Monday, January 16, 2012

Flotsam And Jetsam

Having a place to live
(A place that you can call
A home of your own)
is everything
but you must
never forget
where you live

If you cannot
where you live
you might as well
be homeless

Is this my house?
Is this where I live?
Are these my things in there?
Or do they belong
to someone else?
It all looks the same

Writing down the address
can be a big help
but then it is important
(imperative even) to
not lose the slip

(That's what happened
to my good friend
Brian Wilson
He forgot where he lived
and no one would tell him
So for many years
he was so lost
he that he could not
write music anymore
he's doing much
better now or
so we are told
I hope so)
I think I  know now
a little something of
what he must have been
feeling at the time

It feels so good
when you can
find your house again
after having been outside
trying to avoid
the rising waters!

When the riising
waters come
they flood everything
At the park next door
I see that
all of  the childrens game toys
have begun to float away.
There, over there, see?
The volley balls are all
floating away

Turn around and
you will see
a wall of water
a moving mountain of water
rushing straight towards you
(A tsunami!)
You are filled with a sense
of sudden panic and dread and
You run into the nearest
high- rise apartment building
to try to get away
seeking shelter
climbing higher and higher
as fast as you can go!

Finally you make it
to the very top
of the stairs
to the top most floor
And you can see
the angry rising water
as it begins to engulf
the entire city.
But are we safe yet?
Have we climbed high enough?

Up comes the water
spilling into the
hallways and stair ways
like tentacles
The tsunami is
trying to drown everyone
and everything in its path

Now it begins to feel safe again
where we have taken refuge and
there seem to be enough
candy bars in
the vending machines
So that maybe we can survive
for a little while even if
it is cold and dark and
we do not have blankets.
So we huddle together
to try to stay warm.
It seems to be working

after many
long hours
the freezing
ocean waters
begin to recede
and we can once again
go back down to
ground level
(to ground zero!)
as we wade past the
dead bodies
and all the
flotsam and jetsam
that the tsunami has
left behind

And we try to remember
where we live
but  we cannot recall.
I do manage to
Find a slip of paper
in my jacket pocket
with my address
written down in pencil.
I feel a wave of relief as
I finally find my way
to my house
I go inside and
I switch on the lights and
I look out the window at
the park next door
The park is drying out
and all of the
floating volley balls
have returned

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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