For Wendell on his birthday

Sometimes I just haven’t
Got the heart to read or write.
I sit down with pen or book
And my mind is overtaken by
The darkness of the news—
By the hate and violence
All around us.
Sometimes I’m overcome
By the stress of wondering
Why the bills are bigger
Than the paychecks and
Why bullies are so strong,
And why it has to be
So lonely to be here.
Then I realize that
There are better people than I
Who’ve been through worse.

It is at those times that I
Most appreciate brother Berry
Calling the mosquito “holy.”
I remember this as my wife and I
Watch the brown bats flutter
Madly through the waning
Evening sun
As the muggy Georgia day
Becomes the sultry Georgia night
While the locusts
And the katydids
And the tree frogs
Fill the air with their raucous
Melodies and songs,
Calling to their beloveds
“Come to me”
From the kudzu
And the rightly named
Lightening bugs flash and hover
Over the green grass.

With sweaty beer in my hand
I draw a puff of smoke
From my pipe
And, for the moment, I
Can forget the problems
We broken men have created
In our endeavor to make the world “better.”
Sitting in the evening with my bride
The hardship and complexity,
The indefensibleness and unsustainability
Of our bully economy,
Give way to the simplicity
And symbiosis of the earth.
And I am reminded
That God is in his heaven
And that heaven is here,
All around us.
And I am at peace.

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1 Comment

Filed under Poems

One response to “For Wendell on his birthday

  1. Pingback: For Wendell on his birthday – vangierodenbeck

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