Sunday, September 3, 2017


Maybe a Mantra

It doesn’t look like August
the green in the cemetery
still not singed by summer heat
the rains keep coming
it leaves everything lush
it doesn’t really get hot here anymore
it doesn’t really get cold here anymore

the bank is closed
on Butler street I almost
get t-boned by someone not
paying attention to traffic

even the refineries look like heaven
the 62cd street bridge, Sharp’s Hill
lose themselves, time is the equivalent
of nothing, time is nostalgia dying

last night we ushered a wake
for a favorite bar, we talked about
how many shows and how many dollar
skunked beers we drank, we are
the age of things that aren’t there anymore
we question our moorings, our anchors

I woke up this morning to news
of hate rallies, I’m disconcerted
You will not replace us

you will not replace us?
there is no permanence to this world
we have only a modicum of control
over the lives we lead, I’m sure that’s
hard for some people to admit, to exert
force to retain some fleeting control
is madness, an unhealthy sense
that we mean more in the eye of the universe

everything we see here will someday be gone
everything we know will someday be gone
everyone, everything will be gone
I find comfort in that personally
for more reasons than a poem
can elucidate

I cross the Allegheny again
follow the s curves up Negley
toward home, I’ve accomplished
nothing this morning, I have White Antelope's
words in my head, maybe a mantra
Nothing lives long, only the earth and mountains

--Jason Baldinger

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