Ballad of a Hopeless Optimist – Twenty-Ten
Though the storms of doom rage against our bright windows opened to the day
And the perils of Main street and Wall street bid us foreboding
while we linger under feather coverlets
While the headlines glorify mayhem and madness,
we leap forward with red shoes made for dancing
We, a people of an unreasonable dream, will not be undone.
Our very bones are made for this bright longing.
This faith which against the odds of empty houses,
white houses, houses of financial ill repute and houselessness.
This faith will see us through and cause us to throw open our doors to our futures
and shout: DAY! We cometh forth from the depths of yester-year!
We will wear orange dresses and feathered hats,
READY OR NOT! HERE WE COME!
And while we claim the wreckage
still piling up in the junkyard of ‘soul work’ still to be done
We shall not be put under the tires of commerce or commercial or cynicism
We cannot be talked out of our joy!
Hard won joy for which we have clung for dear life
with bended knee in prayer and bended head in sorrow,
we have fought for joy.
For had we listened to the voices within and without –
we would have gone mad with fear! Some of us did.
Our joy we have labored for cannot be taken,
NO! We stand firm against joylessness.
Oh yes we see the signs posted everywhere
intended to cause ceaseless fear and submission
But our hearts are reckless revolutionaries –
we of the American Dream who know
that it is not white picket fences that have held us together
but the consistent stitches
of the laboring man, woman and child into the great fabric or our nation.
White collar, blue collar, green collar and gold collar alike
gather under the red threaded cloak of hope.
We are hopeless optimists we are.
And we believe love will be triumphant.
The tragedy of our individual lives threatens our daily hope,
and we cling to making sense of the senseless.
And that is why we must gather together,
one with another, sharing the light and lighting up the dimming light.
Oh let us continue to believe it is for justice we fight,
while not losing sight of ways we are deceived –
Oh, heart! How we long to gather together with all those who hunger and thirst
and hold each hand in warmth and serve soup and bread and water.
The suffering presses hard against our throats,
forcing tears of love for what we cannot reach with our kiss of healing.
But still. Each day we must punctuate with exclamation points!
Each day, we, who dream and vision and will not let our light be put out
We who will not let the stories go untold or the poems go unhymned
We will will lift up voices of justice and spread beauty wherever we may.
Lady of All Nations, gather us into your garment of compassion
and lead us forward, let us not cease to hymn God with praise
though we may feel faint. We shall recover from this dark night of the soul!
In Gratitude we shall move step by step by step by step by step.
Dancing in rhythm with the prayers said in a blue moon.
New Years Day, Twenty Ten – Sitting at Electric Rose Gallery