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On the Waterfront

by HAMMOND GUTHRIE

Heading for the Waterfront The tram stops at an empty Pioneer Square Rally point for supporting the War Rain falling on wet pigeons Homeless youth head for the front

It’s early–the first wave of survivors Arrive as if to a Love-In In the final moments before the storm

Neil Young croons solo over the PA system “Can we get it together–Can we make it last – Like a musical ride?”

Rhythmic drum’s Hemp-Hop natty dread And backstage an unused basketball hoop Reminds me of better days at the Fillmore

Less than magic if diplomacy fails And the 2nd shot heard round the world Puts fire in everyone’s eyes

A woman walks by carrying a blue styrofoam peace sign I shudder with revolution at it’s real/time half-life Sleeping in a land fill awaiting tomorrow’s archeologist And four times the survivors have arrived on the waterfront.

A drunk failing his reality test chases a paper scrap on the lawn As if nothing else existed–oblivious to the tide of survivors A tide I become one with–Oil–Oil everyone talkin’ bout Oil Everyone smiles and says “Cheese!” for the Security cameras

Somebody is blowing a whistle–a familiar sign passes by “War is Not Healthy–for Children and Other Living Things” I remember first seeing this–an early 60s yellow flower On the day I first read Ginsberg’s “HOWL” As thousands of survivors arrive on the Waterfront

Signs of the day:

“Frodo has failed–Bush has the ring!” “Eat Bush–Not War!” “Stop Mad Cowboy Disease” “Duct Tape For Peace!” “What would Jesus Do?”

(and I think to myself: “Pray with the rest of us?”)

None of this matters to those at the helm of Spaceship Earth I wonder who is back at Pioneer Square supporting the War? Helicopters arrive over the pipe and drum of the street Marching with cadence–nothing but survivors in its wake.

I stop to rest at an empty memorial for American soldiers My bones are older now and tired–My stamina is fading A dog pisses in the ivy near-by and I wonder yet again Who is supporting the War up at Pioneer Square?

I have had quite enough of War and Peace today I jump on a train heading my way–signs of peace everywhere And when the train passes an empty Pioneer Square I see that in fact–no one is supporting the War.

HAMMOND GUTHRIE is the author of AsEverWas: Memoirs of a Beat Survivor. He can be reached at: writenow@spiritone.com

(C) 2003 HAMMOND GUTHRIE

 

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