There waa a time when
news wasn’t news, carried
by mouth, one person
to another a game of telephone
before that concept existed.
Newspapers promised us
the news, but in the time
it took to write and print it,
it was nearly news,
or at worst slightly olds.
Now the world is always
available instantly, but we
know or should, that half
of the time we see only bits
woven into a narrative
that bears no relation
to what actually happened.
The newspapers pile up,
their headlines scream
out, sections of business news
or the arts, and a half
They sit patiently, knowing
much has happened that we
ought to know, but we
have grown tired of death
and so each week we
place them in the bin
where they are taken
to the dump where
the lessons of the news
go to die forgotten.
You read the obituaries every day
not only for the confirmation that you
are not listed among them.
The key five words there are
not only for the affirmation, particularly
upon hearing the gentle man you liked,
but you also valued as a friend and craftsman
is gone, and you didn’t say goodbye,
that you thought “better him than me,”
that you hated that thought,
that you hated yourself for thinking it,
that nonetheless you are glad
it wasn’t you, was someone else,
just not him, just not someone you knew.
You weren’t in the obituaries today
and when you are gone, you won’t
be there to read it anyway, and you want
think “better him than you,”
and you promise you
will forgive those that think it.
The morning paper said
that a surprising number of Portuguese
man o’ war washed up on the beach yesterday,
bringing out the Dangerous Marine Life flags.
The paper also featured stories
on two fatal hit and runs, a person killed
in an apparent drug deal gone bad
and the opening of a redone highway exit ramp.
Further in, we learned of a new seafood restaurant
overlooking the beach, and the ground breaking
for a forty-six story building that, when done,
hopefully in two years, will house
an upscale hotel and 113 condos
in the heart of the downtown shopping area.
There were may other stories, but I
couldn’t read most of them this day, so
taken up was I with the mass suicide
of the countless Physalia physalis.