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December 08, 2016
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Without boundaries: A found poem*

What I saw brought tears to my eyes
Could the land I love so much
    come to this end?
I do not want to live in an industrial-corporate colony.

I’m asking the zoning rewrite committee
to keep Article 14 in place
I thank you for it
I beg you to keep it in
Tusten has the chance to lead the way for all of us.

If you drive north on Route 97
Right before you get to Callicoon
There’s this little cemetery
Right before the river takes a bend
And in it there are buried 12 veterans
    of the Revolutionary War.
Those are our ancestors.

If they had feared what the outcome would be
    we wouldn’t be here.

Who knows what the outcome of all this may be?
We are not going to be happy saying,
“We could have done something, but we were afraid.”

Who knows what the outcome of all this may be?

It may even be victory.


*Found poems are poems created out of fragments of verbiage uttered or written by parties other than the author. This one is composed from comments submitted at the Town of Tusten’s public hearing for its zoning rewrite on Monday, October 10. It was the only way we could think of that we could come close to sharing the remarkable spirit of this meeting with our readers.
Our thanks go to all who commented at or attended the meeting, to the zoning rewrite committee and to consultant Dr. William Pammer, with special thanks to those whose voices are heard above: April Bidwell, Andrew Boyar, Darryl Brasseale, Peter Comstock, Kathy Grady, Olivia Grady, Stanley Harper, J. Morgan Puett, Penelope Lohr, Arnold Melman, Jane Morris, Carol Roig, Allison Rourk, Matt Solomon, Tony Staffieri, Ani Stanley, Teressa Steaktey and Vera B. Williams. (Please forgive us for any omissions or misspellings; we checked the names against several sources including the sign-in sheets, but the writing in some cases was not clear.) It was a privilege to share the evening with you.