• Nance Harding, MAHS-LPC

Spiraling Around the Issues of Our Time


I received the poem Oh Say Can You See in 1982. I use the word received because the words woke me abruptly in the early morning demanding to be written down. It's been edited very little and I do not claim it to be a good poem. It was eventually published in the University of New Orleans' student literary journal, Elipsis.


These poems or messages from beyond have come to me since I was a child. I share this one so the generations after me know that just as the individual self spirals around personal issues, the collective spirals around the cultural and political issues. There are definitions below.


Oh . . . say can you see

by the dawn’s early light

the shining egg wash

on the apple pie

Mama baked last night.


Oh . . . say can you see

at the twilights’ last gleaming

the funny yellow haze

scaring the city

while the dragons lay dreaming?


OH! say can YOU see

the bombs bursting in air

while Uncle’s* hubris

gingerly fingers

our most barbaric flair?


Say! Can you SEE

the mirror images

cast before grinning

teeth made white by years of

fluoridated Kool-Aid?


You! Seeeeeeeee

the great ball

with pock marks

from greasy

grimy gooey

Yum, yums.


SEE!

The ESTers*

The questers

The charismatic* flip

flops turned white

with doughboy* fear.



Oh Say Can You See - Elispsis, 1982

Art: Premonition, Remedios Varo, 1953

*Uncle Sam The abbreviation of United States

*ESTer - Erhard Seminars Training aka EST. Its offspring is known as Landmark Worldwide

*Doughboy - U.S. infantrymen in WWI