“In the End”
In the end, they knew no more about the other
Than they were led to believe;
Their minions’ hearts on sleeves
Will please the local rag, the corps or sundry brothers
Everywhere from “Z” Town in Lincoln to Kansas City,
Kansas across that great Missouri Divide from the Plaza seen
From Independence through to the streets of Ferguson screened
(And we all know what that name has come to mean), facility
To felicity for some, agony to millions, and death to some few.
But, who’s to know what really came to pass that afternoon
Between the teen and the less-than-seasoned officer marooned
In destiny to make a difference where there was none, the glue
To evolution in the mainstream of what to date has only seemed
To flow from cause to effect, but is and never has been truly seen?
“Off Hand I’d Say”
Off hand I’d say this section’s filled, the seats
Are taken, and in all this searing heat the jury’s
Out, and while the nation waits and scans itself, a libertarian fury
Bellows “Foul!” cloistred churches howl, and streets
In this small town are lined with booths and kiosks
Selling trinkets for the hanging sure to come.
If what’s been aired and stated stands the run
Of by-lines, commentaries, and jaundiced clues, the costs
Of fine democracy at work as free speech
Advocates declaim, the cartoons reign
Supreme above the mob who’d have the same
Indictment levelled at their enemies that screech
“Revenge!” and “Infamy!” against the polar opposite’s restraint;
While strains of ’29 and `39 are clearly heard in all this world’s complaint.
“Who Denies the Virtue?”
Who denies the virtue of a single act
Of charity and thoughtfulness, or instinct
crowned by mindless bigotry at the going rate?
Is there some subtlety, some sardonic smile,
some eleventh hour of business while late
And grainy nights come out to play that shares aplomb
while force-fed deadlines prove lethal to the facts?
Witnesses rush to queue the feeding gate;
The talk is endless, stale and flat, debased debates
That lap up honesty and truth as hostages to obfuscate
Collusion in the elect? “One moment, please!” contumely before one’s fate
Is ever known. Comes a jaundiced breeze that begs the gangrenous thought:
“Shall I do myself the honours, or shall I wait?”
Fools enough will bid for time designed to waste
The troubled waters in the rush to publish what’s been bought
And what’s been stolen. “But, there’s the rub, the standard, is it not?”
A man will broadcast expectation in a polished mirror of himself and rot.
“So damn the polls,” say sentinels on molehills; as nightly scenes
Of raucous petrels in profusion draw the strangest notions.
Propinquity in multiples of flawed emotions
Nominate the place, and no one weeps
For them because they are too small
To ponder. Inflection will pursue
A difference here and no one wonders notwithstanding revenue
Against expenditures what weighty enterprise. They’re all
About their their fathers’ business whether in stampede
Or at a crawl or motionless in the hall. They will what they will do
To some determined end that in the esoteric eye
Of the beholder need not make a lot of sense.
“Are we not but squirrels?” they query on the defense
Keeping watch for enemies with eyes that never leave the skies.
“And we are here as on a darkling plane,” recites the leader
While the troops remain at full alert and no one reads the metre.