by Leslie Noyes

Standing tall and proud
Voices raised in joyful praise
An anthem for us

Outside looking in
The disenfranchised hear but
An anthem for some

Until all are free
The lyrics are merely words
An anthem for none

Star Spangled Dream

One night during my illness–stuffy head, equilibrium-hampering, sinus infection–I dreamt that I was attending either a concert or a movie in an outdoor arena. Just before the event began a giant screen flashed the words:

Please Stand For Our National Anthem

I immediately stood, and began urging those around me to stand, as well. Grudgingly they did. The strains of The Star Spangled Banner began and then abruptly stopped. 

Sorry, technical difficulties!

Flashed across the screen. Then a voice from a loudspeaker boomed, “Will anyone lead in the singing of our national anthem?”

With no hesitation I began, 

Oh, say can you see…

and to my delight people joined in and we all sang the entire song on key. It was a gloriously impossible rendition of our national anthem, especially considering that I knew immediately that I’d begun the song an octave too high. Dreams are wonderfully forgiving.

Once the song ended and we were congratulating one another on our performance a woman in the next section came to me and offered me a role in a traveling Disney performance. I agreed immediately, but then looked over at Studly who was clearly upset by the thought of me leaving, and subsequently declined the offer. 

When I awakened I realized my throat was scratchy. That’s what happens when one sings The Star Spangled Banner an octave too high. 

Peace, people!


Thunderstorm on the 4th

is there anything
sadder on July the 4th
than a thunderstorm?

unused, the fireworks
await clear skies for glory
and rockets’ red glare.

distant crack sounds near
weather or firecracker’s boom?
bombs bursting in air.

Peace, people!