June 15, 2015 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION




Wally Swist



Future History Books



How curious we may all appear

to those in the future

and how our era might be judged

by those who will own

the vantage point of looking backward,

giving perspective to where

we had the opportunities to guide

our own eternal present

in seeking what was truly in harmony

with the benefit of all of the people

and in honor of the nature of the planet

and her ways, or to misapprehend

what was necessary and beneficent

in lieu of profit, money, and greed.



Will the future history books

call this the age of entitlement, even

mention the insanity

of the drivers in their cars, before cars

could drive themselves,

correlating a particular automotive

body language of the individuals who

operated them, in

nearly driving other cars off the road,

just to get ahead, only

to need to stop at the same traffic light,

where the car they just passed

pulls up beside them.



What will those books relay

about the obfuscation of the Tea Party

and the open racism

against President Obama?  What will

be written about the press

who just seemed to step aside instead

of reporting it?

Will the books make reference to how

the Koch Brothers bought the press,

how they manipulated the strings

of the marionettes of the Republican

party?  Will those books

point to McConnell and Boehner as

the Hitler and Goebbels whose energy

policies crippled nature conservation

and further paved the way for

the conservative movement, without

ever needing to wear black armbands.



What will the history of our country

be interpreted

in relation to those who discounted

global warming?  Will those who

write those books be able to drink

potable water?  Will they be able

to look up into the same sky

and stand beneath the towering

beauty of forested trees?

What about breathing the freshness

of the air?



What will the future history books

reveal about what we did

to ourselves and to the planet, or

will what is already happening now

happen then,

and will the truth about today be

redacted on the pages of tomorrow?







The Republican Provision Barring Enforcement of The Migratory Bird Treaty



James Merrill, whom I met and had the great honor

of speaking with on a couple of occasions, once used


the word myopic in one of the poems in Mirabell:

Books of Number.  The Republicans are, indeed, myopic;


however, dare I say, they are moreover, blind.  What is

tragic here, as the modern mystic Caroline Myss has


indicated, is that we don’t actually have much time left

to remedy the ecological damage already done.  If we


continue to eradicate species, then we are literally

handcuffing our very existence on the planet.  Speaking


of things of a literal nature, I was just conversing with

a friend about strict interpretation of not only Biblical


and Koranic literature but how the educational

meritocracy is now aligned for a new and frightening


Orwellian robot culture where human beings are groomed

as prototypes.  Another couple of generations of this


draconian authoritarianism, without the beneficence

of metaphorical interpretation and vision, and a new


humanoid world will be copacetic with the deserts nature

will have become, with the once plentiful species, vanished



through the reckless pronouncements of the Republican

oligarchs.  Bastards, yes: the conservatives are not only


devoid of imagination but they are criminally ill-intending

and thoroughly lacking in discernment where either money


or species preservation is concerned.  The former always rules

their decisions.  The Robber Barons had nothing on today’s


plutocrats.  Even an armed revolution would be squelched

by those in power, especially since they have made it their


business to keep the masses appeased; the poor downtrodden;

and the writers and artists powerless, by keeping them separate,


with their influence diluted and negligible; not to mention

empowering the wealthy only to become wealthier, with


financial means.  I am not able to make a donation; however

much my life-as-nature-poet is my devotion.  However,


thank you for sending this sad news about the Republicans

wanting to dismantle The Migratory Bird Treaty.  It is just


like them: feckless thugs with soulless and inert intentions.

Interesting, how I woke up this morning thinking of a haiku


by John Wills: “boulders/ just beneath the boat/ its dawn.”

I felt graced to have been gifted with remembering it, and


even recited it aloud.  What a meditation this haiku is.  May

we keep those images within us to keep ourselves strong.








Wally Swist

Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012) and a new interpretation of The Daodejing of Laozi, with David Breeden and Steven Schroeder (Lamar University Press, 2015). Some of his new poems appear in Commonweal, North American Review,andRattle. Garrison Keillor recently read his poem “Radiance” on the daily radio program The Writer’s Almanac.



No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.