you be lifted and surrounded
when you have a need of angels.
you be guided when you need the
moon, defying expectations.
justice be in your heart, for you
to freely share with those waiting.
the dark embrace you, keep you safe
from dreams that fear the light of day.
your children rise, God in their eyes,
knowing beauty waits in each day.
If a child from some place like Florida,
Connecticut, or Colorado spoke to you,
said I’m tired of fearing violence,
we need to make a change, fuck this,
I can’t vote yet, you need to bring change,
would you listen and act, be inspired,
or correct their choice of expletives,
deny the weight of their experience
when balanced by their tender age?
Think on this: What if they were yours,
if they were your brother’s or sister’s,
the children of your neighbors? Then?
What if a Dapchi girl, her life destroyed
by the so-called men of Boko Haram,
or a Yemeni brother and sister, orphaned
in the bloody rubble of an entire country,
came to you in search of sanctuary,
of a place to live without daily fear?
Would your religion welcome them,
would you embrace them at once,
or would you reject them, indifferent?
Think on this: They are yours.
They are your brothers and sisters.
They are your neighbors. Now what?
Travel Journal #2
I remember Menominee, the reservation
where culture was for sale to tourists
at the weekly fire and tribal dance show.
I remember Bergen, the young American,
the young waitress, making an evening date
without a word in common except loneliness.
I remember Skansen, the glass blowers
and the costumed re-enactor docents
among the ancient red buildings.
I remember Hong Kong, the heads of oxen
and rope-bodies of headless snakes
for sale in the street market of Aberdeen.
I remember Danang, the fantail watch,
cradling a 12-gauge loaded with rock salt
while watching for swimmers with mines.
I remember Olongapo, kids begging,
the bar girls with the ready smiles,
and the meal at the Tokyo Hilton.
I forget the foreign tongues we spoke,
recall instead the commonalities
of daily people doing daily lives.
Lennart Lundh is a poet, short-fictionist, historian, and photographer. His work has appeared internationally since 1965.
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