ant heap of totalitarianism.
We went up with the words of Ronald Reagan:
“those who would trade our freedom for security
have embarked on this downward course,”
yet here we are upon our very knees.
We have never seemed more divided,
and the entire world is creeping nearer
the waiting claws of a socialist beast.
The same seven headed hydra that stepped
as geese across the European lines
now hides its emblem from our prying eyes.
Today the youth stumbles toward their goals
all but dressing in their finest Brownshirts,
believing with all their hearts in the Big Lie,
the promise of new prosperity,
new equality and security
given by way of the worst of all trades:
each to be equal in his or her misery.
Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people… Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea. – Adolf Hitler Mien Kampf (1929)
Once a plan as insidious as Hitler’s became a reality, the world would never need to see the rise of one single individual to power to see such evil enacted upon it again. Here on the shores of this great country where the first amendment protects speech, you would not expect for the rise of such ideas to have occurred here. Nevertheless, we have seen the rise of these ideas in this country within the last decade. Where does this have its roots? The colleges across America are Hitler’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, and there is no need for Hitler or Goebbels to be at the head of the operation.
The problem goes deeper in today’s American society, but before we can go on we first have to go backwards. That is, how did this problem start within Universities? I only ask this question because the answer is meaningless; it no longer matters because it has happened. Call it a push towards equality (be it gender, race, etc.) that went too far or a conspiracy to push such ideas–it doesn’t matter and the end result is the same.
We now live under the new regime of Public Enlightenment and the Ministry is no longer the one dispensing the propaganda. The goal of the Ministry to have the message communicated through art, music, theater, films, books, radio, educational materials and the press have been achieved in-so-well to establish the very types of divides within a people again. As such, the universities participation within this also no longer matters, because the ball is already rolling within the student populous. The problem is no-longer exclusive to universities. It has itself seeped out into every facet of American life. From k-12 to universities, to city council meetings, to within the workplace, to online games, to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and the whole internet. It is 1933 all over again.
To be clear we are talking about the rise of an attitude that seeks to silence free speech from any view point that is different from their own point of view. We are talking about difference between having an open debate about something like systemic racism and saying that a certain people cannot and are not allowed to have a voice within the topic. Even though there is nothing racist in that last sentence I already know that many will claim that as racist regardless. This is the very keystone of the problem; one simply is not allowed to place themselves into such thought while not being on the inside without being called a bigot. I harbor no ill will or feelings of hated or intolerance, yet, almost as if religion I cannot question facets of an argument without being called such things. This is the same for conversations involving LGBT as to issues involving transgendered within sports. They simply cannot be discussed without automatically being called a bigot and slandered while being met with a complete lack of interest in hearing your thoughts on the matter since you are an outsider and obviously a bigot for even daring to speech regardless of your thoughts on the subject. This attitude of unwillingness to have rational discourse is beginning of what will likely be the death of what actually makes America free. Say to a Nazi today that he cannot speak, and you might find yourself unable to speak tomorrow. The foundation of freedom within this country is that, although Nazi’s might be deplorable, we believe in your ability to filter out the good ideas from the bad. Once an idea like those of 1930’s era Germany begins to take hold, and you are not allowed to criticize the Ministry, restoring what America has held as true and valuable will be very hard.
Now, Issues like race, sex, etc. are only the beginning of the problem. We are now seeing censorship on a large scale across virtually all of the internet on a vast array of topics. This censorship is being presented as to protect people or to create a safe-space. Covid-19 and the fact checking with opinions rather than facts is just one of many glaring examples. This is the beginning of what it is to create people who can be seen by another group as less than: they have to paint you as evil.
There’s an old lie, that says
that it’s sweet and fitting to die.
That we should fall so a nation can rise
has always been the soldier’s plight–
but tell me again of the glory of war
and what we should lay down lives for.
Were we ruled by men like Cyrus the Great,
perhaps there would be glory in the fight.
If freedom was really the cause of such ominous fate,
perhaps it would be fitting to have died
and cast our blood as Phlox into salted foreign soil,
but alas our rulers are not the same:
they’d throw us deep into the pit of death
to feed the men who laugh at digging graves.
I have met them, as the sun set,
Coming along down the highway
From Memphis to Las Angeles;
Ordinary well-meaning people,
Who pass by with meaningless nods,
And I have engaged them in talk
Under the last embers of day,
As one sometimes and often does
When strolling out on evening walks.
When out today something was wrong
The polite and meaningless nods,
Now turned into parties and lines drawn,
And I have known them, close as mom,
And closer still as a loved one–
And known them all, their hopes and wants.
And we have known this all along,
The Germans marched right into hell
On a better say nothing way,
And then a wall went up in East Germany.
Why is it that good people go
Willing into the darkest of hate?
If I believed in such a hand or eye
I’d think the tiger’s symmetry is weak;
what would such stealthy paws or stripes hold now
when held as candle to all our fine arts?
In what abode would such a God have dreamt
the magnificence of Da Vinci’s mind,
the obsidian blade, the copper mine,
the bow, the gun, the knife, the scythe, the pen?
What shoulder could bear the image of a god?
what creature would not break and bend at the hip
to flee from such a foreign thing as this?
the clay it must have been of finer stock!
William’s dreaded tiger is but a lamb,
an image as natural as all death
and birth that has ever been witnessed,
but we are made of that fearful symmetry.
The terror storm is not yet here for us
so children’s lullabies can still be sung;
aboard bodies are pressed against the gears.
‘Once more unto the breach’ that’s right for them,
once more, again, that right for them is gone
but press they must their bodies against it.
Today the sun is out
And the world’s no darker,
It’s just the veil has lifted
And the shelter once taken
No longer prevents you
From knowing the darkness
Is always at the end
Of the warmth of the day.
If all I had were words,
and we were naked in the woods,
I’d give to you the fruit
that dangles from the shoots
and climb the canopy above
to prove my earthly love,
but I’ve no place to climb
and the fruits seem so high
and my cloths seem only to keep
climbing just out of reach.
Words will say nothing of the world–
words only wish to speak in tongues
and tie themselves in knots to hearts,
but if I could I’d give my voice
so that perhaps they would be heard,
I would translate the tongues
and unpin the pen from opinion
and give to you the truth of words,
but neither of us has the vocab
with which we need to converse.
Today I feel like a rebel,
who has done some small act
to save himself from the dull thud
of monotonous life,
Not some grand gesture of freedom
or some act of salvation,
but rather an act as simple
as talk on a New York elevator.
I’d like to think the natives had it right,
that perhaps we’re really all diseased
and infected with the Wetiko virus.
I’d like some creature or beast to be blamed,
that way I would not know such things.
I’d like a belief system that frees me,
where someone died to release me of shame.
This Wetiko has the world in fever–
and the bodies are piling in the streets.
If wine is mouth and love is eye
and William Yeat’s was made to sigh,
than I have loved your sight till blind
and drank myself out of my mind,
but I find no ease, love, or drink
because I cannot love an empty cup.
Sometimes love is not enough,
sometimes all the rainbow doesn’t lift
the heart from the basement of us,
and all the colors run into a pool of black
and all that is reflected is hate,
and then good men do the worst deeds
and pick the weapon up
and end cruelty at the barrel,
and it’s the cost of being free.