Sunday, July 30, 2006

Catching up on the Poetic States TX, DEL, SD

Eleven done, so at this time I will post 3 more and 3 more Wednesday or so: Texas, Delaware and South Dakota





Larger than a Breadbox

You are too huge to be captured
in verse written by a minor poet
who knows that it takes two days
to cross you no matter where the start.

and you raised two modern presidents –
one mostly good, the other a bit less,
though they both seemed all too fond
of guerilla wars that couldn’t be won.

Nothing more needs to be mentioned
in a short poem but Dick’s Riverwalk,
the perfect place for tequila shots
and buckets of boiled crawdads

as we forget which war explodes now
and the humidity blowing from the Gulf.



Caesar Rodney

rode through the July night, thunder
and storm his sole companions,
to cast a vote to break a deadlock
that allowed Jefferson’s Declaration.

“The oddest looking man in the world,”*
his face marred with painful cancer,
he did not live to see the Constitution
his home state was first to ratify.

Flip a Delaware quarter on its back
and see sick Caesar’s heroic ride.
Paul Revere may have warned the farms
the British were on the march,

but Delaware’s Rodney rode his black horse
as hard for the colony’s independence
against his friend’s and neighbor’s wishes.

*John Adams


South Dakota

Crazy Horse Died for Your Sins

On the southern border of South Dakota,
the border to Pine Ridge Reservation,
is a town where booze flows as free
as blood flowed on the Little Big Horn.

A short walk across the border,
along a road lined with aluminum
no one bothers to collect for recycle,
liquor sold legal under Nebraska law.

Sold to the nation’s poorest population,
sold to the most alcoholic citizens,
sold only in the interest of money,
and not for the reason Frank Baum

editorialized after Wounded Knee:
Having wronged them for centuries,
we had better, in order to protect
our civilization, follow it up
by one more wrong and wipe
these untamed and untamable
creatures from the face of the earth.*


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