The Wrong But Righteous Pilgrimage and other poems

By Janet Buck

The Wrong But Righteous Pilgrimage

Millenniums will come and go;
time’s texture is of borrowed wheat.
Clipper ships in rocking tides
had plans for freedom’s exercise.
Plymouth Pilgrims started modest--
sand in cups of forming pearls.
Selfish lava foamed and fell--
the hypabyssal rocks of wealth.
Constitutions started out
in cradles of a trinity.
"The dawn’s early light"
was scissored fast by
plutocratic tendencies.

The sect of politics was born.
We sat (still do) in Hawthorne’s
forests with our sins: prejudice
and wanton lust of grabbing
all the cash we can.
The minister slams the gavel down
for every sermon’s hail storm.
Touché says Satan in our laps
like Santa Claus in Christmas sleighs.
But words are words.
They are not birds.
The eagle’s crest, a fallen fact.
Oh, Say Can You See?
went blind, stone blind from
urban’s grindstone backing up.

City Shapes

They played
in holes
of subway tubes
like sperm
that chase
some pregnant fire.
City shapes
are diaphragms.
The calm burlesque
of studied prayer,
rich wears slick
black scuba suits
made from piles
of flattened tires.
A condom donned
for watching sex.
Our compost
in a bank account:
collection plates
of congregations
copping a feel
off poverty’s breast.
In distance dust
of modern roads,
our cobwebs live
Beethoven’s Sixth
in a tilted fifth.
Urban’s teats
are milk-less cows
of cappuccino
wishing wells.

The White House Tour

The oil slick of politics.
Asses mooning candor’s flesh.
The oval office use to be
a throne in place
on pyramids of regal steps.
Children of 2000 years
will live with bars
on windows closed
in terms of social consciousness.
Round-robin rumors on a roll.
The titular head of pride removed.
One big busy rooster cage
of secrets staining history books.

Angels of our heroes crushed
like tender shells around an egg.
Jaded by immoral gas,
the chloroform of guilty tongues.
Scandal sandals on our toes,
the shore of right has disappeared.
"Ain’t nothin’ like America..."
the rock ‘n’ roll of wrong in person
leading tours of decadence.
"Blow job this" and "blatant that."
A crimp in pie crusts of our lives,
indiscretion soils dreams
and justice is an air-sick bag--
our flag escorted by a question
hauling tubas of disgust.