New poem:

One day, in the asylum

We were having a bad day in the asylum,
A bad 8 years, a bad sixteen years,
Oh, heck, a bad era,
Well, let’s face it, a bad history.
But we had a good leader for a change,
A guy from Vermont
With wild white hair,
An honest man
Who most people liked and trusted
Who openly talked about revolution.

We were all hurting,
Waiting for a sign.
Time was rushing by.
Days, weeks, months.
We were all serving life-sentences
Without parole,
That is, living in America.
Me in Vermont, you in Pennsylvania,
My good friend Tim in California. . .
And the feeling was ominous and ubiquitous.

Like a Stephen King novel.
There were distant mountains
Crumbling silently,
Occasionally a forest would fall down.
Bees were going extinct.
Japanese children were eating Minke whales in school.
The government was busily making tiny atom bombs.
But who knew what was real anyway?
Some of us had turned to prayer

And were insisting that it was time
To ask the stars
To come closer
And tell us what they saw.
We were tired of trying to run the world
From the insane asylum,
So very, very tired.
(Asylum? Some called it a prison,
Some a way of life.
Some called it home.)

What would happen next?
We kept hoping,
Looking up from our i-phones,
Staring at the sky with medicated eyes.
And then?
It was just another Friday
Like any other day,
Heading in to another presidential election cycle,
In the asylum.
It happened at a Bernie rally in Portland.

A sparrow* flew in,
Hopped onto the podium.
But it wasn’t just another day!, you say:
The Washington Monument had lost its erection
And the Capital Building was deflating
And the reflecting pool was reflecting a void.

But that’s exactly what I mean, another day.
But even before the sparrow appeared, you say,
Everyone at the rally was unaccountably happy.
That’s because they were from Portland, I say.

Well, that brave little bird,
Bobbed right over the wall.
Just to look in on our trouble.
And everything stopped.
It is the dove of peace
Our leader announced.
It wore a little crown of thorns
Some say.
And some say it tweeted,
Right into the microphone.

Some say it shouted loud enough
To wake the dead!
MAKE YOUR MOVE, it said,
Some say it dropped a seed
Right into Bernie’s palm.
And some say it simply shed a sparrow tear,
And flew away.
I don’t know; I wasn’t there.
But I’m going to trust my intuition here

Because things like this don’t ever happen
Just as people say.
And, actually, as a rule, you might even say
That things like this never happen,
At least not in the asylum.
Oh, and some say nature
Endorsed our revolution on that day.
I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
But you were, yeah, you were there.

  –Gary Lindorff

* an ornithology expert identifies the bird in question as a finch