Read Poem: giving thanks, by Dan Brook

over the centuries
indeed the millennia
too little thanks giving
too much thanks taking

I give thanks
to those who give thanks
to those who give care and comfort
to those who give themselves
not to those who take lives and things

I give thanks
to those who make and pursue peace
to those who help and heal
to those who make whole
not to those who practice violence

I give thanks
to those who teach and learn
to those who share and smile
to those who create
not to those who degrade and destroy

I give thanks
to those who build and rebuild
to those who care and construct
to those who make homes
not to those who dispossess and evict

I give thanks
to those who pause and protect
to those who serve and save
to those who give and sustain life
not to those who take it

I give thanks
to those who set free
to those who encourage and emancipate
to those who love and liberate
not to those who oppress and imprison

I give thanks
to those who joke
to those who smile
to those who laugh
not to those who scowl and scorn

I give thanks
to those who sing
to those who dance
to those who create art
not to those who silence and censor

I give thanks
to those who inspire
to those who uplift
to those who help out
not to those who crush down and suppress

I give thanks
perhaps too little thanks
to those who give thanks
to those who give themselves
grateful for them all

Dan Brook teaches sociology at San Jose State University.

Read Poetry: Sheepscape, by Dan Brook

alone in the verdant field
she munches the grass
though there’s no satisfaction there
remembering her last love
even the fresh grass and buttercups
of this warm Spring morning
taste bland, empty, meaningless
why eat to stay alive
when life itself feels like death?
the early day’s breeze
ruffling her woolly coat
she feels a gentle caress
the nuzzle of her true love
the hearty smell of his matted hair
lost in her fantasy
a bolt of ecstasy flashes through her being
shaking her to the core with pleasure
stepping on a pebble in the field
awakens her from this temporary world
once again, she finds herself alone
in the distance, she hears a plaintive “baaaaaa”
it sounds just like him… is it? could it be?!
she’s already in another daydream