NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday October 24th 2017

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DREAM UNION

Breaking news on the 4th

As a monthly newspaper, The Alley seldom has “breaking news”.  As news is “breaking” rapidly every hour of the day and especially about the striving for independence around the earth, it is ironic and unfortunate that “breaking news” today is remembering the goals that sparked the quest for independence in our country.  Thomas R. Smith sent his poem “Dream Union” to The Alley so we may pass it on to you on this anniversary.  Here it is.  Best regards to each of you on this Anniversary of Independence Day.

DREAM UNION
For Woody Guthrie, born July 14, 1912

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, you not only
faced the headlines but made music of them.
And perhaps that too was “the biggest
thing that man has ever done.”

Fatalities of fire, poverty, disease—
you seemed to accept, incorporate
them in your voice’s matter-of-factness,
resolve to engage the world with hope.

Your songs of brotherhood, fairness,
equality still spread their fire from
tongue to tongue, a chain of flame no
fascist retardant can extinguish.

Troubadour ghost, bend to us
in our national agony, breathe your
tune into the hearts of Occupying
youth and disappointed elders.

James Wright wrote of his old scout-
master in Martins Ferry, Ohio,
“When I think of Ralph Neal, I feel
some kind of ice in me breaking open.”

And thinking of you, I hear the true heart-
beat of America and wake again
to this day’s news in search of a way back
to the unfinished dream of our union.

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