Chamber Music Concert

Tonight, chamber music.
I have been arguing and debating,
   fussing and fuming,
about this election
   for almost a year.
		For years, actually.

And here, 
   right in front of me,
  		the truth.
Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bach …
   Harmony, oneness ...
Not just precept, but example.

Politics? Government? Economics?
	Just listen, just listen.
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Go By Hand

Written before 1968, then lost and forgotten.  I remembered it in June 2014,
thanks to Linda Bittner recalling to me her past hitchhiking.
In the morning’s crystal chill I stand, along the roadway snaking through the land. And which way would I travel? Go by hand, observing chance accomplish all I'd planned.
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Holiday Correspondence

Only some of this applies to me.
Jim and Sally moved to Michigan, where she has a great job.
My old neighbors moved to the suburbs, and don't like it.
Another old neighbor is in a nursing home.
Joni and Marc decided to get married.
The Espinola's twins started kindergarden
	She sent a picture of them in the new playground in Schenley Park.
Helene, my late mother's oldest friend, is very ill.
An old friends from college wrote that he started another new job.
An aunt in New Jersey died - her daughter in California sent me a note.
Steve sent a card with a new address.
Joan has a new address, too.  She says the divorce will be final this spring.
Abe's middle child is finally getting married.
Mel and Ruth are enjoying their retirement.  
	They went to Greece last spring and to Mexico this fall.
Mary and Rebecca sent a picture of them and their two adopted children.
Cousin Debbie is illustrating another children's book
	Her husband is still a planner in Berkeley.

There are cycles in life.
There is a cycle.
And I am 55.
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Visiting Mary’s Mother

Visiting my wife's mother
Does she know?
Mary and I feed her. She opens her mouth 
      as she did to receive communion
 She eats only
      a few bites, 
               as usual.
Her eyes close. 
      A little nap.
Does she know?
She exchanges 
     a few words about a grandchild.
She mentions 
     her youngest daughter's visit this morning.
She almost always recognizes people.
But she is too tired 
     for another Christmas party in the Carolton dining room.
Does she know?
Does anyone know?
Does it matter?
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Power Wheelchair

My power wheelchair,
plus accessible buses 
	and ramped curbs,
equals mobility and freedom!
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Road to Washington

By four the buses stretch along the pike.
The road is darker for their string of light.
The barren fields and snowy hills are black.
The  moon is down; no guiding stars in sight.

To Washington against a war again.
We read or talk or snooze; the hours creep.
The bus, I know, runs swiftly through the night.
And serves our stand for peace in winter deep.

I want to help the dawn.  I want to see
the spring green spread across the hilly dark.
Would daybreak come if we stayed home asleep?
At least each turnpike mile we see a mark.
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Dawn on the Road to Washington

Actually begun on the bus.

Night sky slowly turns to blue.
	We can be sure that the sun will rise.
The growing light is not our job.
	So I can relax and write a poem/

With each mile,
	We see the trees clearer and greener.
The trees stand out in the morning fog
	in the mountain valleys.
The trees stand at attention
	with a motionless salute as we pass.

Any road to change requires listening
	and steady work.
Change requires the active patience of a tree.

Dawn is breaking,
	but the day has mot come.
We listened fifty tears ago when Martin Luther King said,
   “I have a dream ...”
So we go again to Washington to march.
The trees are marching, too.
Fifty years is not a long tome for an oak.

The fields are still green and growing.
	They need no guidance 
		to rise from the ground.
The fields and trees of social justice
	are watered by our sweat:
		many years, many tears
In season, the harvest will come.

When Dr. King told us,
   “I have a dream ...”
Was he sleeping?  No!
   He was very wide awake.
      He spoke as a prophet, 
When we heed his wake-up call.
   We are his dream.
   We are dream.
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