Upriver they cut trees
for the road.
Next summer will have a bridge.
Pop will sell his boat.
August, the preacher
will drive across in his old black Chevy
and hold the revival.
Not this year. Pop rows.
The preacher offers money.
As always, father refuses
and the reverend promises to pray for him.
This is not what Pop needs either.
He hears power saws biting
Sees the trout pool at the narrow part.
Smells pine with wisps of gasoline.
Pop had prayers of his own,
pious and mighty ones,
torn away like logs downstream.
We need God's blessings more every day.
We need His guiding Hands from sea to sea.
We need Him more as we face dark times ahead.
We need God's shining light to lead us
through a world of fear and dread.
We need God to hold us all tight
till we can all see the world
through His eyes of peace and love,
for all who believe in the man up above.
Tuesday setting meetings at the races
going through the forms at the responsible rate
melting down the imagery apparent in the faces
hope the surgical notation does not view
a twist of fate.
Writing with a wizardry of index colored cards
at defensive nature streaking through the remedies of love
again at pouring objects thinking of the random shards
feel like cosmic consciousness coming from above.
There is no way to hammer down authority
it serves us as it will
the power comes from heaven
and it graces us with skill.
I visited my berry patch
before the sun had risen high
where green buds glistening with dew
would be ripe in a week or two.
Black and juicy fruit will grow
upon each heavy bending branch,
accompanied by the scratches
one expects in berry patches.
A black and yellow bumblebee
buzzed resentment around my head,
vibrating with his warning song
to tell me I did not belong.
I planted every berry bush,
working deep in the rich, dark loam,
not thinking then of bees whose claim
upon this earth is much the same
as one who makes a detailed plan,
so we will share this space, and I
shall give God thanks for rain and sun,
and bees that will not be outdone.
Anticipation holds delight
when I make plans and follow them--
hoping for outcomes that will match
the plans--in life and berry patch.
Before we sit down to baked beans,
macaroni salad, Kentucky Fried Chicken,
Jack, the Vietnam vet, wants us to sing.
"Anchors aweigh," "From the halls of Montezuma,"
"The caissons go rolling along,"
"Nothing can stop the Army Air Corps"--
all these I join in with gusto. After all,
they are the songs of my Forties' childhood,
like "Old MacDonald," or "Itsy, bitsy spider."
Next Jack wants us to sing the song of his outfit,
"The Green Berets". Someone complains it's too long,
and I never learned it. When they finish,
I don't suggest those that stirred my heart
back then--something like
"Where Have All the Flowers Gone,"
"What Have They Done with the Rain,"
even the bitter, "With God on Our Side."
We finish with "God Bless America."
These days that's all you hear.
It's become the "Silent Night" of patriotic songs,
although it always reminds me
of King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. So
This afternoon in a chapel
in the desert mountains
northwest of Tucson
I was standing beside
a large plate glass window
admiring the landscape
when a dove flew toward me
at top speed not seeing
the window as a window
The silent chapel boomed
and the dove fell down
still resilient enough
to limp and flutter over
behind some vegetation
When doves become
missiles guided by illusion
they seem little different
from the murderous hawk
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