Wednesday, August 3, 2011

america


when i was young
i believed that the world
turned inside the spinning vanes of america

the veins of america
ran with chocolate
a rectangle
that bled sweetly into the stars
up above the world so high

each star a nexus point for countless dreams

dreams painstakingly crafted
by hand and by head and by heart
and then carefully placed inside
each five-pointed form
like a diamond in the sky

at each vertice of the star
a wish

hope ... compassion ... tolerance ... change ... opportunity


of these hope

the most precious
the most fragile
how i wonder what you are

hope
the most vulnerable to the capricious winds of change
the most easily pocketed
by those who for whom opportunity
is measured in material terms
the most easily crushed
by those for whom
compassion tolerance and change
are synonymous with
the dark drudgery
of a stasis
that is most easily hidden
in the empty landscape that is
change
for the sake of change

-

america
i see sadness
when i look
into your eyes
knowing as you do
that there are those
who would contain hope
he could not see which way to go,
if you did not twinkle so

that there are
those who would take
the shimmering thread
that is woven
through and around each dream-filled star
fixing each
to the firmament

knowing
that they would
wind that thread
around the spool of politics
the discordant songs of empty rhetoric
and false promises
when the blazing sun is gone
when he nothing shines upon
then you show your little light

-
i wish for you
america

i wish upon the twinkling stars
that you can
in the fullness of time
remember the love
that you hold for yourself
as your bright and tiny spark
lights the traveller in the dark

welcome the angels

-


visual prompt (skip hunt) provided by tess at magpie tales
go here for the full text of twinkle, twinkle, little star

17 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Very thoughtful words Steven. I think most of us felt and feel like that about the US. Such a country of pioneers with such pioneering spirit - of course the same is true of your country.

Valerianna said...

We may be a country of pioneers, but through our years of comfort and ease, we seem to have forgotten how to forge rivers!

Helen said...

I was captivated with the way you wove 'Twinkle Twinkle' into your masterful poem ..... wonderful!

steven said...

weaver - i'll be crossing into the united states in about five days on my ride around lake ontario. it's astonishing that two countries so geographically close can be so similar and then also so very different. certainly the pioneering and youthful qualities both suggest and contain are there but there's a very different sense of purpose between the two that underscores the differences in their presence on the global stage. steven

steven said...

valerianna - when i wrote this - and it's an unfinished piece but i wanted to air it out - i was thinking about the span of time between the people who opened up the country for the europeans and the current state of the states. there's a core sensibility that runs straight through the whole. but there are so many distractions along the way, each of which have diverted the idealism that underscores that core sensibility. steven

steven said...

hi helen! this piece was written almost as is. the words for twinkle, twinkle, little star were in the back of my mind as i wrote and i felt that they held the thread of innocent out-thereness that i want this piece to have eventually. steven

Other Mary said...

Interesting, the thread that goes through your poem. I like the star aspect of this photo that looks much like a sun that has seen better days, and the structural element of weaving lines of the song through your lines. I also like the wish you have made here. Thanks.

steven said...

hello other mary - thanks for your kind comments. i really enjoyed writing this piece. i'm feeling it's a first draft because there are threads left untied all over it. when i saw that windvane i immediately thought back on the many times i've been in th states - most recently a year ago - and i saw the struggles that ordinary people were having just living and i was really affected by that. but i do believe that america - once it has passed through the rebuilding phase it's undergoing at the moment - will return better aligned to the world that has already arrived here and is just waiting for someone to give it voice. steven

Tess Kincaid said...

Beautifully expressed, Steven. Thank you for your hopes and good wishes for America, for our stars and stripes.

goatman said...

"change for the sake of change"?
How does one control this?

Seems like its gonna happen, crush us into the future, good or bad end.
Just a thought . . .

steven said...

tess thanks. it's a place to start. i think of america as being very representative of much of the human race as passing through a troubled adolescence. it passes. steven

steven said...

hey goatman great question. a burning question for some of the bloggers who visit here. i think change for the sake of change can't necessaily be controlled but perhaps it can be re-evaluated if some degree of mindulness is applied to the process. i'm not distanced enough from it myself to offer an objective alternative. i welcome the future to the same degree that it welcomes me each and every day!!! steven

hope said...

Is it ironic I've always wanted a windmill? :) Not sure if it's because of a childhood visit to a farm,where I felt more comfortable than in town.

Or maybe I chose to be "hope" because of a kindred spirit with Don Quixote. ;)

Love how you meshed everything together and yet still left us hope.

steven said...

well hope in my everlasting sense that the world is intended to be and become a good place i believe that there's always hope. hope so wishes to be felt that it makes itself available at every turn at every corner at every junction at every crossroads in our lives. steven

Kay L. Davies said...

Very well written. I enjoyed the way you used "Twinkle twinkle little star" in there.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Terresa said...

Amazing progression of thought here, Steven, and the form and shape of things (America), growing and shrinking, as a cup giving and pouring, the light emptying itself out, a star.

Erratic Thoughts said...

Captivating and thoughtful words...:)