Thursday, December 18, 2008

Inaugural Jitters

© Don Brennan

Now I know why
the greater good
has been keeping me
alive all these years so

I’d be here to see
Obama win that thing

Be here to hear a
political speech by a
Democrat that
I’ve been able to
believe since Bobby
Kennedy George
McGovern and Jesse
Jackson were sealed off

Ain’t we so tired of
liars and cowards, ain’t
we happy now for
intelligence, compassion
and courage for a
change in a nation’s

A change in a nation’s
direction into the four
directions, slouching
towards democracy.

© Don Brennan

A few unnoticed kids
playing beside a dusty road

A couple of men in jeans and
work boots amble by, talk loud
about the God damned Mexicans

Some stuff how they keep coming
take jobs and welfare, God damn.

Two girls and three boys playing
on a back road a few miles
north of the border

Two light skinned, three dark
laughing, acting silly as
eight or nine or ten year olds
left to themselves

Scratching and digging at dry dirt
with sticks outside a small house
while somebody’s mother
fixes lunch.

God damned unnoticed
children all hearing clearly
the curse of the passersby.

© Don Brennan

don’t relax and let your
sadness die, curl up
in your heart like
something familiar

a Pakistani child
too exhausted from
loss of blood
to ever smile again

an Afgani family
blown apart by drone

remote trigger
brain splattered remains

too exhausted by death
to run for cover

Iraqi civilians
shot down every day
for being
Iraqi civilians

don’t relax
don’t let your sadness

to putrefy inside
the heart that is
your mind.


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


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