Zeitgeist

We are living in broken-hearted times
In a broken-hearted world.
We are crazy with grief
Over what has been taken from us
That we are not even aware of.
We hate with no rhyme or reason
Because our lives lack
The slightest hint of meaning
The merest whisper of grace
And it must be someone’s fault.

We are stupefied by forces
So far beyond our control,
So utterly incomprehensible
In plain, simple, human terms
That as we walk around dazed and baffled
In the day’s miasma of propaganda.
We seethe with rage and murderous thoughts
Incited and amplified
By the Masters of Mendacity.

We are bewildered by our inability
To navigate the artificial complexities
Laid out before us
Like a kind of Escher drawing
In which every path
Goes nowhere
And back again,
In which the road to happiness
And fulfillment,
To generosity and community,
Is just one dead end after another.

So deep inside that it seems to exist
In another galaxy
Is our sadness,
Our profound sorrow
At the loss we are living
Day to day,
A loss created without our knowledge
Or consent
By those who use us
Until we are used up.

So near to us
Mass murders occur daily
Murders of children in their schools
Murders of seniors shopping for groceries
Murders of people of color
In their churches
Murders of the spirit
In our hollowed-out public life
Obsessed with appearance
Contrivance
Celebrity
And unattainable wealth.

We are living a broken-hearted life
In broken-hearted times
In a broken-hearted world.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s new book is At the Driveway Guitar Sale, from Main Street Rag Publishing. He podcasts poems on aging, memory, and mortality at thirdactpoems.podbean.com and lives in northern California with his wife, Cynthia. Read other articles by Buff.