Tuesday, March 29, 2016



Old Free Leonard sign
on a road at rush hour clogged
with measured justice.

Sign says Free Leonard
in red paint, old scab wounds
a detour of justice.

Old Free Leonard sign
nailed to a tree, cruciform
a framed reminder.

Decades of vigil
keeping memory alive
Leonard Peltier.

In the minds of few
he lives on, this tree proclaims
his freedom to all.

But who remembers
Wounded Knee, a stigmata
of blood on our hands.

Nothing says freedom
like a clogged road at rush hour
how progress is measured.

I was stuck in a traffic jam at the Richmond Bridge, counting syllables on the steering wheel to pass the time, and saw the Leonard Peltier sign. I really should make an effort to learn tanka, instead of writing 5-stanza linked poems in haiku format. I feel a bit like like Rainman madly counting away when I compose them, but once I start counting syllables, I can't seem to stop. They come nearly unbidden, intact, when I'm driving. So it's some sort of mind puzzle. Maybe haiku is the poet's sudoku

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