Yesterday, I learned the heartbreaking news of two men who were murdered and one (Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21) who was wounded and is being treated in a local hospital, on the evening of Friday, May 26, 2017, in a brutal attack on a MAX train in North Portland.
The alleged perpetrator (who will not be named on this website) is a known felon, white supremacist, and provocateur in the Greater Portland-Metro area. The three victims involved had tried to intercede between the perpetrator and two young women (one of whom was wearing a hijab) whom the former was viciously assaulting with what was described by witnesses as “anti-Muslim rhetoric” and “hate speech.”
Ricky Best was an upstanding citizen, military veteran, and father of four children. Taliesin Myrrdin Namkai-Meche, a recent graduate of Reed College, was just beginning his professional life, and was adored by his family. Both men are heroes in the purest sense. My heart aches so for their families at this time of their grievous loss.
There is This
Written May 27, 2017, for Ricky Best & Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche
On a trellis erected between my west suburb neighborhood
& the nearest MAX station the wisteria vines burgeon
into dusky purple blooms bursting with the dizzying fragrance
of a dessert wine but yesterday while I was out walking
as the early evening heat broke I noticed those sallow petals
carpeting the concrete in their waning just since the previous day
were already bearing the heavy imprints illumined by
the sun’s oblique indifference of commuters’ footfalls
& the signature parallel furrows of teenaged skateboarders…
“Trust me, you by yourself are not what makes everything so beautiful. It’s the combination, the coming together of all these different people from different backgrounds with different beliefs coinciding with one another, the interactions between them and the different products of those interactions that’s what makes society so great.”
Micah David-Cole Fletcher, winner of the 2013 “Verselandia” competition, performing and reflecting on his poetry on OPB’s Think Out Loud