Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ferguson: A cycle


Ferguson 1: The wedding

The wedding: I hear
voices , not bells
voices rising in song
joined in song
joined in rejoicing

Outside: war, armies
clashing, wearing
armor, not linen,
linen saved
for afterward

The wedding: ends,
we walk outside
into the destruction
of the darkness. We step
over the slain.

Ferguson 2: The wedding

We step over the slain
as we walk the streets
of iron rusting in moonlight

We hear the music
the music of voices, raised
the music of voices, raged
the shattering of bottles, alight
rubber ping of bullets in flight
the music of shattering glass
scant protection against the burning
the music of alarms splitting
the night
shuffling feet, running past
the slain

The bride and groom gone
the wedding party gone

Ferguson 3: The fusion of narratives

One: walking in the middle of the street
Two: racist police
Three: blood in the middle of the street
Four: police protecting
Five: convenience store robbed
Six: the media, just the media
Seven: Molotov cocktail in memory of the slain
Eight: tear gas
Nine: the out-of-towners
Ten: the pastors speak
Eleven: the media, just the media becomes
             its own narrative
             as always

Ferguson 4: He walks the streets

He walks the streets
of concrete and stone
singing in his words,
the words only he can speak,
understood by all
who can’t speak the words.

He carries a staff of gold
taps it on the street
keeps time to the song.

Wherever he taps on the street
becomes gold on the street
golden street

He looks for the temple
the temple in the city,
to stand in its courts
to hear the cacophony
of its halls and rooms
He looks to see the priests
and servants walking
ban and forth talking
back and forth  watching
the temple’s business.
He looks for the sellers
of sacrificial offerings,
baaing, lowing, chirping
in fear and anticipation.

He finds no temple
only silence in the streets
only silence in the lanes
only silence in the grand boulevards
and avenues
only empty courts
of the temple that isn’t there

He walks down the streets
to see boarded windows
empty sidewalks
burned remnants
signs and bottles left
for trash collectors
to gather
he hears no birds
a rat scurries in the gutter.

The white dove comes
hovers above the madness

He smiles as a white dove
settles in a tree by the street

Ferguson 5: Hope shimmers

Hope shimmers on the horizon
or perhaps hope is the horizon
there, visible a song flying
across the plain stretching
toward hope, the plain that
is not the desert but a promise
a promised land
hope is there
in the promised land

always there

4 comments:

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

So moving - I am at a loss for words . . .

SimplyDarlene said...

oh, wow.

Terra said...

Hope Shimmers, I like that and it is so true. I write poetry too and am your new follower.

Jody Lee Collins said...

Oh wow. Hope shimmers. Golden streets. Looking for the temple... profound images, sir. Profound.