POEMS: Notes toward Thanksgiving U.S.A., An AssayMore Info
After pulpits whalebone and tea
in the harbor history
still repeats dry leaves
settling the state puritans
crisp too a few rakes.
* * *
Wind. Dry stalks. I am grateful
for this raw and lovely music
and for what is missing. Grateful
for what has been eaten
away and for these slaps
of leaves, this old family,
most still upright
and moving, shaking
to the same rasp.
* * *
NOTES TOWARD THANKSGIVING, U.S.A., An Assay
If the long shadows of humankind forever cast on
Earth, what of that?
And what did wisdom mean before the word,
wisdom, was, before words were?
Pre-historic hands on stone: African to Eastern
North American, on down the line to the Taconic
range / New England / these Berkshire Hills / stones
placed around aboriginal fires, and first women of
the light sitting at cave’s mouth, their voicings. . .
Evolution / DNA / resolution of bones out of wind
and dirt of ages, ancestral articulation. . .
Daniel Boone: I have never been lost, but I will
admit to being confused for several weeks.
Thomas Paine: We have it in our power to begin
the world over again.
1ST Drunk: Revolution! Toot if by land, won if by
sea. Keep your fronds close, and your anemones
2nd Drunk: Revolution and taverns! And if joy
deepens, mate, look out — utopia may be gainin’ on
Every sky yearns to be its own bird, a freedom
flying within itself, as every ideal wants to be
John Adams: I always consider the settlement of
America with reverence and wonder. . . .
Benjamin Franklin: The people heard it, and
approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced
John Adams later: Democracy never lasts long. It
soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There
was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams near the end of his life wrote to
Jefferson about the new Republic: The experiment
I hear America singing, drinking drugging.
I see America sinking rising and. . . .
Get it straight: in a World made of worlds, the
country I love and inhabit may not be the country
you love and inhabit, though we stand the same
And if the long shadows of humankind forever cast
on Earth, it is not that we hope so, not that we don’t.