I Live In a Land

Posted by on 03/02/11 in America, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Literature

In 1855, Walt Whitman—America’s “First Poet”—published Leaves of Grass, a collection of 12 poems about the landscape of his inner feelings and thoughts as projected on a still young country. How can’t we think of Whitman when people throughout the world are clamoring for the messy form of government that is democracy?

In the spirit of Whitman, and at a time when humanity valiantly struggles to be free, we thought it time to share poetic thoughts celebrating a way of life and form of government that we are able to embrace or reject in the hopes that we might support those who seek the same latitude for themselves and their children.

I Live in a Land
by Ben Valore-Caplan

1.
I live in a land
Where I can create my life
And so do my children.

Where creative energy
Like waves washes against
The shore of the present,
Shaping us slowly,
Imperceptibly,
Lulling us into believing that
The rhythm of change
Soothes always like water on sand.

Except when storms rage
And scare us through the uncertain night
Crashing upon our thoughts and comforts
Unsettling us,
Driving us beneath blankets of fear
And anxious dreams
In which all is lost.

Until the noise and chaos passes
And we awake to the calm of morning
The shore is different
And so is the air
And we are again alive
Energized
Refreshed
Reminded of the energy
We had taken for granted
The lapping waves that were changing the landscape
Even as they soothed us into thinking they were not.

2.
I live in a land
Where I can create my life
And so do my children.

Where I can walk the beach
Feel the pull of a spot of sand,
Settle in
Begin to build
A vision of beauty
Of function
Or something to pass the day.

Others might join me
Or I them
And build together for a time
Castle moat city
Something new
Something worth crafting

The beach here expands
As builders join in
And so do our imaginations
And the possibilities
And the surprises
That we had not thought to build
But someone did
And we share in the wonder
That such people have such ideas
As we shape each other’s landscape
And what we leave behind.

3.
I live in a land
Where I can create my life
And so do my children.

Where every day,
Seagulls cackle well meaning
Offers to protect me
From the heat and gales
Shifting sands
Unknown companions
Uncertainty
And myself.

Their tempting calls
Promise comfort
Security
Someone else,
They seek to lure me from
These gritty sands
And bitter water.

And when the sun is at its zenith
And my fears,
I contemplate their offers.

4.
I live in a land
Where I can create my life
And so do my children.

A frustrating, abrasive place
Chaotic and noisy and ugly
Where people jostle and crash
Stomp on each other’s creations
Throw trash on the sands of society
And pollute the waters of life.

It’s an obnoxious place
Disorganized
Disorderly
Disrespectful
Disturbing
Dissonant.

It’s a wonder really
That anything beautiful or functional
Ever happens here
And that it does
So very often.

5.
I live in a land
Where I can create my life
And so do my children.

And my children believe this,
And that
Will make all of the difference.