March 2004
Monday, 01 March 2004

POEM OF THE MONTH    |   March 2004  
[untitled cantos—from a work in progress]


Under Maine's Arabian sky
the crescent and its star
winter in America
gripped by terror
totalitarian zealots... Penobscot
under crescent moon
windblown faces
trudging snowy fields
to pond
to skate
round and round
conifers and bliss
far from the front

Bad dreams of war
wake in sad music from radio
of life, distant
sad my country
sad the soldier
far from love
ruined by war
ripe for life
ripe for sadness
ripe for love

The luck bullet
your name's not on
the malaise
that does not kill
home luck
to America
where even Maine's pure sky
speaks of Arabia
of survivors
walking Maine woods
fighting madness
for peace

Caffe' espresso
and Florida grapefruit
lap top
two-line phone
talking politics
Susan's scones
brittle sunny Sunday January sky
minus twenty
reading Ginsburg's life
dharma dreams
in the time of the Patriot Act
don't you ever tire of burning witches?

Looking back
at shedded lives
thinking memories
thinking redemption
a new life
twenty years
to reach Arcadia
for the wild
only forsythia
from ancient suburbia
rhododendron bordered foundations
weed free lawns
genocide for dandelions
foraged by Downeast farmers
fresh greens or fried in fat back
low on stores
cash flow interruptus

for the wild
at last the real
the part about letting go
the part about right thinking
bachelor finds compatible wombmate
sweet the living
sweet the life
how we do thrive America
how fares the world?
work they all for us?
all kings fall from their hills
you will too
why did I teach my kid
to share in daycare
when America
is run by schmucks and hucksters
who think sharing is for

I see no minarets
above the trees
from my door yard
far islamic Baghdad
no one I know bows for prayer
facing east
I know pagans, Marxists
one religious Jew
Patrick who invented liberation theology
in Brazil
then defrocked himself
in the New York postmodern
the good Palestinian
brilliant, secular Said
did not bow east to pray
the masses say prayers
kneeling, bowing
Muslim masses in America erect minarets
I do not see
kneel on magic rugs
praise Allah....
dream America


On the dog
down Manhattan
ninety blocks
before another white face
home coming
lived home
spirit home
Uhls on Elizabeth Street
cutting meat on Avenue A
paler rainbow
ninety blocks of one-world technicolor
Casbah costumes
New Yorkers
moving down
we're not talking Puerto Ricans here
cuchifritos on 14h Street
bistec at La Rampa
Tomkins Square where McCoy Tyner played,
cops beat the homeless,
and Sam Jackson black men
checkmate pirogi faced Ukranians
who deal coke by the line
after hours
to pimps
on E. 9th Street
where sister Maggi
tended bar
Snow White
defending the street
and small business
the whole world
dreams America
paved with gold
by cluster bombs
from global free trade teeth

Michael Uhl is a disabled Vietnam vet who became active in the anti-Vietnam War movement in 1969, and testified about U.S. war crimes in Vietnam. He is a charter member of Veterans For Peace (Chapter 001, Maine), and belongs to both the DAV and VFW as well. Michael servesw on the coordinating committee of the Bring Them Home Now! campaign.