My poem, From Corners Of The White House, is divided into two sections; The President and The First Lady.
The first part attempts to define how the president guided people beyond the front gates of possibility. He inspired them with ideas and hope that surpassed the practical aspects of change. His noble vision was not incremental, it was spacious, filled with a magical enthusiasm.
His words told the nation we could fill the holes in the road to recovery, sweep away any sharp obstacles that would cut the foot of progress, impede our footsteps forward. Yet, his idealism with all of its noble intentions weighed too heavily on the mind of the people, on their view of personal freedom and the role of government in their personal lives. It weighed heavy as stone on the wing of the eagle and steeped the light of promise in a bitter tea.
And why did this happen? People were too impatient and did not take the time to contemplate his strategy or how change requires perseverance to combat times of doubt
or risk. Like the skill of the glass blower, dreams are meticulously crafted over time, they are spun and blown into a reflective purpose with patience and foresight.
Despite this setback, President Obama waits and determines his next move. Though his face lacks the beard of Abraham Lincoln or the beard of the freed Slave and freedom fighter, Frederick Douglass, he still embodies their heroic stance and like them, stands behind his own pillars of strength. Shadowed in a temple of thought, he poses as an isolated yet empathetic figure with his head bent forward and his fingertips pressed together in prayer, touching on the theme of compromise.
The second part of the poem, explores the perspective of The First Lady. Standing near a fanlight window , she views the garden in late afternoon. Light paves the lawn with a pale radiance Her eyes focus on the leaves of the grape arbor and memories of the campaign haunt her mind. She hears the voices of women and their children who asked for change, who wanted a better life and safer environment.
She realizes that despite the efforts of her husband to satisfy their demands, they grew disillusioned, they shattered the hour glass and took away the resource of time. They became impatient, placed singular blame on The President and fell prey to vicious rumors. Gossip sifted through the months like falling sand and could ruin the stability of their own house and cause the dignity of The White House to sink further downward.
Saddened by this revelation, The First Lady wonders how a dream of hope becomes deferred. She straightens her silk dress and with this single gesture, pulls herself loose from the static cling of doubt and a
fading sun. Tomorrow, the light will be cast from a different angle and its
brightness more intense.
And look'd forth
in the close of day, with its light spreading....
He inspired them, led them far
beyond the front gates, beyond
the constructive reality
His words grabbed
cutting the foot of progress,
and attempted to fill in
the roadside ditch.
Yet, his idealism
on the eagle's wing, steeped
the sun in bitter tea.
People could not grasp
how persevernce looms
over doubt, how dreams are spun
and blown into clarity
Now he waits, his face
lackng the beard
of Frederick or Abraham,
but like them, he stands
behind his own pillars
of strength, shadowed
in a temple of thought --
his head bent, his fingertips
forming a steep ridge, a way
The First Lady
Standing near that fan of glass,
she watches light pave
her garden with pale silence.
The campaign haunts her mind
as she glances toward leaves
on the arched vine, past voices
of workers, women, their children
They wanted change
but have shattered the hour glass
with impatience, rumors spilling
like sand, while a house -- their house
could sink within. She turns
wondering how a dream becomes deferred
and pulls her silk dress
loose from static cling, the fading sun.