Dec 15

Politics in the Obama Age

Politics


I. Election

His election was the on-rushing Sun
impaling night
elevating him
propelling truths plain
beyond sight;
he was Hope to banish
and set aright    
every ill;
to adjudicate each and every claim
their on-rushing joy
could ignite;
True Hope’s awakened plebiscite
transforming the crowds’ might
to Hard Justice reclaimed
whose sharp edges
would slice
to the core
of the body politic inflamed;
and bleed it’s fever.

'I cannot' he said at the inaugural
'speak this proud heart,
I cannot utter or reveal
this ebullience born
whole cloth and sleek.

I cannot from these sputterings
steeped
in rhyme
adequately greet
perfection's own conjured touch
from which I reap
all this.

I am for you humility
rapturous this night
to be
riveted upon promises I'll keep
at each days end
where I will seek
each goal and nuance
foretold here;
til crime and its cousins Poverty,
Fear and Greed
shall shriek
and sulk away
far from here.

Tonight we dance with energy
loaned to us from Bright Intents
and vow to keep
our sights bent
upon honor’s glorious ends.

We shall not forsake
nor misremember ends
here now we stake
and shall in time apprehend
the announced demise
of the evil three
Greed, Fear and Poverty.'  

In thunder
the pact is born
amid a crowd swollen upon
new thoughts torn
from Hope's mouth.

Peter’s words surely did excite
propelling himself and everyone
to height's horrid cloud
which adrift
was festooned with promised sweets
anointing the night resplendently-
Hope itself peaking-
plump with expectations
to exceed
wondrous mellifluous
Good Presents;

now a rising sun
then a setting phoenix
bejeweled now
but, later to be
crashed down
to  Escheated
Miscommunications
and Properties.

So dizzy these heights
that the Fall will certain
see the deep depths
behind the curtains we draw
across intense intents
and proud decrees.

Sweet Elizabeth Peter’s wife
cries softly foreseeing
Pride's Steel Locked Stance
being aware even then
that Democracy's Choice is iron
and will devour
the sublime
who mindlessly believe
now comes his time.

Rafael, the son
now proud to see
himself one day
in Father’s place
thumps to the joy of it,
a time when justice gleaned
from Efforts Hope
rises from within him deep.

Monique, his intended
smiles-
herself ascended
to high regard-
sees in Rafael her love
a future bright
glowing shinier still
with new prospects;
power’s appeal..

Her beauteous
quiet nature
belies an intelligence
yet beginning
but soon to gather
to critical mode
in one so tender
in her years.

The ministers all
with Peter now some years
see the dawning of New Time;
all pausing to celebrate
ignoring
all trouble and obscured
nearby chimeras.

But joy drunkens;
swollen eyes befog
the on-rushing times
and addicted
we all succumb
to revelry
and numb,
notice not
moorings loosed,
which in time
set adrift our oared skiff
rendering Certainty moot.
Precious Love unsure,
and Pain now paused
will likely be ladled to each
and every one
acute.

II.
Loving Too

That Night She:
'Your sugar eyes
move my soul
You have me in my secret place
my rivers run full for you;
in enveloping heat
lifting me with your soft kiss
I take you inside
to fit
swollen against
my oval space;
I admit
that this is the deep secret me.

I open to all of you
my sweet,
settling love upon
my pillow keep
where whispered calls
beckon my pleasure-sleep.

Our hearts bind now;
promises and ecstasies.”

He:
'I am swept away to aching degree
for you
my thickness tingles
and seats itself
gingerly.

Without you
I am rudderless.
Without you
I have nothing achieved.
Without you,
my way streaks
forward
tremblingly
bereft,
absent love's crucial pleat
in my heart’s linings,
which with you
I’m rendered complete.

Touch us now Simplicity
man to woman
lover to lover’s
fulsome esprit.
So gripped we,
softly gasping,
moving together till short day-light
chartered one to the other
joined this to that
perfect destiny welded tight
two together at the sensual site
spinning beyond midnight’s
Magic Transfixion.

'I love you' she cried. ' in all ways'
'I love you' he said
in double receipt.
The two wrapped round together
each bonded symbiotically
one to give more to the other,
each to give more than given,
both to grow larger than
each one’s talents alone could abide
each to exceed beyond
a solo effort striven.

Love's Test moves
to achieve
and go
far from the mundane goal
beyond even Hope's
stated given.

Circumstances now all in place
Opportunity secure in state
quivering Excitement's Face glows.
Now begins this human race.

Two lovers there initiate
the Crown of State in Sexual Space
these things preceded by you see
lovely love and nights embrace.
So much in human history
is bedroom born;
so much human history therefore:
War and Peace.

III. War Reckoning

Peter's hand in the years was bent toward peace
and he
in inclination's way
sought to avoid conflict
so much so that he did not see
in the fifth year John's dark rise from the East
till that day arrived in which he
had to decide
upon War or Peace.

Elizabeth’s eyes could see that Destructions Fear
was nigh and upon them.
She counseled:
'He has taken lands which did not belong with him
he flanks you on the left
even now at the river's edge.
You must quell this trend.
His armies advance and descend
till late to the sword
you’ll have to jockey
your men
at the very kitchen door!

The maps’ edge creeps
close to our very walls.
Your minister's quake-
nay sleep-
yet you do not hear, see
or speak.”

Alliances like marriages can quickly wear
if the habit develops where one loves war
and the other craves peace.

'Grasp the jaw bone of the ass' she said
'and strike now.
Later then
enjoy the peace.
Otherwise I fear
there will be no calm
except that of the bloody hand,
a muted shriek
and lost, sad, opportunity.
Hope herself will weep.
Now, now'  she said
'is the time to employ resources
amass your leadership;
you could expend a small pittance's gold
and a colossal treasure reap!
You my love have too much regard
for harmony.
Efforts’ just return is what you seek.'

But Peter was not persuaded thus
his way was gentler still
Foreboding's Shroud gathered round his brow
quietly shrill.

'I could raise the taxes and
recruit the army and move my chessmen
'cross topography
only to find unrest and booty
be taken from me
by those left behind to guard the nest.

Nay I worry most
of the Enemy Within.
Hollow victories
and homeland defeats
are equally cheap.
I would have in this, fired the first shot
only to feel the pain in my own feet!

Why, my God, is it that the advisor is always bold
when the advisor is not the one to pay
in consequences and gold?

I am leadership
whose charge is to think
before I become bloodied
upon the jaws of victory
then only by hindsight
to see the irony
of sudden, unanticipated retreat.

No I will council with my own destiny
and look to see how to act in circumstance.
All that is clear is Uncertainty
where potentially what lurks for me
is homeland treachery
and deceit
concocted behind my own lines
from fickle friends who’ll turn on me.
Then all I’d bring home
is that which is not victory
but a hollow stampede
bereft of the prize I seek;
no triumphant victory.

I sit  now to think.
Risk is the horse we ride
and saddleless
I don this night
Caution’s Cloak
and my own bromides.  

Elizabeth’s eye was steeled blue
Impatience's Glint
within.
Peter’s hesitation for her
took the bold
and denuded it
behind fearful thought
and adverse risk;
he thought not to act
but to think;
not strike
but to stare at Opportunity Blatant
and blink.

Rather than speak her mind
she choose to eschew
biting conflict
uttering only
'Yes dear.  All you say is true.'

IV. Counsel of War

Peter yet with his own counsel of war
resolved to manage his risk
and send his son Rafael
to collect the army’s taxation list.
Peter, least his homeland fears come true,
surmised that
he Peter
would be close
to the rear
to forestall his homeland enemies caveat
and at once to foil the Trojan Horse
which could crush victory won
on distant soil.
The day Rafael had his list
and gathered himself to leave
Elizabeth hovered by
in  grief
imploded with the belief
that Peter at once
had opted to sacrifice
her son
to whom she had over the years
grown to cleave
more closely it seemed
than to Peter even,
whose preoccupations
had caused her silent strife
and inward grown.
She had plunged all love and grief
into the young son
who now, instead, prepared to leave.

'Promise me you'll not risk injury
rather, gather the guards round your group
and protect this countries future state.
Honor this
by oath agree
and this night I’ll rest serene.

Rafael:
“I am not given Mother to lead
by retreat
my place is at the head
and to indeed exceed
at the forefront lines that meet
in the face of our enemies.'

She:
You do not have to do this
you can return to me
and take your place where the need
will be greatest here in our own country.
Say to your father and I will support
there is no need to risk your young life
wastefully, needlessly.'

Peter heard this from his approach
and incensed he roared:
'You will not object to decisions of state.
You will not seek ???????????? to undo or abate
that which is decided by me.

This boy's time is now to leave
neither to cleave to your wiles
nor from my own will.

Away from both of us lies his formation
and destiny
That my dear is the reason he was born to us-
to leave.
Neither one of us can sacrifice him to our need,
to clutch him too close to
you nor  me.
He goes,
that is best
eschewing even my own desires
and even your anxieties.

She:
“No, you do not use cold reason here.
No, you do not rationalize this sacrifice
to a empty state craft device.
This is not mechanical
but yours and my son's life!
Do not send him deathward there
Do not press life from him
with marching bands
and horns and hymns.

Rafael:
“I will not be treated like this!
Mother you want guarantees and security
where none is possible for dgfev online casino me.
You, Father
all you see is glory and duty
yet it is love which drives our solders
not booty.
I am a symbol and indeed
love is not mine to receive
but if I die
it will be because I am committed
and trapped
by the circumstance
we weave
in pursuing our goals and needs
that this line of soldiers marching means.

Yes, we shall grieve death’s lot
perhaps mine
and then it will be over
and we shall lift a cup
and move on
no lingering memory sups.

I will go as you request Father
because I have chosen duty
But I am not the reasons I leave
I am the person leaving.
I am not reason’s ploy
I am Rafael
I’ll fight for friends and you
for our family
and those who understand a young mans need
to achieve that which is unutterable
to matter in the scheme of things.
I meander;
but my course is to straightaway
to leave.

Father:
“Whatever is in you
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time flees.”
Monique to whom Rafael
was to marry
caught him
at the door
and aside spoke
quietly.
She:
'I am unable to persuade you
nor can I beseech any caring feeling
strong enough to avert this.
I am filled with a desperate foreboding.
Go, but, only later my sweet.
Surely there can be no harm
in delaying a week
death itself to cheat.'
He:
I cannot shrink away from this
as others themselves gather arms.
Lead I must and you should understand
some things a woman must do alone
and similarly therewith a man.
You do not understand,
your heart always reaches.
In life and even love
in some things we are alone
even amid our comforts
cocoons and hearthstones.

Outside:
Horns Blow
He:
“I must go.”
She:
“How silly it is
to me to see
that so many are willing to die
for baubles ribbons and trinkets.”
He:
“Understand,
if I must die
I shall do so with your name on my breath,
and within me
though my heart be wounded
you shall know
you are my most felt one
and wounded there
know that even at death’s door
my love for thee is genuine
shall not be stayed
and will remain strong.”
She:
I shall pleasure receive
hope for your safe return
and yet,
even if it must be so,
reach you
beyond even death’s door.
Here on these lips
plant this kiss
for relief  from even
cold death’s grip
and return you safe revived,
home to me.'
With this they embraced
staunch memory
etched on mouth
and face
and Rafael
moved out
in formation haste.

So, there were the colors
and departures
long lines and battleships
weeping eyes,
and goodbyes
long looks and promises;
and off thousands sailed
each without travail
till iron glory upon them all prevailed
in battle greens and blues
in clamorous scenes
of smoke and hue
of faces blank and wet
from battle cries
and wounds rosette
from shock and battle deaths
which swept down suddenly
on many and the few
who spun from blows spent
to pirouette
falling listlessly
to ground and history
whose names read once
in letters due
to family, lovers, children
and those who would not forget.

Some returned;
this one wrapped in glory
and another in despair’s
costume.
So it was with Rafael,
a battle line snaps
and he
lost a limp
in the Slashing Grim
hacked away
while in the saddle
yet, and he persisted bleeding throughout
till coma-like he fell
grounded;
sidelined within
sight of victory
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he lay awaiting
rescue sounds
his pain exceeding
till his mind passed away
to dead faint
eyes rolled up
heaven-ward,
silence now decreed,
one’s body lumped
upon the battlefield to bleed.
“Monique.”, s the silent cry
on his lips parting
'all for you even this
is not enough.
My love grows
even as I die departing
this earthly ground,
my love for you
now more than then
stronger
and more profound.
His first words on revival
were 'did we prevail? '
The answer back,
'no sire
defeat nor victory was ours-
stalemate.'

V.
WAR

That day split the times:
Booty not
nor glory.
War’s initiation
stripped the grace
from Innocent’s eyes
and often heard thereafter
the cry
to what therefore and why?
'To protect our land
peoples and crew
our children, women
and all those whom we love.
So home them all
with stories true and tall
to sit
recuperating
till another time
when the battle
might resume
and again the clarion call.
Ghost battles for some will loom
belching new flame young men and boys,
girls and youth
new flesh to consume.
Yet repeated this so many times
the need cannot be doubted
sometimes it is our fate
to fight, and die
thereby doubt itself to be routed;
stand, be true its said
and be counted.
We, in the end must support,
those who took to hand
stout arms and went
far far away
to fight against
our foes and enemies
despite all consequence.

All energies spent
Rafael’s limb lay bent
slashed and soiled
by sword’s tip
was gathered up
and delivered home to Monique who
could not at first contemplate
the view
of him a returned
broken patriot.
For days she sat inconsolate,
her rooms a duty gray
rearranging the folds of her
simple dress
carefully.
The thin arms moved
only to grasp
tea served occasionally
by Marion
the one who visited with news
and solace in compendium
from those who loved her
together as one.
Finally Monique was able
to reluctantly agree to see Rafael
still unclear how glory could be
lived on the veranda, in the house
or in the street
wheelchair bound.
His wheelchair rolled into their rooms
a year late from war and feats
and indecision
from Monique.
The two
as with the war
in these first moments
were together
in neither victory nor defeat
but then only began
an interlude
now life wound down to the concrete
and mundane need;
a young man neither totally incapacitated
nor dead
yet alive,
yet still
brimming with desires,
wishes hopes and dreams
all now in caveats
metaphors,
and apostrophes.

Rafael now sat then
mirror reflected
ignoring Monique
who languished hesitantly
while he
inspected limp limbs
realizing for the first time
she was there
in malingering toward the first night
he did not know how he would do
what he couldn't do
for his wife to be,
how love could translate,
how arms could encapsulate
how his genitalia could move
could perform feats
other men do.

His younger that his years face
glowed white
as she approached from across the room.
Yet 23 and hands small
she placed them close
by the collar
of his jacket
still worn from the War’s end
and spoke:
' I am so so sorry that I have not
been able to be with you
it was shame that held me back.
No it's not shame for you but for me.
After the first week I was ashamed that
I had not been to see you
and the longer it grew
the more difficult it was for me
to move
toward the decision that
I’d missed.
And the shame grew
till paralyzed
I could not move
from my rooms
till the time grew
beyond
endurance yet I sat
in my rooms
loving you
but, paralyzed.

I am so sorry that my humanness
surely hurt and harmed you
I know you have for yourself
your own endurances.
I only ask
you forgive me now
and let pass
what was for me
inexcusable
grief driven;
leaving me
unable to offer a true excuse,
uttering now only words oblique,
hiding myself behind;
opaque at the door.”

Rafael:
“Oh Monique I have these many weeks
given every thought to you
and more
my soul leaped at any image
reminiscent.
So when the plunge took my leg
and homeward bound
I feel a small relief
that again this tattered heart
would view
that face which sustained me
through
hell fire and death dealing
crushing blows.
Oh I saw men fall
shattered it seemed by inward
bombs
eyes now opened wide
still seeing
yet already gone-
beyond feeling.
And painful cries-
heroics to be sure-
all there amid the many and the few.
Never tell, I think, the details there
for they do indeed, far exceed
explanation and belief
if you were not on the field
to see how
so much ingenuity
in war and arms
goes with the sole intent
of mayhem and bodily harm
to young ones who are often sent
armed only with fresh-minted
inexperience.
And then they fall
torn from them
the veil that sheltered
their innocence.
All we believe Monique
screams
this is the essence of injustice
yet all of history’s testament
is each era
must
confront and commit
the scene over and over again.'

V
That first night he lay in repose
the first night she gave him
all;
the first night suspended them
between the lagging conversation
after love's glow
into questioning
about what to do at 23;
she remained unsure of life's meanderings
He lay ondering
'How can I be a man with thee
you have most to do
to bring to me to the point to sate
overcoming meager desire’s weaken state
How can love compensate? '
She:
'It can
my love
give me time to suggest
how devotion’s arrow is stronger still
than body limbs.
You are the man I love
and now surely there is this test
for us now
but all years ahead
will allow
my will
to love whole
as we are
to manifest.
Surely now we are challenged to make of it our best.
And best it shall be
because together we are whole
and all we need to be.
To begin
and beginning is what we are about
no doubt
we have all we need
to go forth
and succeed
at whatever passes us.
Do not for one flicker doubt
I shall be here
to carry out what ever the load be.
And so Rafael and Monique
made their peace,
for the time being.


VI. Elizabeth Grieves

Elizabeth took to bed
and did not grieve initially
rather she lay in state it seems
rigid in her mien
and unwilling to take a single step
fueled so to speak by small amusements
and stimulants.
To Peter she would state
'I warned of this outcome and portent
yet unheeded you allowed all to go forth
and now all for me is grief bedridden where I will die”
she said “a thousand grieving deaths.”
'You cannot' Peter said 'lay here
each day arms raised
piling lament upon lament'
“I am dead to you now'
'Is this my punishment'
'I am wife no more'
'You must do more'
'I am total done'
'Life cannot pass us by-you must rise'
'If I could only cry'
'You are my wife'
' Wife no more-I‘m lost'
'Do you want Angelica?
'Utter not that name to me
you know that is something I forbid
She left us now many years and now
you would bring her up to me.’?
'I am desperate placed to offer whatever
I can to move you from this state.
Tell me what I must do. I am alone here-
out there without you.'
She:
“Peter acclimate.
I am down here for the long time.
Rise I would if I could
but all this was a fatal brush
with more than I can handle.
Perhaps it was the war’s end,
or Rafael whose very life lies in ashes.
There is only so much
my mind can take
There is a line beyond which we all break
I fear my boundaries have been ripped,
sanity reels and slips away
from me sometimes
more often it seems more frequently
and frighteningly I grasp
at darken maps
looking for a tiny blip
to let me know I still exist
underneath there in the catastrophe.
Hollow voices call, my own I think
Rafael, help me, help me.'
Peter felt he was slipping
from his own grip
and could not in these early days
bring himself to carry on
without the strength
Elizabeth brought.
His drug ways increased
his heart would cease
in odd moments
wherein he would have to remind himself
to breathe.
But tragedy was not done yet
because more befell this bedraggled set.
It concerns footsteps light
which Elizabeth lay down one fateful night
leaving her bed
renting her vow
and traipsed her way by corridor
to enter unannounced
Rafael’s door.
Monique drew her eyes from sleep
and peered into the darken room
awaken by swishing sounds
of rushing cloth and flowing gown
to dimly see Elizabeth kissing Rafael
who still maintained his deepest sleep.
The hands drew a tender place across
his still sleeping face
a kiss
falls only to retrace
followed on by a full embrace.
Monique called to Elizabeth
her voice barely a whisper
but paralyzed she could not move
or be heard by Elizabeth who
had given Rafael all her nocturnal attention.
Now he roused himself from sleep
and face on with her that sought to reap
more kisses planted upon his countenance
His hand rose
still sleepy amid
the attentions being paid him.
Now it was then that a muffed yelp escaped
from Monique who again stifled yet another yell
when Elizabeth heard and noticed her.
Coming from Rafael she slowly made
to Monique a tosseled slow approach.
Her face was dimmed in bedroom light
and Monique could only see the partial smile
whereon she said 'Hello my dear, how I envy
you. I so desperately appreciate how you have
sought to heal this Rafael.
She knelt to kiss Monique upon the lips
and stole softly away
leaving in her wake
a shaken two
Rafael and Monique.
Both staring in the dim light and wondering
'What and wherefore
was this'


VII. Angelina

But then
amid this time
Angelina came through
contacted by Peter
hoping Elizabeth would rip aside
that tissue placed
between her grim despair
which had effaced
the joy Peter now missed
so much.
Many years in exile deep
Angelina sometimes could keep
at bay insanity.
Slow motion she
mounted the coach.

The ride was a silent one
Angelina reluctant to speak
or emote
and unsure after these many years
how her words would be taken in,
what affect her own feelings
would project
afraid of her own chagrin
that her father had greeted her
so listlessly
after so many years.
And so resentment then
and anger later
and the returning cycle
begins
again.

What mix here of politics
of family, love, death and fear
propels Ships of State
and the familial?

Are we not Captains of the Guard
but also Billy Boy or Fathers Son?
Is sweet Monique the small girl first
before she drank the Princess Milk
to slack the thirst which is learned
only second
not first.
So entwined these destines mixing
all in human frailties
and Human Destiny
such fragile vessels
swing our Fates'

Door knobs and Hinges.

Author: Lonnie Hicks
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