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Faust’s poetry scans American legacy, warts and all

By Jane Stoever

Ron Faust, who often writes poems for our PeaceWorks events, shares his 2017-2020 poems in his new work, Percolating Poetry. Some of Faust’s poems, he reflects, cover “the American legacy, warts and all.” Some are love poems to his wife. Some simply celebrate life.

In his introduction, Faust offers “A Cup of Coffee”:

To have a cup of coffee

            Is to take a break in the action

And to listen for the loving thing

            That someone might have said.

In “Juneteenth Recognition,” Faust refers to George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe.” Faust tells of the June 19, 1865, announcement of freedom from slavery to slaves who learned, two years late, of the Emancipation Proclamation. Faust writes:

… they were as liberated as everyone

Who equally breathed invisible air

Faust weaves together several topics: the first Juneteenth, the Tulsa Massacre in 1921, a campaign rally in Tulsa in 2020 by a white racist president, and the exoneration of police brutality. Faust concludes:

It matters that we breathe without racism.

In a companion poem from 2020, “John Lewis,” Faust praises the man

Who paved a path through civil rights

Voicing the conscience of the Senate

In “Horrors of Hiroshima,” Faust issues this critique:

In 1945 yearning to seduce Pandora’s Box

            And unveil the dark secrets of the atom

                        Hence a Big Boy bomb dropped a dilemma

Upon humanity by introducing the Atomic Age

            That could show a road to total destruction

                        And sell a nation’s soul to militarism

And Faust goes on to challenge:

Our hope lies in abolishing all nuclear weapons

 For all of you who’d like to take your cup of coffee with a poem, “buy the book!” for $16.99 from publisher Xlibris, at or 844-714-8691. Faust also announces, “An e-book is in the works” for $3.99.

—Jane Stoever serves on the PeaceWorks Kansas City Communications Team.

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