We like to think we’re in control.

The patterns all align,
action — reaction slotted like 8-ball shots.
Corner pocket baby.
I’m on a roll.
Like we got it figured out and, in the knowing, have the upper hand.
No floating X-factors
No random acts of unkind chance
Only you must remember how the gods moved among us?

Odin posed as a ragged blind beggar,
shuffling along,
scoping out the neighborhood.

Hey, amigo
faded blue crocs
ragged pants
sunbeat to leather
all he owns in a roll-along
that’s seen better days
smoother ways
Hey, amigo
something about, comida and mucho tiempo
and he mimes the eating
I pull out the handful of change
mostly brown
not enough to get a loaf
barely enough for the quick-fix promise of a cool drink
though I doubt they’d serve him at a cafe
bebidas frio says the sign behind us at the corner alimentos shop
I know the only bill in my pocket is a twenty
He shakes my hand, then
thinking better of it,
hugs me.

Is this us?
in the new normal
when the lira tanks and again the fragility of nations on the edge drags us all down, down, down
to where the sun don’t shine
Living with the Shades
streaming live
only happens because we’ve been guzzling at the trough.

What happened to the old normal;
What happened to standing on your own two feet?

How much was a dream?
And when, when, did we start the cynical
mutually assured destruction
of taking without giving
the ethos of the extraction industries
cutting away mountain tops
bulldozing to submission
dumping effluence into midnight pools?
Acting like we could get away
run ahead of the consequences
Growth is the answer.
More like, the final solution.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
In deed? I think, as I walk away.

Writer, walker, poet, educator. Commercial fisherman, builder, donut maker, organic grower. Boston, U. City, Maine, South Africa, Madrid.

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