Declaration of Independence Erased

Poem Twelve

Declaration of Independence erased

 

Self-evident men create

their Creator and Happiness.

 

Men come destructive.

 

Government should be changed

for light and transient causes.

 

Mankind’s evils are sufferable.

Train abuses in a design to reduce right.

 

Throw future security to the present King of Great Britain.

Usurp the establishment of these States

to prove wholesome pubic good.

 

Representation to tyrants only.

Bodies place uncomfortable depositories with manly firmness.

 

Original below…

 

Declaration of Independence (in part)

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Harvey, Who’s about to be Born

 

Poem Eleven

 

Dear Harvey, Who’s about to be Born

 

Make sure you’re born on May 8.

Do not rush things and come out the day before.

Repeat: NOT THE DAY BEFORE!!!

That’s a good little boy…just cozy in and relax.

 

May 8 is a great day…three years after the Nazi’s surrendered to end the war.

The week the state of Israel will be formed – spurred on by an article in The Nation on May 8.

 

You’ve been dodging genetic bullets for a long time.

Great grandfather murdered in a Pogrom.

Grandfather escaping the Czar, alone as a teen.

Parents facing death and certainly no you if hitler had won and taken over America.

 

So just cozy in and surf that wave that rolls you out on May 8th , child of mother May.

Because May 7 is a Vietnam Draft Lottery death warrant…as is the tenth and eleventh!

 

If you are born any of those days you will definitely get drafted, way off in 1969.

So just relax and enjoy floating the pond.

 

Your ancestors have been through enough war.

You need to grow up in Philly and randomly go to Woodstock.

Then join a hippie commune to give you the idea of hitchin’ out west.

So you can leave on that summer vacation and never come back.

Rather than have to worry about that dirty ol’ Draft.

 

So chill out Harvey…it’s more important than you know!

Just chill…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonbeam Coffee

 

 

Hour Ten

 

Moonbeam Coffee

 

Moonbeam Coffee

they call it.

 

You know who I’m talkin’ bout,

them damn hippies who ruined everything.

 

One of these foggy days they might

end up with a pair of cement shoes

taking one long step off the end of the dock,

if ya get my gist.

 

I rattled ‘round Nam

boots, canteen, army greens

dreamed of comin’ back to these

cedars and firs, had to

put my life on a shelf.

 

Then ol’ lazy Sullivan cross the street

moved down to the coast, hell if he ever served.

Now his kids come back and make

his barn the Moonbeam Roastatarium.

 

So what if I grew some weed

in my dad’s ol’ barn.

I paid my dues and guy’s

gotta get by somehow.

 

Now them damn kids are shinin’ a light on me,

right across the street.

 

So just hush up when I give them

a reason to wish they’d stayed in that hippie town

they call the City of Subdued Excitement

or some damn thing.

 

I’ll give em’ something to get excited about.

 

 

 

 

 

Half Magic

 

Hour Nine

 

Half Magic

 

 

My life has been a carrot, erupting though dirt.

I first was a sprig of green, blown by wind.

 

Then my crown pushed up to reveal

a much bigger me, coated in dirt

that knew I was part of a field

other carrots all around, not alone.

 

Sun and rain fed me, made me strong.

I was self-sustaining and certain.

 

No one told me about rabbits

or farmers with hoes.

 

…and now this happy story turns to

one of woe.

 

 

 

Good Boy

 

 

Hour 8

 

Good Boy

(A Sevenling)

 

 

 

 

I was a good east coast boy

with minimal indiscretions

until senior year in high school.

 

I still stayed with the flock

until Woodstock and a hippie commune

transposed me into a bonafide fledgling…

 

The West a typhoon, I landed in Neverland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resurrection

 

Hour 7

Resurrection

 

 

The landscape’s bleak if you see it that way. Guess that’s why everyone’s leavin’. Nah, it’s mostly cause there ain’t no jobs and I guess the kids just want somethin’ else.

 

I hear Walmart’s gonna put in a new store over by the ol’ Junction Store. It’ll probably put them outta business but you know Randall and Sarabeth lost Tim over in Afghanistan and Jayme turned out to have light feet and they lost track of him in San Francisco I think. So there ain’t no one to keep it goin’ and they’ve had enough I think.

 

I used to dream of getting’ out. Never thought I’d come back after Nam. But ya know that big ol’ world wasn’t that kind to me and when my folks couldn’t run the farm I hadda do something. Well here I am, just like them – livin’ on nuthin.

 

The truck’s beat to crap and the ol’ Chev’s on life support – just like me I guess. An ol’ codger who ain’t learned nuthin, ‘cept maybe I’d give you some advice. Haul your ass outta here, get yourself an education…and make sure whatever you do…it’s different.

 

 

 

 

Small

 

Hour 6

Small

 

My mind is shut

small

only has so much room

can’t squeeze in

even a tiny bit more.

Don’t want to.

 

I was born this way.

grew up baling hay,

don’t want nothin else.

 

Why would I?

I’m happy.

 

Don’t have to think about stuff

like you crazy liberal do nuthins

who wanna give this country away.

 

I don’t want to change nuthin?

 

It’s always been this way

so why change it now.

 

Mamma and Papa brought me up right.

I know what’s wrong and right.

I can tell left from right.

Cross me and you’ll start a fight.

 

Yeah…you got those big plans

and big ideas…

Bet you wouldn’t last a week

out in the wild.

 

Be my guest…

try it sometime.

I’ll dig the hole to bury you in, no charge.

You deserve it.

 

 

 

I Run…

 

Hour Five

 

I Run…

 

I run

because there is nothing else

 

I run

single-mindedly

 

I run

never out of breath

 

I run

without time to think

 

I run

without strategy

 

fear overwhelms me

fear defines me

fear thick as fog

fear dark and menacing

fear chokes me

fear propels me

fear surrounds me

 

I run

until I somehow find

…anger, resolve, bravery, strength, thought…something

 

I turn and face the huge dark monster that has chased me for many nights.

 

and…poof…it disappears before I even see it.

The Sentinels

Hour Four

 

The Sentinels

 

Waterfall a sentinel

could tell us the unthinkable

racing on a hidden path

out of pristine night.

 

Stars look down upon it all

know a lot that came before.

Quiet eyes are full of light

we’re just a speck to them.

 

Mountains grew out of the earth

like children of a rocky birth.

Booming barging bigness

reminds me of our weakness.

 

The moon shines light, reflects the sun

enlightens paths we walk upon

doesn’t want anything

as it brightens up our night.

 

I look at life like it’s a maze

try to see beyond the haze

at mountains, moon and also stars

but also highways choked with cars.

 

River once was waterfall

accepts its path as it flows on

towards an ocean destiny

knowing time will set it free.

 

I walk along the rivers edge

can’t see its start or its end

step lightly as I try to hear

its message bubbling loud and clear.

 

 

 

Pond

 

Hour Three

Pond

 

Standing by my pond…

Bubbles rise next to boulders covered in moss

with weeds popping out.

Hummingbird buzzes by,

Robin flutters remind me to get out of my head

in a flapping wings kind of way.

Gargantuan deep green leaves from a plant given to me in a small pot

now surround and enclose the four foot metal heron that

dominates in winter.

Giant willow looks down on it all,

first tree that I planted remembers everything

much of which I’ve forgotten

while the totem stares out at the pond

ever vigilant.

The progression of flowers races by like life

some are closing that I’ve hardly noticed

while new ones unfold from buds.

Moisture everywhere from sprinklers this morning.

Weeds that at times bother me so much

look like part of the plan.

One small stalk of grass rises above the others as if to say

“Do you notice me?”

Thistles everywhere that my Idaho friend scoffed at

but I see as flowers.

May I look at life through different eyes.

 

 

 

1 2 3 6