In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the disembodied eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg preside, unblinking, over a landscape of smoking industrial ash, byproduct of an uninhibited pursuit of wealth.
Are we living in that wasteland with a cardboard god casting his ineffectual judgement over our selfish pursuits? I don’t know. But it can sure feel like it when I’m in the right mood.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and the past year has certainly given us plenty to learn from if we are willing. But are we?
Is this the end? Is this the beginning? Is it both?
A pile of local weeklies sporting headlines like “Geiger Wins House Race” and “Miramant Reelected to State Senate” stared up at me from the tail of the check-out counter at my neighborhood market.
Consternated, I asked the clerk, “What’s with the old papers?” He looked at me quizzically. Then we both laughed. It was the Saturday after Election Day. The papers had been published Thursday, yet seemed ancient. The preceding four days had seemed like a month.
November seemed like a year. So much changed on a daily basis. Glad news. Bad news. WTF news. …
Trapped in a mist-bound guest house in Nepal waiting for clear weather, I was taught to play Bagh-Chal by a Nepali Wharton graduate. He was a wonderful and patient teacher.
Bagh-Chal is a game of unequal power. One player controls four tigers, the other, twenty goats. The tigers try to eat the goats by leaping over them. Goats cannot kill tigers but, using their greater numbers, can immobilize them and protect their own.
When you begin learning the game, being a goat seems a hopeless proposition. You are destined to be eaten and fervently wish you had been born a…
Sometime in August, the Medium odometer for the tag “Resistance Poetry” rolled over to 3000. I can’t say that all poems so tagged were published in RP or which one tipped the counter. But, that’s a lot of verse as commentary out there, and I want to thank all the poets who are using their voices to comment on culture and world events.
When I was growing up, musicians and songwriters were the people penning resistance poetry, their views seeping into my split-level suburbia through the radio, opening my mind to a larger reality.
Given the state of the world…
My husband asked me, “Do you think you can tell who someone will vote for just by looking at them?”
I thought about it, about how people dress, their carriage, whether they wear a mask, my central casting versions of Rockefellers, Rednecks and Resisters. I decided I couldn’t.
“But, you know what?” I said. “I judge how people will vote by how they behave. If people are rude, I assume they are Trump voters. Not caring about other people is the definition of rudeness. And that’s the definition of a Trump voter in a nutshell.”
Be kind. Be safe. And…
In all honesty,
I could say
I didn’t wish
I could share.
As you pant,
To cold tile,
Dying to live,
Will you think
You’ll never know
Unless you try.
“Don’t be sorry. Just be more careful.”
That’s what a friend’s nana used to say, admonishing us kids after we pled “sorry” for some misdeed.
Those wise words stuck to me, small though I was. They were forward looking, aimed at improvement. What was broken was forever broken. No amount of sorry was bringing it back. The important thing was never do it again.
At the same time her words forgave us, freed us of guilt and taught us to be more responsible, I understood we would not have received them had we not been sorry, if we had not…
Spirit speaks to us in metaphor, the language of the soul, the language of poetry. It is for us to heed the whispers, connect the dots, draw the lessons, act.
Rather than my words, I choose to lead with this piece by Ryan J. Petteway this month.
May you all stay safe.
Ian Moulton (new poet)