After Seeing LA LA Land

Like many others seeking a measure of escape and relief from the current craziness in Washington, my sister and I went to the movies yesterday, and LA LA Land filled the bill. It was a tonic and an encouragement that the artistic community is irrepressible and will not be denied.

I wrote the following poem to mark the occasion with gratitude for community in all its forms, even those on the “big screen.”

After Seeing LA LA Land

We were all about politics as we rode to the Cineplex
hoping to lift ourselves from the slough of despond
with song and dance and great acting by pro’s
who rose to poetry on the screen. Emma Stone, Ryan
Gosling––how to repay them for their hard work?

Did they know they’d be antidote to despair
like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert
who allowed us to escape for hours at a time
in a time that threatened peace and joy and life
itself perhaps? That’s the role that Stone and Gosling
played today in this gift of film. Hooray! for movies
and the people who bring them to us.

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When I Die: Instructions to My Son

Don’t tell my grandson I’ve gone to sleep.
He might be afraid to sleep at night, might
worry he’ll disappear and not come back.

Small children with few exceptions are
literalists, and The Big Sleep doesn’t
work for them as it might for us. Tell him
the truth: I’m gone, but the love I had
and have remains forever. Tell him that
and wherever I am, I will follow through
”on a wing and a prayer.” I know it’s true
and pass it on through you, to him at two.