Sunday, May 29, 2011

Catching Up

You've scarcely heard from me all month, due not to a depressive writer's block but to crazy activity keeping me constantly hopping. I will use this post to update you on a few things, followed by a tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, a favorite poet who died May 27.

One of the bigger challenges of the past month was getting through May 14. I gave a workshop at a local evangelical church on global economics and the new slave trade during the day, and hosted a house concert of Bev Barnett and Greg Newlon at Kevin and Diane Lindholm's in the evening. A bit chaotic, but all was well. Living Hope Covenant Church provided a video link of my talk here, though at over an hour, you can be excused for not watching it all. Bev and Greg were having a wonderful mountain tour, and the weather obliged by snowing ever so slightly in Monument late in the evening. Here's a sample of their concert, with more songs on my YouTube channel:

Busy month to challenge powers that be with signs and slogans, but you've seen enough of those. I also had two friends die unexpectedly at very young ages during the course of the month, so I wrote them a poem that also goes out to someone who just left a bad marriage:

The Winch of Reciprocity

For Sean. For Clem. For Karen.

Five broken ropes translate the lies behind
the echoed hollabeck of reverberating promise.
I’ve got your back.

Most often met with the fumbling cockpit belt,
the rope burn of acidic tears
for both a gravity and an escape velocity betrayed.
You choose instead to move three teeth up
the ratchet and pawl,
the lips pulled back in sputter of red balloon,
gums at Mach 4,
a second-stage separation for unpowered flight.

I am that silver shadow on the high-res magnification
of a torn and wrinkled sepia aerial reconnaissance photo,
two-thirds across the minefield,
shuffling in north-by-northeasterly vector.

My two hiking companions
noted only by the shreds of clothing and random body parts
that might be dribbled pbj on the wide-angle minefield view,
but for the cirrus wisps,
manifested as cries inaudible through a sealed cockpit window.
Would you die for me?

I crane my neck to watch you
enter an atmospheric layer where promises are invalidated.
I put my best foot forward.

Loring Wirbel
May 15, 2011

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