Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Absences and Poetic States

Five days after getting back from Mexico, I came down with a mean infection. I took me down for nine days - hard. Nearly better, but still a bit weak, so I will leave this week with a couple of new Poetic States:

Poetic States XVIII – Rhode Island

How in the World Did…
a state molded in miniature -
small enough to fit into Manhattan’s palm,
mostly water although not an island -
become one of these United States?

Granted she was the first
to declare independence from their King George
although she was the last to join the nation,
what does she offer us
that Iowa or Wyoming do not?

Back in Barnum’s day,
maybe even as late as fall, 2001,
she would have been the major set piece
in a flea circus along with a grain of rice
carved with most of the Bill of Rights.

Poetic States XIX - California

All the Gold in California

is really not in a bank vault
in Beverly Hills,
La Jolla, or Susanville

The vital color brightens
beaches along the Pacific,
oaks in hills above the Central Valley,

well-mined gravel beds
of the American River,
nuggets washed from hidden veins,

reflected towers of its cities,
waterfalls in the Sierra Nevada
a bridge across the Golden Gate

But most of all, in small town farms
raising oranges and grapefruit,
wheat, almonds and weed

to feed the nation
and keep it diverted

and so until next week when things will be better...




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