Go to Home page Go to Past Issues Subscribe Go to Links

Fists on Fire: Poetry from the Heart of the Revolution

Big Jim Bell

Big Jim Bell
        some might think
should have been served
     basketballs
instead of drink,
he was that tall.

But he was of
      an altogether
other altitude, a lofty
      presence
of down-home mind
down here

where it's the ink
       of voice
and how questions form
    in the mouth
that make a man
a concerned citizen.

Most of us,
          like him,
hail from elsewhere
    but exist here
because here is
the furthest remove

from orthodoxies,
        religious 
and secular, where
   drift and transience
are what we share
in friendships that are
little more than
          liquefactions
of a recognition we all must be
      nowhere else
in order to best be
everywhere -

light endurables
          heavy at the core
and, in that, more than little,
     big little, Red Little,
like who Big Jim wore
in his grit-smile

and in that soul-
           loosened,
wide-open chortle under
      a sage black hat,
or pouring his eyes into
the People's Tribune

and drinking in, vastly,
 - even unto death -
the only war that's peace,
     and may
his be
everlasting.

-- Jack Hirschman


People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551, info@peoplestribune.org.
Feel free to reproduce unless marked as copyrighted.
Please include this message with reproductions of the article.