Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Windows: Those Who Help Us See

Princess Diana

I screamed when I heard of her death. It was a hot summer night, August 31, 1997, and all the windows were open. We’d been watching a movie, a VHS tape, and when the movie ended, I saw a crawl across the screen, “Princess Diana dead.” 
      I screamed.
      In 2006, I published Atlantis, a poetry book about the United States possibly being another Atlantis, that is, an advanced civilization busy creating its own demise. In it is a poem called "Windows," about the people who help us see. Whenever I read "Windows" to a group, I always dedicate it to someone. Usually to John Mack, that Harvard psychiatrist who insisted on believing in aliens AND alien abductions, who was run down by a car after getting off a train in London; Michael Hastings, the American journalist who was working on “something big” when his car crashed into a tree in LA; Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist, shot returning home to her apartment, for her work exposing the Putin regime (Michael Hastings and Anna Politkovskaya also represent the many journalists who are killed each year for doing their jobs); Karen Silkwood, a nuclear energy employee, who died in 1974 in a single car accident under mysterious circumstances after revealing the truth about the hazards of plutonium; and John Lennon, for his genius - what would he have had to say about all this, eh? There's more - like the hundreds of scientists and alternative doctors who are mysteriously murdered or disappeared. All silenced, that is the penalty for trying to get us to see something.
     At this posting, I want to dedicate "Windows" to Princess Diana, (the 20th anniversary of her death is just days away), who rocked our world and that of the British Monarchy by her love of and devotion to all people, and later, to her beloved children, who tormented the Crown by her many acts of love from kissing AIDS patients to walking on land mines, because, as she said, “children do.” The Crown had demanded a Virgin and by God, they got one! I even heard that she roller bladed through the Palace corridors. Love her forever.
      By the way, the last line of the poem is the dictionary definition of the word, windows.


Women die in car accidents
men jump out of windows
or are shot

once walked
across Atlantis

in 27 days
a woman can direct
an award-winning film
that does not win an award

on her vacation
she can uncover plots
to destroy the world

a man will study aliens
and ask questions
based on the premise
that abductees are telling the truth

it is best
for a woman
to not look too intelligent
and to always follow protocol

she should wear white gloves
and not touch anything!
especially the spindle of a spinning wheel

If a man says what he saw
they will take away his tongue

she will walk
in mine fields
because children do

legless herself
she will bring legs
to the legless

at peril of death
she will read to the illiterate
she will teach them to read

a man will sing of love
he will sing of brothers and of sisters

she will lash herself
to trees, libraries, towers
in order to save them

she will kiss the diseased

she will change her headdress
she will wear a sun
she will wrap a river
about her head

he does not get out of bed for a week
in order to get our attention!

better she should not smoke
or put her drink down
for too long a time

she should not go to the restroom
without a friend

she should not have sex without plastic

she should not have sex

unless she intends to kill
in that instant of vulnerability
when all men
return to God

if a man knows
better he should not know

it’s sad
when fidelity
is so sexy

when berries are for the picking
fish jump into your lap
air and water bathe us

when robins
hop past the windows
the portals where
the wind blows down the house

©Patricia Goodwin, 2017

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest book is Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author. Her poetry book, Atlantis was published in 2006 and is currently out-of-print. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy, please contact the author via email. 

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