Sublimating Angst

Retreat is where I’m at. Yes, I know that if I were a soldier, I could be shot for refusing to come out of the trench, but at this point, we in the States are just in a war of words.

As a person of words, the  tone leading up to November’s presidential election has me clenching my teeth. There’s a bully swaggering down the street. He yells and incites. He disparages and insults. He beats his chest and roars. He gives men a bad name. If he were a Bull dog, he’d be lifting his leg and peeing on everything in sight. It’s his way or the highway.

img_0004Listening to Trump harangue the opposition and hearing the enthusiastic response of his true-believers makes me wonder if we live in the same country and share what I thought were commonly held American values. Candidate Trump is just one man, but his supporters number in the millions. Hearing the roar of his crowds puts me in a bunker mentality.  I want to cower in the closet.

Going through my writings yesterday, I came upon a long-forgotten poem that I wrote… I’m not sure when… maybe 20 or 25 years ago. I don’t remember the year, but I remember that I was serving on the Fremont County RE-2 School Board, and apparently (based on the tenor of the poem) we were dealing with contentious issues.  Reading the poem titled “In the Trenches,” I was struck how appropriate the poem is in the context of today’s political climate. The poem reads:

I hunker in the trench. / The flack is flying. / Aerial bursts / light the overcast sky. / Gunfire reverberates. / The heat is on. The enemy, / across the way, / won’t turn and run. / If only they’d retreat; / if only they’d surrender; / if only they’d admit / the error of their ways. / If only we could sit / at the round table / and drink from the same cup,  / but we can’t. / We, mere rodents and moles, / cower in the damp earth / breathing the sour, / dank air of the trench. / Our fear is pulpy. / Are we privy to the plan, / or are we pawns / moving blindly on emotion? / “Come out, come out wherever you are!” / Those childhood taunts / sung out on twilight / kick-the-can nights still apply, / but the charm is gone. / Adults don’t play games. / We have more important things to do. / To begin with, we need to deepen the trenches.

Maybe we mere mortals are doomed to repeat repeat repeat.

Instead of giving in to despair, I tentatively raise my head above the parapet and try to get on with my day. Instead of cowering in the closet, I go outside and take in the landscape. Sometimes I just seek solitude.


About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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