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Time to Take Measure, a Poem by Michael Shen

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

It is time to slow down,

For reflection,

For looking more deeply,

And long.

The facts, the data,

What have they borne?

Not knowledge, not wisdom,

Then what?

Metropolis has lost its luster,

Farms, factories in fields.

Our highways and byways

Are broken and worn,

Schools shine no

Path to the morrow.

Work yields no products

But capital hocus,

And millions are swept to the side.

It’s time to slow down

Let’s ask what we need.

It’s clear, let’s open our eyes.

Food for the hungry,

Homes for the homeless,

Work for those millions who can,

Schooling with eyes on the morning sun,

Hope and the will to move on.

Let’s slow down while we gather ourselves,

Give thanks for all that we have.

A bountiful land from sea to sea

And a people who’ve done it before.

So let’s bow our heads in gratitude,

Then eyes forward, join hands and move on.


Michael Shen was born in China but has lived in the United States for over 70 years. He retired years ago after working as a psychologist, carpenter, and, for over 30 years, a civil rights lawyer. He began writing poetry 4 years ago. He has had a few poems accepted for publication, at Euphony Journal, Poets Choice, and Anacua Literary Arts Journal.


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