Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Joan E. Bauer: Edward Snowden Is Flying into Moscow

On a day of just bearable June heat

after the summer solstice, a quiet Sunday

as Edward Snowden is flying into Moscow,

I am studying photos

of a Northside garden:

fuchsias in the baskets, geraniums

in the flower pots on the railing.

 

I think: Those glass blocks near the lattice

shimmer like icescape.

Glass by Corning

of Pittsburgh, now known too for bankruptcy

& asbestos. The trials drag on; the clients die.

I know lawyers on both sides.

 

Geraniums are reliably pliant. You start them

from stem cuttings, root them in perlite & peat moss,

you can even dig them up, push away the soil,

then hang them in the basement for the winter.

Then replant, they’ll bloom for months.

 

*

 

What do the neighbors see

as they gaze down from behind thin curtains?

October rains muddying the bricks,

a day-by-day cascade of leaves.

By November,

the faux oriental rug gone, then the lawn chairs.

The first bright snow, the glittering ice,

then dirty snow & rain,

then Easter as the birds come back,

perhaps a frog, then dragonflies

until the earth rises in the heat of June. Someone

brings back the rug, the lawn chairs & the fuchsias bloom.

Will the neighbors be watching from their windows

this September?

*

 

Our hosts just back from Ecuador.

25,000 species, 10% of all the world’s plants grow there.

Ferns & horsetails & orchids & ancient forests.

The Ecuadorians, a resilient people, starting with natives

of the Amazon, just ask the Incas & the Spanish,

the Peruvians. The government Socialist, but not high

on freedom of expression.

The penalties:

three years in jail, a $40 million fine for a column

that offends the president.

 

*

 

I start reading about Corning glass, all the modern uses.

Glass block for hurricanes, blast-resistant glass,

high-security glass that, if unlucky, we might see

from inside some prison.

 

*

 

A friend sends me the words of Václav Havel:

Keep the company of those who seek the truth.

Run from those who have found it.

                                               

I like the shadows of this garden,

a place where nothing’s altogether clear,

a place for orchids & moody contemplation,

a good place for begonias.

Copyright 2016 Joan E. Bauer. This poem was commissioned for the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s “Writers in the Garden” event, September 2013.
.

JoanEBauer

6 comments on “Joan E. Bauer: Edward Snowden Is Flying into Moscow

  1. MaryAnn Sinnhuber
    July 4, 2016

    So beautifully crafted!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlie Brice
    July 4, 2016

    What a tremendous poem. In the midst of the tiny joys of the quotidian, the poet contemplates war, destruction, the death of a glass company that caused deaths. Yes, we live in a world where certainty is to be feared, where vagueness is sometimes a small comfort. Bravo!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Maloutas
    July 4, 2016

    Great poem from a wonderful poet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jan Beatty
    July 4, 2016

    I love this poem!!
    Joan Bauer is a wonderful poet!!
    Jan Beatty

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laurel Gord
    July 4, 2016

    I just love Joan’s poetry–the way it speaks from the heart, the way it bears re-reading and re-reading, and the way it says more each time. Thank you so much for publishing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jacqueline Robb
    July 4, 2016

    Thank you for this. Good to see the next, or perhaps parallel, part of your life. So quietly strong.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 4, 2016 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , .
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