On the day of the US election my wife and I were driving the 900 kms to Melbourne from our home outside of Sydney. As the results came in, we listened to the radio with increasing horror and incredulity. How could this be? How could such a man become President of the USA? I am still filled with disbelief. These poems are varying responses to that election. I blog at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au
makes us love light
and it descends
and we huddle together
longing for light
the clarity of the sun
for a glimpse
of the distant mountain's
First published at Rats Ass Review.
(For Joan Colby, with thanks for her poem, "Tom Sawyer")
Yes, it's true, Tom married Becky,
became a lawyer, then a judge,
forgot that vibrant youth,
harrumphed and carved the roast
and settled into opinionated age.
But not you, Huck,
weeping over the dark heart of your fellows,
triumphing in goodness over faulty conscience.
They say you lit out for the Territory
but you have had many guises.
I know you re-appeared in Greenwich Village
in the 1960's with curly long hair,
dreamy eyes and a bag full of songs
about the folly and darkness
of the mighty river of your country.
We need you on your raft again,
writing and singing of all you see.
The King and the Duke are still with us,
lying, cheating, vilely manipulating.
The Shepherdsons and Grangerfords still feud
and the murderous madness of the mob threatens.
Come again, Huck. Re-appear.
We need your truthfulness and your vision.
That at least is a kind of liberty.
First Published at Autumn Sky Poetry
Night descends, dark and thick,
that surreal time when image and reality merge
and the mind wanders alternately in fear and hope.
A contemptible man has received
high office and great power.
I hear someone say,
to a chorus of approval,
"The Most High rules the kingdom of men
and gives it to whosoever He will
and sets over it the lowliest of men".
I only hear patronising condescension,
and smug self-satisfaction.
Into my mind comes this challenging thought-
If God is in control He is doing terrible job.
I have seen,
somewhere in Syria, in an ambulance,
a little child covered in dust,
eyes blankly expressionless beyond confusion;
somewhere else a mass grave
with a hundred decapitated bodies;
elsewhere ruined landscapes,
camps in Germany, Poland, Siberia,
a mushroom cloud spreading up from Nagasaki
and a little naked girl, her face contorted in terror,
running along a dusty Vietnamese road.
Now I see a smirking braggart
strutting and preening in empty vanity
on the great stage of the world.
I raise my eyes and ask:
What do you think
when you look at the world?
It is scarred with holes.
Polar caps melt. Glaciers shrink.
Millions starve while some feast.
The smoke of war rises everywhere.
Are you anguished?
Are you filled with grief and sorrow?
Do you lament and weep for what You see?
For how long will you surrender this world
to violence and folly?
Surely the world is filled with darkness
because you have given to us
the freedom to choose.
First Published at Praxis Mag Online
© 2017 Neil Creighton
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