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Friday, April 20, 2012

The Northeast Corridor

(Thoughts on sights from a train window)

A loading dock unswept,
A parking lot that's etched in grass,
A thousand broken windows
Let the rain into
The empty
Fact'ry floor,

What is this place?
This lonely stretch
Of track?
The heartland of
Our Industry,
But with the Heart
Torn out.

The mandarins of
Have found a
Better way,
Made union with a
Harsher God
Across the sea.

Let us celebrate
Our loss,
Our loss means
Lower prices for
Us all,
A better life within the
Walmart World.

Listen as the men,
Wearing thousand
Dollar suits,
Tell us what is best,
And your neighbors
Down where they have
Never been.

Listen as your friends,
Listen as your neighbors,
Offer up belief,
In promises improbable,
And offer up their faith
To gods,
Already proven false,
False beyond all doubt.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The World That Jesus Saw

 An Easter Elegy - 2012

There was a world
That Jesus saw,
A world,
That was a place,
Of brothers,
And of sisters.
That world died apace.
It died of law,
It died of hate.
That world lives,
In the kindest hearts,
In the sweetest souls,
It can but beg
To emerge,
A brighter day,
When truth
Might be known,
And sects
Might no longer,
Serve of any
Until that day,
We all may pray,
In our own way.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cold War Sailors

What do we do with obsolete navy ships? We used to give them away, or sell them to allies. The march of technology has made this less practical. We often sold ships for scrap. Environmental considerations have made this less desirable. Ships are often used as targets these days, in sinking exercises, or sinkexes, hit by gunfire, bombs, and missiles, until they finally roll over and sink. Ships are often sunk in strategic positions to provide fishing reefs. Given their compartmentation, it often takes quite a while for a navy ship to sink. These days, it's possible to see video of many of these sinkexes on YouTube.

The cold war sailors are
A dying,
Being bombed,
Sunk beneath the waves,
Proving just how tough
They would have been,
Had they ever fought
The big one.
They fought a bit,
But mostly they
Just kept the peace,
And then,
When they were old,
And creaky,
Their children
Put them down,
Just for practice,
'Twas a better fate
To die a death,
By the sword,
Than slowly,
By the disrespectful
And ungrateful roar,
Of the breaker's
Blow torch.
It's hard
To see 'em go,
Those old gray ladies,
All of them,
Who served so well,
How'd you like it,
If your son,
Or daughter,
Put you down,
Just because
You'd gotten old,
And gray,
And arthritic?
Perhaps it is
A blessing
For a job well  done.
Bravo Zulu,
Requiescat in pace.