The cat chases it’s tail, the dog whimpers in sleep
The heart skips a beat…
It’s not a nightmare, not a movie, a TV show.
Wake when you will, but where will you be, in bed alone,
In the den, your unknowing hand holding a gun,
At your desk starting at nothing?
It doesn’t matter— Looking deeply matters:
Unless you turn it inside out, look long at what you find
The mind eludes the eye of reason.
Recall the flowers of betrayal and delusion with merciful disregard,
Struggle all your life to save this dying thing
This beaten, bloody thing called love.
For the tail is chasing the dog,
The cat is barking in sleep, the heart is cracking
Hope is a Gypsy song rising over the ash of Auschwitz
Madmen rule the world—
And if they wake from a coma of hate, will they give a vision truth?
Will they feed the poor, give up peace?
When will your heart slow to a murmur and hiss into silence?
I want to say the cat is calm, the dog happy, humankind is wise and kind,
But the cat is gnawing the cage, the dog is humming a dirge,
The good flower colombine was never a flock of doves:
Littleton, Kosovo, Dachau, Wooded Knee, Kabul, Santa Fe:
Large extensions of the fist we use to abuse the children—
Where next the murder of the day, massacre of the week
Where next the World War?
The heart is failing, the heart is failing, there are no known donors.
This poem first appeared in the Book “Jazz-Cocktails & Soapbox Songs”.