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Forgetting 2019: A Poem

31 Dec

[Prefatory Note: At this age, having exhausted prose options, I indulge myself during holidays, by sharing poems that seek also your indulgence. I searched 2019 forsome glimmers of good news, and felt stymied. Of course, here, there, everywhere there were glorious private exceptions, yet hovering over the public marketplaces ofthe world I cringe beneath menacing storm clouds and below chaos and misery, and catastrophes waiting to happen. It is this spirit that I looked back on 2019, and yet reject despair, and pledge to fight for what I believe in 2020 with the conviction that it can happen, and of course should happen.]




Forgetting 2019


asphalt rain


darkens green fields




flares Amazon skies


fake leaders slithering


toward real dangers


hither and yon


seek safe havens


gated nations


hiding from truth


screaming ‘no’


migrants fleeing despair


pleading ‘please’


hiding from evils


Aung San Suu Kyi


defending genocide


this fallen Nobelist


broadcasting abroad


her deadly message


two centuries ago


Walt Whitman


arrived in our midst


singing aloud




of America’s future


later lost to predators


seizing their loot


robbing the land


turning dreams


to wilting flowers


our grief becomes


a betrayed destiny


tainted at birth


natives driven


off their sacred land


of holy innocence


the trusted voice


of Toni Morrison


is gone not lost


if we listen


if we listen


if we listen


all not yet all


lost futureless


nested eggs contain


our only hope


of what may yet come


of what to renounce


let’s start with gold


then learn not to hate


keep love joy truth


if we listen


if we listen


if we listen




Richard Falk

Santa Barbara, CA


December 31, 2019