Glenda, I am dedicating the attached poem to you, because you have been a wonderful friend throughout my life. No poet has enjoyed a solidarity that you have given me
THE EMPTY NEST
(Dedicated to Glenda)
Silently and covertly
Flies by different routes
With grass blades in beak
Into the thickest branch
Of my evergreen arborvitae,
In the corner of my backyard
The house walls on each side
And protecting against
Would-be intruders or predators
From the outside.
From many directions,
Carrying its precious cargo into the tree
To build its nest.
And I feel miserable
Whether it is only the mother finch
Building that nest
Or with the father too
As I wished it would be,
With my other wish.
For her to pause And,
To sing me A love-song.
(Adolfo doesn't see him but This is the male finch singing to his female)
The nest completed,
Evidence for a successful clutch
Was in the reduced number of flights
Into the arborvitae,
Now a surrogate
For new life-forms in the making.
I moved to my deck chair
My back to the tree
To avoid perceived threats
To the emerging brood,
My heart in full wonderment
As when I first saw
The beautiful face of each
And all the grandchildren
An indescribable expectation
Of the great-grandchildren
Yet to come;
My emotions are overwhelming
Over this deeply-felt
A tumultuous crowing
With abrupt churning in the branches
Brought me to the outside;
Two crows dove down,
From the edge of the roof
Into the branch containing the nest.
Before I could take any action,
They flew away with as much clamor,
My mouth wide open
As my eyes caught sight of the finch
In the nearby tree,
Going from one branch to another
To reveal itself.
My eyes glaring
Between the finch
And the branch,
I ran to the tree.
In bringing the twigs down gently,
I saw the empty nest,
Its destiny fulfilled
To my consternation
Could mitigate my affliction
And the loss to the finch,
Already poised to depart
The ramifications of the crows’ action,
Except for me,
A member of my species
To see more,
To hear more,
And a heart
To pump more blood
Through these weather-beaten veins,
A small amount of brain
To perceive the pain
Of the mother finch
And to feel that pain
Deep inside my heart.
With little comfort in knowing
That neither crow nor finch
Acted with the conscience of humans,
I am left alone in my solitary thoughts
That no action is without consequence,
That there is little
In the existentialism of Jean Paul Sartre
Except the utter nonsense of concluding
That after having done something,
What remains is nothing,
He being an avowed Marxist
A non-party affiliate,
Whose Soviet purges
Both within the party
And through its Gulags
Executed countless people
And even used each victim’s soul
To define its wanton nihilism
Within the scope of their programmed nothingness.
After having killed the body
And wiped out the God
Of more than 100 million people--
Their souls turned to nothing
According to Jean-Paul’s existentialism--
Now emboldened by the collaboration
Of Bertrand Russell--
Who demonstrated against an easy America
Not to side with England
Against Hitler’s World War II--
A champion of anti-Americanism
Bertrand also excoriated America
Over the victims of the Vietnam War
While saying nothing,
Not one word
Against the perpetrators
Of the on-going Pol Pot genocides
The various sects of his United Nations’ body
And without one word of protest
From the followers
Of Confucius, or Mohammad,
Gandhi or Buddha.
Russell and Sartre:
Two Marxist would-be warriors
On behalf of peace
Conditioned by their ideology
At the expense of millions
Of innocent victims
To grease the wheels of their un-feeling
Human-made killing machines.
The survivors continue to seek salvation
Through their religion
And a God
That can be temporarily denied but not suppressed,
Like the souls of men!
This kind of philosophy
Has always given me pause--
A bewilderment deepened
By my inability to understand
The behavior of the crow and of the finch
Let alone that of my fellow men
Bent on manipulating everything
Including our dreams
Be they a presage of happiness or anguish
Life or death
Or whether dreams are generated
Biologically or chemically
Without answering the basic question
Of why we dream in the first place!
Oh, Freud, such a misguided prophet
Using Eros and Thanatos to explain man-made wars
Or repressed sexual drives to explain our dreams
Or drugging his patients and self
In search of convenient man-made personal truths
Not found in nature
Without the scrutiny
Into his self-inflicted enslavement
And to that of his patients
Without ever a word on Hitler’s ultimate solutions
Or of Stalin’s raging the land,
Or of Mao’s ubiquitous purges,
Or on Einstein making decisions against Hitler--
Not one word
To preserve his people and fellow man!
Dying from self-administered drugs
Freud never knew he was discovering the means
To assure his and his patients’ bondage,
And not knowing, when he should have known,
He was void of either Eros or Thanatos.
He was sexually barren!
What am I to think and feel about a philosophy of life
That misses the point on every crucial issue
Of human behavior and solidarity?
Is it not possible that dreaming
Is a physiological necessity that keeps us alive
Each dream reflecting a phase
Of our physiological evolvement
As biological and social entities?
We respond to the stimuli
Of our pre-existing floating formulae,
As did all three men
Coming from the same area,
From the same people,
And from the same time:
Why did Hitler inherit his irreversible DNA?
And Einstein a different one?
And Freud still another?
Why your DNA?
Why the crow’s!
A perfect example of Sartre’s existentialism
Is in Freud’s irreversible behavior of self-destruction:
Neither ended in nothing
Nor filled the nothingness of phenomenology
Nor alleviated the suicidal pain
From life-afflicting drugs
Administered as wonder drugs
From Eros to Thanatos
As though life-forms could be explained
Through convenient formulae
Through convenient formulae
As in Sartre’s existentialism.
Dreaming and dreaming are two different things,
A desire of what should be and is not
A chemical reaction
Of endless single or morphing frames
Without relevance to each other,
By Freud’s self-imposing personal relevance.
I sit in a triangle on my deck
Directly opposite the house
Whose walls enclose the arborvitae.
I look into my own mental images
Of waves smashing ashore
Scattering untold and countless drops of water
In every direction and just as quickly disappearing.
Which drops are carrying the DNA for new life-forms?
Which drops are destined to enhance those now living?
Which drops are rushing back
To recycle the remnants
Of those of us who have just died?
In my dreaming,
I see the Spring of next year,
The branches greener, more full and vibrant
And as an ever-inviting tree
Waiting for the finch
To make its first pass
To renovate and renew its nest,
To bring its hatchling to their first flight
And to perch on the extreme end
Of an undulating branch,
To sing the love song
Of my life.
Wow! Extraordinary poem which include the greatest twist of all! Life then Death!
We are all so involved as we grow older with how long...will it be... And, yet, that is not something that normally would be on my mind. For the first time, physical problems have affected my daily life...and yet, it is something that shall pass, I believe... The stark movement from watching birth happen almost immediately followed by death is more real than most of us want to see or even contemplate. Yet it happens.
Death has become a predominant issue in today's world, as so much is happening at the government level that forces us to contemplate whether death shall come naturally, as intended, or because of the maddening issues that arise almost daily, sometimes hourly. I have no answers... Just as, perhaps, others are facing the same feelings. Questions seem to become larger, more important when chaos occurs.
Yet, for many of us, there is a certainty of life after death, when we shall all meet again... Until then, my friend, Adolfo, thank you for dedicating your thoughts, your hopes, your internal, endless questioning... That we two do share...
And then I shall give you a love song... Agape, philia...the greatest loves of all!