They are gathering
Taking places around the table.
Dignified.
Fortified
with bottled water, linen napkins,
no plastic knives if you please.
Respectability’s accouterments are the order of the day.
Their table, square or round
depending on the matter.

Matter?
Seems manner has the wheel and appearance rides shotgun.
For matter, please, see the executive summary.

What if, instead of agendas honed so diligently,
more like to long knives
than matters open to real dissection.
Carefully weighted with attached assumptions
to tip and spill just so.
Items, each with their acquired gravity,
chosen, as sides so often are,
long before.
Steps in the dance we do.

Another era of nervous splendor.
Another round of pointed fingers,
delivered from styled postures
from the current line-up of the appointed.
Fools, us all, to think the slickly oiled,
the anointed
could do otherwise than go round once more
following the peculiar circuitry of political agenda
accompanied by the holy do-wa-diddy chorus.
Thus credence is bestowed
and belief given its specific spin

So easily do all the little particles align,
massaged, magnetically curried
and off they go
fanning flames with breathy whispers,
“I told you so …”
“Only a matter of time…”
“Everyone is saying…”

And so they do
in open Forums,
live and on-line,
passing on what was passed to them.
Fourteen million views can’t be mistaken.
And we, in line to receive
Holy orders.
four out of five experts agree.
Don’t you see?
Now, really,
You wouldn’t want to be left out
Who wants to be standing in the cold?
Not when it’s warm as toast in here.

All the talk has me spinning
Trying to picture political clout in zero-gravity
And how pull is related to spin
Imagining all the charged particles lined up to do their laps
as I line up my shots in the game of ‘whose pocket are you in’.

But out there,
somewhere,
a voice is crying in what wilderness is left.
I hear it faint in the shush of sunset before the coming night.

“Oh, It’s been such a long hot summer,
listen, listen,
hear the restless wind rustle among the fallen leaves.
It bends the brittle grasses,
sets the branches all to rattling,
I hear it clear as the roll of drumsticks
of a vanguard marching by.
I know they come this way
I seen the sheen of their dust on the withered blackberries,
the sharp as razor glints of broken glass among the stones.
I felt the hot breath of fire
and the sting of embers
among the ashes borne aloft.”

There is no place at the table,
no matter what shape it’s in.
No room among the distinguished guests
for such disheveled kin.
In this time of changing poles
that line, the line between in and out,
between gatekeeper and ragged rabble,
will be drawn exceedingly fine.

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

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