Reap the Whirlwind

“My daddy changed the world.” Gianna Floyd,
at only six, already understands
that something monumental has occurred.
She joins the ranks of children left to bear
the burden of a murderous design
infused into the bedrock of our nation.

Four hundred years of history reveal
the willful subjugation of a line
of people who, despite the barricades,
survive in force to raise a mighty roar
that shatters all illusion. We must stand
in truth to finalize emancipation.

No longer will the platitudes suffice
nor “thoughts and prayers” assuage an open wound.
The time for reckoning is NOW, the day
will soon give way to dusk, the moment lost
forever if denial perseveres.
The case demands authentic reparation.


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2020 Mary Boren
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Cascadia, 2025

Shades of Twenty-Twenty vision
lie beneath abandoned cities
packed with disregarded lessons
of the centuries before.
Finally the veil has lifted,
there’s a purpose in tomorrow
and the memories are fading
from the year that brought the war.

Looking forward to commencement,
parties, proms, and lazy summer
leading into jobs or college,
we were only seventeen.
Some of us were undecided,
some had mapped a certain future
in the pattern of their parents.
Others saw behind the screen.

Since we entered kindergarten
we’d been tested, used, and herded
for political agendas
on the nation’s shrinking stage
so it wasn’t unexpected
when democracy imploded
in a world already reeling
from the chaos of the age.

Virus after virus followed,
claiming half the population.
News from other countries filtered
slowly through the riot zone
’til the power grid was severed.
While democracy imploded
we were scrabbling for survival.
Now we live on wits alone.

Here I stand, the single remnant
from a family of seven,
flanked by unified companions
whose intention can increase
coexistence with the planet.
Taking only what is needed,
with the help of one another
we will make a lasting peace.


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2020 Mary Boren
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Puff Piece

A canopy of cumulus projection
aligns itself enticingly and spills
its cotton candy succulent confection
across the canvas of the Texas hills.

A viewer, from the vantage of a hammock,
anticipates the daily matinee
with vapors in their drama-packed dynamic
of interactive whimsical display.

But, looking down upon the scene, King Cirrus
harumphs a haughty epithet, “The stage
is mine alone today!” And with the merest
regard he scatters all in jealous rage.

The lively cast of Comal County Clouds
will never fail to entertain the crowds.


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2020 Mary Boren
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2020 American Heroes

Coronavirus slithered through the sea
to wake a nation unprepared to face
its own reflection. Stumbling in the dark,
the sleeping spirit stirs from shore to shore
as, shaking chains of partisan divide,
vibrations rise and rumble. Soon the chant
becomes a roar, “Let’s make a better choice!”

This unexpected intermission taps
the vast potential waiting in the wings.
From dormant ranks, new patriots emerge
with intellect, integrity, and love
for fellow citizens. They’ll show us how.


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2020 Mary Boren
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Oh, My Children

With the power
to penetrate
the mystic guise
and orchestrate
each mortal decision and consequence
I’d be a god you despise.

But with peace
to liberate
all whose acts
incarcerate
forgiveness and empathy deep within.
I’d show you how to relax.

And with joy
to activate
the spirit’s lust
to luminate
the dubious shadow on every face.
I’d be the knowledge you trust.

Boundless love
to incarnate
with no intent
to violate
respect for your license to co-create
rises on wings of consent.


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2020 Mary Boren
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Fasting for Lent

I’ve pledged to stifle negativity
for forty days. In striving not to judge
another for the treatment given me,
I’ll dodge the bait to whine or hold a grudge.

It shouldn’t be a challenge to achieve
an altered state of transcendental bliss
if I can find the secret to deceive
emotion with a promise and a kiss.

But Ego has a credo of its own:
“Don’t give an inch in sowing discontent.”
Perception hangs as heavy as a stone
between the poles of stuck and free ascent.

With thirty days to go, I’m half inclined
to chuck it all and speak my monkey mind.


2020 Mary Boren
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Stand Up and Be Counted!

Once to every thinking person
comes a moment to decide
whether to improve or worsen
life for those who share the ride.

In a culture populated
equally by right and wrong,
half are glorified; half hated.
All must rise to get along.

Those who choose the path of kindness
have a duty to the horde
lacking empathy whose blindness
simply cannot be ignored.

Never will the sound of silence
in the wake of cruel deeds
be acceptable. Nonviolence
doesn’t mean “abandon needs”.

Standing up for truth and justice,
quell the panic, lest we fall
for a web of lies that thrust us
straight into the devil’s thrall.

Citizen of earth and nation
striving for the common good,
raise a thundering vibration
over every neighborhood.

Only in a coalition
born of passionate desire
can a movement gain volition
going forward through the fire.


2020 Mary Boren
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The two opening lines are borrowed from a hymn written by James Russell Lowell in 1845.

Contemplation

With a weighty decision to make
I had better be fully awake
and aware of the options
lest short-sighted swaptions
compel me to make a mistake.

So I’m giving the matter the bulk
of my serious thought. Choices hulk
like a gaggle of guesses.
No’s prudent, but yes is
less likely to lead to a sulk.

If I go the direction I like
it will cost me an hour on the bike,
but this cookie I’m holding
is well worth the scolding
I’ll get from a blood sugar spike!


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2020 Mary Boren
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Halt, Who Goes There?

I see you coming, melancholy mood,
descending like a demon eighteen-wheeler
from out of nowhere racing to occlude
my passage through perception’s truth-concealer.

I’m drifting in bewildering terrain,
white-knuckled now, my eyes are turning glassy.
As wretched shocks dislodge me from my lane,
I can’t escape the damage to my chassis.

With wanderlust careening off the road,
it takes a heap of strength to hold the center.
The labored engine threatens to explode
before my awe-struck psyche starts to splinter.

But wait—I have a built-in safety pillow—
I’ll stomp the brakes and let the airbags billow!


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2020 Mary Boren
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We Come in Peace

I stand without apology
in offering this greeting
from Planet Ignalarious
where train of thought is fleeting.

Our version of your Earth giraffe
has fifteen toes and flippers
with purple hide that’s puncture-proof,
immune to flea-born nippers.

Our cabbage-flavored water flows
from pumps on all five corners.
Our blocks are round, our heads are square
with built-in lie dehorners.

We brought our ethnic orchestra
to serenade your breakfast.
Our champion freehand yodeller
will cue you to expect us.

We’re all completely certified
as pure non compos menace
without an ounce of enmity
to sour the pudding in us.


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2020 Mary Boren
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