Thursday, April 19, 2012

(a poem) On looking at a picture of Barack Obama sitting in Rosa Parks bus

response to

I'm a lazy poet.  I probably could write good poetry if I spent time on it, but I'm impatient.  Can't be bothered to make it rhyme, but I write it anyway, occasionally.

So I wrote this little poem after seeing the photo at the link above.


A thin man in a bus seat
A special bus seat
A historical bus seat

A bus
An old bus
A historical bus

A woman
An ordinary woman
An extraordinary woman

A woman sat in the bus seat
A woman in the past
When the bus was newer

The thin man
Wearing an ordinary suit
Looking out the window

Of a bus
Sitting still
Parked in a museum

Two images -- separated
By marches, lawsuits, burning crosses
Many people talking, screaming, crying

Two  people
Separated by time,
Just sitting.  Just sitting?

And it whizzes by
And we go forward
And are erased, all of us

Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras
und alle Herrlichkeit des Menschen wie des Grases Blumen.
Das Gras ist verdorret und die Blume abgefallen.

A man sits at a keyboard
A woman sits at a keyboard
One makes music, the other writes

We all pass into history
Some are remembered longer than others
All are gone, eventually

Yet, in the fading,
Of a bus, of a woman, of a man,
Sometimes, we feel a tug

A tug into the past
That makes it linger
Just a bit more

edited 11/27/12

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