We remember the rise and fall

[Sonnet about rhythm, the beat of history-from-below and of poetry, different and linked, evolution, hope and fear… Drawing of dancing peasants in 1514 by Albrecht Duerer, eleven years before the outbreak of the great German Peasant Rebellion, brutally crushed by the nobles to the loud cheers of Martin Luther, who the peasants had thought was on their side…]

We remember the rise & fall

of the metric foot arising from the rise & fall of feet
stomping earth in celebration of fertility, war

one step forward, two steps back, choric dance spiral
plods out evolution, calamitous ascent of the race, ah

Homer’s warrior drone, Chaucer’s chop & change, Shakespeare’s rich
drive rolls through Milton, Whitman, Rilke, Neruda, as down-

stairs the roll & ruckus of class struggle, work holler, spiritual,
blues & jazz straighten spine, uplift hungry hip & heart

in sit-ins, boycotts, heads bared to fire-hose & hound,
yes, no ‘68 without chanson & rock-and-roll

no rise & fall of hope & fear in feet that move
us through history’s daily unknown drift

like leaves autumnal in the fraying wind
like Eden’s promise we cannot rescind


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on March 15, 2017.

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