In Praise of Community
– with thanks to Merriam-Webster Online
A coterie of chick-a-dees
in my maple tree.
A tribe of constellations
in a nightfall sky.
before breaking bread.
Circles of poets
from their living rooms.
Fellowships of love
that binds, bonds, ties, unites
and make a communal vow:
if any family, circle,
troop, guild, league,
club, or neighborhood
into a clique, sect, gang,
faction, or closed shop,
our acclaim and delete
a moment’s doubt.
Pay attention and you’re saved.
It pays to pay attention – which is not
like paying bills, the pizza delivery guy,
or the piper – wherever he may pipe.
Nor is it like paying compliments,
taxes, penalties, dues, visits, respect,
or up-down-forward-back for anything.
Crime doesn’t pay, unless it does.
Neither does arrogance when you nip
your own line to title this poem.
But when oblivion’s about to hit
pay dirt and saving’s worth a fight,
rouse attention, slumped in the doorway
of your shuttered mind. Focus its eyes
on barefaced possibilities peeking
through blossoms of an aging cherry tree.