Friday, July 31, 2009

Social Thinking

Cherry mash, cherry gum,
cherry bubble, cherry POP!
Cherry coke, cherry sugar, cherry pie,
when we stop.
I close my lips around cherry--
Ben and Jerry’s--
my mouth the cheeriest of cherries.
Report Littering
As we drive through Oklahoma there are a lot of signs:
Call this number to report littering.
I wonder where the signs are to report child abuse,
as I toss an apple core out the window.
The Same
Green grass, tall mountains, the land is speckled with cows.
Ranchlands, farm hands, and still
miles of road to go.
My hands are worn from driving,
so I muse about the lives of the people in the houses we pass.
I discover that most places are the same, really.
People living, people trying to love and be loved,
people fastened to their lives, tethering their dreams in the wind.
In Oklahoma
The trees’ hair has been windblown by the gales in Oklahoma.
His hands are well worn and able.
Lines trace the times he’s used them to serve others.
Crying In Dreams
I cried in my dreams for you.
My heart wide
and torn open
by all the memories I have
loving you.

I dreamt I was walking barefoot in the rain,
trying to reach you, but you would not listen.
I woke up with red cheeks and puffy eyes,
so I know I’d been crying in my sleep.
A Good Cause
We donate money to the arts,
to charitable organizations,
and pat ourselves on the back
as we,
in air-conditioned galleries and cocktailed ballrooms,
look at photographs of faces
and swollen bellies in 3rd world countries
or 3rd world cities just down the road.

“Ah, how sad.”

“What precious children.”

The words pass through our lips like mundane social niceties
before we take another sip of indifference
from our crystal glass.

We mingle,
rubbing elbows with people to whom we are bound superficially,
but we roam,


haunted for a moment
by those doleful eyes,
those emaciated, naked bodies,
a glimmer of ourselves, perchance.

Souls hungry,
spirits thirsty
for more than looking and never seeing,
nights spent wondering if we’ve been seen.
We are sadder, perhaps, than those faces we see,
at least they are bound to someone else in a real way.

We clothe our nakedness with designer names,
throwing our pennies in ignorance
toward the charity cases our own lives have become.

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