Visions Then and Now / Again

mud dug out of holes
where concrete constructions
                              soon poured in safe

little pink running shoes splattered in puddles

a fence wrapped around my yard
the gate high, the latch out of reach
my daughter said she thought
                            "…real hard.  Why we have fence?"


the tv showed us The Magic Flute
ashes on the steps of the administration building
a bent sign "I hate CIA"                   discarded in the bushes

voices said  "There is no justice here"

I read the Salvadoran Aide Memoire        and I imagined
the Salvadoran dead flowed from Carolyn Forché's heart
out of her

from her words
                       they tried to grab me

I drove
the highway did not change
        José Napoleon Duarté redeclared his aim
               Kim Jong-un aims his words like missiles
                        media hypodermics inject poison thoughts

a picture of bulldozers muddying graves,
in history books I suppose
the Holocaust	                           Never Again 
and again and again and again, never-ending again

someone else's two year old in a hole,
a doll, limbs unnatural angles, feet bare

Life Magazine
Viet Nam, Cambodia

Afghanistan, Syria

Death unloads a magazine
into the crowded street

nightmares, not dreams, told of men,
in bamboo cages
buried in sand
                       in meter-square boxes

I could have made those boxes
with scrap lumber
fence wood piled up,
neat left overs
not quite a meter high

how hungry I am for left-overs

Forché wrote somewhere that she threw up
            at my distance
                 I did not puke

I heard Duarté say "Salvadoranian,"
it sounded like "subterranean"
in a past I do not know

and I hear all of the misprunciations
of my mind, slipping past to present to past
future simple complex tenses unwrapped

I saw a daughter in the ground
muddy feet askew                  no grave marker, 
not fancy, not plain

Just the fence around my yard
its six-foot gate
No two-year old hand
should reach that latch     to get out
or to get into this world…

I woke up.
I remember that after
we watched, so many years ago,
my daughter ate yogurt
in the morning and asked,
"I see Magic Flute?"

©2017 Michael Dickel


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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