May 30, 2012

poem 170 of a poem a day for 2012



cupping the rust, drinking the kool-aid

several times the planes buzzed low
across the tree line, strafing bullets
as if taking directions from
an indiscriminate master
of chaotic death from above
but I knew better, the resistance
had already blown up main supply lines
to the refineries and munitions plants
a few hundred kilometers away
and needed cover so members
of the resistance could just be regular folks
out milling around participating
in the rusted remnant clawed cages
of our one party capitalism

America didn't used to be like this
occasionally when the home brew
and home grown got passed around small fires
in the ramshackle enclaves that have become
for better or for worse what a neighborhood was
stories are heard of America's blind lust
for wealth and power and a bloody disdain
for asking for the truth to be told
for the point of discussion

we used to be pomp and circumstance
paraded milk queens and the chance
to win the lottery every week
holding dreams in our pockets
when the jobs went elsewhere
truth was, productivity and wealth building
was only ever for a very few
and was at the very heart of this behemoth
this runaway train of Liberty
that left the station with no way
of getting off the rails unless
a revolution occurred

and with the way words became monstrous chains
that could no longer be trusted to mean something
people became quiet and left their heart and souls to die
as the soup lines increased and welfare became
one of many scarlet letters


occasionally you hear these stories
from one of the ancients as we call them now
only a few people survived the virus epidemics
that everyone believed was deliberately released
to ease the burden of feeding a world hungry
for what America had stolen
like some powder wigged pampered Prometheus
before books were destroyed and electronic databases
could no longer be verified

these ancients told the truth
in their sad but very much alive eyes
and when they spoke, they did so, carefully
because being old was still very much
against the law here and punishable
by death on the spot
because no one was allowed
to tell the truth to someone
other than themselves

when he would stop talking
we just huddled in quiet
covering the fire for a bit
as the planes began to pull away
from the outlying forest edge
they might be back someone whispered
and with that the old man
who spoke earlier of kindness
and picket fences and rosebushes
at the end of May in bloom
put on a hoodie 
so he could look like everyone else
and went away in the dark
and we began to wonder
as we always did when
someone like him spoke
was America only ever a dream
that someone made up
to keep our hope alive

EJR ©

1 comment:

  1. boy, wish I could write like this...
    "and with the way words became monstrous chains
    that could no longer be trusted to mean something people became quiet and left their heart and souls to die as the soup lines increased and welfare became one of many scarlet letters"

    ReplyDelete