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Oct 2013
1.

When I
was young
I listened to
Billy the Kid

I galloped
across the
living room floor
giddy upping
in an ecstatic
square dance
with my beloved
America

excitedly
enraptured
boundlessly
enthralled
in youthful
zeal
ebulliently  
yodeling
hymns
whistling
reveries to
America’s
heroic prairie
songs

a precocious
kinder beaming  
moved and illumined
by the broiling fanfare
of trilling trumpets

to uphold the promise
I pledged allegiance
to diligent  work
galloping onward
on ponies of
reverent faith
respectful duty
playful engagement
and guardianship

2.

expectation
never fell short
of resounding
supranaturalistic
optimism

energising
the sweep of
a nation’s
self evident
exceptionalism

our democratic
vista stirred
and steeped

a nation of
wheelwrights
building
wagon trains
to traverse
stratified latitudes
with sturdy ladders
erected with common
sense sensibility
of hands to work
and hearts to God

earthen
yeoman
dancing in
wheat fields
threshing sheaves
of prosperity
their exertions
elevating
families
raising
a glorious chorus,
a peeling crescendo
of horns of plenty
splayed across
landscapes of
an ennobled
nation
placing fruits
of labor upon
ascendent
alters to
to receive
the anointing
of abundance

the lighted grace
of infinite possibilities
shines for a grueling
world listening to the
clamouring drumbeats
sounding in the hearts
of all grace anointed
republicans


3.  

No lullabies
no quiet moonlit nights
we ardently
dance on keys
boasting soul
filled dexterity
the quick self
assuredness
extemporaneously
jazz tapping
across bold
hidden rondos
grasping
transcendence
squarely set
in the minds eye
of unbroken resolve
our cool countenance
an unassailable
righteous destination

any
spare sweeping
plaintive introspection
lends space to
affirm
an
affirmation
beginning
with the individual
unum to e pluribus

solitary dancers
incorporated into
fully enfranchised
troopers

the gyrations
the rhythms and steps
of individuated melodies
join to form a harmonious whole
a beautifully woven consensus

this democratic symphony
perfected in an intelligent
choreography of
separate people
sojourning  
toward
a mutually
constructed
shared destiny

aspirational desires
call forth generations
of spirits boldly engaging
the challenges upholding
the rights and privilege
of all citizens
the celebratory harvest
of a new nations
natural law


4.

As a man
I cruise
along
Main Street
in a joyless
joy ride
gliding by
disassembled
factories
moldering schools
defunct governments

surveying the
demolished ruins
of cities,
the decrepit
wrecking ball
of history
is busy,
rolling through
towns
not worthy
of cast iron
destruction
forged in
foreign kilns

we built palaces
to democracy
in the tiniest hamlets
dotting the granges
wholly assimilated
into a national congress
of freemen

today our
congress
is scattered
dialog seeking
resolution is considered
betrayal to holy
partisanship...

selfish insistence
masquerades as
high ideals

portraiture
of obstinance
is a grotesque
reflection
of virtue

we have
reduced
the peoples
house

to a battlefield
for tribes…..

once freemen
now captives….

soulless ghosts
wandering lost
inside grand
rotundas...

mocked
by murals
and inert
granite statuary
howling
expiration dates
of timeless
psalms

sojourning
the trail of tears
drinking from bowls
of anguish

our only
respite
the silent
ruins we
find impossible
to leave

fear fills our bellies
rust stains our hearts
abiding acrimony
ain’t easily brushed
from dust laden cloths

the deconstruction
of dead cities, mark
expired civilizations
centuries in the making
hammered by the blows
of the mightiest blacksmiths
with precision and deft craft


5.

the spareness of
Martha Graham's set
frame black shadows
of fortitude

it always starts
with the individual

then surely
sure footedness
measured footsteps
boldly dance about
the lily pads
of the keyboard
a resounding ballet
the arms wave
like swaying stalks of wheat
but hurry to respond
opportunity knocks
conditions change
the group awaits
to be joined

my pirouette
remains my solitary mark
on the weaving spindles
crafting the mosaic
of a complex American
complexion

the possibility
the promise
laid before us
wheat fields
of democracy
tilled planted
attended

the wondrous yields of
an Appalachian Spring
the promise
hectare of grace
apportioned to all
citizens

the promise
harvest of liberty
freedom
of opportunity
all anointed
freemen
conferred an
amazing grace

civil discourse
was once spoken
we can learn the
lost languages again
sitting on the porch
with neighbors
sipping ice tea
sharing thoughts on
hot summer evenings
caring too care

but scoundrels
became heroes
we fetishized
idiosyncrasies
of insisted
entitlement

we ******
the whole by
exalting the part

we dare not condemn them
lest we condemn ourselves




6.

the west was once woolly wild
I hear the sweeping sound
of my youth rustle again
the dramatic symphony
of a brilliant people
filled with courage
undeterred optimism
claiming a continent
manifesting a new
Pax Americana
a century
of immigrants  

coming to integrate
coming to assimilate
coming to believe in the promise
coming to make a new promise

I came to hear Copland
when I was young

when America was young
when promises were made
and sworn by a brilliant
fanfare of trumpets

when America was young
Copland composed
when America was young
a promise was made

come forth brothers
come forth sisters
come claim
the promise
of a simple gift


Aaron Copland:
Billy The Kid

11/29/11
Oakland
jbm
James Bradley McCallum
Written by
James Bradley McCallum  New Jersey
(New Jersey)   
    5.5k
   Mike, ---, Universal Thrum, K Mae, Raphi and 5 others
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