When I Was Ten

I was already wondering

why do we live the way we do

in a society where everyone,

anyone we encounter,

will have needs,

will want to feel the value

as anyone else who might want

the same things.

 

I kept hearing about love and flowers,

while watching the names scroll

across the evening news,

and then MLK and Bobby were dead.

I’m not really sure where the time

has gone so that today,

I stand here wondering if we have

made any changes to our lives at all.

 

We still know how to hate one another,

to load a burden of shame upon each

principled confession of humanity

we encounter on a given afternoon of days.

I sit among everyone that I have known,

there are simple avenues of memory,

and we each know the value of remembering

just when it was we began to feel fear.

 

I’m listening to Joan Baez in the background,

maybe Judy Collins later on, or Emmy Lou,

there’s a voice from my distant past reminds me

of that love thing we all seemed to grasp,

but only when tragedy spoke to our hearts

it was only then when we ripped apart our eyes,

and settled into a new way of thinking,

one that no longer contained the love of time.

 

Love of time rather than knowing the right time,

the moments that arise in our lives that compel

our souls to acknowledge the humanity of truth,

we are that lost beacon in the night extinguished.

Until the renovation, until the unearthing, until

somewhere in a time capsule we can see reality,

and once again, to know love is to feel our hearts

are an organic spokesperson for the beauty of love.

I Chose Joan Tonight

I chose Joan tonight to finish my words,

I was looking for some way to return to where it is

a struggle always ensues

my mind playing tricks on my heart,

that is an organic thing I suppose – trying to ascertain

between logic and pain.

I listened to Diamonds and Rust and watched her life scroll by,

so familiar to us the fans, so unfamiliar to anyone who didn’t

want to know just how easily words could define our lives.

I’m in tears right now as I continue to try and understand

just what it is I missed in my life, where it is I might go in the morning,

if that is a place that still welcomes this aging body.

Diamonds and Rust