Outlaw Poet

Searching for Abraham Lincoln

visited Springfield
flew to Louisville
drove Bardstown Road to
St. Catharine College
then on to The Starving Artist Cafe

Welcome to Springfield, Kentucky

wandered Main street side streets
lost for hours
small suitcase weighed down with
heavy words
The Emancipation Proclamation
The Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln’s words his works his life
biography of his boyhood
he was spiritual intuitive psychic

“that on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves
shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free”

and I’m searching for Abraham Lincoln
on Bardstown Road Beech Fork Lincoln Homestead

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this
continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal.”

Welcome to Springfield, Kentucky Abraham Lincoln country

I walked Kentucky into the wind
dark and bloody ground
jewel in the lotus
heart of the world
holy triangle
Abbey of Gethsemani St. Catharine’s St. Joseph’s
Trappist monks Dominican nuns
coal mined bituminous gold nearly gone
smokestacks power plants largest shovel in the world
Native Americans pioneers farmers coal miners
strong women
poets writers musicians

in Kentucky music is mountainous

and I’m searching for Abraham Lincoln
the greatest President of them all
he saved us from ourselves

and here I am in Springfield
heart of Kentucky
Lincoln country

who will save us now

and I’m searching for Abraham Lincoln
maybe Edgar Cayce can help
modern day prophet
one of the great psychics of all time
and from Hopkinsville, Kentucky

maybe Muhammad Ali the Greatest from Louisville
maybe Muhammad Ali can point the way
with his International Peace Center

“float like a butterfly
sting like a bee”

oh Muhammad oh Muhammad
will you please help me cause

I’m searching for Abraham Lincoln

and the rivers and creeks of Kentucky
Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Barren, Big Sandy, Rough, Elkhorn, Green
spray us with tears
of Mexican immigrants
who for forty days and forty nights have stood
in the fields outside America’s door
knocking denied entry denied
Churchill Downs The Derby singing
“My Old Kentucky Home” knocking
on our doors pleading “let us come in”
“let us live in your beautiful Kentucky Home”

and I’m searching for Abraham Lincoln

walking up hills mountains The Knobs The Appalachians Natural Bridge
bowing to gravity
leaning backward with my long hair sweeping the path
as I descend the wind and the descent flatten me
and now my muscles are green and yellow and red pain
sustaining my search
drink wine and strong coffee
at The Starving Artist Cafe

and I’m searching for Abraham Lincoln

I want love to have its way
I want us to stand united not divided
One world One people together in peace and harmony

and searching for Abraham Lincoln
I crawl through Kentucky
so many diamonds I find birthed from the deep dark mines
Iroquois Cherokee Shawnee Tribes Daniel Boone Henry Clay
Abraham Lincoln
Elizabeth Madox Roberts James Still Bill Monroe
Loretta Lynn Muhammad Ali Hunter S. Thompson Johnny Depp
Harry Dean Stanton Ned Beatty Adolf Rupp
Wendell Berry John Calipari Rick Pitino Lionel Hampton
John Jacob Niles Pee Wee Reese The Everly Brothers
Merle Travis Rosemary Clooney Edgar Cayce Robert Penn Warren
the global literary renaissance Thomas Merton
Appalshop Bluegrass Bourbon Beautiful Women Handsome Men
My Old Kentucky Home Churchill Downs Louisville Slugger
The Great Outhouse Blowout Penn’s Store Gravel Switch
Kentucky Fried Chicken Wildcats Cardinals

and as I search for Abraham Lincoln
I sit in The Starving Artist Cafe
on a rainy winter’s day
drinking wine

why do men still drink wine
and women still water

beautiful paintings cover the walls
and yes when I give readings round the world
I hear 3rd world voices monks and nuns
Ernesto Cardenal Nicanor Parra
Daniel Berrigan Thomas Merton
Mother Teresa
The Dalai Lama
pierce the world’s terrors chanting singing praying
for love
for peace

and I’m searching for Abraham Lincoln
“the one who’ll shake the ones unshaken
the fearless one”

and searching for Abraham Lincoln
in the St. Catharine College Library
I look in Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s yes San Francisco Ferlinghetti who stood
At Merton’s grave with me
I look in Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind and
Pictures of the Gone World
and I read

“Christ climbed down
from His bare tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary’s womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody’s anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest
of Second Comings.”

and I’m standing in The Starving Artist Cafe
on Main Street in Springfield, Kentucky
the heart of Kentucky
the heart of the world
on this rainy winter’s day
and the wind and the rain whisper
welcome welcome welcome
to Springfield

and I’m searching searching searching for Abe Honest Abe
searching for Abraham Lincoln
in Springield
welcome to Springfield, Kentucky USA

Ron Whitehead

Copyright (c) 2015 Ron Whitehead