This Letter

I would compose a letter that might or could

ought to contain everything,

yet there is that piece of the human condition

prevents everyone from being perhaps

Stephen King, or Charles Bukowski, even Sylvia Plath.


Emily Dickinson is said to have lived a reclusive life

in her bedroom overlooking a lawn where children played,

and yet, she only wondered, imagined,

wrote about all of the confusion she felt

while remaining locked inside her own mania.


And in a rather beautiful sense of nature,

living a life in New England where poets just seem

a natural part of the soil, was Robert Frost

penning his own recollections of a speaker

living lives with miles to go …


Then along came Langston Hughes,

he wrote about the Black experience,

but without hostility,

at least I didn’t feel it,

when his words did bleed compassion.


I think about writers and the lives they led,

what did finally inspire them to discover

the avenue of their words,

the memory in their lives,

created this need to express some pain.


Yet beauty too would be Maya Angelou in her Grace

with every ballad focused upon loving

one another, each other, the human race,

the pure humanity

exists in love.


So while I try to write a letter

wrap my head around my state of mind,

I weep a humility toward those that come before

the courage to speak their ‘wisdom’

rather than suppress the raw nature of identity.


We all have letters we would like to write one day,

heal the soul, allow eyes to open, hearts explode with love.

© Thom Amundsen 5/2020

Maya’s Lasting Impression

I have tears this evening

Pools, welling in my eyes

Imagining a spirit soaring

Streaking across our skies.

Hers, a delightful voice

Allowing us our choice

To recognize the human condition

To celebrate her marvelous vision.


We were hearing your words

Welcoming a stately event

All of us gave pause afterwards

This new sound began an advent.

Hers, a delightful voice

Allowing us our choice

Realizing today we have a mission

Heartfelt we wish only inclusion


You spoke eloquent verse

Eyes that recognized nature

Passion of a healing nurse

We needed a path mature

Hers, a delightful voice

Allowing us our choice

We are a society driven by a common

Ground; shrieks to lessen the demon.


That day, you shouted aloud

Spoke of nations, of people

A message of love so loud

Tipping the cynic’s steeple

Hers, a delightful voice

Allowing us our choice

Know today we have made a decision

Sweet words shall stifle our aggression


Remind me your love today

Compassion, delight in real

Moments may lead our way

Paths we may reach surreal,

Hers, a delightful voice

Allowing us our choice

When will our song bury oppression

Live wise, sing Maya’s lasting impression