Umbrella man

 (after a photograph by Steve Pollock)

Said the touchy, tough lady activist,
“Their violence and corruption
are no surprise—Let’s leave the
surprises to children, to those who have
no memory or who can’t think clearly”
He disappeared into middle age
and fought his demons alone

You can seem to be what you are

It alternates light and dark blue
triangles, the large umbrella that partially
covers him as it leans over his head
on the sidewalk, on a grey day
His clothes are clean and neat
as he lies on his back—He’s drunk, we
think, but not necessarily homeless

The fates are fickle and fortune is cruel

I took my four year old for a walk
Everything is new to him—He delights
in pointing at trees, birds and flowers 
The dark blue, light blue umbrella
partially covers the drunkard at
a 45 degree angle on a cloudy day
in a world of sullen achievers

Be good to those who are good to you

Mom’s dead now more years than she lived
Her death left a crater in his heart
This is a world filled with confused
and flawed people, original and clever
kinds of hurts, acrimonious and surly
Republican party liars, power hungry,
knife wielding, garbage strewing asses

It’s a “civil war” when the powerful win  

The city was in pandemonium
“Our government has failed us
We’re on our own”
His blue (light and dark blue)
umbrella leans over him on a
cloudy, rainless day as he lies on his
back, cleanly clothed on the sidewalk

A “revolution” when they don’t

Pat was bold—She’d just stand there,
defiant, while some mighty, brutal
sea wave smacked her in the head
He ended up in federal prison in Danbury,
Connecticut, which he dubbed “crime
school” because of all the tricks of
the smuggler’s trade he learned there

A big blue umbrella for his protection and comfort

That slickly produced newsy TV show
doesn’t ignore the tough and the bad
as it acknowledges it enough to hold
our interest, as it extols a moderate
optimism—tolerant of others
and strict in itself—It’s a good
watch if you’re stoned

What your heart can’t control is you

-May 15, 2021-