It’s an idyllic summer in the hills.
The wind is soft, there’s jasmine in the air,
But inside, there’s a bottle full of pills
That wage a daily fight against despair —
As propaganda rolls in from all sides:
The forced confessions, staged apologies,
And experts, with their flammable asides,
Who profit from our latest tragedies —
And one – the one who lives here – comes apart
For trying to make sense of all the noise;
Consumers get consumed within the heart
Of no control, inside abundant choice —
But step outside bad faith, the sun hangs low,
And everything looks great, unless — you know
Let children’s eyes see this, and know the truth:
The world was once a paradise unmarked.
No power lines, or signs, or concrete walls,
Just verdancy to which the soul still harks.
Let urban eyes see this, and feel the pain
Of what the vanity of power has wrought,
As bleak within the prison of our streets,
The living get sold off, or maybe bought.
Let eyes see clear, and heart and tongue give voice:
We have the power, and we have the choice,
To live as were meant to live, or be
The servants of corrosive vanity.
But we can we change, and learn, if we just will,
The lessons of the hills and forests — still
My pride is gone, and I’d like to rejoin
The dust I came from, here beneath my feet;
The cold and empty waste, our common coin,
Is laid before me like a question sheet.
I shrink before annoyances each day,
And grow in insignificance at night;
I keep on going, but have lost my way,
And I’m not sure that I’m up for the fight —-
For echoes crowd my mind and haunt my dreams,
And shadows move where once the light was seen;
I gaze upon both commons and extremes,
But it’s too much, it’s all too byzantine —-
The universe is as it ever was;
The dust will take us back, it always does
For three days, she was in my magic world,
Or else she was the magic, I don’t know.
The cityscape before our eyes unfurled
And I was mesmerized within its glow.
That someone so unknown to me could be
At once, an every-little-single-thing
Was hard for me to gather, or to see
How fast the wind could take what it might bring.
But still, in frozen moments brought to mind,
I see her silhouette against the lights
That made infatuation into hope
And bits of thoughtless passion into nights.
A magic act that’s well and careful planned,
With tricks we’ll never know, or understand
There’s much remains for building, ev’ry age,
And architects and builders born, each day,
Who build for love, and not for fame or wage,
But just because a maker’s wired that way.
Whoever she or he might be, they find
That possibilities are far from tapped to nil,
And that some creativity of mind
Is all they need a whole new world to fill
With color and with pattern and with light,
And shapes of things that no one’s ever seen,
And for whom there’s no color that’s too bright,
And whose ideas may one day be routine,
But for whom, just to build, is captivating;
And so, for now, will just delight creating.
It felt so good to be beneath the surface,
To see the summer rays break overhead,
To turn and twist, like otters in our freedom,
No thoughts, no left-behind, no what’s-ahead —
And sometimes we would see the ones who lived there,
Those creatures of the bayou, or the sea,
Who wandered in and out of us young swimmers,
And marveled at our strange inconstancy
For we would swim, but then would take to walking;
And go above the surface, to the light,
Where movement is too easy, and too shallow,
And where it’s much too warm and far too bright.
Back home, beneath the surface, we would come,
A world more like the one we all come from.
I do not seek events, but things that say
The things I need to hear and feel and know;
Like how sometimes, when thankful, we tell lies,
Or why we stop when it is time to go.
A month ago, I knew I needed help;
And so I sought to understand my ways,
And found there, as I started to explore,
Some parts of ardor, others of malaise —-
And standard things that many folk go through.
The wondering if I’ve already been
The best I will be, or I ever could be,
Another nameless man among us men.
But this I know: however bright my light,
I still can love my own, and do what’s right