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Lions Roar : May 2019
The Beautiful Negative Ions of Governance A Poem for the Swearing-in Ceremony and Historic Inauguration of Jared Polis as Governor of Colorado, January 8, 2019 BY ANNE WALDMAN What keeps us awake and alive? Spirit of a new beginning! Poetry loves contradictions Walt Whitman said “the United States themselves Are essentially the greatest poem” Let’s improve the poem, Colorado! Allen Ginsberg wrote: “Denver! Denver! we’ll return roaring Across the City and County Building lawn Which catches the pure Emerald flame streaming in the wake of our auto!” But let’s not play havoc with the lawn! This is the antithesis reality, spirit of a new beginning And “negative ions” always a linguistic challenge, which are In fact beneficial, marvelous antidotes to toxicity Negative ions, abundant in nature, crowded in around waterfalls, Widespread in forests and mountains O oxygenated ions They neutralize free radicals! Balance nervous system! Revitalize cell metabolism! Clear the air! What keeps us awake and alive? This is the antidote to dystopian reality Here in our wonderful state of “continental divide” Another paradox as We want to unify east & west invoking powerful sister Bodies of water: Pacific and Atlantic and also snaking Colorado River One of the life-lines our state poetically named in Spanish for: This ruddy silt...color rado... Victory in this purple state open to all With a big blue sky above, look up The epoch belongs to the visionaries! Our precious climate, our precious elemental world Our magnificent topology This is the antithesis reality Antidote to psychotic dystopian governance Antidote to unethical, unlawful, homophobic, misogynistic, racist, sexist, elitist, disaster governance Humanity on the brink with crisis with syndicates of greed Worlds in collision, who’s in charge? World watching from its fraught cocoon Floods, earthquakes, fires, famine, wars roiling destruction, Cruelty, poverty, migration crisis, education crisis! We are called to respond Welcome to the poetry of accountable governance What’s in a name? “Polis” from the Greek is a city state or society Characterized by a sense of community...a body of citizens... “Polis”: leading to the “common good” “Common ground” Plato’s Republic conjured here in our auspicious acropolis Our cosmopolis, citadel of tolerance, openness, intellect, and vision A new kind of nation state This is the antithesis reality, a world worth living in Plus crystalline lakes, dessert-like sand dunes Aspens’ shining autumnal golden pennies Shimmering in the breeze Cottonwoods over creeks elegant with their damnable allergens Big horn sheep in high meadows Pronghorn that roamed how many millennia ago? Solo grazing moose you don’t want to provoke Rutting elk that scores hieroglyphs on barks of tree Rubbing antlers into secret inscription Forest, mountains, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateau Tundra that once was ocean, ancient telluric mysteries, And home to Folsom Culture back over 14,000 years Ancient pueblo peoples, and noble Ute Apache, Comanche, Arapaho, Cheyenne Feel the faint breath of the air in which human beings and Other planet denizens lived their lives. Here. This is the New Year of the Antithesis Reality Summoning unification on our Continental Divide This is the year, this is it, the inauguration of Jared Polis Governor Polis greets poet Anne Waldman at the inauguration. PHOTOBYAPPHOTO/DAVIDZALUBOWSKI LION’S ROAR | MAY 2019 64