DISTANT TRAINS

Distant trains whistle low and away
While crows in the treetops are insisting upon their far greater importance.

Jesus says: “You’ve forgotten everything essential about me
Asserting I have the power to ‘save’ you –
When, actually, I don’t.”

Distant trains whistle low and away
Taking people to camps
The same people whose grandchildren have also created camps.

Crows in the treetops are insisting upon their importance
Like politicians who create unreality shows
Designed to lead fools by their noses
Down broad entertainment ramps to political slaughter.

It’s a show mindlessly conducted for a mindless audience
Performed with flourishes of rage and spit –
A show waged against conscious reality
So that God can never be seen.

These lives without beauty are tragic –
But they don’t seem to care
Since, to them, truth is just a commodity for rent
And love’s a word useful for marketing cars.

Yes, love is a word no one dares say anymore
Because it could be taken as a commitment –
And, if so, how could we get away –
Escape unreality –
Escape everything the charlatans have wanted us to accept?

A TIME OF BOOKS AND PENS

Life in the modern world is like a fire truck roaring out of the station,
Sirens blaring, leaping down the street to greet a new emergency.

I want to live in a time with fewer emergencies –
A time of books and pens.

In such a time we’ll prefer politicians whose main ambition is to fix roads
And who don’t view politics as a gladiatorial contest.

We’ll cherish prosaic problem solvers
And ignore charlatans and mountebanks.

We’ll establish schools that excel at increasing children’s competence
And instill a love of civic duty
So they’ll grow up to be like first responders – able to meet life and death situations.

We’ll value workers who thrive on keeping the city’s water running clear and clean
And, out on the farms, people who produce healthful food.

We’ll encourage lifetime love between our young adults
So that our grandchildren can thrive.