Wednesday, April 2, 2008

'CINCINNATI GHETTO' - JULY 4, 1976 - Diane Stirling-Stevens

I titled this "With Little Encouragement From the Wind"

(note: All poems on this 'blog', have been put under copyright April, 2002 - you're welcome to copy or print; I can always write another...Diane)

A rusty pole


in an

amber beer bottle;

a ragged flag - 2 foot high


faded flag

the 'do or die'

50 yellowed stars - on this field of blue

in reality - it was in a nearby field

and what grew

were thistles; weeds - no freedom seeds

and the red; splotched, botched and patched

flag - hatched

from this listless tree

blowing not with any encouragement from a wind

so mighty and free

This ghetto; crumbling homes - struggling roses

buckhorn stalked the frail children

who played with twigs and sticks

as they dug for

lost coins - they loosened the concrete - looking for treasures

'in the mix'...

Yes, on

this 4th of July -

and I asked...'why'...

Frail; dirty - aged faces framed windows

with eyes scorched from poverty's touch

yet they proudly displayed this frail cloth

in a land they loved; that had

promised them much!

These tenements; owned by slum-lords (recently in the news)

as the headlines told how they were counting

their 'stocks and bonds'

(and their colors were in the chips of blues)

as they mingled their good-fortune

with the Governmet 'sound' which was

that of a


paid for - not 'idle'


their yachts - they are the 'haves'

and they prosper off the


This slender thread of destitution; somewhere a line in our

Constitution - twisted round with the

knot and the 'have' knot

is tightly


in these ties, lies, defies

the balance of what is not


but confusing and filled

with educated nomenclature they words..

or pictures that

are painted;


and foiled

framed - lame

as the pig-hocks that are 'boiled'...

My heart ached on that so-called 'Freedom Day'

and I dragged one foot as I went upon my way

a tiny blister I'd developed

from wearing my new and expensive shoes

I took them off - both, so I could truly feel what it is to


my feet on this broken pathway; with splintered glass

painfully aware of that lower-income


Prayers; chanting - haunting me as I left

Yes, I would leave - but speak (now) with

words quite deft:

"It's long past due - yes, this tragedy must end;

...yet there's still no encouragement from the wind!"***

***as of July 4, 2007 - "The Song Remains The Same"

(Yes, that's the title of a Led Zeppelin song/album)