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Oleander

Oleander—
Where to go from here?
Leaving my Sri Lanka,
Who’ll even shed a tear?
Slow down, heart slow down,
Lie down near any door.
My stupid, cowardly, selfish heart
Wouldn’t take anymore.
How’s it gonna be
When I’m not there?
Another wrong answer—
Illiterati of Ferguson won’t care.
Oleander—
Show me the way
Out of this miserable box.
When the manse’s master died
Did they really stop all the clocks?
Slow down, heart slow down:
“He was nice, I guess.”
Just another lowly clown.
Oleander—

Unpoetic Junctions, Unrequited Love

Unpoetic junctions, unrequited love
Broken clouds cascading past a thumbnail moon above
Insufficient walnuts lurking in a blueberry pie
Never a satisfactory answer for the ignorant Ferguson why
Blasted half-truths triggering sniggering comments from the crew
The panda ponders at the bamboo and I wonder why you won’t let me be in love with you
Emerald-eyed pan wrens perched on Grandma’s storm fence
More burials for the Middle East and Peace is strictly future tense
The moral of this off-story is there’s so much we cannot know
Without admitting tartly there’s more than a little bit farther we all have to go
Together
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In this photo shot by freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen, Sgt. Bret Barnum (left) hugs 12-year-old Devonte Hart during the Ferguson rally in Portland on Nov. 25, 2014. (Johnny Nguyen/Special to The Oregonian)

Ya Know

Meet me down at Maline Creek
We’ll wash off the blood
Cuz we’ll fight in Ferguson
A cow’s gotta chew its cud
4 miles from the Mississippi
But this ain’t no St Louie blues
Is it really cool to be racist?
Why do I have to hate the Jews?
But da cops, ya know, they all lie
And your can keep your plan
Is it really 2014?
What does it take be a peace-loving man?
Martin was murdered in 1968
And we ain’t learnt a G.D. thing
Hope the Grand Jury announces on Christmas Eve
And the Truth can lose some of its sting
But meet me down at Maline Creek
It’s gonna be a helluva week!