Friday, December 10, 2010


Have to admit, the well has been dry for a while. But as I process all that's happened lately and settle into a reflective quiet, stimulated by my reading, I find the words coming to me again. Below are three I wrote the other night. This is how they have begun but hard to say how they will end up.


There are billions of people
who lived their wholes lives
never feeling the need to start over new somewhere else.

But that isn't so with us.
We have scarred the land,
burned bridges, dug deep furrows,
all because of this need to begin anew.

Born again, baptized, renamed
we push onward
until there is nothing left.
Our destiny inextricably linked to destruction.


Further back, the cold skin,
the unintelligible tongue.
Blood thirsty progenitors who answered to the sky and sea,
the builders of stone monuments to the moon and stars.

Where did all of that go?
Lost in domestication,
lost in the mists of Imperialism and the American Dream.

Family Tree

My family is a mix of
victim and victors.
What does it matter to me,
if they died on the Trail of Tears
or under the boot of the British.
If they owned slaves
or built missiles?

I believed I had sloughed off the remains of these identities
these binary ideas.
Yet I find without even trying that I repeat the mannerisms of my father,
the anger of my mother,
the thoughts of their time and class.
So then, who's to say I am not
part oppressed,
part slave owner,
part bomber of worlds
and even darker things than these, which are rarely spoken of?
Of all the secrets I carry with me,
Maybe I carry these things, too.
At least I know, I cannot be innocent.

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