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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