Author Topic: The American Dream  (Read 747 times)

Offline duck

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The American Dream
« on: November 30, 2017, 10:18:37 AM »
Despite the endless horizon,the wide,
wide open sky crams
little bays of crystalline water.

Yet what we remember
are the ropes snaking free of reformist shores
and all those persecuted dreams taking flight.
We pressed our seeds deep in new soil,
an earth so rich and dark we could see blessings take root,
in an instant, never in doubt God had a plan.

So, how did we get here
trapped on Oakland Bridge,
waiting with so many others
for the lights to change,
while behind us the deserts and mountains and prairies,
the scintillating gold of their wheat,
digest the bones of those born free?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 03:57:08 AM by duck »

Offline indar

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 11:02:46 AM »
Hi Dave,

I wonder if, because of your specific mention of "reformists" you might have been moved to write this as a result of the discussion of congregationalism on another thread. (the joke is there are only 3 names for congregational churches: Pilgrim, Mayflower and Plymouth. I've belonged to 2 out of 3) The church I am a member of is fighting hard--performed as many same-sex marriages as it could before proposition 8 went into effect. But federal law superseded that--for how long I wonder.

The church also declared itself a sanctuary for anyone it can help to avoid deportation. Also provides food and housing for the undocumented workers in the area that need it (those rapists and murderers doing stoop labor from sunup to sundown in the nearby strawberry fields).

Our minister was a speaker at the initial gathering of the women's march in our area the day after trumps inauguration (trump is just a symptom). I can't think of any political organization that I trust as much to do battle with the prevailing forces afoot in this country but in a sense I feel its just a matter of going down fighting. Can't put the honey back in the jar.

AS to your poem--I wonder how, if I remember correctly --you as an Englishman living in Germany managed to get it so right. How many others in this world share the sadness of those of us who grew up here believing the words to America the Beautiful. I love the image of those caught on the bridge. I don't think you meant that the loss of freedom is simply due to overcrowding in urban areas though do you?

Beautifully written. Thank you

Offline Mark T

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 02:00:28 PM »

Indeed, exquisitely crafted in places, a light touch on a heavy subject, the American Nightmare.   

Offline matty11

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 10:20:03 PM »
hi Dave,
            Especially like the weave of landscape against the human delusions of divine planning. The historical/biblical/spiritual v modernity were also effective. Indeed persecution seeds/roots dreams.

Quote
Despite the horizon, the wide
wide open sky crams
little bays of crystalline water.

just a thought,

best

matty


Offline duck

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 03:55:39 AM »
Thanks >Indar
No the poem is not only about traffic problems though the acute motivation was my constant amazement that in such a huge essentially empty country traffic jams are made possible by the bizarre design of cities - and I do love SF but what a traffic mess. In the longer run I have many issues running around my head about the USA, mostly connected indeed to the fact that at one time everyone, at least in the western world grew up with American and the myth of the dream. Now many are disillusioned by what is happening and by their own naivity. Besides America still provides the largest canvas. I have been in SF twice but the first time I was struck not by how unfamiliar it all was but excited by how much I recognized - from TV and movies of course.
Thanks Mark and Matty and Matty an excellent suggestion.
Dave

Offline Gyppo

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 04:53:54 AM »
We pressed our seeds deep in new soil,
an earth so rich and dark we could see blessings take root,
in an instant, never in doubt God had a plan.


Duck, I enjoyed it all, but these lines, for me, encapsulate the driving belief of those who do have such an absolute faith.  Misplaced or not, it gets things done.

Gyppo

My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline indar

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2017, 10:14:28 AM »
I brought up the image of the bridge as we (you and I) have discussed a mutual interest in bridges as symbols of transformation, among other things. Stuck on the bridge in this [poem says so much to me in that context.

Offline duck

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 12:29:55 PM »
Thanks Gyppo
I hope there is no impression here of an anti-religion or faith poem. Nothing could be further from my thoughts. And while I admire and thoroughly appreciatte the caring values embedded in the love and faith that Indar and Tom both describe in other poems here and agree faith can be a source of great activity, it is hardly the sole source and the question of quality of action remains essential as we see from the new tax reform passed by (a God-fearing) Senate yesterday. Activce but dumb and destructive. Give me Indar's church's engagement any day.
Dave

Offline Gyppo

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2017, 03:01:08 PM »
Thanks Gyppo
I hope there is no impression here of an anti-religion or faith poem. Nothing could be further from my thoughts.

It certainly didn't create that impression in my mind.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline DTF

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 10:02:56 AM »
This is great, I am trying to learn how to write

Offline duck

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Re: The American Dream
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 10:26:48 AM »
Thanks DTF, so are we al, so are we all.
Dave