I haven't been posting about poetry for the past few weeks. First it was the week before the U.S. election and work was very busy at CNM. Then the week of the election happened. And to be honest something in me changed on November 9. It was as if the election gave me a kind of clarity of purpose that I haven't previously had, politically speaking. I've been spending the last few weeks organizing and setting up some new political initiatives against what I see as the encroachment of Fascism and racism in our world.
Elections have consequences, as President Obama has often said. These are the consequences of this one: I no longer will have the time to post as much about poetry as I could before. My gifts, such as they are, will now be "going to the cause" and that means getting active in my community, motivating Democrats to vote, and wearing my safety pin as a reminder to fight racism and hatred every single day.
If these are values you share, please come by my new Facebook page "BTW New Mexico is a U.S. State," LIKE the page, and SHARE some of the posts with your friends. I would sure appreciate it.
You can also find some comfort in poetry. I've sent around the following poems over the last few weeks that resonated with how people are feeling:
- "Hope is a Thing With Feathers" by Emily Dickinson
- "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas
- "One Tin Soldier" by The Original Caste also seems timely right now.
- Also, the poetry journal Rattle has some good topical poetry up.
I'll keep posting when I can. Right now I'd like to share this zen parable I learned many years ago. This story has helped me in both good times and in bad:
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Now he would not be able to help on the farm. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.