from the Temple of the Yellow Rectangle and Chain-Link Fence





















TODAY'S NEWS FROM THE MESSENGER--
NEWS SOURCE FROM
THE TEMPLE OF THE YELLOW RECTANGLE AND CHAIN-LINK FENCE
            21 January 2020

Extra light shown from within this morning
at The Temple of The Yellow Rectangle and Chain-link Fence
as City workers had cleared snow from its parking area, piling it inside
Temple perimeters creating a six-foot snow-bank attracting
not only morning light but enabling the witnessing community
to see over the chain-link fence and into the loading area
where three buses had arrived to load 87 asylum seekers
on to Swift Air for deportation from the United States of America.

Seven women and eighty men, bound by hands, waist and legs,
in chains, board the Swift Air jet carefully escorted by men
wearing yellow vests, employees of ICE. The 87 number
is larger than the usual number, presumably due to the buses'
inability last week to get over mountain passes they must cross
after leaving the Tacoma Detention Center. One witness
who made the three-hour drive from Walla Walla
will climb the snow bank, waving the Pride Flag

from Snow Bank Peak, newly named, during the process
of transferring and deportation of the men and women.
One woman following the man up the snow bank, turns and asks,
Where do they go from here? To another detention center in Texas?
Keep asking questions. Gather your fragments.
Maybe your task will be to assemble questions.
I arrived early to measure Temple's rectangular perimeters,
counting off 17 paces twice, for length,

and seven-and-a-half paces for width. Inside the stripe
of yellow paint, one length, and one width, connects
to one length and one width of chain-link fence,
creating not only a viewing area, but a Free Speech Zone.
Inside one is safe. Other rules apply outside.
Guides for outside is up to the individual. Know the rules.
Seventeen paces by seven-and-a-half. A free space.
Three words, No Está Solo, in black paint on a shower curtain.

D's count is careful. She relies on binoculars.
Double-checks what she finds with our photographer, M.
Another woman keeps count on the yellow notebook pad.
After the flight D makes two calls: One to La Resistencia,
the other to Center for Human Rights at the University.
Today one question remains. A woman's boarding is questioned.
Was she held back? Or not? An illness perhaps.
But where is she? If D doesn't know, nobody knows.



Jim Bodeen
21 January 2020









MASTER LOCK IN THE SOCK DRAWER



















TAKING THE MASTER LOCK
FROM THE SOCK DRAWER

Rusted from decades closing
lockers at the YMCA,

combination automatic
no longer having to recall

11-21-15, I smile putting it
in my pack with the same green

towel I kept to dry the dog
after bathing. I'm drying

bosc pears and apples.
It's Sunday, and I've skipped

worship because I'm proud
like my mother who was never

quite ready for a walker. Next
week we're carrying fruit

and four Walt Whitman stamps
framed to bless a poet's house

at Sun River, to sit in the kitchen
over meals. My wife and I

read Mary Oliver's Devotions
before meals. She's been gone

a year this week. Last night
we read Fish coming from a bucket

becoming part of everything
through words in water. I'm a new

member at the new Y.
4-digit coded lockers replace

the need to carry the old Master.
Driving shackled asylum seekers

to their ICE appointments
is how I carry privileged fire.

My health insurance pays
for my premiums. I ask that

Oliver's prayers deliver me
from taking anger out on others,

to think of fidelity in food,
dwelling in found sanctuary.

Jim Bodeen
20 January 2020

Didn't Get That Done

















*


Forget to grind beans
Deep African innocence
slow infusion brew

Jim Bodeen
15 January 2020

For he will only write the poem


HOW PROOF ARRIVED
THAT I DIDN'T CARE FOR THEIR MONEY
            --for Wes Hanson
A series of short poems after coming
from the bank with my account closed
due to inactivity, I catch up on email.
It's the pleasure of the doing,
the practice, she says. Imagining absences.
Another friend, the one who only corresponds
in poems, wails over manufactured
Christmas correspondence. He reminds
me of Jesus spitting to make mud cakes
for the blind man's eyes. How can I
tell him how much I love his poems
righteous in his tears for a bleeding planet?

jim
January 9, 2020

Sunday with Our Elders

















POST CARD TO AUNT PHYLLIS
AFTER OUR VISIT ON KAREN'S BIRTHDAY

You're Karen's birthday present
I say when you ask why we're here.
You're just back from lunch
with Gerri and Eric.
Karen's 75 today, but you
won't turn 102 until the day
before Valentine's. A surprise
party for the young. Too many
pictures you say as we stand
in front of posters.
I thought growing old would take longer.
Allison made this wall to last.
We talk about Books on tape,
look at Danielle Steele's titles
and Jackie Kennedy--Clint Hill
took care of her 29 years you say.
You remind us to talk good
about the dead and call me
an educated fool. Karen
takes a picture of me
sitting at your feet.

Love, Jim
10 January 2020



















POST CARD TO WARREN MURPHY
ON KAREN'S BIRTHDAY JUST AFTER CHRISTMAS

There's nothing I like better than mail,
Warren. My eyes go right to that stack
of letters on your light table. Photos.
Joe and Karen making lefse. Maybe
it's pizza. Pan de Vida. How cool
to see Karen and I on Christmas card
beside you and Betty framed beside us.
It's January 2d by the block calendar.
Karen's 75 on this day. You two
talk family ancestry, children
arriving Christmas morning
in pajamas. Karen says she doesn't
miss work, but dreams about it.
That's the way that goes,
you say smiling. This post card
from Yakima says we love you.

Jim
10 January 2020





UH-OH


UH-OH

Slept in
Woke at 4
read
The Idiot

Prince Myshkin
I suspected
then, I
might be

in trouble
Woke late
Woke Kate
I said,

Get up
it's late
6:37
I slept in

It's
6:38
Really
Really

Jim Bodeen
10 January 2020

PTSD POSTAL STAMP OF HEALING


THE HEALING STAMP (SEMI-POSTAL)

We've been working on these prayers
for some time, wanting them ready,
at hand, finding ourselves instead
in a different airport, banal's trap door
insisting we say To hell with it,
say it wrong. Say Tet, January 68,
surprise on your way to the Post Office.
Neither birthday nor attack. Days
piled on top of one another
in body bags. Months and months
of dead bodies. Pull over,
look for paper.  Dead leaves,
dark ink, a rich mulch unfolding
green springs of hope sprung,
airplanes leaving tarmac daily
a half century back. Medicine
thrown down watches women
wave to asylum seekers
bound and boarding
Swift Air's determined deportation,
women's voices out-singing
desperation, Not alone.
You are not alone.

Jim Bodeen
7 January 2020