“Bedtime in Brooklyn”
Our Mudville neighbor Walter McClennen writes with a focus on this country’s history. His poem “Bedtime in Brooklyn,” was first published by the Holliston Reporter on February 2, 2017. McClennen writes, “The message remains a good one for our citizenry. We need Hope and Faith to carry us through challenging times!”
For Omara Dulcine, age 10 weeks, 2/2/2017 from Grampa
Just a simple pane of glass sixteen by sixty
Jutting out from the seventeenth floor,
A pocket window view Southwest toward Jersey City and more.
Sun’s gone down and darkness surrounds,
Streamed city lights flow molten gold over Upper Bay waters –
East Coast anger married to West
Seeps into lives from screens and screams
Seeking through private and public pathways to find the way to build the Nation again.
Divided – and boiling strong as so often through four hundred years
On these points of land sequestered once away among trees set beyond the waves,
And now once again center of both hope and anger – and indeed despair.
Sleeps in the next room, so little – Omara Dulcine,
With eyes tightly closed with no sense of the pain,
Only with thirst for Mother’s milk and to be held in the morning, with Love, again.
Years hence she will stand on some corner, field or square
Making a statement as to how we move to the Good –
But now that must wait – it’s just touch, it’s just food.
My light is now dimmed and I glance once again to the waters afar,
Through the glass so pristine and the Lady alone stands
With arm held so tall and so strong.
Ringed in gold at the crown
And with torch full a-blaze
She stands bathed with strength and faith that we will again find the way.
In a haze and torrent of selfie-truths cast out as shafts,
Slighting all who speak of questions – of loss – of dismay,
This Lady stands unfailing to demand that we stay the course to Knowing Words – One day – Again.
And be it through Fire, Faith or that now lost art – Compromise,
That a humble self-recognition of our limits, of our blindness, of our childish pride,
Will bring us again to more Peaceful Fields of hands held strong together
Replacing fists and thrusts of phrase and disdain.
Her bright light shines strong.
Offering – Hope – Expectations of once again walking on that Higher Plane
As in days and years and centuries past,
Walter McClennen is a retired educator and local author whose next book, Remembering Clem, A Good American in Iran – Thirty Years of Christian Service, 1948-1978 is due to be published in March, 2017.” He has lived in Holliston for 42 years. He and his wife raised their four sons here. Their third son, Caleb is married and recently became the proud father of his first child, a young daughter: he now lives in Brooklyn with wife and daughter. After caring for the grandchild for several nights a week ago, McClennen was inspired to write a poem for his granddaughter about the current divide that confronts our nation. He is ever hopeful that the nation will rise with wisdom to face and resolve its current challenges. His granddaughter will read the poem at some later date. The Statue of Liberty will continue to guide us with strength.