Happy Holidays Vlad

The initial impeachment hearings have wrapped up, and it seems that Russia is still wreaking havoc in the United States. We have an election coming up with “weak” candidates (and maybe one “Russian asset”), an impeachment in progress for a “corrupt” president, a significant portion …

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Sand

The wind has removed itself from our presence
But the sand still lingers, as an obstinate thick fog
Permeating everything it touches
Including my long returning thoughts
More galling, my deepest protected memories

Riding, like Bedouins coming out of the desert
Not seen for an endlessly hopeless time
Once so organized and stored
Now moving again, ever relentless
As grains of sand stinging my leathered face

Each of those grains a dirty nightmare
Of the horse drawn sullied history
Coming out of this tin shack dive bar planet
As if Gertrude Bell herself came home
Drawing boundaries to forever haunt this place

Castles enter and slip away once more
In dreams of ghost riders, swords drawn
Erasing history’s EtchoSketched footprints
Left by kings and queens of purple sage
Tumbling moral virtues into Damascus

Silence breaks the quiet of the sunrise
Spreading like winged camels across Wadi Rum
I saw Mr. Lawrence among the dust strewn bodies
But the magnificent seven would not stand
They slipped away, as time momentarily halted

Disappearing through the Ottoman’s looking glass
Toiling away in the universe’s inner sanctum
As the final notes of Jericho’s horns fade to black
Searching endlessly for the meaning of it all
Only to re-emerge on the broken streets of Babylon

And the sand lingers still

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Sign of the Times

When we can’t even manage a Woodstock 50th Anniversary concert, you know peace and love are out with today’s generation.

It sounded like a fantastic idea in these times of protests, political attacks, talks of wars, racial tensions and cyber-bullying – a major concert event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. You know, the event that defined the era of peace and love; where, for a fleeting moment in time, we all seemed to get along, or at least tried to get along. In that moment, music united instead of divided us.

The impact of Woodstock is hard to overestimate. Not only was it a pivotal moment in music history, but Woodstock also helped define the counterculture generation, and it is still widely talked about today. The site of what has been called “3 days of peace and music” has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Joni Mitchell said it best while commenting on the festival, “Woodstock was a spark of beauty where half a million kids saw that they were part of a greater organism.”

It sure would be nice if we took a few lessons from Woodstock in our current environment. Today, with the help of politicians (including the President) and the press, we are accentuating what divides us to increase those divisions. Music was a unifying force in the sixties and that force attempted to spread love vs hate and togetherness vs tribalism.

Enter the original organizer of Woodstock, Michael Lang. Perhaps trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice, he set out with the goal of organizing a 50th Anniversary version of Woodstock.  What a wonderful idea it was. Unfortunately, the problems began almost immediately for the second go-round. The chief financier of the event pulled out quickly and even went so far as to announce that the concert was canceled. This was disputed by the organizers and of course, lawsuits followed.

Lang then tried multiple attempts to shift the venue and revive the concert, but, alas, no one seemed to want them. Lang still planned to hold the event at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland. I know the venue well as it was a prime concert location for us Washington DC teenagers. Another issue was that all previously locked-in acts had been released from their contractual obligations, and there were no confirmed bands performing. In addition, the concert was then listed as being free – Deja vu. And now, the organizers have thrown in the towel and Woodstock is dead.

All in all, the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock’s failure is analogous of today’s political environment – worthy goals, not being achieved, because of in-fighting, divisiveness, lawsuits, and lack of true leadership. Perhaps in today’s environment, we are not only tired of too much “winning,” we are also tired of music, peace and love.

Maybe it’s not too late to save the day. I believe it is time for Michael Lang to call on our president to take a break from winning. Together, they just may be able to make Woodstock great again. I know what you’re thinking: what have I been smoking?

On The Latest

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Under the Shade Trees

A poem from the new collection On Driftwood and Oblivion

I once lived there, under the shade of those trees
Peaceful and happy, never hurting anyone or anything
Why do you say these vile and evil things about me?
You know not what you speak, or whom you speak it for

We do not have the means to wage war that you have
And so, we move like the wind, but neither here nor there
I hope you enjoyed the shade of the trees you took
No, I truly do. At least before you cut them all down

Read more in On Driftwood and Oblivion…

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Sand Creek

Whispers thunder still, Sand Creek winds whip true.
The horses gallop, as a sad refrain.
Maheo’s tears cried out a blood-soaked rain.
In peace, the U.S. flag and white flag flew.
This meant nothing to the devils in blue.
For Black Kettle, peace brought a heavy pain.
Whispers thunder still,

Children heard crying, in the morning dew.
Oh, senseless massacre of such disdain.
How does humanity escape the brain?
Though the wailing and bloodshed are long through,
Whispers thunder still.

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Ten Bears

We were the Green True Deal
You were the blight upon the earth
Ever marching with a vicious zeal
We knew the running water’s worth

We roamed as the harmonious earth turned
At one with the Eagle and Buffalo
You brought thunder as villages burned
And a trail of tears watched the land go

We spoke of peace among the tribes
With eloquence and wisdom’s tongue
You split the tongue with lies of scribes
The ink flowing from your fingers stung

We desired no blood to stain the ground so pure
But purity never once landed upon the shore
We know not what will bring your final cure
But, the songs of Ten Bears are no more

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