Just Enough

2016/04/11

Let’s share some syrah…

not too much, just enough

so as to ease that tired sun

sliding down behind a grey sky

toward morning somewhere else.

The two of us, easy this afternoon

making small talk, sipping just enough

to let the light fade without our notice,

as we pretend nonchalance and

wave the day away, into night.

expressing us

2015/04/20

Problem is, we remain for duration, trapped

inside our language, believing what it shows us,

pretending ownership of our perceptions, and

around our ideas, our words, language wraps

a box of separation, this apart from that

each content its own identity, ready for listing,

like stories within a collection, toys in a chest,

fictions shorn of every hanging thread

devoid of connection to the great everything,

and consequently fictive.


My intellect and yours both understand

how any story’s end begins another story,

each beginning marks an ending, and

each occurrence results from others

in other stories which all connect as one

very large story without beginning or end…

but to grasp such a concept for the telling

lies beyond reach, for grasper and grasped

must both have identities, separate and

bounded, secure in our box of separation.


We exist as sensory organs by which

a boundless universe experiences itself and

always has because it never began, was

here already, and everywhere, and

if there were a beyond, there too, thus erasing

the here and there, the then and now and

spinning, shapeless without any center,

past any imagined ending or beginning,

nouns becoming verbs and vice versa, all

avoiding capture within subject or object.


And so to communicate to another

such understanding evades language,

giving way only to direct demonstration

by means of one’s presence and action

thrust into the timeless moment of now,

without assurance any communication

actually occurs or if it does, without indication

whether perception distorts it (or not) and

can this be why the old ones created

images on rock faces along their path?


…and does the sycamore demonstrate truth

by encouraging the tasty morels beneath it?

2012/11/21

Thanksgiving for the rest of us

Paint your face black today, cousins.
Black in mourning for a lost world,
for a culture wounded and bleeding,
for blackened wounds of ancestors
who tried to ward off invaders,
for the africans enslaved by rich americans,
for blackened rubble in the arab lands.

Paint rushmore black today, cousins.
Black for the huge lies those four politicians told.

Paint the day black, cousins.
Black because it closely follows the day invaders call “columbus day.”

Paint the damned turkey black, cousins.
Black for self-righteous words
words about “let no child be hungry this thanksgiving day,”
but what about all the other days?
words about “free thanksgiving lunch for the homeless,”
but what about the days before or after?
words about “thankful to be living in a free country,”
but what about those who don’t feel free?
words about “such a beautiful land we live in,”
but what about pollution, junkyards, climate change?

Or better yet, forget the turkey
turn away from the pumpkin pie
shun the shopping malls
tell old stories to the kids, and
honor your ancestors.

Hey Columbus…

2012/10/12

You step out of your sport utility vehicle and
begin fueling on pump number three while I
finish up on pump number four.

You eye my braid, my old car, my flute bag
in the rear window, and that expression comes
onto your pale, clean-shaven face.

You seem upset that I don’t shuffle, step aside,
show embarrassment about my dark skin, and
why must I have feathers in plain view?

You are columbus, with your arrogance and
your privilege and your superior equipment,
you are that same murdering foreigner.

You wish I would go away, would not be
present right there with road dirt on my car,
would be somewhere else, doing menial work.

Hey columbus, nobody needs you here.  We
lived here for tens of thousands of years before
you came with your virulent diseases.

Hey, columbus, your arrogance wears thin, and
a cheap, pitiful little thief shows through — your
time has been already too long.

You are that same columbus who accepted
my Arawak cousins’ hospitality, there on Hispaniola,
then gathered folks up to sell as slaves in europe.

You are that same columbus who noticed
gold ornaments, who demanded tribute, who
cut off hands or feet for not bringing enough.

You are that same columbus whose own
spanish priest, Fray Bartolome de Las Casas,
wrote about your unimaginable cruelty.

You might say that was long ago, that I am
only showing my ignorance and paranoia,
that you have nothing to do with it.

You might be lying, too.  Your arrogance
gives you away, shows you out.  You are that
same columbus who thought himself better.

Hey, columbus, haven’t you stole enough,
aren’t you rich enough yet to get into that
exclusive little heaven you talk about?

Hey, columbus, if my honest half-breed presence
causes you discomfort — if you had rather your
wife and kids didn’t see me, why not leave?

You are that same columbus, yes it’s you
stepping from your sport utility vehicle onto
the flat pavement of a filling station.

You are that same columbus and you can’t hide,
even in the privacy of afternoon drinks at your
exclusive clubs — arrogant stink surrounds you.

You are that same old columbus who
dreams of empire, who pretends to own
this land, who is willing to kill for profit.

You are that same old columbus who brought us
cheap thrills, oil spills, insurance bills, close-order drills,
targeted kills and land fills with radioactive waste.

You are that same old columbus, and you
wish I would go away?  After all these years,
after your people have done these things?

Hey columbus, why don’t YOU go away?
Hey columbus, your scorn displeases me.
Hey columbus, your elections are phony.
Hey columbus, your time’s about up, enit?
Hey columbus, haven’t you made enough of a mess?
Hey columbus, gather up your trash and carry it away.
Hey columbus, go back where you came from.
Hey columbus, john wayne has no teeth.
Hey columbus, last call.
Hey columbus, keep moving, no stopping here, move right along.
Hey columbus, whooee up there, hoosh! soooie pig.
©2010 Thomas Hubbard

columbus day, columbus day

2012/10/12

Columbus day, columbus day

(Jackson was the pres who
sold out the southeastern tribes,
setting up a lottery to “sell”
all that land for plantations.)

If only
the twenty dollar bill in my shoe
with jackson’s face to the ground
the twenty that I change out
for a new one whenever his
murderous face wears down a bit
yeah….

If only
some denomination,
maybe a three dollar bill
or something else just as
phony could show
columbus….

If only
columbus could be on a bill
or maybe on bathroom tissue
but there were no cameras
when he robbed, raped,
killed and enslaved so many
friendly indigenous people….

If only
our school books and teachers
would tell the real story about
cutting off hands of those who
couldn’t give enough gold, or
roasting people alive after
cutting their babies in two, or
spreading filth and disease, or
any of the other heinous sports
columbus and his crew enjoyed….

If only
Arawacks could have somehow
known, before they befriended
columbus and his merry men….

If only
those east-coast tribes had
known, before they befriended
boatloads of sick europeans….

If only
our ancestors had not been
caught unaware that folks
they kept from starving
would be so absolutely evil
would murder so many and
steal half the round world….

If only
we had jailed them,
every damn one of them
for trespassing
even though we had no jails….

If only
we had just let them die….

Then maybe
this would still be
a free country.

©2011 Thomas Hubbard

She and I

2012/09/27

In her travels,
this old round moon saw it all,
soldiers and healers, lovers and liars
predators and victims and artists,
saw it all so many times before, and
still climbed above my oak trees
to smile at me tonight.

Choosing to see me again
as I walk down the hill to my garden
once more before my sleep, it must be
that she loves to look at me, as much
as I love seeing her, high again,
beautiful without adornments,
waltzing across the sky.
© Thomas Hubbard, 2012

last night georgia murdered Troy Davis

2011/09/22

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis

Lightning flash lights up my bedroom,
wakes me, then thunder rolls across heaven.
Get up, look outside — been raining a while.
Coffee in the kitchen, half past five, cold, and
I remember now, about what they did.

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis.

Twelve hour drive today, visit an old friend, so
maybe she can help me shake these heavy blues.
Daylight seeps into my muddy yard.
Right front tire on my road car completely flat.
Rain gear, layers for warmth, duck boots.

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis.

Out into it, unroll the big tarp, drape over the car.
Tarp shelters me while I jack it up, remove the flat,
toss it into the back of my old four wheel drive,
back inside, get wallet, phone, and off to town.
Gotta buy a tire at the discount store.

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis.

Drive through the rain, twenty miles to town,
foggy, slick, citizens on their way to work.
Finally pull into the lot, wait in line, and
after way too long, me trying not to look grim,
man behind the counter says “hour and a half.”

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis.

Gonna be late when I get there, six hundred miles,
better call, let her know. Waiting in the coffee shop,
bright faces, business as usual, stock market’s down.
In the New York Times I see a photo of protesters
carrying signs, shouting, outside that Georgia prison.

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis.

Gotta wonder about that picture — all black people.
Where were all the decent white folks? Asians? Ndns?
Ah well, everyone’s busy making a living. Life goes on.
After all, it’s happened before, will happen again, and
anyway, they say he was just another black man.

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis.

Twelve hour drive today, visit an old friend, so
maybe she can help me shake these heavy blues.

Last night Georgia murdered Troy Davis, and
killed something in every one of us..

©Thomas Hubbard, 110922

West Coast Woman

2011/07/25

In your times of quiet, west coast woman,
do images return that we saw through our
affection be-sotten eyes, in that golden time
when we walked together?

As you travel that west coast I’ll always love,
do you sometimes visit beaches we combed for
heart-shaped pebbles, or high places where
we watched the red sun sink away?

A still-young woman, and still beautiful, and
an architect of landscapes for rich homes,
you drove a pickup truck, laughing off any
idea of downstream appearances.

One evening it carried us into the mountains
to watch meteors spark and fall, you and I warm
under quilts in the truckbed, with good wine,
spectators of the clear night sky.

Another time, we arrived late at your home
with a truck-cab full of old songs on the radio,
old songs we paused to hear, and we called in
to request one from the DJ.

Such a song, such music!

Last night, in this place, the moon shone down,
same old moon that sheds gentle light where
Pacific waves roll up onto sand, re-arranging
any heart-shaped pebbles we missed.

Some evening when you stroll with friends
after entertainment or a festive dinner, perhaps
the moonlight will catch your eye, and you’ll
remember this poem, and us.

july fifth

2011/07/25

July Fifth

Listen. Birds outside,
reclaiming their turf
songs to the morning
now that last evening’s
fireworks madness
played itself out.

Patriots safe at home
excess food and drink
speeches sans meaning
flags children died for
whiz-bangs and pops
celebrating an illusion.

Freedoms they hail
disappeared, or maybe
never even happened
not since the invasion
when foreigners came
with their politics.

Once every year they
commemorate wars of
fighting, suffering, dieing
so rich men’s corporations
may rape mother earth and
rob every damn one of us.

Now, this morning
noise gone, trash remains
father sun looks down
sees rich men, poor men
cruel men, ignorance, and
listen. Birds outside.

platform

2010/03/07

This world is a little wooden platform, rather poorly built with rough-cut boards, where you stand with your feet in the special footprint markers and pull the lever in front of you, which connects to a series of pulleys and mechanisms that open a little trap door just behind you, out of which a two-by-four with an old shoe attached rises up and kicks you in your ass. And then you pull the lever again, and again, and again….


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