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Miscellaneous poems

Budapest, October 23, 1956

The crowd gathered, swelled, flooding the streets

sidewalks overflowing the pavement that heaved -

swept down engulfing stranded boulevards with vehicles halted

prompting policemen to yield their weapons smiling

while the tenements looking down applauded and waved

and flags hung from windows without the hated emblem:

freedom overflowing, heads lifted to the sky -

before the sound of popcorn flowered the flesh

and the blessed life burst from pulsing wounds frothing

and flailing, the trampled fallen rolled by gutters, choking.

Then the silence dismayed spread dumb disbelief - and horror

gripped throats, shutting in the screams

while crazed and enlarged eyes raved

darting the darkness in light

where black-coated vultures were examining the corpses businesslike

until sensing the danger flew off frightened, afraid to finish the job -

because the anger swelled down the streets and re-formed,

retaking the boulevard terrible, ready to die fearing nothing -

and the crowd swept down the triumphant boulevard in victory,

no flood ever more sweeping.

A ditty



We're born to live

to share, to give,

to love, to fight -

to rend the night.



Yet live to die,

to fly the sky,

to sail the sea

to fantasy.



We laugh, we cry,

we sob, we sigh,

we crawl, we spring,

we search, we sing.



We scratch the dirt

till fingers hurt,

we nest, we rest,

put God to test.



We haul the rope

and hope to hope.

We pass the day -

then pass away.



Jan 24, 1997

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