It is not always comfortable being a poet, I can tell you that. We live for a blast of truth and not PR. We get overloaded with information and have to rapidly discern the true from the false. This, as you may know, is totally exhausting.
Yet I sit daily on the precipice of discernment without worrying about who I might offend or praise. It is not that I am full of lovey dovey stuff, but I do think that a basic requirement for living on this planet should be an overriding love of all mankind with the ability to embrace others who we disagree with and admit we are all part of the same tribe. I guarantee you if an outside alien force was attacking us, we would all band together to fight the onslaught.
The word alien is a right interesting word. It’s Indo-European root means beyond. Growing up, I thought aliens came from outer space. I had no notion about aliens being immigrants. For the longest time I thought the aliens who lived next door came from another planet.
This reminds me of a poem I wrote about aliens and my mother. No, my mom is and was not an alien although I must admit at times, I thought she came from some other galaxy.
Abducted by Aliens
In that narrow niche of the Bronx
the one that skirts Yankee Stadium
like a fourth outfield
we lived in a tenement
above a dry-cleaning store
My mother being squeaky clean
felt right at home
and lest you be concerned
about this young man
growing up in a tenement
let me bear testament
that it weren’t so bad
after all a tenement’s
roots are simply
that of an abode or habitation
—What more can a newly born Yankee fan ask for?
All was good till that fateful day
when I was abducted by aliens
Mom went screaming down the street
searching for her Larry Boy
yelling that someone had stolen her baby
My mother screamed loud and scared
she thought aliens took me into their confines
or a baby thief with mischief and mayhem
on his mind took me by the ears
absconding with her number 1 son
Sticking to the facts it was only
the next-door neighbors
wanting some baby time
They weren’t really aliens
although they were from Europe
and to my young mind
they may as well have been
from another planet or country
You see it was a hot tenement day
and mother carriaged me
in the hallway so that I could benefit
from the crosstown breeze
that whipped around the Stadium
While she cleaned house
the wind shut the door
and the neighbor aliens
brought me into their domain
never uttering a word
to a frightened mother
I survived unscathed
but with funny memories
of aliens—well like I said
they were from Europe…
Politics Ain’t Baseball!
Just because you are wearing a baseball cap does not mean that your team is better than mine. Baseball is best played between the lines. Politics it seems has no line and has no boundaries. Politics it seems is more foul than fair. And no politics ain’t baseball, it ain’t a sport. If you find yourself rooting for one party over another, you are in reality negating the promises of our constitution. Friendship should not be determined by what party hat you are wearing. Please, there is no justification for rooting against another person just because they do not have the same exacting beliefs that you are carrying around like a manifesto for life. I don’t care what party you are part of, when you have to take sides, you are risking your humanity to group think and group behavior which never did anyone any good.
One of the toughest things to do today is to get Beyond Politics. People need to be able to communicate honestly with each other without the ridge of politics sticking its jaundiced face into view.
Politics has become so pervasive it has forced its way into every aspect of society from religion to education to parenting to dating. Politics is not life people and to see the truth you gotta transcend the political environment. We cannot let politics be like rooting for your favorite team. You will never convince a Yankee fan to root for the Red Sox and vice versa. That is a no-win situation. We cannot be allowed to rule by divisiveness. We must find common ground in mutually beneficial goals. This is a lot easier than it appears.
My final word this week:
You can rock.
You can roll.
Or you can do both.
In tribute to a true gentleman and fighter for freedom and liberty, I give you Harry Belafonte singing Hava Nagila which means Let Us Rejoice in Hebrew.