Fractured/July 5th

dVerse prompts us today to “write a poem that creates, or evokes, modern life, in all of its reality.” Some options were to write something taken from the headlines, something that describes the fractured nature of our world or a stream of consciousness poem. This is a combo of all three of those. Unedited, brain to page, in all of its ugliness.

My usual disclaimer for this type of piece: be forewarned, multiple NeoCon thoughts ahead. Don’t call me with blood pressure issues.

“The Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
Thomas Jefferson 

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment.”
Robert M. Hutchins 

Yesterday,
we celebrated Independence Day
in the Great U.S.of A.
A bit (huge chunk) of irony
in that — some 236 years ago
rich white men Declared that
we would be a FREE people
(except for the slave ones,
of course — but we fixed that
later, yes, much later)
“a Republic, if you can keep it!”
Turns out Ben was a prophet too.
Today the fireworks are spent,
grills cleaned, beer bottles
cleaned up and independence
thrown out with the trash.
We have chosen a path of
dependence, voting for our
sustenance; which politician
will give (promise) me the most,
as opposed to making it
easier for me to provide for myself.
Security (false) is more important
now to most than freedom.
How much are we willing to give up
to be taken care of?
I am not of the 1%, far, far, from it.
I believe the government should
give me nothing but security
from foreign threats and the ability
to provide for my family by staying
out of my way.
I believe all should have access
to healthcare, but not at the expense
of choice, and not by force and
excessive taxation.
I believe in reducing violence by
allowing free citizens to protect
themselves and punishing criminals.
I believe in the individual before the group.

Today, my thirteen year old son worked a
manual labor job in the warehouse
while I sat behind the computer
in my air conditioned office.
Why? Two reasons, really. First, he
wanted (badly) something very expensive
and I (evil parent) refused to buy (give) it
to him. So, learning that nothing was free,
he asked to be able to work for the money.
Second, we needed the help. You see
the work we do is hot, hard, long hours.
We have hired white, black, young, old,
male, female…most last less than a week
before deciding that unemployment is
better. My son makes less than the other
laborers per hour, after all he is less skilled
than them and only works part time. I suppose
that is unfair? Unequal pay for unequal
production? He works for what he agreed
to work for (still above minimum wage),
no one forced him to.

Today he earned what he needed for his
purchase (very proud — he and I). He will
be back at work on Monday, his choice.
THAT, is something I can believe in.

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18 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

18 responses to “Fractured/July 5th

  1. Well, I can certainly agree with the Jeffersonian aspect of this. I can also understand and appreciate the declarations for the republic. As it is, I can agree as a parent with the approach that your son has taken to sustain himself and support his way of life. Though there is much that I do disagree with, I won’t bore you with that. It seems fair to say that you are hard-working, responsible and caring. I would say that I do know many who work just as diligently. It does seem odd that you are able to get anything done, since you can’t find good workers who last only a week.

    Be that as it may, I think the country has been overtaken by exactly those rich and self-entitled people who believe that they deserve more than other people simply because they got what they got by luck. And they use their money to manipulate the government to hold on to power and maintain their sway. Their share of the pie keeps getting bigger every day, yet those stuck in the middle seem bewildered by what’s happening and instead turn their wrath on the disenfranchised, many of them unlucky enough to have missed out on opportunity.

    But this has turned into a diatribe, which is not what I wanted it to. Still, I must say that your poem is worth reading, since I have heard little poetry of its kind, and I would like to hear more.

    • Thank you for the comments Chaz. I love civilized and respectful discourse. And diatribes are accepted here! Seeing as how that is what most of my piece is anyway.
      In response to a couple of points. As far as getting work done, our main work force is all hispanic (we think legal, we have done what is required to make sure). They are the only ones we can find to do the work.
      I completely agree that money has become the driving force in politics and government policy. Where we differ is that I do not think it is one sided. I think there is just as much financial pressure put on politicians from groups other than the so called 1%. I am in favor of completely removing money from the equation but it has to be across the board. Everyone out of the pool: banks, unions, corporations, ACLU, insurance companies, environmentalist, oil companies, social organizations (ACLU, AARP, NAACP, etc)…Everybody! Then politicians start actually working for the people that elect them.
      And I know there are those that need help and I am more than willing to do so. I just cannot believe that more of this messed up, corrupt, inefficient, bureaucratic behemoth we call a government is the answer.

      Thanks again for stopping by and reading.

  2. great on your son…to earn sth. by the sweat of their brow is a sort of independence as well…good thoughts in this mark

  3. rosemary mint

    Oh brother. Politics. I don’t know if I can read this. 😉

    “except for the lave ones” … I read this as “lava.” Hee hee.

    I’m surprised your son was even able to get a job. Isn’t it something like only 30 percent of teenagers who are able to find jobs now? Good for him. I know you’re proud.

  4. I like the layout and strident power of this poem. It doesn’t matter that I disagree–I have wished for poems like this to teach alongside of the ones I do agree with. Students need to meet your son, need to argue the points, and need to recognize the qualities of excellence that make this a poem. So bravo!

    (Now about the politics. I worked and work hard and have never put my hand out except to contribute, and as I pay taxes for many things I do not believe in — I want my causes also to be supported by our central . . . support for the arts and equal public education and healthcare for all and unemployment compensation and . . . . Democracy means that not everyone agrees but paying taxes empowers us all–or ought to.)

    • Thank you Susan for your comments. It would be nice if the taxes we paid gave us a voice. Sadly, the paltry amounts we pay in pale in comparison to the corruption and graft collected by the politicians. Until we get the big money, from all sources right and left, we are going to have a mess.

  5. i learned the value of hard work at an early age…essentially being told if i wanted money i better….ha…i think we do breed dependence in many ways…i dont think this is a one sided issue but a product of a system that is flawed surely…because there are many that are just left behind…

    • I agree Brian, there are many sides to many issues. It is a multi-faceted problem to be sure. And I know there are many left behind that need and deserve help. But I have come to believe that the system is primarily to blame and cannot believe that more of it will solve the problems.
      Thanks as always for coming by and reading.

  6. hedgewitch

    I think we all want to reduce things to this kind of simplicity–good and evil, black and white, and our media, and the people who profit from polarity, are driving it home every day. My single mother was on welfare when I was a child–I assure you, it’s not a rosy life, and she hated it, yet we would not have survived without it–I realize this brands us in many eyes as evil parasites–yet I spent my adult life working from the age of 15, often two jobs, backbreaking physical labor in the landscape industry that is indeed mostly performed these days by hispanics, (who have seen poverty we can barely imagine here), and was not corrupted by having a stomach filled by the government so I could sleep at night when I was six years old. Just sayin–blame is easy, solutions are difficult. And excuse my little lefty diatribe–as Susan says above, I’m not in favor of a great deal this government has done–corporate, oil and ag subsidies, gutting of the Glass Steigal Act that separated investment banking from speculation, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, torture, endless war–yet I pay my taxes for it, and I would like it to at least see that I don’t go bankrupt and lose the results of a lifetime of working and saving because I get sick and can’t pay the astronomical costs of modern healthcare, or am kicked to the side of the road to starve because I’m too old to work a twelve hour day in the triple digit heat. So, thanks for writing this Mark. I do understand more than you would think, what you’re trying to say–thanks for letting me run on here about the things that do raise my blood pressure–not your beliefs, however. ;_)

    • Thanks HW, diatribe responses to my diatribes always welcome. 🙂 Please understand, I do not think those on welfare are ‘evil parasites. I know people need help at times. I do think there is a percentage (large?small? IDK, but probably smaller) living off the government (our taxes) that could work if they wanted to. Just as there is a percentage (same ?) of the 1% that has never earned a dime in their life. My biggest issue is that I believe the government is actually making it more difficult to be productive. Almost like they want people dependent on them. The more they give the more people expect the more they have to take. None of the policies implemented in the last eight years (yes, I dislike Bush’s domestic policies almost as much as Obama’s) have done squat to create a job, and the only jobs they have saved have been government (and union) which creates a bigger strain on the taxpayer. As I said in a previous comment, one of the easiest solutions is to get all money out of the game; right/left, business/activist – all of it. Then the politicians might actually work for their constituents. So, I understand your frustration and I believe wholesale change is in order. But, I cannot believe that more government control and less freedom is the answer. Thanks again, always love when you come by.

  7. I’m in agreement with almost everything you say, and especially the part about your son working for something he wants. I really like that he’s going to continue, too, even after he got the item he originally went to work for. Nice write, Mark!

  8. You did good with your son. A large percentage of teenagers today feel entitled to everything without working for it. And I was really glad to see that he decided to go back even after he made enough to get what he originally wanted. Your poem really encapsulated politics today. Great job!

  9. You stated your thoughts well in this, Mark. I admire that.

    I had Stopped by this post once before, and read only far enough to see your introduction to the prompt you were using…it interested me enough that I paid a visit to dVerse and, today, posted my first piece there. 🙂 I tried to convey a bit about our fractured society, as well…

    Again – well done.

    • Welcome to dVerse! It is a cool community, 2 prompts a week (Thursday and Sat) and open link night on Tues. very supportive group. be by to read yours in a bit. 🙂

      • Thanks, Mark. I always see margo’s link in her roundup, but have generally not made it over there for one reason or another. I appreciate the “in a nutshell” schedule recap! 🙂

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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