Forgetting 2019: A Poem

31 Dec

[Prefatory Note: At this age, having exhausted prose options, I indulge myself during holidays, by sharing poems that seek also your indulgence. I searched 2019 forsome glimmers of good news, and felt stymied. Of course, here, there, everywhere there were glorious private exceptions, yet hovering over the public marketplaces ofthe world I cringe beneath menacing storm clouds and below chaos and misery, and catastrophes waiting to happen. It is this spirit that I looked back on 2019, and yet reject despair, and pledge to fight for what I believe in 2020 with the conviction that it can happen, and of course should happen.]

 

 

 

Forgetting 2019

 

asphalt rain

 

darkens green fields

 

eco-extinction

 

flares Amazon skies

 

fake leaders slithering

 

toward real dangers

 

hither and yon

 

seek safe havens

 

gated nations

 

hiding from truth

 

screaming ‘no’

 

migrants fleeing despair

 

pleading ‘please’

 

hiding from evils

 

Aung San Suu Kyi

 

defending genocide

 

this fallen Nobelist

 

broadcasting abroad

 

her deadly message

 

two centuries ago

 

Walt Whitman

 

arrived in our midst

 

singing aloud

 

bewilderingly

 

of America’s future

 

later lost to predators

 

seizing their loot

 

robbing the land

 

turning dreams

 

to wilting flowers

 

our grief becomes

 

a betrayed destiny

 

tainted at birth

 

natives driven

 

off their sacred land

 

of holy innocence

 

the trusted voice

 

of Toni Morrison

 

is gone not lost

 

if we listen

 

if we listen

 

if we listen

 

all not yet all

 

lost futureless

 

nested eggs contain

 

our only hope

 

of what may yet come

 

of what to renounce

 

let’s start with gold

 

then learn not to hate

 

keep love joy truth

 

if we listen

 

if we listen

 

if we listen

 

 

 

Richard Falk

Santa Barbara, CA

 

December 31, 2019

 

13 Responses to “Forgetting 2019: A Poem”

  1. Björn Lindgren at 2:09 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    Yes, so it is . . .

    May in this world, illness, poverty,
    war, and evil intent be cut off from
    their roots, and cease for ever.
    May this black epoque disappear.

    – Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th
    Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche,
    (1924-1981)

    And I add: May I make this possible!

    Warm regards,
    Björn Lindgren

  2. Bill Kreml at 2:51 pm #

    Well, another accomplishment from someone well accomplished in another work. If we didn’t know it we know it now, that all of your humane writings were grounded in a human caring. Happy New Year. Please don’t stop writing now. My best,

  3. David Hillstrom at 2:59 pm #

    Thank you for the poem, Richard. I didn’t realize you write poetry as well. A pleasant surprise.

    Happy New Year,

    David

    >

  4. dwlcx at 4:46 pm #

    Uh, actually, Uncle Walt arrived 2 centuries ago… never left

  5. Claudia Damon at 6:08 pm #

    I love this poem!

    • Richard Falk at 9:50 am #

      Hope you are fine, Claudia, and that those whom you love will flourish
      in 2020! Warmest greetings, Richard

  6. Kata Fisher at 11:39 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    At least WWI victims have a monument and a prayer-remembrence place in Magdeburger cathedral – now days that depicted exhaustion of humanity is almost 100 times multiplied, not in wood – but in living humans. The cathedral seems to be to be a holy place. If only roaring of death could just stop.

    Azusa street abuse of Church Order – was a real bitch to the contemporarily Un-Church (and her sects and cults history, and now for a more then 100 years ).

    Evangelical sect and cults can not help themselves. I hope that Evangelical Church in Germany can give them some hope to help themeless. If that takes place – I can see better and real-transending (not fake) of future (for today) on global stage.

    As Dark as it is – its not as bad – only 1 half of the world population is not at war/mass shootings? It will be very bad when 1/4 and lover gets to be not at war/mass shootings?

    Let us believe that world-moranity – or as you say “fake leaders slithering” wake up rooted in hell, and fouling flesh. It happened to Nazis and all others for more ago then the 50 years now. Things that decay are not even worthwhile uprooting. School of Frankfurt had a pretty good idea about that.

    K.F.

  7. Schlüter at 4:28 am #

    Best wishes for 2020 and cordial regards
    “Season´s Greetings and a good 2020!”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2019/12/23/seasons-greetings-and-a-good-2020-schoene-feiertage-und-ein-gutes-2020/

  8. maryryanblues at 4:56 am #

    Thanks for your wise words Richard and for all the wonderful work you do. ⭐️ Happy new year. Athbhliain faoi shéan is faoi mhaise (in Irish)

  9. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka at 12:20 pm #

    As always I admire Richard’s courage and honesty in telling it like it is, while the decade turns. I feel rather like he does, overall, but I still draw some comfort from the political outcomes in Argentina and Mexico, the demonstrations in Latin America, the voice of Pope Francis, and the emergence of the Progressive Democrats in the USA (with the possibility of an AOC candidacy in 2024 even if the religious-nationalist Right has a second term in 2020).

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