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Three Poems by Sandy LeonVest

You remember Truth.
Not the made-to-order facts
massaged into submission
by magicians of More
and wizards of war
Or the wispy, threadbare webs
we spin to ourselves
about who we are
or who we were then
Or the tissue paper tales
we wrap around memories
sooner forgotten
Or the stories
we tell one another
cradle to grave
to comfort ourselves
or keep us safe
from what we know;
Nor even the whispered
confessions of sinners
repenting in secret code,
with an Act of Contrition
from behind
the Virgin’s veil.
No. Not these.

You remember Truth.

It floats
in still life
just at the surface
of your fear
or languishes
in the lost memory
of your Mother’s voice.
It calls to you
through dark tunnels
in secret caves
hidden under melting ice
and etches sorrow
in the faces
of strangers.

Back in the city,
Truth sleeps in doorways
and pain meets its mark
in a cardboard box
where heroes design homes
out of beer cans
and broken lives
and never know
what might have been,
but for a trembling hand
cradling a cold purple heart
through another dreamless night.

Truth always leaves a trail.

If you follow it,
you can see
where it lives
hidden in the cracks
of city sidewalks
or under a bridge
or an overpass
or in a locked box
behind steel bars
somewhere near the local mall
or the old cement factory
or maybe a cemetery
just outside of your town.

Truth leaves itself behind
in the memories of children
and the foggy ghost towns
of endless war.
It engraves
whole chapters
of unwritten history
in dark fingerprints
on subway walls.

Truth tells its own future
in Braille, and turns
fresh-faced phantoms
and painted puppets
into Real Boys.
It makes reptiles sweat
and eats the hearts
of liars, thieves
and peddlers of despair.

Truth is a tricky thing.

It can turn fear
into Fire
and angels of mercy
into fierce,
flame-breathing warriors.
It can make heroes
out of poets and prophets.

You remember Truth.

It has not forgotten you;
But it grows pale and thin
keeping silent vigil
deep in the marrow
of your knowing.

It is there now
waiting still in the dark.
Move quickly now
toward its ebbing Light.

If you hurry,
you may reach it
just in time.

Critical Mass
It all turns on a dime now.
One Great Axis,
One World
teetering on the brink
of the final blackout,
entire cities on edge.
History and Hope
marked for extinction
and hunted down
by madmen
walk the last mile
hand in hand
even as the trembling
specter of Truth
and what Beauty remains
recognize themselves
in a Great Wave
of Knowing …
They are sisters
born of the same Mother.
One has the other’s back
they suckle at the same breast
But something is wrong
with the milk.

And what is left of the water
is no longer fit to drink.

The truth (as they say)
is self-evident;
We all drink from one well
There is beauty in that
if we remember.

The worst of times
shakes hands
with the worst of times

And yet,

The People
who once bowed their heads
and prayed on bended knee
for forgiveness
from an unrepentant god
are remembering who they are
and what they knew all along.
And the memory
brings them to their feet
and they raise their voices
and shout,
“No More!
We Are Not Fools”
and the earth crumbles under foot
as whole cities burn
turning the sky black
and islands are swallowed
in great gulps
of rising tides
and retreating glaciers.

Fear not
The People rise
keeping pace with the seas;
The sky may grow dark
or disappear entirely
But even the restless
need rest …
Sleep then
Dream well,
there is work to do

We have come to
the final breath …
Take it
and exhale
your grief
into the fog of forgetting.
You will need your strength
for the Great Letting Go
now you have seen
your own reflection
in the looking glass of melting ice.

But for now
look to the West …
Make peace with
all that remains.
Pay close attention to
the reluctantly setting sun,
for it too
offers furious protest
in vibrant shades
of blue-red sorrow
blending with
the yellow-gold promise
of Tomorrow.

A Letter From Home

I hardly know
where to begin
Or, for that matter,
where You end
You can reach me here,
subsumed as I am
in the company of
Solitude and Spirits.

I am almost always

You will be glad to know
I am not so sad
in this strange and sultry sphere,
as it has become crowded
in its way,
with friends
of an unassuming nature.

would like them.
They are just
your type,
especially entertaining
at night.
and funny
a lot like

I suspect you may know them.

In my dreams
they serve up
missing pieces
of time
or secrets
of the universe
in a collage of faces
coming one after another
in long lines
of despair,
and bearing
deeply etched scars
of ancient truths.

They speak to me
(like you)
through the hidden circuitry
of the wounded heart,
where whispered dreams
and slivers of Light
find their way
through tiny fissures
and slip in
barely noticed.

Sandy LeonVest is a journalist, published writer, and a songwriter/singer/musician. She is a radio journalist; the link to her program on the Progressive Radio Network (PRN) is http://prn.fm/category/archives/political-analysis/. Sandy was publisher and editor of SolarTimes (www.solartimes.org), the first newspaper in the US dedicated solely to energy issues, renewable power and energy democracy.  The paper had a circulation of about 15,000, and was widely distributed for more than seven years, until the death of her songwriting/publishing partner and husband in 2013. Her work can be found at Common Dreams (http://www.commondreams.org/author/sandy-leonvest), and also at CounterPunch, Toward Freedom and other various progressive publications.

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response.

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

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