Posted by: Ron DuBour | April 19, 2015

Once Upon a Time in Chicago~by Paul F. Lenzi


 

 

Once Upon a Time in Chicago

 

architectural winds
swept the lake
looped the river
whose banks pulsed
with cattlemen bloodlines
magnificent mile
hosting retail nirvana
in shimmering towers
preserved beaux arts piles
that housed bearded barons
of manifest destiny
easy of manner consistent
with midwestern ethics
the homespun affinities
pulled from belief in the
power of personal enterprise
strength of frontier
personality settled in
perfect-laid gridwork
of four-square ambitions
enriched by the teem of its
immigrant waves adding color
and character wellsprings
of garrulous idioms
shouting in unison pride of
their separate achievements
to both remote ends
the old right and new left of a
continent firming its center
the heartbeat of heartland
ingenious creations of myriad
markets in capital freewheel
that energized industries
wealth to be had
for the muscular will
and the diligent hand

and yet now
against lessons of wise
ancient scholarship
flouting experience
gained in the rise and the fall
of great civilizations
allowing itself to be caught
in the crippling embrace
of its ill-chosen system
of socialist principles
spurning the man for the state
yielding rampant
mismanagement
inbred corruption
the decadent politics
spawned by a retrograde
errant philosophy
now is the great city lost
institutions in spasms
the skyline in judders
of fiscal implosion
of fast-spreading moral decay
chilling harbinger sending
cold signal to urban America


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