Monday, January 17, 2011

inauguration day

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, this poem was conceived & written on Blackberry while stuck in the Philadelphia airport, on Inauguration Day for W. Bush, which coincided with MLK, Jr. Day that year. I pondered the contrasts between the incoming President & Dr. King.

* * *

Stuck in Philadelphia airport-

flight delayed, card declined

another sickened citizen stands in line

waiting for a day equal to the

promise hidden and slid beneath

constructed, erected then bequeathed-

From those who drew freedom’s deep sustenance

to prodigal spoilers, the progeny of

those good ol' American giants and saints-

preying on us- passenger pigeons and doves

swallowed into stupor by our own excesses-

Now we bide time for all humanity,

A generation happy to harvest only for our ripe bellies,

the fruits of our fathers' ambitions-

free from expanse, loosened from the breakneck gait

of half-century tradition, believe we’re

set apart from the broke-down Camelot

decaying under desert sands-

We squander of the toll of bells

among skyscrapers and stone palaces

buttressing the birthplace of high ideals-

their ringing an echo of irony

thick in the sharp solid wind,

the snow only witness to their peals

in the still cold of a surreal January-

In the span of a week we celebrate

one man who dared to dream

and one who shares nary a trait

excepting a will of tempered steel

though bent backward in a cock-eyed cross-

This Inauguration Day-

Monumental steel scrapes raw

packed banks of white, shaves the dream bare

through streets where legends walked

churns haughtily through, the trail it leaves

outsources the coat of glittering hope

superseding pocked asphalt and lessons taught by rote-

Can any man’s mere dream compete

with the nightmare fortunes madmen seek?

The question hangs like the snowflakes

parachuting through cold Philly air

as we travelers sit festering in the terminal.

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