The dream is over (A poem)

Contemplating things that have and have not changed…

It’s been forty-five years
half the Beatles are dead
the Stones are old men
What once was victory
is now a bitter memory
in the hearts of angry men

Some confuse hate with heritage
but hate has history, too
The trouble spots are where they meet
and smack into the present
like a canker sore
you just can’t leave alone

Meanwhile, look at all that blood
we paid twelve bucks to see
so much death in fantasy
What man dreams of such things
may have memories that sting
in hearts behind walls of rage

The sound of silence once played
on a portable by the pool
a bright, hazy dream
that used to go everywhere with me
possibilities in a sea of blue
something to carry me through

But the people who were dying then
are still dying now
their killers in blue
and black-and-whites
an appropriate contradiction for the times
we bruise, battered and blue

The names are recited anew
with each addition to the list
We must remember their names—
our litany of shame
What if we’ve become shameless?
Have we become shameless?

It hardly seems human
or—maybe—too much
Aren’t bruises supposed to heal?
I don’t know anymore
what to believe
except there must be an end to grieving

It should be easy to leave well enough alone
It should be hard to maim, murder, and kill
It should be easy to listen to reason
It should be hard to do unto others what you would not have them do unto you
It should be hard to witness a mother’s tears
Why don’t we understand that?

Someone I used to love
turns my stomach at the very sight
Maybe I’m not quite over it yet
though I’m open to the possibility
I will give it a chance in my own time
What was is what was

What is will be what used to be
everything ends, eventually
It’s getting to be that time
all slowing down and shrinking
until one day it stops
Then what?

The dream is over
so much keeping me up
Sometimes I feel so tired
so anxious, so angry
True change seems so far away
a distant new dream for another day

(31 December 2015)