DISTANT TRAINS

Distant trains whistle low and away –
While crows in treetops insist upon their greater importance.

Jesus says, “You’ve forgotten everything that’s real about me –
By insisting I have the power to “save” you –
But I don’t.”

Distant trains whistle low and away
Taking people away to camps –
The same people whose grandchildren
Are now maniacally creating camps for other people.

Those raucous crows up in the treetops have been insisting upon their importance
Like politicians who create “reality” shows –
Where they lead fools by their noses
Down entertainment ramps to political slaughter.

It’s a mindless show put on to entertain an essentially mindless audience –
A performance filled with rage and spit –
Literally, an “All-American War” against reality –
So that God can’t be seen through all the smoke and carnage –
So that God won’t even decide to show up.

These days –
Lives lived without beauty are no longer seen as tragic
Because Americans simply don’t care –
Now that the truth is a commodity for sale
And love simply another word – just like any other word.

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THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GOD

21st Century American poets
Sing about God’s “disappearance” –

But it’s not God who’s disappearing, it’s America’s spiritual culture –

What a waste! – our allegiance to a nationalism of no love –
To upper-echelon materialism –
And, also, to this ersatz “heaven” of global capitalism.

This raises the question, however,
Whether anything can exist without a center –
Especially since our own center is an “ego”
Which we’re rapidly losing confidence in.

The primary duty of working poets at all times and places
Is to sing about joy in the presence of God –
So that each of us might, in turn, have our own individual joys reaffirmed
And our true center hold.

When American poets started giving up God –
What was left was a group of negative images and a few slick verbal tricks –
What was left, in essence, was a deep emotional depression – artistically made invisible.

But what came next, of course, was Satan –
Grinning ear to ear –

Death trailing behind in all its manifold forms –
Entering our lives like the tide –

This is the price we’re going to be required to pay
For American poets being so willing to let the “real” God go.