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Sunday, January 01, 2017


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

Winter Sky Rising by Alan Dyer at The Amazing Sky

Stepping outside
To watch the winter stars
Those dazzling divas of illumination
Perform their seasonal pageant
In the infinite amphitheater
Of the cold black sky
I can almost hear the old Earth
Creak on its axis
As it rolls toward another new year.

There have been better years
Than the one just past
When for one thing
The medicos found cancer in me
And had to carve it out
And radiate the environs
To prevent a recurrence.
So far that's worked.
For another, my country
By hook and crook
Selected a new president
Of such surpassing vulgarity and venality
Of such mendacity and bigotry and corruption
As to alarm all people of good will
And those most vulnerable to the predations
Of the greedy and powerful
Of racists and misogynists
Of xenophobes and homophobes
Affirmed and emboldened
By this man's ascension to power.
There is widespread concern
That a kind of civic and social malignancy
Is gnawing away at the body politic
And people all over the land
Are struggling to determine
What treatments will work best.
The prognosis is uncertain
And fatalism seems most apt.

But I remind myself that last year at this time

I was not at all sure
I would make it to now
Yet here I am
Pulsing with life and good health
Bundled up on a cold bright winter night
Shivering happily under the stars.

Buff Whitman-Bradley's poetry has appeared in many print and online journals, including Atlanta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Crannog, december, Hawai'i Review, Pinyon, Rockhurst Review, Solstice, Third Wednesday and others. He has published several collections of poems, most recently, To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World. His interviews with soldiers who refused to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan became the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California with his wife Cynthia.