New Unionism

New Unionism

The trend is undeniable. Unions will not be what they have been. But what will they become? One end is “gone.” Every other possible outcome must then be “different.” If unions are about protecting workers and worker rights, the union leadership had better change the shape of the union to match what the workers feel they need and to what they are entitled that they are not getting. That may be something other than money or political influence. Whether management is on steroids or labor is suffering dystrophy, might will not yield rights in a fight. The need to belong to an organization of fellow souls is probably meaningful to humans. Discovering the commonality of souls must be the first task of New Unionism.

Cardinal Degradation

Stands a red bird ‘mongst the sparrows
On my neighbor’s backyard grill,
Indignant at the chaos he endures

There among the raucous chatter
Of the avian rabble’s prattle.
Finds piety counts for nothing on these shores.

But the card’nal works the table,
In the bitter winter snows.
He can’t just spread his wings an’ up an’ go.

January 2013

On a Mountain Pass

From the banks and curves of a sunny meadow,
The white road dives
Into a brooding spruce curtain,
Its dark green deepening darker still
Under its emerald arms,
Its tops impaling an infinite sky,
Its deep blue darkening deeper still
Toward a sapphire zenith,
An arc etched on a mountain pass,
Its brilliant white glinting brighter still
Across the diamond crest.

The scene is ever caught, frozen, fixed,
A crystallized, thin-air gasp, instantly silenced,
Beauty motionless, soundless, timeless,
The place between one second
And the next, and now eternal,
Frozen in the ice of time,
Sealed upon the soul’s eye,
A green, blue and white land,
A memory before story,
Met forever one winter day,
A chance unlooked for and profound.

January 2013 – 40 years later

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