Sunday, December 27, 2015

How Does Truth Penetrate?

Night-blooming Cereus behind my house 2014.

For Mikhail Bazankov: October 5, 1937-December 13, 2015.

THE OMENS ARRIVE XXVI. September 6, 2015

Yes, we fight for democracy in times
of corporate totalitarian power, and
for our environment willfully poisoned
in the name of greed, and we fight for 
our human right not to be harmed.  We
fight out of love.  We risk everything.  
We have Dante’s innocence of heart
and visionary prowess.  Even in exile 
we will fight and win.  –The Omens Arrive VII.

The cereus began its bloom work a week ago.
I watched, awed as always.  This plant has
lived behind my house or under my solar
tubes some twelve years.  It rarely blooms–
four times, and I missed one.  The Queen of
the Night chooses one night only, then collapses
limp.  Did I miss her this time?  She’s hanging
down.  Did she already give all she had?
Maybe.  I missed how sick you were, too,
but then your January letter didn’t tell me.
A friend wrote, hesitated to break the news
that you were dying.  Curiously, the cereus
bud arrived at the same time.  I won’t be able
to see you again or hear you say we are fools.
Your wife and son keep you alive–barely.  
You may slip away before my letter arrives
to say that my heart hurts.  I told you I
would continue to tell our story.  Our two
countries have again fallen into warrior
stances, but we who met and loved our
Russian neighbors know they love us.
The harm comes from overweening corporate
power and foolish politicians.  It is past
time to give up warring on other nations
and on our own people.  How does the truth
penetrate?  Certain souls stand fast.  The seers
of our twenty-first century must now 
summon all their courage, dig deep for strength
and raise their heads like the cereus does,
open their hundreds of petals, and tell the
simple truth: if we don’t learn to love
each other, we all die.


Mikhail at an art exhibit in Kostroma, Russia.

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