Keith Moul writes poems and takes photos, doing both for more than 50 years. He concentrates on empirical moments in time, recognizing that the world will be somewhat different at the same place that today inspires him. His work appears around the world.
Garment with Many Folds
“Smithsonian to remove photos of Japanese destruction from atomic bomb exhibit” a news report
With infallible pace of his patrician voice, FDR stalled history: Dec. 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,” to embed in American minds how reprisal engages a gear to mobilize 133 million constituents’ incandescent wrath toward a dark, inferior people’s bigoted aggression; toward suffering at lives inevitably lost; toward God, audience of one, to aver to heaven that we arise to reassert our virtuous might, that we must not betray ourselves to inaction and treachery.
Apt words for war’s element of surprise. (U.S.A.F.M.: “Strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared…. Deception can aid probability of achieving surprise.”) With twitching feather the pert goose disdains the gander.
Mr. President, you embark another grieving generation, re-imbued with new cause, following a persistent myth of invulnerability, a path through ignorant enemies plain:
brief consensus at our independence; our entitlements; our assumptions of racial distinction, authorizing phobia for blacks, freedom doled to whites; reconstruction debacle; our early and essential education in realpolitik to implicate alliance by casus foederis; our superior right, our destiny.
A person may, perhaps ought, to revere the sun. A human, eyes tight in reverence, Mr. President, generals glory mad, shrieks banzai as prelude to immolation, earns restoration to that life, not to melt by our scientific prerogative for a just indemnity, atonement to our egalitarian God listening to factory churning, easeful with armaments leased allaying isolation in favor of manufacture for use and constantly ching-chinging cash transfers, and advancing munitions technology since His flaming sword in Eden. Mr. Truman, unaccustomed to literary heterodoxy, invoiced Japan ”many fold” air mail delivery. Arizona’s oil still bubbles its exquisite kaleidoscope beneath Battleship Row.
You may infer our victory, Mr. President, not by defeat of Nazi science, but allied valor, hardly our lurid scream of “tit” out the maw of Enola Gay on Hiroshima and indecorous “tat” from fat boy's pranks on Nagasaki: humanity mocks redemption.
Martin Luther King Birth: January 15, 3rd Monday in January: Murdered in racial war; celebrated in peace.
As his life demanded of him that he speak enlightened truth, the Reverend Dr. King knew God precluded fear and to authorize equal justice at the Edmund Pettis Bridge, at both ends; duty as firm as tension cables caressing the through span arch of steel.
The man marched with God amid his seekers, amid bloodied billy clubs of bigotry, Jim Crow staking out the garden spot of Selma, Alabama real estate, ever known as a priori white.
Real history cites sure facts of the March 7, 1965 march to Montgomery. Dr. King joined his cause to history, captured on grainy film, blurry stills in black and white, beginning peacefully to cross a docile Selma river to an a posteriori destiny.
Like me, Dr. King knelt to a cosmos; contended solo in his enfolding skin; bore humanity’s doubts among rabid ideologies, ancient plagues to pock us. Yet humble, courteous dignity overfilled him that I cannot duplicate in erection of my pantheon.
With My Lips Apart
Some irredeemable nights force a watch for death. Our aboriginal hearts pump relentlessly, tired by bloodflow to steel an arm or spout from our wound.
Vanquished dreams charge through us to wake; to change in medias res; to wash in warm rain of moody January.
Please discard our immersion in quarrel as anomaly .
Each promptly adjusts bedclothes and sheets, caresses sentient skins not sophisticated with love’s politics.
We argued meaning of a momentary pause, by me, during a ticklish summary of partisan screed; nerves leaked, doubt squealed in like an overdue train.
I couldn't make you see. I wouldn't accept why. Frankly, I lifted my eyes toward atheist heaven in search of facts to compel a seal with paradise.
You suggest travel. “Sure, but travel near and light!”
I'll take my politics and shouts and hide my cynicism with my unmatched socks if we can plan a mood walk of accord, kick the fallen cottonwood leaves, forge a path through clamoring rose hips splashing in air.
“You’ll like low garden places, in leaf mold, beneath dripping thorns, behind stalks, private.” “Can politics reconcile the drear of winter’s rain?” you ask. I ponder wordless if pills reliably treat such unsanctioned questions.
Yet too warm for January, rain steams away one mood, floods another, all still, breathless. Coexistence sneaks between us, finally palpable. Eagerness builds. My lips part; I hand you spongy compost fragments: sweet truths redolent of edenic gardens to find our prehistoric selves.