I keep reading of courageous citizens helping and saving those in need in Texas and Louisiana.  Citizens on boats, their own boats. Local police and firemen. I salute them. Their courage is coming from our deepest humanity. And I bow to the cable news teams that have saved lives. 

But–no one, I mean no one, from the press (NY Times, Washington Post, etc.), the cable news networks, members of congress, heads of Defense, FEMA, Homeland Security, advisers who surround the president (this is not a criticism of the president) have mentioned or suggested the following: 

In the the USA and abroad, we have hundreds (perhaps more than one thousand) military basesArmy bases, Marine bases, Navy bases, Air force bases; many are in Texas, Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta region.  

These bases have trained military personnel who are ready to save lives, they practice these exercises all the time (I watched some at Camp Pendleton, CA, near where my mother lived from 1974-2005). They have helicopters, small craft, life jackets, all equipment necessary to save lives. They have parachutes. We have had the Berlin Airlift, immediate invasions of nations over the last 67 years.

We are capable of immediate action. There are people waving from rooftops, towels floating the wind, men, women and children crying out for help. Food, water can be sent; tent cities can be erected. An Executive order would be required. But no one is suggesting this to our president.  I do not blame him. These efforts need not be left to courageous private citizens and local authorities.

The storm continues to head east and north. Help is available. 


  • Bernard Block was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and attended Cornell University and Brooklyn College. He hitch-hiked to California in 1965 and lived in the Haight-Ashbury through 1967 where he gave poetry readings at the I and Thou Coffee Shop, North Beach coffee houses and Golden Gate Park. He returned to NYC and studied with the poet Colette Inez in the mid '70's. He earned his living as a caseworker with the Bureau of Child Welfare in New York City (he is now retired). Bernard has read at all the major spoken-word venues in NYC. He has presented his poetry in venues in Philadelphia, Columbia, SC and Asheville, NC. In August, 2014 he was invited to feature in Laugharne, South Wales in celebration of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth. Bernard curates and hosts the Series “From Whitman to Ginsberg” at Cornelia St. Café. There have been 21 editions of this Series; the most recent was presented on September 28, 2018. All 21 editions were videotaped and can be accessed on his YouTube Channel. He has had 38 poems published in the prestigious European on-line literary journal Levure Littéraire #8, #9 and #12 (Editors: Rodica Draghincescu; Erika Dagnino). Five of Bernard's poems appear in the French/English literary journal Recours au Poème (Editor: Marilyne Bertoncini) with French translation by Elizabeth Brunazzi. In an article in this journal regarding the NYC poetry scene, Ms. Brunazzi devotes a significant discussion to Bernard's poetry and his organizing role on that scene. Bernard Block’s book of poetry "Am I My Brother’s Keeper?" has been released by Dark Light Publishing. This is a bilingual edition, English/Spanish, with evocative translations by the eminent Mexican poet, Roberto Mendoza Ayala. It is available on Amazon and from the author: [email protected]