The Doomsday Clock:Two Minutes Till Midnight

The Doomsday Clock:

Two Minutes Till Midnight

At the near tipping point of the worldthat tilts ever more sharply now, greed and brutality slide down towardthe vast abyss that gaps beneath us and we stand at the still edge of raptureas the candy-colored clown laughs half-aloud his metamorphic chuckleand the earth we walk upon buckles like an uprooted sidewalk in a sideshowfarce that plays on and on forever: a forgotten suburban nightmarewhere dreams tumble down slowly into dreams and we are left standingdizzy on the thin precipice of a myth.   And now it’s time to panic. In The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells warns us that “No matter how well informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough.” The Doomsday Clock is ticking, and it’s less than two minutes to midnight.  “Midnight” is the total destruction of the environment and with it the destruction of many species of life, including homo sapiens. We can no longer control the fires around us, but still we burn the Earth with petroleum and coal. Even the Bible predicts our fiery Hell, which is turning out to be man-made.  Featured Photograph: Ohio River Sunset  by  Bernie...
Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

…………….. In Memoriam: Steven Urchek Death is the mother of beauty The mother of us all Birthing us on to new journeys Into new identities Melding us with the Holy Spirit The All-One Over-Soul. And on January Twentieth 2021 A day of hope for our country Your soul merged with the universe And became one with the Great Mystery. You gave your life over wholly to Others: your caring wife, your two fine children All the students you mentored over the years Teaching them the history of our nation The ideals of our democracy. All the boys and girls, young men And women who called you Coach Pitching and catching and all the while Learning how to be fair and decent human beings. You bravely fought the uphill fight Against an awful disease, hanging on Refusing to give up in the bottom of the ninth Until the final swing of the bat. Rest in peace old friend, my son – in law and in love – Now you play and coach in baseball heaven Sitting in cloud dugouts Swapping home run strike out triple play tales With Babe Ruth and Bob Feller; Hank Aaron And Herb Score – taking your rightful place In All-Star-Paradise All watched over with loving care By the precious and holy grace of God.   Urchek remembered for impact he had on so many lives  – by Mike Shaffer...
Celluloid Elegy

Celluloid Elegy

Jack Ramey reads Celluoid Elegy. http://www.springwoodpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Celluloid-Elegy-3.mp3 ————————-   – for Judy The pigtailed killer of the wicked witch led daddy’s kids thru Emerald City before she made it there herself while Round John Virgin smothered the child (holy infant so tender and mild) ——————————–in the Silent Night of catholic childbirth I was a starver a server a saint but she was Dorothy of yellow brick road living her movie each Halloween each aging easter in Oz ——————————–queen of Kansas of Hollywood oiling her tinman thirst the frightened cat of her heart screaming for years a burning scarecrow and no bucket wet enough in all of Oz until the Wizard showed his sideshow hand and you touched it Dorothy —————————all polka-dot and hunger you rode his cure-all car —————————thru cheering munchkins cheering long live Dorothy and long live our john wayne sham & hambone saviour our dodge city gambler and now I am scared out of my baby fat at this point at this scene my altar bells ring ————————my ghost mask falls my shopping bag full I cry as I cry each year at this time: —————————–Dorothy be careful —————————–look out his fingers are needles are lightning his floodlights are thrilling but he’s Halloween’s bad candy man ————————dealing the cards like Tombstone Tarot like Lash Larue who holds no bluff for tincan hearts who beats out your song ————————on his Halloween porch a Broadway magus with musical bones ——————————– (Oh Dorothy) your straw wanted real ones made in Oz yes but not by this wizard of nightclub bubbles this junkman wizard of trick or treat ——————————-who stole the heels from...
Freedom Day

Freedom Day

Jack Ramey reads Freedom Day. http://www.springwoodpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Freedom-Day.mp3 We hold these truths to be self-evident: all white men who own property are created equal – this of course excludes black people and Indian people and women and poor white whiskey tangos who have no pot to piss in. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful morning this morning when all Americans are freed from work (except those who work at Walmart and MacDonald’s and Burger King and Pizza Hut and Kroger and Safeway and Piggly Wiggly) freed to pursue barbeque picnics by the lake and drunken relatives and loud firework displays that proclaim with colored gunpowder our freedom. Oh say can you see? Those rockets bursting over your villages for the past ten years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cluster bombs and napalm exploding in jungles forty years ago in Vietnam, just look at the beautiful tracers shooting out from the sides of ironic helicopters bearing the name of those we have subdued – Apache! Geronimo! shouted those paratroopers who leaped out of planes on D-Day two years or so before I was born into this land of freedom and gory. The list of those we have invaded to protect our freedom is too long to tell: hello Philippine Islands, hello Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Grenada, Cuba, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan,Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Japan (and all the islands she laid claim to) Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Korean Peninsula, the Five Nations, the Creek Nations, the Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Shawnee Nation, the Sioux Nations, the Comanche Nations, the Yuma, the Pomo, the Ute, the Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Crow, the Mandan, the Sauk and...
Prologue: The River

Prologue: The River

. The Iroquois called you O-he-O, the Wyandot the Oheezo, which some took to mean “sparkling,” others “white,” while the French took it to mean “beautiful” :– La Belle Rivière, the beautiful river they called you and they were right, at times you are white, at times you sparkle like diamonds in the sun, and you are always beautiful in all your moods – muddy brown from spring rains, or placidly green, silver flowing water, bringing life and death to all who live and grow beside your thousand mile length three centuries ago or today cascading down from Allegheny and Monongahela confluence sliding by stone age huts and Adena conical burial mounds high up on hills and always bloody, bloody throughout your mythic history of discovery, war, and conquest. Twenty-first century versions of those same huts still on the same hills, or perilously hugging your banks which sometimes you overflow north and south flooding their dirty basements just to show them they might be a bit too close: back off, you say, give me some elbow room, some space to change my course as you wend your way down to meet the stuttering Mississippi, and so on down to dark and broken New Orleans where you spread yourself out upon the vastness of the deep. <br> As a poet, I am fascinated by the metaphysical, mystical, and metaphorical nature of rivers in general and the Ohio River at Madison in particular.  From my home, high on a hill overlooking the Ohio River and downtown Madison, I am able to experience the daily changes in the relationships and moods of...
The River

The River

. 1. A great bronze god This morning Swollen and muddy, Slowly silting down, Muscles rippling like some Giant water stallion, Moving past Broadway, past Elm Past the geese at the floating marina Past the stacks of the monolithic power plant Past all the bare and sunken trees To list round the bend at Hanover, Moving his way on down to Louisville, New Albany, Evansville, Memphis, Cairo, Mississippi! Carrying the weight of thousands of lives. The dead are with him as well as the living: Dead logs and dead bones, The ghosts of those who perished in his flood In their perilous leap toward freedom, Ferried long ago from Milton’s shore Or Indian Kentuck by reckless boatmen, Indiana Charons rowing their dark breathing freight to Elysium. 2. The beginnings and endings Of all things tucked Within your liquid furrows, Your deep rollings, As church bells toll you On your cyclic way to a shared oblivion: Hart Crane’s great wink of eternity, Whitman’s mighty I-am-Thou Shine with the sun On your burnished surface Issuing forth vague promise Of some hidden covenant to come, Some secret bargain With forces unknown; And one day all will be revealed As the prophet saith When the weight of all this water Unseen and teeming With life and death Comes at last to rest In the dropless one-time silent sea. . As a poet, I am fascinated by the metaphysical, mystical, and metaphorical nature of rivers in general and the Ohio River at Madison in particular.  From my home, high on a hill overlooking the Ohio River and downtown Madison, I am able to experience...