Who Does She Think She Is?

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Timely Poetry From Days Past

Posted by Joni in General

I was going through some of my poetry books for some fitting prose or verse to put on Da Goddezz’s site while she is busy being on vacation. I have several Rod McKuen books. I came across this telling gem from Celebrations of the Heart. I think it perfectly underscores the turmoil this country is in right now due to the events of 9-11. See if you agree.

I live in America
neither right or left am I
and certainly not center.
To me to be among
the silent majority
means to be among the dead.
And for me
no two or ten or two hundred
make up a minority.
Every man is such
because every man is different.

If I met a man
who looked like me
and thought like me
and walked and spoke like me
and was in no way
different from me
only then would I consider slaying him
for he would have stolen from me
all those truths
and all those lies
I’d found out for myself.

All the living
that had brought me here
that man would have erased
by being just like me.

But kill a man unlike myself?
Not likely.
There might be something
I could learn from him.

There is so much I need to know,
why there are not butterfiles
in the world’s backyard,
and when I find out
I need to study
how to get them back.

Men tramle beauty underfoot
like it was gravel.
These actions are confined
to no one country
but I resent it in my own
because I love my country.

Could it be
that men join clubs
as men carry them,
for security?
But from what?

My security is my country
and everything I am in life
and everything I know
and everything I care about
revolves around it.

And I live in America
and I find its face not ugly
except sometimes.
— Rod McKuen, from Celebrations of the Heart, pp. 128-32 (Simon & Schuster, 1975).

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