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Friday, April 26, 2019


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

If I were ever to be a day
I would be pleased and proud
To be like this one
Modestly performing its tasks
With competence and confidence
And economy of effort
Quietly and carefully arranging above us
The great clouds bulging
With this afternoon’s rain
Spreading pale gray light
Among the hillsides, the woods
The neighborhoods and parks
And playing fields
Toting armloads of song birds
From tree to tree to tree
Mingling with flowers and bushes
With forgotten grasses in roadside ditches
And vacant lots
Conducting the cantankeous oratorio
Of a chaos of crows
Occupying the bare branches
Of the neighbor’s walnut tree.
And when I am the day
No mauling of the climate
No wars or drone strikes
Or collateral damage
No indecency in high places
No exploitation or economic collapse
No children starved or abused or neglected
No drama, no flash-and-dazzle
Or whoop-dee-doo
A plain, ordinary day of abundant courtesy
And generosity
And a night flooded with stars
To still the noise
And remind the crowd at the top of the food chain
Whence they have come
And where they are bound.

Buff Whitman-Bradley's poems have appeared in many print and online journals. His most recent books are To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World and Cancer Cantata. With his wife Cynthia, he produced the award-winning documentary film Outside In and, with the MIRC film collective, made the film Por Que Venimos. His interviews with soldiers refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan were made into the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California.