November 8 – On this Day

It’s lucky we learned from history
That a country can be misled
And a man cloaked in mystery
Can turn the rivers red

Montezuma warmly welcomed
The Spaniard Hernan Cortes
A God as far as they could tell
As he marked the Aztecs  for death

And that is why we study the past
so eras are not repetitious
like Aztecs aghast the end came fast
though someone was slightly seditious

An opened vein our map bled red
Stunned we stared in terror
Sleep no relief, when we rose from bed
The nightmare was still there

Gone the soaring Obama high notes
Music that would speak to me
Now the score is pitched low and connotes
an all too-familiar frequency

“Jews will not replace us!”
#1 on the charts of a Nazi nation
“How can you say I’m racist?”
I cannot change the station

It’s one year now of wretched music
Like that mid-eighties band “Orwell”
we cover our ears and try to get through it
Christ he does distortion well

Nine eleven I once thought
Numbers could not be more obscene  
Now eleven eight leave me distraught
along with 1/20/17

But surely this day must occasion
Anniversaires unapocalyptic
like FDR,  JFK celebrations
Hoover and Tricky Dick licked

JP Getty’s right ear a newspaper gets
Two million dollars bought his freedom
Now along with Vincent Van Gogh’s left
Main attractions at the Ear Museum

Röntgen discovers the X-ray
Through skin vision readily passes
And no doubt the very next day
Boys fantasize about those glasses

The New Deal counters Hoover’s flaws
CWA unveiled and workers cover the map
The operative adjective now is  “Raw”
But Great Depression is completely apt

It’s the birthday of Milton Bradley
Gave us means of distraction
At times we need that so badly
So then we can get back to action

And honor Dorothy Day’s beginning
led a life on behalf of Christ’s intention
Catholicism should focus less on  sinning
but rather –  on humility’s path lies redemption

It is the birthday of Hermann Rorschach
His mother saw in him the family saviour
His father saw:  (……of course not!)
a hint in the eyes of their next door neighbor

So much today that speaks to me
I’ll steer clear of the news of  I-dare-not-say-it
I’ll cozy up with Parker Posey movies
Let my soul be bluesy with Bonnie Raitt


Throughout November I am writing a poem a day in an effort to raise money for The Center for New Americans, an organization that is located in Western Massachusetts and does great work in acclimating our new citizens to their new homes.

You may help by going here.

If you appreciate my efforts and my work please share.

Also, most of you know I am moving to Oregon at the end of the year. Before I leave I will bedoing two shows.  Both will be in Amherst at the NACUL Center at 7:00 on November 30 and December 7. Proceeds will benefit The Center for New Americans.

I will be joined by these fine musicians: Joe Ricker, Andrew Atkin, Dave Haughey, Billy Klock and Dan Thomas.

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