A Poem : Conscience, by Gary Lindorff

DSC_0315_this cant be happeningConscience
By Gary Lindorff

I am coming –
Made of stardust
And the dust that escapes from vacuum-cleaner bags.
I am blowing.
I am rushed and roaring
Like a waterfall
Coming straight at you,
Pushing ghosts out of my way. . .
I am spitting out the taste of middle-age,
Hacking out the nutrasweet of misspent youth.
A little manic,
A little frantic,
A little righteous. . .
I have been lied to,
Cheated and abused
But none of that has molded me.
I am coming for myself,
For you,
For my mother and father.
I am like a thing of light
Stepping out of a chainmail
Of dead cells
And scales the color of fog.
I am like a mega-fauna
Crashing out of the wilderness.
Blazing my own way,
Snapping branches as I come.
I am American
And I should be dead,
Extinct and broken. . .
Oh yes, forgotten too.
I have been drafted and flogged
Pissed on and denied,
Forced to commit atrocities. . .
My feet are bare and bleeding.
I walk gingerly
For the sacred ground is bruised
And bleeding too!
Trembling I am coming.
Awed by my own existence,
I tell you, I have been summoned!
I have no choice
But still I am glad.
I am coming fast!
I am coming strong and loud.
Just know this –
I am not turning around.
I am not going away.
Coming is my vision.
Announce me.
Give me work.
Make me welcome.

Originally posted on Dave Lindorff’s political activist website, This Can’t Be Happening.
Gary Lindorff, the author of this poem, can be reached at maleotter [at] gmail.com
Artwork by me.


Lan Su Chinese Gardens, Portland

This morning I went to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in downtown Portland, taking advantage of the free admission this week. It is a lovely—albeit a bit a small—collection of Chinese plants, gardens, pools and walkways twisting into and out of beautiful rooms designed exactly how they would appear as if it were a traditional garden. The garden is the result of a cooperation between Portland’s sister city in China, Suzhou. Construction began in 1999 on the old parking lot of Northwest Natural Gas. 500 tons of rock were imported to Portland from China for the construction, and 65 Chinese workers travelled here to build it.

I came across a room in which children were (supposedly) painting calligraphic Chinese characters. A sign next to two boards suggested the children try to paint the character “water (水)”, or “fish (魚)”. I noticed that, at least based on the children I observed, no one was painting Chinese characters. Instead, they created some very beautiful abstract paintings, and from these paintings one is reminded of the inhibitions of the young mind, and how at ease it becomes when liberated by creation.

(Camera: cell phone)