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Tuesday, July 11, 2017



by Maryann Corbett

NPR Headline, June 27, 2017: “President Trump Looks to Slash Nearly 4000 Interior Department Jobs”

Tell me, venerable poet, how did you cope
with changes of regime?

Did you hear, in the gardens of Chang’an,
when men in new silk robes
spoke your name and snickered?

Did they practice, in their graceful calligraphy,
the characters for cutting the fat?
For starving the beast?

Did you watch as others suffered,
like you, demotion and disgrace?

You, too, longed for peace,
for a farm, a thatched cottage, the sound of a stream.

Teach me how you mastered yourself
so as to leave us poems of a thousand years
of rivers, moonlight, compassion.

Teach me how you knew it was time at last
to flee before the barbarians.

Video by the Bureau of Land Management published on Nov 10, 2016. In June 2017, T***p's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told lawmakers . . .  "that he plans to shrink his department’s sprawling workforce by 4,000 employees—about 8 percent of the full-time staff—as part of budget cuts to downsize the government’s largest public lands agency. . . . 1,000 jobs would be lost at the Bureau of Land Management—which manages hundreds of wilderness areas, two dozen national monuments and other protected lands in addition to issuing leases for livestock grazing and oil and gas extraction —according to an email its acting director sent to employees last Friday." —The Washington Post, June 21, 2017

Maryann Corbett is grateful that in fact she's already retired from almost 35 years of work with the Minnesota Legislature. Her newest book Street View: Poems is available from Able Muse Press.