The Arts section of Orient Lodge

The News

“I read the news today, oh boy “
Earthquakes around Mt. Saint Helens;
is something going to erupt soon?
Further north, the tar sands burn.

Captain America: Civil War
erupted at the box office
as million paid their money
to be entertained
by conflict.

The conflict in Syria rages on
and spills across the region
as I pray for mothers of sons
stationed near the battle lines.

At home
Americans are fighting with words,
but it isn’t any less fierce,
as friends declare their candidacies
for down ticket races
because the top of the ticket
is so messed up.

An award winning journalist
gets barred from a political convention
because he writes articles
critical of the party
and a friend wins praise
for her role
in a battle of wits
with a school yard bully
running for President
on Twitter.

“I read the news today, oh boy “
Is something going to erupt soon?

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I read
“When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d”
at the dinner table
festooned with recently gather flowers
on Mother’s day
and thought of the massive lilac bushes
that grew in front of my childhood home.

When my wife was younger
she would go with her mother
to find lilacs growing in the wood
that they would pick
and bring home.

My wife’s mother
my own
by thirteen years –
predeceased sounds
so cold, so clinical,
so devoid of feeling.

One hundred and fifty one years ago
Abraham Lincoln died
“And the great star early droop’d
in the western sky in the night”.

Five years later
Julia Ward Howe penned
“Arise, then, women of this day!”
calling for a “general congress of women”
in the first Mother’s Day Proclamation.

Yet again, the lilacs bloom,
we honor and remember our mothers,
we mourn,
and call for
true equality,
and an end to wars.

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Poets Anonymous

It stared simply enough,
trying to remember
the poem about
dancing with daffodils,
and not knowing
the poetry hotline number.

Later, I saw something
I can’t remember
what it was now
and so the idea

I started carrying
a small notepad
around with me
which helped much of the time
but then
I would be driving on the parkway
and couldn’t write in my notepad
so I started recording thoughts
speaking into
my cellphone.

I read about
the lack of poetry emergencies
and thought,
“I’m relieved,
but also sad.”

What is it like
to catch a glimpse
or smell a smell
on a fine day
only to have it escape,
even if the idea
is saved
in a notebook
to be written later?

I weep for my stillborn poems,
but not carried to term
and I tell my stories
at Poets Anonymous.
“Hi, my name is Aldon
and I’m a poet.”

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Ascension Day

The fragrant pastel flowers
of the trees in bloom
seemed muted
by the endless grey sky.

The frequently dreary
daily news
seemed bleaker than usual
and no one
except the old Italian
seemed to know
it was Ascension Day.

The traffic was slow and heavy
on account of the rain
and the drivers
who looked up
at the billboards
urging them to buy
they didn’t really need
couldn’t see
the risen Lord.

Even those who did pause
knew they had to wait
for Pentecost.

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Ceiling Two Hundred Feet Overcast

The dark grey clouds
just a few hundred feet
above the parkway
were moving too quickly
to spill their rain.

They evoked memories
of mountain hikes
to where the clouds formed
or brisk walks
beside the roiled sea
at least for those
who were not on
on their way to work.

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