Now (Hour 12 Half Marathon 2021)

Now
(Hour 12 Half Marathon 2021)

What kind of world do we live in now?
All kinds of red lines in the sand.
Wind blows sand and line away.
What don’t they understand?
Our destiny
Lies beyond thought
Hand grips if
Not now
When

St Patrick’s Day Gumboot War (Hour 11 Half Marathon 2021)

St Patrick’s Day Gumboot War

I am not in the habit
Of using words I don’t know
This list includes single syllable
And multi syllabic words
I have a decent vocabulary
And understand words in context
Passive knowledge
I do my best with metaphors
And similes
And meanings that twist away
Verbal optical illusions

The skyscraper cakes into a periwinkle
Sourdough magenta St Patrick’s day gift.
As the cloud drops into a fog and spreads along the storefront.
As the cloud drops from the sky into a fog along the storefront.
As clouds, fog, periwinkle, magenta mix in a confusion of camouflage
And lemon or lime meringue.
The gumboot chitons sensing diversion, rise from the sea
Crawling along the streets until
They meet up on the hill above the storefront.
We call out the national guard
And they in turn misunderstand what the gumboot chitons are
And call upon the forest rangers
Who also have no clue what they are dealing with.

The owner of the skyscraper
Along with the storefront tenant
Came with their shotguns
And along with the national guard
And forest rangers declared war
On the molluscs
Who fight back with needle precision.
Neither side could beat back the other.
A national emergency was called
Until chefs from the Caribbean contained them
In boiling pots though some were fried.
The war ended with a feast
Of gumboots, wine or beer.

 

Christmas Snow (Hour 10 – Half Marathon 2021)

Christmas Snow

(Hour 10 – Half Marathon 2021)

I have wandered among the snowflakes
Wondering what it is about the end of December
That everyone loves snow
I live in a city
And snow becomes
Dirty and slippery
On the sidewalks and streets
We cannot ski
We cannot skate
We do not enjoy the cold snow takes
I know there are movies
And tv shows
And songs about Christmas snow
People actually dream of snow
But the original movie
With the song
Took place in a ski resort
Where snow made sense
For those who spent their vacation
Wanting to ski there.

I know that wishing for snow is not the same
As making it happen
Ski resorts these days can make artificial snow.
But we in the City must spend money removing it.

Don’t call me scrooge
I enjoy exchanging gifts
Having a nice meal with family
And all other Christmasy things
As much as the next guy.
I hate the cold and I hate snow.
And I don’t dream of snow unless it is a nightmare
And the snow causes me to crash my car
Or fall and break a leg or wrist.
My gift to G-d is a prayer for peace,
And as a return gift,
I would appreciate a season without snow.

Now is not the Time (Hour 9 Half Marathon 2021)

Now is not the Time

(Hour 9 Half Marathon 2021)

The doorbell rings
The phone rings
I choose to stay
Where I am
Now is not the time for action

We think of love as passion
What if we love inaction
You say it is time to move on
I say moving on is out of fashion
You want me to get up and face the music
But music is not a fact to face
Now is not the time to dance fantastic

I think placing your needs above mine
Is a thoughtless crime
And just because everything in the house
Is telling us there is a fire
I don’t smell any smoke
As I begin to cough and choke
Now is not the time

You tie a string around my pinky
So I will not forget
I see the string and get all panicky
I forget what you said about regret
If I refuse to move to your beat
I don’t feel the passion well up in my breast
And everything is pointless after a point
We are well beyond the point, that point
Now is not the time to meet you in the dark

Now is not the time to meet you in the park for a picnic
If that is what the string was for
I am stopped at the door
My feet are stuck to the floor
The ants you bring back with my uneaten
Rotting portion of the food
You contrived
Are on the make to thrive
Only the strong can survive
You want to talk some more
Now is not the time

Our Friends Agree (Hour 8 – Half Marathon 2021)

Our Friends Agree
(Hour 8 – Half Marathon 2021)

After being friends
Since childhood
After your boyfriend
Caught you
With another guy
Just after he brought up the possibility of marriage
And told you he could no longer be with you,
And you agreed he just wasn’t capable of keeping up with you.
We would talk for hours
Usually on the phone
You would tell me your thoughts
Deconstructing what was right
And wrong
About him
About you
About the two of you together.
When we were together
Everyone thought we would make a great couple
They never understood why we were not a “we.”
We never acted on it.
We kept our emotional distance
We thought it better to remain friends
And we talked for hours about right and wrong
One night after a few drinks
You invited me in
And we finally perfected our relationship
Elevating from friendship.
Since then you have
Avoided seeing me
While seeing other guys
But we continue talking on the phone
Where we engage in lengthy conversations
One night I brought up the subject of us
You agreed that is okay with you
That I am in love with you
And that perhaps you loved me
Or could love me
Or might be in love with me in some way.
But after that you continued going out
Letting them buy you drinks
Finally finishing with one more one night stand
Our friends think we would make a great couple
Though you are extroverted
And I don’t get out much.
I am a classic introvert.
You texted me recently
With a photograph
Of you topless on the beach
With a guy in the background
Hardened in his speedo bikini suit
Bringing you a drink
I don’t know if we are playing games,
Pretending we are playing tag
Or something more or less
I would like to get on the same page
And tell everyone it is no or yes
I am tired of guessing.
I know you are very good at telling me
How you feel and what you believe is the truth
You show me often your ability
To understand people and their motives
But when it comes to us
You want me to guess.
I don’t know if you think
I will outlast this phase
(one that I am going through?
Or one that you are going through?)
Until you are ready to settle down
Or if you think you will find someone better.
And if I asked you for just another night of fun
Would that be better?
Would we then be able to settle down?
Do you think, I’m really in love with you?
Is that the issue that stands between us
A concrete wall between us.
If we could only have one
Could it be you?
Would it be me?

New Planet – Same Earthlings (Hour 7 – Half Marathon 2021)

New Planet – Same Earthlings
(Hour 7 – Half Marathon 2021)

Thanks to those with a ton of money
We have learned how to escape to space
To settle on planets never before
Exposed to human life
We take with us
Not only our possessions
But our predispositions
Our immune systems
And other life forms
From earth
That feed our ecosystem
My family landed on the planet
Known as cvd 2021
Since it was discovered in 2021
Before the great surge
That wiped out one quarter of the population
Vaccination worked to a point
But new variants were immune
To the initial vaccines
New vaccine, new variant, new vaccine
And of course
There were people vaccine averse
And there were countries unable to vaccinate
Enough people on a timely basis
In 2092 we took off
For this better place
Millions of us
In suspended animation
On the Bezos-Amazon 5
A dome created by Tesla
Protected us with an earthly atmosphere
The earth after years of interplanetary emigration
Would never be the same
Those that remained
Continued to believe in a magical explanation
Some of my friends
Went to a neighboring
Planet named the new normal
These friends lived in a subdivision
That is exactly the same
As the one I now live in
Earth flowers and trees in the yard
We communicate through satellite technology
Through the dead expanse of space
But we are hearing of strange diseases
Once more causing a panic among the survivors
I am not sure if these diseases escaped from a lab
Set up on our new planet to experiment with life
Or are native to our new planet.

The political divide remains
Between science based decisions
To beat the disease
And those interested in blaming someone
Other than themselves
A new pattern is emerging
Vaccine, variant, new vaccine, new variant
There are those who refuse to learn
Where we came from
And why we left.

In the middle of town
Next to the Broad Street Bull
Is a Wall Street Golden Calf.
At noon, every day
Several thousand people
Go there to dance and pray.
I have a video if you want to see it.

Pandemic Exercise (Hour 6 Half Marathon 2021)

Pandemic Exercise
(Hour 6 Half Marathon 2021)

By David Hirsh

After sitting and zooming
For several hours
Several days in a row,
My legs needed a good stretching
I had been sitting too long
And my pulse rate
Needed a little boost
Even though it was
in the middle                                                                                                                                                                    of the Covid Pandemic of 2020
I decided to dress,
Put on a mask to leave the house
Gather the courage to step outside

These streets                                                                                                                   I used to jog down these streets
Avoiding the cars
Wearing bright clothing
To make sure I was seen
Now my pulse raced at a much slower speed
Then when I would jog or run
I felt lonely without a car in sight
It could have been night
I could have been dressed in black
I could have been naked
There was no one to see me
Except those faces frozen                                                                                      Hidden behind walls and windows

I went from one block to another
Down the middle of the street
Where cars had roamed
And had honked me to attention
The trees were still green
The flowers were in bloom
Bees buzzed around the flowers
Most of the yards
Were overgrown with grass                                                                                                                                                  and dandelions                                                            Various insects played among
The grass waving in the breeze

After about an hour
I arrived back home
Took the mail from the box
And went to sit back down
To have a video conference
With several people
Who talked about how much they missed
Leaving their homes.

Years Ago (Hour 5 Half Marathon 2021)

Years Ago
(Hour 5 Half Marathon 2021)

Years ago
I buried in my memory
Hoping to forget
The subject of . . .
It was pretty bad
And I still am not sure
If I want to recall
Every now and then
I get a vague feeling
Of something
Maybe that very thing.

I recently bought a new house
A place to create new memories
A place to call home
The back yard was a little uneven
And my dog kept sniffing
Over a certain place at the corner
Right where the fence is
After a few weeks of my dog
Going to that spot and whimpering
Making my wife unhappy
I decided at my wife’s instructions to dig up the area
I found an old box of someone else’s memories
I decided to re-bury the box
Sometimes you just don’t want to know.

Lightning (Hour 4 – Half Marathon 2021)

Lightning
(Hour 4 – Half Marathon 2021)

By David Hirsh

However you conclude
We will applaud
Some will stand
Others will stay sitting
The sound of your voice
Carries across the hall
Built for acoustic marvels
I, myself, am in awe
This is the third time
I’ve seen you recite
And each time
My mind dwells
In the words
I know so well
I wander around
With you
On your journey
Through the cities
And the places where people dwell
And the forests
Where trees, animals and forces of nature dwell
You show photographs
For those who need
Visual assistance
I prefer the words
That dwell between the silence
That live because you know how to hesitate
You talk about how you were almost hit by lightning
As a metaphor
And how you took long walks
To avoid playing cards all night
You were an avid loser at poker
Although you could read the other players
You felt bad for them
You weren’t that kind of killer
You would take a camera with you
And write about the pictures you took
And show those pictures as a slide
But I would rather hear the silence
Between the words
Than see what happened
To the tree you hid under
To avoid the rain
After it was hit by lightning
And continued to smoke in the fog.

For the Last Decade (Third Hour of Half Marathon 2021)

For the Last Decade
(Third Hour of Half Marathon 2021)

For the last decade
We have shared our thoughts and prayers
For the last 18 months
We have shared our thoughts and prayers
For the last few days
We have shared our thoughts and prayers
As we search for signs of life
Amid the rubble
Amid the fire
Amid the water
Amid the storm
We hope to wake up to good news
As the bad news we last heard
As we drifted to sleep lightly
Haunted our sleep
We have no time
For REM or deep sleep
Coffee barely prepares us
As we stare into the tv void
The preachers, priests, rabbis, imams
Are speechless beneath the glare
They stutter to the rhythm of multi rhythmic
Gun blasts in the distance getting closer
Each standing at a corner
Offering prayers to ward off danger
We conjure thoughts of miracles
As we search for signs of life
Hoping our thoughts and prayers will lead to recovery
Rather than acceptance of retrieval
Our thoughts run rampant
And crash over their prayers
Among the sounds of thunderous steel and concrete crashing
Among the sounds of multi rhythmic gunfire
I was thinking and praying for fireworks
I think I was misunderstood
By the powers that grant wishes
Or answer to those who think and pray
For something different or something better
Not just a better result
For the last five millennia
We have been haunted
By the thoughts of prayers
Of others
I think as we wake up to a disturbed sleep
That we have been deeply misunderstood.
Our ancestors traded tranquility
For the ability
To think and pray.
We search for signs of life
Among concrete and steel ruins
With trained dogs
Who couldn’t be happier
We use robots
To search for the sniper
Hiding behind the wall
We offer a solution
An emulsion of thoughts and prayers
We find ourselves humming to a multi rhythmic beat
Of gunfire and buildings falling
A modern song recorded by satellites
And played back on the 24 hour cycle of news
Until the conductor adds a new chorus