THIRTYSEVEN YEARS AGO a man asked how much more we would pay to win a morally bankrupt war. Eugene McCarthy took forty two percent of the vote in the Vermont primary the month after the Tet Offensive in February of 1968. It took another six years for United States involvement there to end. Robert Kennedy entered the race three days later, Lyndon Johnson saw the Kennedy writing on the wall. Martin Luther King got shot to death a month later, Kennedy was killed two months after that. Chicago exploded on television during the Democratic convention. Richard Nixon who had a secret plan to end the war defeated the more mainstream Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey.
THE WAR NIXON SAID he would end with his secret plan, the one that had a light at the end of the tunnel, went on for another six years. Before it was over, that war expanded into Laos and Cambodia. The enemies Nixon would seek defeat of first took a more domestic turn with enemy lists and a third rate burglary. Intimidation of opponents at home seems always to be the first step of would be despots as they would defeat enemies abroad.
SOMEONE HAD TO BE FIRST A man whiter than Martin Luther King would have to speak up for America to listen about the connection between the moral squalor in Southeast Asia and things more rotten yet at home. Clean Gene McCarthy was a heretic to the moral hegemony of the time. What he said “first,” others had whispered and shouted and sang about before. But he was the first to whom the powerful listened.
THE SAND CASTLE OF POWER begins to crumble with even the most gentle lapping of water. McCarthy lost out to Kennedy who lost his life, the Democrats lost to Nixon in 1968, more lives were lost on the path to Peace with Honor, and democracy was in the balance. The former college professor Eugene McCarthy was the first within the halls of power saw wrong and sought to make right. There is a lesson plan here somewhere for us who are continually schooled by life.
THE WORLD IS FULL of blowhards ready to blow up the world. Some imagine a kiss and kindness give peace a chance. Only those who foolishly hold onto possibility have a chance to change this world. Some will remain forever in the dirt of this earth, but who looks in another’s eyes and sees stars may walk across the universe.
SOME LEAVE THIS EARTH too soon and we are left in wonder. I remember the nightJohn Lennon died, the voice of Vin Scelsa on WNEW back when a radio station still had a voice. I remember the tilt of my sister Sharon’s head, the one small tear in her eye. She is not given to tears, so the one she gave meant much. My brother Jim said nothing in his most eloquent way. For some but not all, night again becomes day. There is a light that comes at dawn, sometimes creeping wounded, bloody over night’s back.
THE SUN THAT COMES now over earth’s horizon and its light belong to us all. John Lennon sees it somehow, somewhere still across the universe. In my life I have learned what I have means nothing if what I have cannot be shared. In the end all we have is each other and often not for long. If the like of Lennon, John means anything to you as it means to me, share your light in this universe here.
This bullet is an old one... In the dawn of time it was the stone that Cain hurled at Abel, and in the future it shall be many things that we cannot imagine today, but that will be able to put an end to men and their wondrous, fragile life. “In Memoriam, JFK” Jorge Luis Borges
MY MASTER BORGES reminds me a single bullet kills more than one man and many a dream in its flight. Should the bullet stop, only its form changes and its violence is with us forever. The heart beats to be pierced and beat again.
Only the imagination is real! I have declared it time without end.
If a man die it is because death has first
possessed his imagination. But if he refuse death— no greater evil
can befall him unless it be the death of love meet him
in full career. Then indeed for him the light has gone out But love and the imagination are of a piece, swift as the light
To avoid destruction.
From “Coda” by William Carlos Williams
THIS BLOG BEGAN with a hope or two a poetic word might seep into a rich soil. But it became something else. I made a first blog friend and have met so many others. The time has come to say thank you. Again.
THE TIME HAS COME to say congratulations to RJ Eskow of Nightlight after a year and to make a last stop here as well. Cernig also puts one candle on is cake. It is also time to say congratulations to my most unwell twin Neil Shakespeare who always makes me laugh. Neil was also the visitor number 200,000 today here at The Heretik
NOTHING IN THIS WORLD exists that love and a little imagination cannot improve. Thank you all for your support. And for those who still wonder: the answer is yes.