I stopped once to hear a sitar
played in a leafy shade.
A carpet had been laid to soften
spreading roots, and when the musician
paused, he rested his instrument
against a sturdy trunk.
Felled for a utility pole, says the young gardener
with outraged face. Couldn’t they
have found another place?
Now, where just a week before
we gathered in uncommon grace,
a stump and side-lying trunk.
Growth rings slowly weep sap.
Severed branches collect in a heap.
Something there is that doesn’t love a tree,
that sees only expendability; sees logs,
split and stacked for firewood;
sees timber, 2 X 4’s, cash.
That looks at shade and wants full sun;
that wants to make way for a lawn,
a fairway, a putting green.
©July 29, 2020
#68 of my 100 Poem Pandemic Challenge
Revised 1/12/21 with Susanna Rich
We knew it would end with a bang!
Because bang gets eyeballs, enriches
The already rich, and besides,
No one is really interested
In reality, these days.
It’s all Disney, all the time –
Let us entertain you and you will
Come back for more. You will
Empty your wallets; max out
Your credits cards; go into debt;
Vote, to keep the damn show going.
You will confuse your performance
With actually doing something,
Because that’s how we roll here.
I say, bring back the dullness
Of a government that actually works —
No soundtrack, no makeup,
No lights or camera, no Academy Awards —
For the least of us.
Let public life be respectful,
Again. Let’s reward the people
Who just do their essential jobs in obscurity
That they and we may all sleep better.
Boring is beautiful. All the world’s
Not a stage.
January 4, 2021