A solitary bald eagle, by the shore
of Shady Oak Lake
surveys us as we take
a warm November walk, where
kids went splashing 50 years ago.
28 young men,
adored by one young woman
from her lonesome Whitman window...
Tomorrow another American vote.
Steeped in the mud of Brown
Decades, Walter was known
for sharp talons, a monitory note.
Writhing oaks & the dark river
seem to conspire toward
iron & blood – another Ford
Theatre, in Dallas, forever & ever.
Apollinaire, after the war,
released one thin smoke-
column (a silver rook-
feather) toward North Star.
He mocked up Brooklyn fancy-flights
for Walter’s funeral – Walt,
who traveled (trusty salt)
to Baltimore, for Poe’s last rites.
Eureka! I have found her – Psyche,
with her agate lamp.
She climbs out of the damp
stream like a Jonah from Milwaukee
lifting her mossy torch, sweet Liberty.
The copper sunrays circling
her brow are reinforcing
for the mind’s soul freedom – see!
A ring of sparks around her tall room
spoke the wheel of Union
to the local Human –
truth & justice, woven on a loom
of reciprocity (affectionate
acknowledgement of friend
& neighbor, refugee &
stranger). Dear Walt, I tip my hat!
The Rio slips across her limestone floor.
Time’s womb, an acorn shell,
spirals an eddy-swell –
an infant turtle at creation’s door.
Gold flecks the curve of smiling threads
anchored on air... your grave
ghost dance, your wave
on wave of feathered blues & reds,
whitecaps – flashing bright angles
through a raptor’s eye.
A raven dawdles in the sky.
Night battles echo – blindness mangles
hope with sour hatreds, fear...
& yet grey-eyed Columbia
may draw another Jonah
gasping from the deep – lift clear.