New TCBH! poem:

How can you know when you run? (inspired by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: “How can you run when you know?”)

What are we running from?
Where are we going?

My feet hurt, but I don’t have time to rub them
Or cool them in a stream.
Like a deer,
Leaping old barbed wire, and new

I bound over smoldering fires
Always cautious, always anxious for the herd.
I’m like an old dog

Showing that I still have it in me
To run and run and run.
Always, always away.
I can barely see the city rushing past.

I have wings on my feet.
My sight skims over the bones of things.
I see too much.
I smell the fear . . .

But I keep running.
I see the future like a slow-motion wave
Before which I am flying,
Before the crash and foam.

What message am I carrying
From god to impotent god?
What silver-winged flight have I achieved
Leaping from mist-draped ledge to fog to cloud?

And when will it be my time to rest?
Down there is another valley
Where war has carved a theater
Out of bedrock

Where there used to be a paradise.
I hear the echoes of anthems,
The booms of manmade thunder
Trailing off far behind me.

And now I hear only the wind in my ears.
I’m evanescent,
Like a falling star
About to flare in the upper atmosphere.

Where have I been?
What do I know?
How can I know anything?
I would have to stop to know.

Exploding like a harmless bomb
I am rising like a phoenix
Or a firebird
Born from flames, flying.

Gary Lindorff