Dragonfly Library

The Sacred River …

Author: © Tom Hibbard
Publication Date: August 12, 2011
Publisher: Moon Willow Press
In Memory Of: Jack Kerouac



a misty tautology glimmers
on the lake beyond understanding
where the downtrodden hang
by an anesthetized thread
that parasitism devours with inappropriate guilt
as though civilization were garbage
in a twirled dimension
people together are seen as sovereign
the biosphere is laudable
but its parts become programmatic
because they are measured with an embarrassed precision
to embrace diversity
is to perceive reality in its homogeneous fulfillment
the moment of one’s own glory
a democratic presence
sacrificed on the carbon altar of suppression
estimates the amount that surplus
might give rise to a secret endemic imbalance
undermining hope
for the first time human progress
is clean without exemption
a vacancy justified by naiveté
you really like it and want to see it
in the obsessed interval
as haste taints the edges of space
with preeminent speechlessness
i walk everywhere without worry


ring-around-the-rosy you are me
ironing out ceremonial miscues
spurned again and again
on a 9-11-01 anniversary pathway
the austere community
has nothing other than itself to blame
the weed becomes a flower
lurking in buried oceans
a topaz wind of supply-and-demand
punished for doing what’s right
thumbing your nose is the first sign
of the end of a world that no longer makes any sense
from which everyone is trying to escape
love is my antithesis
solitary partner in unwrinkled bliss
for whom my utmost effort remains baloney
if you could see it you would try to steal it
is there a doctor in the house
working for five dollars a day
hitching a ride into the country
as far away from big oil as you can get
what good is a government
that trades attainment for extinction
acres of well-watered crops
for snarling wastes of miscalculation
surely every day it drinks from its own cup
in former times there was no one
as far as the eye could see
a fallen star performing its task
proves all suffering belongs to us


Empire so often comes to this: “potholes imitating frozen potholes.” The poems in Tom Hibbard’s The Sacred River of Consciousness reflect on various crimes of humanity by simply reporting them. That Hibbard’s language is poetic rather than journalistic does not mask the realities being referenced — how at times life does unfold “as though civilization were garbage.” The suffering disenfranchised, the suffering environment, the corrupted governments, the dysfunctional relationships — how did compassion evaporate? That question is but one of many begot by these poems. For the poems also ask “at what time does the candle make crimes unredeemable.” The answer could be: upon the lighting of the candle or consciousness of those events, hence the import of Hibbard’s poems. If these poems facilitate that consciousness where the New York Times et al has failed, the river may yet turn sacred again. For the sake of the planet, open yourself up to these poems. -Eileen Tabios, poet and author

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