The Roots Must Lead


The roots must lead us further down;
it does no good to taste the fruit
unless we first have knelt in shadows
there among the rotting leaves.

The kneeling first, and then the crawl
along the coursing, mottled bark
that starts to thicken as the trunk
breaks through the soil that gives it life.

Among the worms that churn the muck,
the beetles and the stinging ants:
there where the humus is still moist
and cakes to concrete on our hands

we find the source, the Mother core,
like buried treasure from the deep,
between the fingers of the oak
splayed like a hand clutching the earth.

The grass between your toes, so soft,
gives only hints and subtle clues;
to find the Mother’s hidden love
cast off by culture’s mad distain

requires the digging, dirty knees,
and scratches drawing your own blood;
a desperate scrabble down and down
past patriarchy’s well-kept sod.

Her love is buried, long-forgot;
and proving ourselves worthy, work.
If you would make your half a whole,
man, woman, child: dig deep.

08 MAY 2005

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Such Times Are These


Such times are these that rich men gloat
to turn great woods to creosote
and laugh to see the world take note
as style takes substance by the throat.

Such times are these that poor men work
their fingers fleshless for these jerks
who waiting in the shadows lurk
to claim as theirs both purse and perk.

Such times are these that men and boys
forgo their fortunes and love’s joys
to strut about and make loud noise,
their goal to other men destroy.

Such times are these that pious words
are used to pardon the absurd:
that war brings peace, that freedom’s bird
would choose to nest in such a turd.

Such times are these that there should be
cult worship of celebrity
where children want as destiny
a fleeting moment on TV.

Such times are these when young and old
accept as truth what they’ve been told
and do not mind that they’ve been sold
a fire that brings not heat, but cold.

Such times are these that perpetrate
the myth that might is right and great,
that the one path to truth is straight,
and those who rule control the gate.

Such times are these when poets must
regard their words a sacred trust
to speak against their culture’s lust
to turn what’s left of gold, to dust.

08 MAY 2005

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