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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