August 28, 2020 – Los Angeles: The latest Artists For A Better World International “Poetry of the Month” selection features work from Dean Blehert of the United States.
All the Lonely People
It seems like last year, but probably it was
last decade or two that AT&T filled magazines
with ads that covered two pages. They showed
human beings standing on a surface — a sort of
contoured map — individuals of all sorts
just standing there, separate from each other
by 8 or 10 or 20 feet, dozens (and shrinking
toward the horizons, a suggestion of
hundreds and thousands) of people,
each separate from all others.
The caption was always:
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE.
Of course, AT&T meant use telephones
to conquer the distances between us,
not touch, but get in touch. But reaching
and touching were the metaphors chosen
because both are so precious to us —
reaching another, being reached and
In our stories, the evil teachers, orphanage heads, etc.
(Dickens’ children are crushed by them)
are people who slap the wrists of those who reach
and forbid having things or one another.
If you would make people sick and eventually dead,
tell them over and over that they must not touch,
must not have, must not reach. Work hard
to make reaching and touching dangerous.
A baby, untouched, is sickly and whiny,
and, growing, remains emotionally stunted.
This is a 100% thing, no mere-fraction-of-a-%
virus. Who are these masked men, anyway,
who tell us we must not reach and must not touch?
Who are these masked people who arrange
Where do we all belong?
I hear we no longer shake hands. But our hands
are shaking more.
by Dean Blehert of Virginia.
Copyright © By Dean Blehert. All Rights Reserved.