N  a  p a  l  m     H  e  a  l  t  h     S  p  a  :     R  e  p  o  r  t     2  0  0  6






Global Warming



The world reads icy newspapers

Whatever the politicians say in fine print no longer matters

It's the way the pages will yellow in the end

Finally, we've seen lava seeping through the walls

Finally, we've seen the rains launch upward

If thunder begins inside our own bodies, where will we hide?

They will say the question hasn't been studied enough

They will say the burning sensation is only in our imagination

They're right; and yet where does one go to escape the imagination?

To our deaths, that's where!

From the cemetery, the corpses no longer care what car we drive

The thigh bone in far corner prefers a Ford SUV

The skull on the left loves the roominess of a pickup truck

Even from their graves, the little ones with cancer'd spines

            are asking adults for help.




Which Way Does This Bird Fly?



Is this what a modern ghost-town civil war looks like when it's unfolding across the

            ornithological neuropathways of America's heartland?

A virtual conflict fought with corporate logos & internet joysticks so no one keels

            over in U.S. hospitals, but thousands of tens perish on asphalt unfinished           

            teapot boiling emergency room streets of Iraq?

While acrobats of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela pilot solar-powered helicopters

            onto the triangular landing pads of 21st century gymnasium rooftops,

the Bush administration remains mudstuck worried about 2000 and 2004 vote tallies

            so is laying a trail of depleted uranium dust to cover its tracks,

and America's windmills are blowing our lead-lined windowless copters

            back in ahistoric time to the McKinley 19th.


Across the partially beheaded streets of every state in the union, young people have

            weathered ROTC anthrax advertising attacks and beaten real or synthetic drums

            for peace, housing, healthcare, & carbon sequestration--

In the lobbies of America's most eccentric rainbow drought hotels, songwriters without

            enough guitar strings have penciled tunes for more humane global instruments.

Artists are stepping up after their 5th grade no-child-looks-behind math proficiency

            exam to draw pictures of Bush being led out the Yellow House in white candy

            striper chains.

Only 18 people in the entire country are willing to be photographed with Cheney!

But somehow an electroshock Occupied Territories Fence has been built along

            deserted Election Day alley roads between the smoke-stained halls of

government and the ever-circling computer-hacked will of the people

and it looks impossible to get these guys out the exit door for another three years!


What Christian pastor in his or her right mind would approve the raining down of white

            phosphorus at Falluja?

What orthodox or reformed Rabbi would bless Pentagon's El Salvador-style creation

of Shiite death squads roaming back porches of Baghdad?

Could even the most patriotic mosque in America rationalize angry American soldiers

            rounding Iraqis in Abu Sifa or Haditha for vengeful execution?

Is there a Hindu god that can paint over those pictures of hooded electric torture we all

            witnessed with our own eyes at Abu Ghraib?

Why does a born-again American president make the Buddhist shrines across India

            tear & tremble?

How do we get from marching Times Square recruiting station and playing Hammerstein

            Ballroom antiwar piano to a newly paved policy road for America?

How many Americans would risk crossing the Democracy Wall without proper

documents to join a Movement of the Democratic Left?




Sitting to Praise



I am sitting down at my kitchen table

to write a praise poem

for the people of my country-- 

the people and the oceans--

some of the people,

the oceans future-cleansed.

I am sitting to celebrate the way Americans

have responded since 9/11

by recognizing the value of each human life--

only that's not what really happened.

But it happened for many Americans,

so I'm celebrating you--

you know who you are.




The Morning After



The morning after Bush's State of the Union speech,

his energy secretary announced that his promise

to reduce reliance on mid-East oil 75% by 2025

wasn't to be taken literally; it was just an example

of something like a possibility Americans would

understand. The energy secretary's explanation

was unnecessary--by now we know nothing

this president says can be taken literally, this

president a poster child for the difference between

what a Princeton professor calls lies and bullshit.

Rhetoric for this pres is merely a tactic to get himself

& the nation from his history-haunted brain

to a spot near Shit's Creek where he & Cheney

still believe the world's biggest fish can be caught.

So what was it about the oil addiction line that wasn't

literal? The target date of 2025? The focus on oil

from mid-East? The entire attempt to wean our

energy needs from this particular substance?

Or maybe he read the teleprompter wrong?

Meanwhile on the political blogs they're asking

when a journalist will treat this president the way

Oprah treated James Frey, look him in the eye

and ask directly "why did you lie?" Because it's

the only way he knows to get his point across--

aside from scaring the crap out of his audience.




Full Moon Over Falluja



Well, now we know they are lighting up the night sky with white phosphorus,

better able to see midnight skin melting into bone. What country is it

that would send such harsh chemical fire into a neighborhood?

In occupied territories of Palestine, a father has donated organs of his son,

murdered by Israeli army, to a congregation of six, both Jewish and

Muslim. If this doesn't shame the violent of all nations into melting

their weapons, what will? Tonight, let children of earth sleep in peace

under a full moon, let skin remain the body's best organic protection,

let bones stay cool and covered--in a thousand years there will be

plenty of time for our skulls to rest in warm earth & give thanks.