At Lincoln’s Tomb Springfield, Illinois, 2016 Be glad you cannot rise to life and stand Outside that tomb to die again from shame At Illinois, your home, your prairieland, Transformed, yet quick to arrogate your name – A land of ruined hope, no longer great, Where silent foundries waste away to rust, Cracked roads, deserted homes disintegrate, And west winds scour the fallow land to dust; A lawless land that drowns in reams of law, And chokes with bloated tomes that regulate Yet leave the regulators free to draw Their bribes and rule their fiefs inviolate; A land of servitude, not for one race, But all who cannot flee the tax-man’s reach, Bled out, sucked dry, to gorge the fattened face Of rank officialdom’s rapacious leech – It gulps its fill of pillage, vomits out Largesse to all who have no blood to take, Who gladly lap the dregs spewed from its snout, Unseen chains stronger far than you could break. Did you, Great Liberator, loose cruel war, Give liberty and even life for this? For this did you face Sumter’s cannons’ roar And plunge the land in Death’s blood-tinged abyss? Let it not be so! Let it not be so! But you are dead and half a legend, too, Whom lips pay shallow service – and I know What is destroyed is never built anew. Vision In the sparkling, crystalline morning rays That pierce the translucent, lingering haze, Through the thick forest of bulrush blades __A bird appears: A stainless white heron fans out his wings, Cranes his lithe neck and majestically springs, Splashing the marsh-waters’ still mirrorings __As he uprears. Whence came this specter that ventures to rise Gracefully, faultlessly, beauteously, flies Up from swamps to the breadth of the skies __Above the meres? Take me, O spirit, with you! Let me soar On your swift wings through the heavenly door! Let me ascend, free, unbound, tied no more __To wants and fears. Untitled Would that I walked in those far-distant days When angels lighted from empyrean spheres And deigned to show themselves to mortal gaze And speak the words of God to mortal ears. But I must grope and claw my sightless way Through winding miles of faceless, cold concrete And jagged glass reflecting every way To find a solid path to bear my feet. I have but echoes, distant, dubious, faint, Of those clear, crystalline angelic tongues, Drowned in chaotic tides of babbling din. And yet I hear them. They chide my complaint: The deaf will never hear; the soul that longs For truth has it, a prize for faith to win. Adam Sedia (b. 1984) lives in his native Northwest Indiana, where he practices law as a civil and appellate litigator. His poems have appeared in Indiana Voice Journal and Tulip Tree Review. He has also had short stories and works of legal scholarship published in various journals. He also composes music, which may be heard on his YouTube channel.