Van Gogh

the-starry-night

*The show is almost over
Soon into the starry night blocked out by streetlight we will go
But before we do I am hoping I can paint you a picture
Maybe even better than Van Gogh

The world we live in
can be a brutal
and desolate place
Gold and yellow dandelions
that dance in the summer wind
and glisten in the summer sun
are really an aggressive weed
they take over the farmer’s crop
and increase his toil
The sun that beams down
it does not let up
but beats down
for days
and days
and days
as the rains reseed
and drought comes
Sometimes the only thing you can hear
are the hunger pangs in the children’s bellies
I don’t think that we are in Kansas
Or anywhere in the blessed USA anymore Toto
The stars, they fall from the night sky
The moon is said to have adverse affects
on the human psyche
I know that it does mine
And sometimes the ocean waves rise
forming a colossal crescendo
in a tsunami
and it crushes
tens of thousands
of lives
And human beings
we
let
love
die
hurt
ignorance
and hatred
fester
As we use
swords
guns
drones
but worst and oldest of all
words
to terrorize
the lives of others
to rip each other apart
limb from limb
bone from bone
Ash back to ash
Dust again to dust
Time has shown
that no force in all of nature
can be as cruel
as cold
as prone to desolation
As you and I

But

The world that we live in
is good
it is good
it is oh so good!
Those golden yellow dandelions
they do dance in the wind
and glisten in the summer sun
And a little child knows not that it is a weed
when he picks but one
And he says with this flower mother I adore you
With this flower mother I adorn you
And she looks at him with that imperfect love
that only an imperfect mother
can give an imperfect son
Because in her eyes he’s the chosen one
Mother I hope in your eyes I am still the chosen one
Even if I’ve stopped waiting
for the chosen one
The moon
enchants the day dreamer
It is as muse
for the painter
the songstress
and the poet
sipping whiskey
smoking one too many cigarettes
Trying to get these words right
Because he lives in fear and in longing
for the next open mic
Sometimes maybe the stars
really guide wise men by night
Maybe metaphor can be deeply true
As the moon
plays gently
with the ocean tide
beckoning lovers to the beach side
to make love somewhere out of sight
And human beings
at times
act with care
and benevolence
With nothing short of amazing grace
how sweet that old sound
saving someone such as me
And I know not much about divinity
even after four years of seminary
But I know that spirituality is all around me
I read somewhere in some words in red
“The kingdom is within you,” that is what it said
And I know that much is true
there is a god in me
there is a god in you

The show is really over now
into the starry night blocked out by streetlight
one by one we go
and it’s your choice
to paint the world
with hatred and desolation
or to paint this world with love & kindness
So get out your crayons
your water or oil-based paints
Splash your words across the face of today
Because you never know,
you never know
at the end of the show
when are locking eyes
with the next Van Gogh

——————–

*This poem has really taken on some amazing shape-shifting during spoken word performances over the last year. It is the piece I close the open mic I host with, almost every week. For an early version, check out my WYCE interview from July.

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