Author's Note: Pandemic and wildfires, combined with politics, mental health patients, family to take care of, and it all adds up to madness some days.
the madness in our world
ending with lines in a personal letter from Alan Walowitz
tomorrow, hotter-than-hell weather will come i won't notice until i leave work walk out of air-conditioned comfort into a day gone crazy with heat no wind, no clouds, no pity the air that rises from the asphalt will ripple in agony, distort my vision i wonder if the soles of my sneakers could possibly melt at that temperature use my shirt-tail to insulate my hand against the branding-iron door handle both windows must open wide to invite whatever small breeze there might be to sweep the heat away, allowing me to finally clamber into the cab of my thankfully white truck the one that absorbs less energy as common wisdom tells it engine started, the A/C will kick in and like an incantation well-uttered invite the sweetest chill to swirl around my hands, around my head stereo will pick up exactly where it stopped louder than i remember leaving it blasting the oldies i love letting me slip away again from inmates and medications from politics and irritations to a mental beach, where there are lots of sea breezes, and as little talk as possible about the madness in our world.
this is not the time to howl
on hearing of the death of Justice Ginsburg
yes, i'm stealing the title from one ginsberg to talk about another. one who didn't howl, but made plenty of noise with a tenacity that belied her physical stature, belied her presumed place in a world dominated by men, by tradition, by exclusion. a world she saw as a place that needed change and went about changing it from within the framework of all the restrictions placed on her, on everyone not white, not male, not straight, not a certain flavor, or religion and she won. repeatedly. she used her two most potent weapons— her mind, and her determination to outlast and outsmart the old guard. then she took a rightful place among giants, with a grace often absent in that orbit okay. that's the eulogy. she's gone. and while conservative wolves are snapping at america's hamstrings this is not the time to howl not the time to lament not the time to fear this is the time to rise up and in one grand chorus of "not on my watch", push back push back against the callous disregard for the foundation she championed push back against the flagrant disdain for decency and democracy push back against the erosion of all that is good and clean and honorable then, when the circling wolves are at bay when equal justice is a fixed reality then, my friend, then you and i will raise our heads and howl
©2020 Jim Lewis
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