Mind Sweeps #5 - #8

Mind Sweep #5

The summer solstice strikes its brazen chime
like an incessant mechanical clock.
Right on time the humidity shoots up
into the seventies and the mercury

explodes the glass tube at the porch window.
People flock to the malls and mill around
in great revolving circles like a wonderful
machine, until the widening gyres of their

ambulatory quests go straight to their heads
and like good folk on their best behavior
spend money like crazy. Again the ship
with Liberian refugees has been refused a port.

Mind Sweep #6

I walk the dogs in the morning before
cars take up their insistence to own the road.
The female goes for the mud stream every time,
shaking clay smears across my legs,

afterward, planting paw prints on my shirt.
Has one a right to pant with her innocence,
be so eager? Surely she'd laugh like a baby laughs
if dogs could laugh. But would I

laugh with her? Could I? What
after all does laughter mean, once our innocence
is used up and we look at the world out of ours,
and its, anguish? OK, girl, let's run home now!

Mind Sweep #7

One can look too hard for a lost thing,
Delbert says. His grandmother, middle of nine daughters,
Scot's sheep herders on Prince Edward Island,
like her sisters before her and those after,

at age 15, was pulled from school,
put on the train to Boston with a one-way ticket,
two fresh smocks, her old felt coat and hat,
one pair of shoes and five dollars--

where she entered housekeeping service in Malden
or Walton or Taunton-- English not good enough
for Cambridge or the Back Bay-- never to go back--
parents fading-- letters only to announce a death.

Mind Sweep #8

Although the news reports much about presidential scandals,
the Liberian refugee freighter on the high seas, briefly noted,
has not been heard from for two days. Doreen perceives
everything going on around her just as correctly as before,

but it has become totally dissociated and alienated.
Her own emotions seem foreign to her,
as if someone else were feeling them,
or as if they were drifting around the world,

no longer able to maintain through inner actions
equilibrium with events of the world. She feels
unspeakable anguish. Hoping for bigger and better
scandals, the non-incumbent's campaign limps on.


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