Forgetting 2019

Forgetting 2019

By Richard Falk

January 5, 2019

Prefatory Note

Richard Falk

At this age, having exhausted prose options, I indulge myself during holidays, by sharing poems that seek also your indulgence. I searched 2019 for some glimmers of good news, and felt stymied.

Of course, here, there, everywhere there were glorious private exceptions, yet hovering over the public marketplaces of the world, I cringe beneath menacing storm clouds and below chaos and misery, and catastrophes waiting to happen.

It is with this spirit that I looked back on 2019, and yet reject despair, and pledge to fight for what I believe in 2020 with the conviction that it can happen, and of course should happen.

Forgetting 2019

asphalt rain

darkens green fields


flares Amazon skies

fake leaders slithering

toward real dangers

hither and yon

seek safe havens

gated nations

hiding from truth

screaming ‘no’

migrants fleeing despair

pleading ‘please’

hiding from evils

Aung San Suu Kyi

defending genocide

this fallen Nobelist

broadcasting abroad

her deadly message

a century ago

Walt Whitman

arrived in our midst

singing aloud


of America’s future

later lost to predators

seizing their loot

robbing the land

turning dreams

to wilting flowers

our grief becomes

a betrayed destiny

tainted at birth

natives driven

off their sacred land

of holy innocence

the trusted voice

of Toni Morrison

is gone not lost

if we listen

if we listen

if we listen

all not yet all

lost futureless

nested eggs contain

our only hope

of what may yet come

of what to renounce

let’s start with gold

then learn not to hate

keep love joy truth

if we listen

if we listen

if we listen

Richard Falk

Santa Barbara, CA

December 31, 2019

Photographics print © Jan Oberg

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