Tag Archives: politics

Do Not Speak For Me

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

Ink spills, sweat pours,
the brown, delta waters flow.
A man in a white robe
spews ancient hate from the land
of my forebears.
Another in a Baltimore,
with raised fist,
shouts more of the same in opposite.
Neither speak for me.

Oil dilutes the water,
black gold drives the economy,
holds sway over policy.
The executive orders, the roughneck drills,
wheels turn.
I do not blame them for exploiting
needs/wants/desires but
slick liquids and slick suits do not speak for me.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

Blood oozes from the wound,
the gutters of Chicago congeal.
Mothers cry,
a plastic talking head blames a tool,
refuses to address a cause.
More useless laws, freedom suppressed,
the fist clenches tighter,
death seeps out between the fingers.
The titillated teeth on TV do not speak for me.

A man behind a pulpit
preaches out of context morality,
teaches exclusion, judgment
and damnation. He seems to forget
love and healing and caring.
He raises his voice and pounds the podium,
claims he speaks for God,
but he does not speak for me.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

The politicians are already drunk
on their potential power,
convinced of the absolute necessity
of their convictions, their change, their control.
They take up the mantle of left and right,
claim righteous titles of conservative, progressive;
none of them speak for me.

You. You do not speak for me,
nor do I for you,
But, I hear you. I hear your plea
for simple understanding,
empathy perhaps, peace perchance.
Do you hear me my brother?
For I swear,
I swear I am trying to hear you.
I am trying.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

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Filed under Poetry, Political

They Still Kill Poets

We live in a world where poets
are still executed for their words.

There is not much to be found
in the way of details —
we do not know
if the sun was shining and kissed
his face before he died,

or if it was done indoors
where he could see no light,

or if he was defiant to the end,
reciting verse with his last breath,
or if he cried and begged for mercy,

we do not know if there was a sympathetic witness,
or only stoic (or perhaps mocking) guards and executioner —

no, all we know for sure was that he was hanged.
If this was expertly done he would have fallen
a sufficient distance to cause the cervical vertebrae to fracture,
somewhat lessening the discomfort of the experience.

A less proficient, or perhaps sadistic, hangman could have
created a situation where he strangled to death,
dangling, aware, for twenty seconds to a minute,
waiting for the blood flow from his carotid arteries
to his brain to be cut off and consciousness to cease…

Twenty seconds does not seem so very long.
Have you ever held you breath for 20 seconds, or more?

We do know, with a degree of certainty, that his death
was ordered by an Iranian Mullah, found guilty
of waging war on God, spreading corruption on earth,
and questioning the principle of walayat al-faqih.

He is not the first Iranian poet to die at the hands
of his government and the mullahs, not by far…some were shot,
others hanged, one had his veins cut and was left
to bleed in his cell. More than eighty, intellectuals and poets,
were executed from 1997 – 2005.

But, we are not to speak of this, not to judge
those who ordered these acts of justice.
This is their way, and we are to be tolerant of that which
we do not understand.
The mantra of the politically correct.

Do we speak out? Do we march? Do we write ’till our fingers bleed
with the passion of our convictions and the right of any human being
to raise his voice in verse and protest?

Or do we hang our heads and shake them sadly,
mourning the loss of another voice
while being thankful it could never happen to us.
Such an atrocity would never be allowed in the land of the free…

Then one day…an all Muslim city council is elected,
and Sharia law comes to your neighborhood.

But we are not to speak of that, it would be insensitive,
and intolerant, and ridiculously conspiratorial. 

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Filed under Commentary and Ramblings, Poetry, Political

The Decency to be Angry

I am struggling to find sympathy,
anger and frustration lead
the emotional assault.
There is empathy, to be sure,
the proverbial trite heart
bleeds
for the families of those who bled.

But, anger, yes,
it is anger which rules my thoughts.

Anger at men who insist
you believe as they, and submit,
or die for the sin of disagreement.

Anger at the apologists who refuse
to condemn these men,
or go so far as to justify their actions,
attempting to transfer blame,
or merely being silent.

Anger at leaders who are anything but,
who refuse to so much as name
the obvious enemy,
much less fight them,
or strive for their defeat.

Soon, there will be blood in more streets:
L.A, London, Tokyo, Atlanta, Stockholm…
your streets, my streets.

Sympathy and platitudes will not stop it,
a symbolic overlay of a picture
will not change it,
well wishes and “standing together”
will not alter fates.

Anger, perhaps, also may not provide
the needed answers,
but failing to act, failing to acknowledge
the enemy — or even that there is one —
is the surest path to more innocent
deaths.

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Filed under Poetry

Shameless Self Promotion – The State of Things

Well, no one else is going to do it. 🙂

So, I have published a chapbook.

As it says in the title, it is not a ‘feel good’ book: don’t expect a love poem. It is a collection focused primarily on current events and the current political climate, most of the poems been seen on this site at one time or another.

I would be honored for you to have a copy (just click the picture) and to receive any feedback you would be willing to give. It is currently only available on Kindle (I will apologize for some formatting issues; converting poetry to Kindle is…unpredictable). If there is demand I will put out some print copies as well.

Thank you to those who follow this blog, and most especially to those who are willing to offer a comment now and then.

4 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Politics

Coming to America – An Exercise in Pessimism

Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses…

and we will feed them
we will clothe them
house them
pay them not to work
provide for their healthcare
care for their children
and tell them what to eat
and indoctrinate them in free schools
give them phones
and pay their utilities
subsidize their debt
pretend to provide for them in retirement
and promise them more
always more

all the while denying them the chance
to ever be more than
tired, poor, huddled masses
with no dreams
who have forgotten
what it is to breath free

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Filed under Poetry

Metal

The frame and skin of an airplane
is made mostly of aluminum and lightweight
composite materials, designed
to be strong and flexible, able
withstand the rigors of flight.
There is not a quality control test to determine
the effect of a missile on flight worthiness.

The exterior shell of a missile is much
the same as that of an airplane:
light, composite materials intended
for stability at mach 5 speeds. The difference
in payload though, is somewhat significant,
and its inherent impact on continued
flight is tested in depth.

The shoulder-fired, or portable, version
is commonly referred to as a rocket,
and while its basic makeup is the same
as the missile, it is lacking in a key
component; a guidance system. It tends
towards more haphazard results. There
is accumulated data regarding its effectiveness.

The smaller cousin of the rocket is the bullet,
typically composed of lead and jacketed
in steel. It is considered much more accurate
than its larger relatives, and less, shall we say…
explosive, making it more precise in consequence.
The statistics on its efficacy are debated and primarily
used for political purposes.

There is metal scattered across eastern Ukraine
and throughout fields and settlements in Israel.
Bullets can be heard cleaving the air throughout
Gaza, Chicago and many African countries.
There is much reported about the metal,
much discussion of cause and effect, very little
is said of humans, other than to give a body count.

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Filed under Poetry

Designs on Power

He strains against the constraints
of republicanism,
separation of powers
a constant impediment
to his ambitions.
Every move a test
of timing for when
he can name himself
Caesar,
and cross the Rubicon.

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Filed under Poetry