RESISTANCE POETRY WALL -100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE

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The RESISTANCE POETRY WALL has been opened in response to the call by many for an open place to post poetry and art about the recent USA elections. Poets and artists from around the world are invited to post their work here. Feel free to share this link.

The poetry and art posted on the WALL are not limited to the USA elections. There are many issues that concern us all and we welcome your contribution to this page.

Post your poems  in the comment box at the bottom of the page. Your poem will appear on the WALL in approximately 1 hour.

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178 Responses to RESISTANCE POETRY WALL -100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE

  1. Doruntine says:

    Ligh, very light!
    tI’m fully naked in front of you.
    Before,
    I used to wear black underwear
    and use my hands to hide other parts of me.

    U look at me like you’re drowning,
    and I’m the mountain you hold yourself at.
    Just like holding at a mountain,
    you hold me harshly,
    I feel your hands leaving marks on me.
    But, I’m not as strong as a mountain,
    I’m as fragile as the wind
    that helps the sea drown you.

    You got into me as soon,
    as u saw me naked,
    and then started licking the petals of my flowers.
    U slowly said,
    “of all flowers, I picked yours”
    but someone who loves flowers,
    knows better than to pick them.
    —I thought quietly, while I felt the petals falling
    like Niagara falls in spring.
    I fell too, right into your cracked bones
    and mystic roots.

    The yellow wall in front of me smiled.
    The mirror, hanging there
    looked me envious,
    because your kind of yellow gave me more pleasure,
    than the wall ever could.

    It was light, very light.—
    A kind of light I couldn’t afford.
    A kind of light, that made me blind.

    ***

    As soon as the sun went down,
    u got up.
    Looked me in my little, tiny boobs
    and slowly said “I love you”.
    (I still don’t know, whether u loved the boobs, or me).

    And so, I was the mountain that drowned into the sea,
    because of your touch,
    for your touch.

    ***

    It was light, very light!
    A kind of light I couldn’t afford.
    A kind of light, that made me blind.

  2. el que tiene mucho
    tiene mucho que perder
    y se arma hasta los dientes
    el que tiene poco
    tiene mucho que ganar
    y se arma de valor
    el cobarde empuña un arma de fuego
    y la valentìa tiene el fuego del coraje
    ay pobres de los ricos moriràn sin ver el cielo
    ay ricos de los pobres heredaràn la tierra
    falsos profetas con verdades virtuales
    ritos egòlatras de sustancia inerte
    larga vida a la reina de inglaterra y que acompañe a los nobles de versailles
    y todos sus secuaces
    las fauces de lucifer se secan hambrientas
    spotlight in the name of god
    porque hoy todo se sabe a la luz de la justicia divina
    a cada uno lo que necesita
    A COMPARTIR

    © mariposa del rocìo
    poeta contempoàrea uruguaya
    Libro inèdito AVANT GARDE

  3. Natasha Donoway says:

    united we stand…divided we fall
    and the us that i speak of .includes .. US ALL
    we are all small pieces of this county’s puzzle
    we all have a voice that will not be muzzled
    never will we ever allow
    our inner flame to be snuffed out
    forever we will sing our victory song
    standing together against what is wrong
    love should include all beating hearts
    regardless the county where that beating starts
    we welcome all people upon our shores
    we open our arms with a love that is pure
    many different colors, many different names
    but what we all want is simply the same
    let them try and close the gate
    let them try and build that wall
    let them try and stop us…but they cannot and will not stop us all!
    we raise our voice to the highest skies
    we use our brains to correct their lies
    you see, we have weapons just like they do
    but ours are compassionate and ours are true
    this country was built on the backs of the people
    and it will not be stopped by those who do evil

    Natasha R F Donoway
    February 2017

  4. Juan Miguel Idiazabal says:

    Title: Elections

    Vote, vote, vote, and vote again,
    keep voting until your hands bleed;
    vote in every election;
    vote, vote, vote, and vote again.

    Vote if you’ve been robbed;
    Vote if you’ve been burgled;
    Vote if you’ve been raped;
    Vote if you’ve been molested;
    Vote if you’ve been discriminated against;
    Vote if you’ve been enslaved;
    Vote if you’ve been shot;
    Vote if you’ve been hit;
    Vote if you’ve been kidnapped;
    Vote if you’ve been blackmailed;
    Vote if you’ve been smuggled;
    Vote if you’ve been theft;
    Vote if you’ve been bag-snatched;
    Vote if you’ve been theft of your identity;
    Vote if you’ve been pickpocketed;
    Vote if you’ve been molested;
    Vote if you’ve been bullied;
    Vote if you’ve been impaled;
    Vote if you’ve been invaded;
    Vote if you’ve been falsely accused;
    Vote if you’ve been wrongly imprisoned;
    Vote if you’ve been degraded;
    Vote if you’ve been brutalised;
    Vote if you’ve been degraded;
    Vote if you’ve been libelled;
    Vote if you’ve been slandered;
    Vote if you’ve been profiled;
    Vote if you’ve been feeling there is no way out.

    Vote, vote, vote, and vote again,
    keep voting until your hands bleed;
    vote in every election;
    vote, vote, vote, and vote again.

    Vote if you want war to end;
    Vote if you want renewable sources of energy to be use;
    Vote if you want profiling to stop;
    Vote if you want to live without fear;
    Vote if you want terrorism to stop;
    Vote if you want quality education;
    Vote if you want to save endangered species;
    Vote if you want the wall not to exist;
    Vote if you want women to be safe;
    Vote if you want your rights to be maintained;
    Vote if you want to end discrimination against those of different race, colour, sex, gender, sex characteristics, gender identity sexual orientation, othering, medicinal drug use, wage, family status, pregnancy, language, religion, caste, political ideas, national or social origin, property, birth, mental and physical disability, military status;
    Vote if you want to end state discrimination;
    Vote if you want the rich to pay what they should;
    Vote if you want your food free of agrochemicals;
    Vote if you want justice for everyone;
    Vote if you want health insurance for all;
    Vote if you want more forests;
    Vote if you want more human rights;
    Vote if you don’t want white supremacists in your hood;
    Vote if you want to end persecution of any kind;
    Vote if you don’t want trigger-happy policepersons;
    Vote if you want school massacres to end;
    Vote if you want to end with sweatshops;
    Vote if you want to strengthen the economy;
    Vote if you want to end corruption;
    Vote if you want lobbies to stop controlling the government;
    Vote if you want to keep Medicare;
    Vote if you want slavery to end;
    Vote if you want the lies to stop;
    Vote if you want the 1% not to continue controlling your life;
    Vote if you want to sit in any place of the bus.

    Vote, vote, vote, and vote again,
    keep voting until your hands bleed;
    vote in every election;
    vote, vote, vote, and vote again.

    Vote for your freedom;
    Vote for your civil rights;
    Vote for your liberties;
    Vote for your human rights;
    Vote for your dignity.
    Vote for your family;
    Vote for your friends;
    Vote for your fellow citizens;
    Vote for yourself.

    Vote, vote, vote, and vote again,
    keep voting until your hands bleed;
    vote in every election;
    vote, vote, vote, and vote again.

    Vote for those who can’t;
    Vote for those who have died for you to vote;
    Vote for those who are to come;
    Vote for those who don’t want you to vote;
    Vote for those who are dying for you to be able to vote.

    Vote, vote, vote, and vote again,
    keep voting until your hands bleed;
    vote in every election;
    vote, vote, vote, and vote again.

    Vote to show the common people strength;
    Vote to show others they have to vote.

    Vote, vote, vote, and vote again,
    keep voting until your hands bleed;
    vote in every election;
    vote, vote, vote, and vote again.

    Vote for the future;
    Vote for democracy;
    Vote ’cause you can;
    Vote before it’s too late;
    Go, vote, now!

  5. Evelyn Augusto says:

    You Have Ruined My America

    Late night and the bed sheet is a noose
    and I haven’t slept since November 8th
    and I toss and turn in the grey hum of grief–
    counting votes like sheep
    and the nightmare won’t let go of me

    and I don’t know who to trust

    cause even the un-trustworthy don’t
    know who they are
    or recognize themselves in each other
    and I like fewer and fewer people in this rural town

    and my PTSD is back

    and Trump is too much like my father
    and I can swear to that.
    And I think: This is how those folks in Dallas
    felt the day evil grew legs and walked
    along Elm Street.

    And what weighs more: A hundred votes or
    a hundred bullets?
    And you ruined my America
    and, no…I won’t forgive you.

    Evelyn Augusto November 15th 2016

  6. Dennis Formento says:

    But I Cannot Say B____ L____ M_____
    (for the “Stop the Madness” art show, tossed from the Municipal Gallery, Slidell, LA, because of three little words)

    Well there’s a thousand definitions
    of politically correct
    so I cannot say Black Lives Matter

    Three little letters we must remove
    from the alphabet
    cuz we cannot say B…. L….. M…..

    It’s not censorship
    when the offended party’s
    politically connected
    to remove a phrase
    that’s often interjected

    You can say NBA
    NFL and KKK
    But you cannot say Black Lives Matter

    We have Confederate guitars
    MLK among the stars
    But we cannot say Black Lives Matter

    And it isn’t complicated
    I don’t feel humiliated
    when censorship
    reveals the truth sublime

    In the city gallery
    anyone can plainly see
    the First Amendment’s not appreciated!

    Don’t so much as mention
    I wouldn’t give it much attention
    But it’s really quite a scene

    in a Slidell gallery, a show about
    democracy is censored!

    It may be plainly true
    things look different to you
    (they do!)

    and people uniformed in blue
    deserve to live a life without
    discrimination

    but when a kid whose skin is black
    gets a bullet in the back
    don’t be surprised if we react
    …. (pause for a worthy cause)
    there isn’t anything that I would rather do!

    A right to speak up for themselves
    doesn’t put you on the shelf
    I think you feel the sting of political exclusion

    And someone says, they don’t complain
    When one of them is to blame
    Well, it’s pretty clear that someone isn’t listening!

    Well there’s a thousand definitions
    of politically correct
    so I cannot say Black Lives Matter

    Three little letters we must remove
    from the alphabet
    cuz we cannot B…. L….. M…..

  7. America you have lost your salt,
    America you become a sweet prostitute
    You have unprotected intercourse with Russia
    You have slandered nations from Mexico to Africa
    You have declared a losing war on the drug cartels
    You have killed your own peoples safety in the world
    You have become monsters and devourers
    America you have lost your salt
    America you have lost your salt

  8. Greg Cobb says:

    FEED THE FLOWER
    ________
    Taking down the Welcome sign,
    And putting America First
    Seemed like a good idea at the time
    But now things will only get worse
    _
    America’s a flower, forever blooming
    Fed by fresh sweat and tears,
    Dream’s realizing, hope’s renewing
    Opportunity knocks fear on its rear
    _

    A plant cannot live off of itself alone
    Peas stuck in a pod rot and die
    Weakness resides in a field of clones
    New voices are needed to answer new why’s.
    _
    Deep go the roots that tap into our soul
    Never let those dreams lay fallow
    Left to perish in a parched, barren hole,
    Untended for reasons selfish and shallow

  9. Danny Shot says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Two days before election day
    you asked me if it was going to be all right.
    In my most fatherly voice I assured you
    that it would. I was wrong. I apologize.
    I didn’t see, but it’s not about me,
    or you, but the American we…

    who pretend not to notice the scent
    of fascism brewing in the morning air
    who choose not to know that those who speak
    of the liberal elite, speak of Jews
    who act as if we’re color blind
    when we know we’re not
    who remember the culture wars of the 80s
    as though it wasn’t genocide.

    It’s easy to pretend we’re not a nation divided
    between the haves and the nots,
    the deplorables and the unbearables
    the declaimers and deniers
    the oblivious and the scared.
    We all know the middle class is fucked
    and payback will be a bitch.

    we make believe that history doesn’t matter
    we pretend that Trump’s words really don’t matter
    we fantasize that education is a choice not a right
    we surrender the environment to the promise of work.

    We have lost sight of the difference
    between art and marketing,
    between marketing and politics,
    between politics and destruction
    we make believe we haven’t failed
    in a fundamental way, but the wreckage still smolders.

    We act as if the devaluation of poetry
    in this century doesn’t hurt. It does.
    It’s a symptom of the sickness that has crippled us.
    I’m sorry Melissa, I was wrong.

    Danny

  10. Here is my poem, “So We Marched,” written after Obama was elected in 2008, a night of rejoicing only to wake up to the passage of the anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8 in California, where I live. Though we marched for a single issue–marriage equality–the marchers included LGBT people and our straight allies of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, as well as disabled people, and, I believe, religious backgrounds. With the help of President Obama and others we achieved our goal. Things are far worse now by comparison. I hope my poem provides some hope that our objectives can be won if we continue to work on all fronts in solidarity for peace, justice, and equality for all.

    So We Marched
    And so we marched,
    one kaleidoscopic mass
    –a line, a swirl, a curl–
    police with riot sticks and rifles,
    sirens & a loudspeaker warning us
    to disperse.

    Self-designated Christian busybodies,
    bigots in whited worship houses,
    funded a campaign of crime,–
    they used a little girl to tell their
    lies, deceive the blighted
    to believe civil rights
    do not include their queer
    brothers & sisters, who voted together
    to bring Obama victory: one night of
    tears & awe, now the battle.
    We march:
    black, white, yellow, brown, red,
    disabled, transgender queers &
    friends, a multitude on Broadway,
    young men & women too fresh
    to remember what I remember:
    Stonewall, the 1987 March on Washington
    for Lesbian and Gay Rights, shouting to
    Reagan’s White House: “Shame, Shame, Shame,”
    as we shout tonight: “Yes we can, Yes we can,
    Yes, we can.”
    Long Beach, California
    7 November 2008

    —Copyright Clifton Snider from Moonman: New and Selected Poems (World Parade
    Books, 2012)

  11. J. R. Simons says:

    Mightier than a Nuclear Warhead
    By
    J. R. Simons
    © 2010

    I have no need
    Of a pen that is
    Mightier
    Than the sword.

    Give me instead
    A pen
    That is mightier than
    A nuclear warhead;

    A pen that
    When struck
    To paper
    Detonates with a
    Concussive force
    Exceeding that
    Of all the world’s
    ICBMs combined;
    My words becoming
    Bombs and bullets,
    Fallout and shrapnel.

    Make of my words
    Weapons of mass
    Instruction,
    Destroying paradigms,
    Toppling ideologies,
    Blasting icons,
    Assassinating demagogues.

    May my words
    Be so powerful
    That kings and princes,
    Presidents and dictators
    Quake and tremble at
    The mere mention
    Of my name.

    May I be forced
    To live in exile,
    Or in prison,
    Or die a martyr
    Like Lorca,
    So that others
    May live free.

  12. Cobalt Blues says:

    I BLEED IN COLORS OF THE RAINBOW

    “Oh beautiful for spacious skies, your amber ways of grain”
    For you I bleed in colors of the rainbow.
    RED
    For the blood that shed and the loss of lives in battle
    To defend –
    Freedom of Will,
    Freedom of God,
    One Country to be True.
    YELLOW
    For the warmth of the Sun that rose
    Upon this land
    In birth of a Nation as WE Stand.
    Orange
    For the harvest from the fields that so generously provide
    To fill our plates and feed our souls
    To nourish and survive.
    Green
    Oh Green, across the earth you span
    In fields of life, in leaves and trees,
    in stems that burst from the earth
    and in the tiny seed that has become
    All that we are worth.
    Purple
    “For purple mountain majesties”
    In the highest peaks where mountain meets eternity,
    Crowned in silver clouds,
    and wonder struck above fields of Violets, Salvia, Verbena,
    Wild and roaming as Indigo and Lupine spread
    In Glory and Grace.
    Blue
    Bluest of Blues of Blue,
    in the sky and sea,
    the air we breathe, the water we drink,
    The stripes we fly,
    Blue so deep,
    “God Shed his grace on thee.”
    In the Colors of the rainbow I bleed –
    For the peaceful blend of all the colors of our skin,
    For the love of humans, judgement free,
    For the tears we shed in birth and death,
    For the arc of the rainbow
    For the crest of the sea,
    For the love of a Nation –
    I bleed to keep it Just and Free.

  13. Larry Kerschner says:

    Found Poem: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid -1917

    The world must be made safe for democracy.
    If there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with
    a firm hand of repression.
    –Woodrow Wilson, April 2, 1917

    Come On Boys, Do Your Duty: Enlist!
    — US Army propaganda poster, 1917

    I am glad to join you in the service of food
    conservation for our Nation and I hereby accept
    membership in the United States Food Administration,
    pledging myself to carry out the directions
    and advice of the Food Administration in my home,
    in so far as my circumstances permit.
    –Housewife’s pledge card,
    –US Food Administration, 1917

    All hail, all hail! To the Liberty Knights
    more strength and more brave to their arm
    give them a strong thrust to humble in dust
    the foes that would bring us to harm
    –Tulsa Daily World, November 15, 1917

    …few people yet understand the real nature
    of the enemy and the real danger to America
    –Oklahoma Council of Defense, 1917

    Congress has provided that the Nation shall be
    organized for war by selection; that each man
    shall be classified for service in the place to
    which it shall best serve the general good to call him.
    –Woodrow Wilson on the Selective Service Act, 1917

    Woe be the man or group of men that seeks
    to stand in our way –Woodrow Wilson, June 1917

    I am Public Opinion
    All men fear me –World War I poster,
    –US Office of Propaganda

    I recognize the danger that arises from the slacker
    who opposes the country. I realize that every breeder
    of sedition is as great a menace to our homes and our
    freedom as are our armed enemies across the sea.
    I therefore pledge myself to report to the chairman
    of my district council of defense or to my county
    defense chairman any disloyal act or utterance that
    I may may at any time know of. I will stamp out the
    enemies at home whose every act or word means
    more American graves in France.
    – Oklahoma Loyalty Pledge, 1917

    We need more loyal and less “thinking” Americans.
    ..Are you an American?
    –Appeal to buy Liberty Bonds, Tulsa Daily World, 1917

    A test of loyalty in war times is whether a man
    is wholeheartedly for the war and subordinates
    everything else to its successful prosecution.
    –Minnesota Commission of Public Safety

    Watch your neighbor. If he is not doing everything
    in his power to help the nation in this crisis, see that
    he is reported to the authorities. –Tulsa Daily World

    Once lead the American people into war and they
    will forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance.
    –Woodrow Wilson, 1917

    (quotes from “All Men Fear Me” by Donis Casey)

  14. Estelle Slootmaker says:

    This is an erasure based on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s Jan. 2016 Prepared Remarks on the Flint Water Crisis

    Prepared remarks on the Flint Water Crisis

    Governor Rick Snyder/greater, better, and stronger

    (The people in Flint face crisis.
    Families face crisis.
    A crisis not prevented.)

    We are working hard for you. I will fix it.

    (Catastrophe.
    Failed.
    Breaking you down.
    You deserve …)

    The buck stops here, with me.

    The truth. Tell you the truth. The truth about.
    tomorrow,
    families of Flint,
    People of Flint make up mistakes.

    Cleaner, safer, stronger.
    People of Flint rebuild the trust!

    (Broken. Severity.
    Mistakes. Disaster.
    Perfectly clear
    water.)

    No delays. No excuses. Period.
    Here are the facts.
    First, the crisis began.

    (Spring 2013
    water from the Flint River –
    the color,
    the smell,
    rashes,
    bacteria.)

    Department of Environmental Quality misinterpreted.
    Environmental Protection Agency did not act.
    Flint was in compliance.

    Elevated blood-lead levels a normal seasonal trend.

    (Tragically
    so wrong.)

  15. Francesca Smith - Hollywood, Florida says:

  16. Mike Stone says:

    “Sioux Mother”
    (Raanana, October 7, 2016)

    Mother
    One eye bright
    Another eye dark
    We wake inside you
    And we sleep inside you
    Our infants and old ones
    Suckle your breast
    Thousands and millions
    With your love staining their lips
    Your love pulls us to you gently
    And lightly we tread your belly
    But when you’re angry
    We tremble
    Yes, even the bravest trembles
    Some turn away from you
    Imagining invisible gods
    Invisible nations
    But we your first born
    Will never turn away
    Never desert you
    Even when your bright eye
    Swells with anger
    We are small
    The smallest of insects barely visible
    But we will protect you
    Or die trying.

  17. Mike Stone says:

    “Rosh HaShana 2016/5777”
    (Raanana, October 2, 2016)

    Enough of idle dreams and wishes
    Enough of sweetness, honey and apples.
    The light does not come from East
    And not from West,
    But from inside us.
    Peace will not come from one of us
    But from all of us.
    There is no time but marching forward
    To futures where Abraham’s progeny
    Sit together at a table
    Sharing food and drink
    And all men’s children
    Play and grow in health
    Uneducated in the ways of war
    But wise in the paths of peace,
    All men necessary on this march because
    No one knows from whence come saviors,
    What will be their color or creed,
    What language they will speak,
    Whether man, woman, child
    Or stranger.

  18. Mike Stone says:

    “The Irony of Plow Shares”
    (in memory of Shimon Peres, 1923 – 2016)
    Raanana, September 28, 2016

    In the Middle East
    If you want to prepare for peace
    You must first prepare for war
    Because peace must be waged
    With the same seriousness of intent as war
    And there are as many obstacles and pitfalls
    On the path to peace as there are along the path to war.
    A weak man cannot forge peace because
    His weakness tempts his enemies to attack
    And weak are the sabre rattlers
    Hoping to frighten their enemies
    With simulations of disproportionate force.
    Their fears and uncertainties blind them
    To the path of peace.
    Only a strong man is confident and sees clearly.
    He walks calmly along the path
    Narrow as the razor’s edge.
    The path to peace meanders through Gaza
    Where we’ve been eyeless and
    Our plow shares will be made out of swords,
    Neither flowers
    Nor gentle breezes.

  19. Mike Stone says:

    “The Emperor’s New Changes”
    (Raanana, September 11, 2016)

    A hundred thousand poets for change
    That’s us.
    That’s what we called ourselves last year
    And the year before.
    So they’ve stopped lynching the poets in Arabia?
    They’ve stopped stoning the raped women in Kabul?
    What about the mutilation of genitals of young girls?
    So they’ve stopped burning down Black churches in Bama?
    Stopped desecrating the lands of our Sioux brothers?
    How about the carbon they’ve dumped in the atmosphere?
    Did they stop that?
    Do they believe now the earth is too warm to live on?
    Are philosophers kings yet?
    Are kings philosophers?
    I don’t mean to be cynical
    But it doesn’t seem like much has changed since last year.
    We’ve read a few poems,
    That’s all.
    Come to think of it,
    Have we really changed,
    Except for getting a year older?
    If that’s change
    Then we better change change
    So that it’s palpable
    So that we can feed people with it
    So that people can walk tall from it
    So that people can protect themselves with it
    So that people can make love to it
    Until change is done changing
    And the world is all the Republic we need.

  20. Mike Stone says:

    “Atlas Imagined”
    (Raanana, July 2, 2016)

    Sometimes
    When the world becomes too heavy
    I set it down beside me
    For just a moment and
    Refresh myself thinking that
    Somewhere
    Among the galaxies and stars
    There must be a world where
    It’s easier to create than destroy,
    To enjoy than despise,
    Because intelligence and curiosity
    Are common as air
    Because nothing contains them
    And children have enough to eat
    Because nobody eats more than he needs
    If one would go hungry
    Because nobody is happy if anyone suffers
    Because a butterfly
    Just because a butterfly on a beautiful spring day
    And because anything’s possible
    If there’s no good reason why not.

  21. Honey Novick says:

    Bullying Honey Novick

    “The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast”…
    Bob Dylan won a Nobel prize for literature
    the same time the elephant in the room,
    “boy talk”, the language of rape,
    was finally unveiled. It is a timely topic because
    in addressing boy talk, I empower myself.
    No longer invisible, silent, ignored, non-existing.
    In my brand new faux leopard-skin pill-chef hat, I say

    Bullying comes in all shapes and sizes.
    The latest, to me, came in the form of an email
    threatening if I don’t change my behaviour I’ll face a law suit.
    My “behaviour” you may ask, well, I remained friendly with a neighbour,
    one who, in desperation committed an offence.
    He entered our work space and removed a thermostat.
    It was thoughtless, not violent.
    He apologized and tried to make amends.
    I accepted. You, bully, and others, would not.
    The die was cast and I became an outcast. Fine.
    I’d rather live in peace.
    But you, bully, just an associate, not a friend or even friendly,
    young enough to be my son,
    feel you can contact me and demean me and subjugate me.
    Well, you tried. You scared me good.
    And then I got angry at your behaviour. Your behaviour is pitiful.

    Bullying. It’s subtle, like smoke, wafting through a crack in the floor.
    First you smell something and then it engulfs the whole place
    sucking up all the oxygen. Your eyes water, you cough.
    When you find it hard to breathe, it’s too late.

    Bullying starts out like that, innocuous, harmless, just a word –
    aimed straight to the heart paralyzing the bewildered, the fearful, the trusting.
    Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.
    El Toro Crappo.

    To live in dignity is life’s continuous battle, from pre-kindergarten onwards.
    The words of the bully are familiar “…..you’re too small, you’re too fat,
    you’re too ugly, you’re a weakling, you’re too short, you’re so stupid…”.
    The mantra of the bullier, always judges, always points.
    Bullying is never supportive. Never cuts anyone slack or allows for redemption.
    Never accepts the different or the differently-abled.

    I know this, personally, from the taunting,
    “hey, pizza-face”, calling my mottled, acne face to
    “Hey, tits” objectifying me, while trying to touch my person.
    “Hey, stupid” addressing me while I struggled to become a decent person.
    “Hey, useless” charging as I silently dreamed of making the world better.
    “Hey is for horses” I lamely yelled back, but I yelled back, lamely. Then.

    The words were unimaginative, lazy.
    Nevertheless they weighed on me.
    Did I bully someone else? Probably.
    Somehow I learned words can be hurtful.

    I’ve looked in the mirror and called myself stupid.
    This is the effect of insipid, ubiquitous bullying,
    already in the psyche, maybe even in the DNA.
    And then a friend said,
    “Everytime I hear you call yourself “stupid”, I’m stopping you”.

    I listened and learned how tolerance
    and forgiveness is hard but it is more inclusive.
    This is what forges strength of character, mettle.
    This is what builds a strong, healthy society.

    I learned about defiance in the face of bully behaviour.
    I’ve learned to say “I love you” to bullies
    even the one who emailed threats to me.

    I bore the barbs of bullies over and over, inuring me.
    I am scarred, but healed.
    Shame me, try if you like, but the taunts speak
    more of the bullies’ ignorance than my weakness.

    You, bully, your greatest weapon is ignorance.
    Ignore me if you want, thinking if I don’t exist, I will go away.
    Yes, I will go away but it’s your loss, I’m a good friend.

    I have been saddened but not broken, hurt but not hopeless.
    I am viable, independent, feisty and necessary because I care.
    I value friendship. Friendships melt bullies.

    And who knows, maybe one day,
    you, bully, will look in the mirror and see a creep
    and decide to uncreep and become
    an interesting person who wants to be a friend, my friend.
    When that day happens, yes, I’ll cut you some slack
    and slowly build a new friendship.
    Is this tolerance, forgiveness, peace-building?
    Yes. And herein lies the true gift of overcoming a bully –
    the opportunity to make a decision. I empower myself to decide.
    I decide, bully, that you scared me and bullied me,
    you tried to break me but you are the true loser.

    Afterthought:
    In his brilliant column on tolerance, Martin Regg Cohn, in the Toronto Star, writes
    Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines tolerance as
    “First, “a willingness to accept feelings, habits or beliefs that are different from your own”.
    “Second, “the ability to accept, experience or survive something harmful or unpleasant”.
    Tolerance can, in fact, have a double-meaning= fairness versus forbearance” “.

  22. :: advent ::

    it seems we sing peace,

    good will. if we sing at all.

    while others vote

    about dropping bombs

    on people.

    sbm.

    ( note – the innocents.)

  23. Maria Lisella says:

    Sent a poem a few days ago but it has yet to appear .. why oh why?

  24. TO THOSE WHO HAVE STOPPED THINKING

    (after Doina Cornea)

    Your votes construct a wall no prayer can touch.
    Ballots are not bullets. Still, you hoard both
    from our nation’s poorest hands.

    Prosperity’s special election pillages the past
    for motive. I excuse nothing. Not even the oven
    harbinger of hearth or door to hell, depending.

    Smoke spills from our windows, apple pies burning,
    fresh pyres. Things I have baked to fill a brass mold—
    no more. Take your recipe home. Swallow what’s cooked.

    Feast on ashes of American dreams.
    Most I can do as friend and neighbor—
    maybe offer a napkin, wipe your mouth.

    II.

    Those who forgive ought never forget
    what happened. Scars history leaves on wrists,
    numbers burned into shoulders, refugees we turn away.

    Better to follow the sparrows, forging nests from what
    humans cut. His black curls left on the lawn build a home for babies.
    If I must wife this, sharpen the scissor to shear him close, partner-size.

    I think through promises fashioned for men.
    Words are winged creatures seeking warm climate.
    Ice freezes the limbs of saplings we planted with children.

    Did we not think before planting a future?
    Do not tell me a man can make anything great
    if he mangles the decent to do so.

    You who have stopped thinking must huddle close and close your eyes
    to the cost. Lullaby America whiter. Bigger. Better. Hallowed by holster.
    No soul among you, willing to offer more than birth to the fetus.

    No patriot promises a country that deserves the hope of a baby’s first breath.
    A heart cannot think without bleeding. You would be tougher
    removing that iron wall from your freedom-fearing, terrified chest.

  25. [The title of this poem comes from Romanian dissident Doina Cornea’s first protest letter against the Ceausescu regime. She sent “To those who have stopped thinking” in 1982 and lost her job as a result. ]

  26. Hannah Six says:

    DAMASCENE

    When the wind is bitter
    his eyes tear and his nose
    runs. In bed at night,
    his wife’s feet are cold
    against his warm calves,
    but he doesn’t mind.
    In the morning, they linger
    before beginning another day
    of meetings at the office,
    of slicing apples,
    of changing the sheets,
    and flossing of teeth.
    His daughter’s small hand
    in his is hot and gritty
    with dirt (she has been digging
    in “her garden” again).
    It melts his heart and makes
    him ache with love for her.
    After sunset, his wife
    switches on his reading lamp,
    and climbs the stairs. He closes
    his eyes and listens
    to the vague murmur of her
    voice as she tells
    a bedtime story.

    In memory of the men, women, and children who lost their during—and due to—Syria’s tragic civil war.

    (c) 2016, by Hannah Six

  27. From Ellis Island to Bum Island

    They don’t remember when they were

    the immigrants, the sharecroppers,
    the unskilled laborers standing on corners
    waiting for work, maybe it was the Hell’s Gate Bridge
    or the dangerous bowels of the subways.

    Sharing low-lit tenements with men piled high
    swapping pillows, sheets and beds as they returned
    from the morning shift, the evening shift

    The stench of those men-filled quarters
    No women to dress for, to clean for,
    to shave for, a society of men clammy

    in winters, sultry in summers, saving
    meager wages split with padroni
    and landlords, before sending bits and pieces

    Home to bring wives and children
    here to this foreign place, trying
    to remember why they left home,

    was it that bad? Yes it was, wives don’t tell
    the men in their letters, of the famine,
    the deaths, a silk thread of hope spanning

    the Atlantic, to feel whole again
    not so alone, to be human instead
    of imitating animals in the daily routine:

    wake, work, sleep, nothing in between
    no rises or falls or celebrations or
    clean towels or bread on the table

    set for four, six or set at all.
    Eating while standing becomes a skill
    on the corners waiting for the work

    if the policeman doesn’t move them
    to another corner, stepping into strangers’
    cars, a dangerous deal for daywork

    The men now speak with other accents:
    Mexican, Guyanese, Indian but they are not
    so different from our grandfathers and uncles

    Shifting from one foot to another to keep warm
    expecting a day’s pay by nightfall, but who can tell?
    If the boss is satisfied, it is worth the chance,

    If not, you hope for tomorrow, but you can never tell.
    My mother recalls the stories of her father and cannot
    for the life of her understand the nieces and nephews

    at her table, unwilling to give a second chance
    to others, stepping over homeless people saying
    they should be banned to Bum Island.

    They don’t remember when we hid
    the Italian olive oil, peppers and coffee —
    you could not use welfare money for foreign food

    They forgot these olive-toned memories,
    they cannot speak their own mother’s tongue
    they think they are whiter than white.

  28. Kat Copeland says:

    Sometimes I wish
    I were a chameleon
    Inside and out
    So that I would
    Match you
    Know what
    you are talking about
    Could change the color
    Of my skin
    Know how your
    Ancestors, genetics
    Came about
    Then–
    Realize if that were so
    We would all be the same
    My dreams of children
    And lovers of other skins,
    Cultures so craved
    Would end
    If we all looked,
    acted the same.
    12/14/2016kat

  29. red slider says:

    Service for Democracy

    Goodbye democracy. We knew this day
    might come, though many did their best
    to see to its delay. A test to show
    what failure sent you on your way,
    to sing the stars and wanderers
    to dance the skies and homeward go.

    Though many paid dear price in blood
    that through those veins coursed liberty,
    they understood, too loosely cast or tightly reigned,
    she’d bolt as ever was her mood,
    to sing the stars and wanderers
    to dance the skies and homeward go.

    Farewell democracy, dim lit
    and battle draped, and you
    and with your mistress, too.
    Share a moment’s dream with us
    some stories on this long night through,
    too soon we bid you on your way

    to sing the stars and wanderers,
    to dance the skies and homeward go.

    red slider, november 2016

  30. HAIL THE DON!

    Now that the end has come
    With the triumph of the Don
    This is an invitation
    For all Kayaks
    To run
    Come down
    Come back home
    And build skyscrapers
    Farm the land
    So we could export to Florida
    Oranges, pumpkin
    Cassava, water melon and green plum

    Long time
    She’s been waiting
    For something
    Like this to happen
    From Magna Carta
    The arrival of the Pilgrims
    To Pearl Harbour
    The Cold war, Desert Storm
    And Edward Snowden
    Now the prophecy is revealing
    Hail the Don!
    And make America Great
    Again

    Hear ye!
    Hear ye!
    This is the triumph of democracy
    Power to the people
    And the right to choose
    If Black Lives Matter
    Then my Brother,
    What have you got to lose?

    Hail the trumpet sound
    And let it rebound
    As far as the graveyards of Canouan
    ‘We’ll build the wall!
    Turn things around!
    We will be the best
    Pound for pound,’
    In Pasadena
    And Old San Juan
    Enter the new era
    She will be great again!
    All hail the Don!

    THE SUN WILL RISE!

    The sun will rise
    In the morning
    And until it burns out
    That’s how it will be
    How it has always
    So cheer up my brother
    If your feelings are important
    So too the
    Two billions in China
    And this is not a meme
    The sun rises in the east
    For you
    As it rises for all of them.

    The sun doesn’t care
    Who is in the Black House
    Who built it
    If there are cockroaches rats or a mouse
    On or below
    The couch;
    Human proclamations
    Predictions
    Or word of mouth
    The sun sees
    Mt.Fuji
    After and horrors of slavery
    And guess what?
    The sun
    Didn’t change its route

    So of course
    The sun will rise
    No matter the State of the Union
    The feelings in your heart
    The sun doesn’t even rise
    It’s earth’s revolution
    And it remains
    Essentially hot
    So you better cheer up…

    Love him
    Or loathe
    The sun will rise
    If you swear
    Never to ever go there
    Again
    The sun will rise
    No surprise
    If you didn’t read the emails
    Or listen to the FBI’s
    Reprise
    The sun doesn’t care
    Oh dear
    Look E here
    Even if you are a Bajan
    The sun will rise

    No matter your residency or colour
    Brooklyn projects
    Or suburbia Arizona
    The sun will rise
    Sometimes
    It feels stronger
    Heat
    More fire
    The sun will rise
    So you better
    Swallow your medicine
    No matter how bitter

    And cheer up
    My brother
    Keep your head up
    Because the sun will rise
    Regardless of your view
    Of who
    Yes
    The sun will rise
    No matter what.

  31. D.L. Lang says:

    Endangered Species—Act!

    To my fellow afraid citizens.
    To my fellow endangered humans.
    To those who are despised for their mere existence.
    You must find the courage to be active and resist this.

    Rebellion for rebellion’s sake is chaos.
    Rebellion for morality’s sake is justice.

    Obedience for morality’s sake is required.
    Obedience without question is cowardice.

    We have been given no choice but to fight.
    Though respect your neighbor who chooses flight.

    Do not become the worst of your enemy’s traits,
    but neither should you lie down without dignity.

    We have been declared enemies
    by those who seek selfishly
    to only have a better world
    for themselves,
    and not for all others.

    They have confused
    self-love for selfishness,
    personal pride for bigotry,
    resistance for disorder,
    patriotism for blind loyalty.

    If this should be my final words,
    remember them,
    and I shall not have existed for naught.

    –D.L. Lang, November 2016

  32. Tony Frisby says:

    Different Times, Different Games in the Street

    It’s autumn and the street lights
    on Cannon Street are glowing wistful
    in the damp evening air.
    Anne Forsey and Brenda Power

    are giggling secretly on the corner
    of Gracedue Road
    and near Paddy Kinsella’s house
    a couple of corner-boys are whiling their time

    eyeing the girls and wondering
    if what they say about Brenda is true.
    Oblivious to all such grown up mysteries,
    Studs Mull, Dixie Maloney,

    Brenda’s little brother Fintan
    and meself are skipping and bawling
    around the lamp-post
    outside Mrs Mull’s huckster shop

    and ignoring our Da’s loud calls
    to get back indoors
    so the ould ones can have
    a bit of peace and quiet.

    *

    Autumn in Mosul
    but only the dogs of war can play

    no peace and quiet in Aleppo
    for the dogs of war must play

  33. dave cadaqu says:

    Dear Media Employees, Why Did You Do It?

    Dear media employees,
    You crippled us.
    You who work at CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, NY Times, and other corporate media orgs.
    You crippled us.
    Why did you do it?

    You took the worst among us:
    An extreme Narcissist psychopath;
    An immature, destructive, vindictive, mentally defective manchild;
    And you coddled, nurtured, pimped and promoted him.
    You staged his vacuous immorality and were silent.
    You abased yourself before him.
    You sold his hate as a shiny trinket.
    You salivated his embrace of
    Racism, sexism and every other ‘ism that is
    Thrust upon the innocent, and
    The non-deserving of bigoted abuse:
    Your fellow humans downtrodden.
    You never questioned and disabused
    His constant, projectile vomit of lies.
    You helped him scapegoat people
    That have nothing to do with perceived wrongs,
    But you helped him persecute away, anyway.
    Why did you do it?

    You took an intelligent, dedicated,
    Imminently qualified person,
    And brought her lower than your petulant manchild.
    You made her the monster, plastered and wrapped her
    In scandals made of whole cloth.
    You made true… lies
    With your repetition and innuendo.
    You hid the truth about him and her.
    You ignored the problems before us,
    And the solutions (and not) proposed;
    Substituting your infantile he said/she said for news.
    You confused and baffled the weak.
    You buried decency,
    And glorified indecency.
    Why did you do it?

    You have loosed the furies upon the most vulnerable.
    Enamored of animus and spectacle, you amped division;
    Promoting person against person.
    You have enabled the undoing
    Of decades of progress.
    You sold your sacred trust
    To protect and defend democracy
    To an actual monster, and to
    The soulless stinking hulk of the republican party.
    Why did you do it?

    I know why you did it,
    And so do you.
    We all know.
    We also know
    You will continue to do what you have done
    Supporting the onslaught and undoing
    Of the carcass of America’s decency.
    You did it/do it for profit, yours.
    You did it/do it because
    The nameless counting on you
    To seek and tell the truth
    ‘Are not your problem’
    (You say to yourself).
    You did it because
    ‘It is all beyond your control’
    (You say to yourself).
    Or because you are already
    A racist, sexist, accuser of “the other”.
    You did it because
    You have sold your soul to the devil,
    Trading morality for expediency.

    Well know this:
    The countless suffering to come
    Holds you accountable
    For your betrayal.
    You have been tried and convicted
    In the name of decency.
    And you will live the rest of your days knowing
    In your heart of hearts
    (If there is anything left of your heart),
    As the waves of the suffering-to-come hit,
    That you own it;
    The suffering that will come belongs to you.
    You will live the rest of your days
    With all the misery and unfulfilled dreams
    Of the wretched and the damned.
    For you are they.

  34. Claudia Strelocke says:

    REMEMBRANCE
    Lest we forget the men
    Who fought and fell for
    Freedom, justice and peace.

    Lest we forget the lost
    And unknown soldiers
    Who battled, bled and broke
    For what they thought was right.

    Lest we forget the horrors
    Of world wars waged abroad
    Millions dead, buried and burned
    Blood soaked countries ruined.

    Lest we forget that we
    develop deadly drones
    And sell weapons of war
    To human rights abusers.

    KINTSUGI (Claudia Strelocke) written November 2016

  35. Mark Young says:

    A south polemic

    For many of
    us living else-
    where in the
    world, Trump’s
    election will

    MAKE AMERICA
    GRATE AGAIN.

  36. Melissa Green says:

    THE EIGHTH OF NOVEMBER

    Whatever I wept for died that day.
    My glass coffin shattered, I spit out
    The apple, pips and all, all fairy tales.
    I pulled my bones together by the joints
    And flexed and rose because the cries
    From Kristalnacht, Aleppo, the Mesopotamian desert
    Villages of Erzurum, Moush, Sasoun;
    The ant trail of refugees crawling across Europe’s
    Hostile borders through mountains, swamps, snowfields,
    The drowning beaches off Lesbos;
    From black women trying to hold up
    The shades of strange fruit trees;
    The barbed wire and barracks of Topaz and Manzanar;
    Matthew Shepherd’s beautiful body brutalized;
    Argentina’s mothers calling the disappeared;
    So many foot prints dissolving in air
    Across the face of the world, leaving behind
    Keening, bewilderment, fright, lamentation.

    Whatever I wept for died that day.
    I’ve crawled out onto the roof of my porch
    And howl with those who are howling,
    The raped, deported, jailed, shot, beaten, bullied, poor.

    In a moment I’ll jump down from the roof
    With my cane, my illness, my knapsack, my rage
    To find the ones who sorrow and weep,
    Rain sluicing my open, abandoned window.

    Melissa Green

  37. John Roche says:

    November Lament

    All the songs of the singers
    All the poems of the bards
    All the spells of the brujas
    All the ceremonies of the shamans
    effect less than the flick of the pudgy pinkie of Donald Little Hands

    Leonard Cohen is dead
    Democracy is leaving the USA
    Pete Seeger’s dead
    Bowie’s dead
    Prince is dead
    Dylan’s in Nobel heaven
    Jim Harrison is dead
    C.D. Wright is dead

    Jonah’s tomb has been smashed
    The museums looted
    The ruins of Mesopotamia bulldozed
    The dervishes flogged
    The ancient Zoroastrians buried alive or made sex slaves

    The waters of Flint run red from the pipes
    The Water Keepers of Dakota are beaten and gassed
    The oil vultures get ready to plunder the Arctic
    The glaciers keep melting

    It looks like all the Bodhisattvas may be leaving us
    Is this the prophesied death of the Dharma?

    Is there no balm of Gilead?
    No flower of Gilgamesh?
    No sprig of lilac such as Walt offered?
    No psalm such as Marley sang to help us endure the coming Captivity?
    No song such as Woody sang to rally us to fight?

    I fling these ashes of a nation into the eyes of the tyrant.

  38. Just A Dump

    you trump rump
    gummed up lump
    exploded miasma
    my aching back
    mind elbow knee
    kneejerk kicked cahootie
    cahooties cahones
    rich pilfered gluttonous cahones
    or lack therein or only them
    with blowhard brain
    blustering buffoonery
    braggodochio
    braggart cockless cockiness
    BS bragging bombast
    bull cockalorum
    cockamania
    meaningless grandiloquence
    gasbag-a-boochio
    pompous gassy bloviation
    earlobe busting pinheadism
    fanfaronade spittle-flinging
    mind on mindlessness
    less sense, ranting gasconade
    drivel dribbler hate bundled
    in your near mind your vacated
    excuse for a thought process
    cesspooliana septic backflow
    garbage dump of a man
    manless in privileged white security
    coughing the awful buttends of
    decades of hate wave Limbaughs
    BS Becks, Hannity hate shows
    Savage shit, Ingraham right-wing
    slam poop, decades of truth belittling filth
    on radio waves, Fox liar noise machines
    now gets your way
    your pink ass trumped up
    to fart blithering idiot turds
    on the hungry dumb kool-aiders
    sucking up every drip
    of your blowhard
    bottom feeding
    backass words
    back ass words
    bad ass turds
    in a dump that tries and tries
    to refuse
    to decompose.

    larry goodell / placitas, new mexico

  39. Jeff Gundy says:

    Posing on the Awkward Sled, Hitler Lists What Belongs to Him
    -after the photograph

    Among the treasures I will lay up on earth, the glories for which I will be known, this will not be chief.

    I spent this trivial interval braced against gravity, gazing into the vacant lens, for no reasons but my own.

    I am not doing this for you. I will not laugh about it later, or become a better person.

    Numbers on a page, wide eyes in a pale face, will not make me blink and reconsider.

    This foolish sled, the spats, the hat—yes, anyone might wear them. But they belong to me.

    The inexpressible mountain, the layers of stone and hidden hollows, the trees heavy with snow, the slope too dire for any sled or skis, the gorge and the next mountain and the clouds and all that they are hiding—these are mine, or shall be.

    All that I see, and all I have not yet seen. The camera and all its fine machinery and the crouching man who holds it, twists the lens to perfect clarity, touches the button that releases the shutter.

    The pulse of light that enters, the photons that smash the delicate film, bruise and bend it into my image.

    The film and the print and the day when your eyes meet mine. And your eyes.

    copyright 2016 by Jeff Gundy All rights reserved.

  40. Steve Bloom says:

    FAITHFUL

    “Fidel” was
    to “fidelidad”
    as “faith” has always been
    to “faithful.”

    And so I do not mourn today,
    choose to keep the faith instead—

    as he kept faith
    with the Cuban people
    and with their revolution,

    with the peoples of Harlem
    of Vietnam
    of Angola
    of Nicaragua
    with all the oppressed
    of all the world
    and with each
    of our revolutions.

    Don’t mourn!

    Keep the faith!

    As Fidel kept faith
    with a future when history
    will finally absolve us—
    if only we can manage
    to keep the faith
    long enough.

    Keep the faith!
    As he kept faith
    to the very end
    with those “great feelings
    of love”:

    a faith, thus,
    in his own humanity,
    and in mine.

    And in yours, too.

    Don’t mourn!

    Keep the faith!

    Fidel Castro—Presente!

    Don’t mourn!

    Fidel Castro—Presente!
    Keep the faith!

    Don’t mourn!

    Don’t mourn!
    Just organize and . . .

    . . . keep
    the faith!

    Steve Bloom
    November 2016

  41. Mohamad Farahat says:

    THE NEW SPARROW

    The new sparrow
    in the cage.

    * *

    Imprisoned..
    And crashing his little wings against the thin bars…

    * *

    Freedom is not only for birds in the sky.
    It is not only for fish in the seas.
    Eagles cover the sky.
    Sharks wander the seas.

    * *

    Freedom is a deep stable feeling
    Lives inside him
    That makes the cagemaker afraid
    To approach his own cage.

    –Mohamad Farahat‬

  42. I offer this wonderful memory of Abbie (not poetry but so enlivening I know it will spark poets) to the group:
    https://youtu.be/axpA12hbmao

  43. Jeff Bagato says:

    Soup du Jour (Election Year)

    what mad captain wants
    to go down
    with his soup du jour

    before him like a stain
    on a white napkin
    tied under his chin

    soft noose not sturdy
    enough to hold
    his neck

    a loop in time
    thru which dance
    his past marvels,
    his wees & woes
    & howdy do’s

    smartly smirking to the chef—
    almost a wink—
    a plate
    of oysters or
    foie gras,
    perhaps

    some loose goose
    all drawn up
    with a raspberry
    sauce blown
    from his nose

    bring on the meat
    the blubber
    the floss

    the flensing knife cuts clean;
    we are sailing backwards
    at high tide

    underwater
    with the best

  44. Bob ko shin Hanson, warrior poet says:

    …it feels like a repeat…

    this play book of dictatorship has been used before
    be foolish
    speak anything
    speaking to our worst sense of being human
    and then grasp power, not for all but for themselves,
    their friends…
    now what you ask?
    who knows? Resist!
    Organize your neighborhood, care for the elderly
    the poor, the troubled,
    follow the work of these fools, Resist!
    “by any means possible” is the Mantra
    Che reminds us, good boots and love the people
    all people…Resist

  45. From: Poems as Prayers by an Atheist Feminist Inspired by
    The Bible Meant to Relegate Patriarchal Religion
    Chapter 12 from The Numbers: 2. Miriam, Expelled to the Desert,
    Alone in Exile, Speaks to Yahweh

    O God, show me your face now. Bless me
    with water as you did in the beginning. Let my well open
    and give me drink from my repentance. Let my spirit
    imbibe truth of your ways: that those of darker skin are
    also of Your Creation. Let the pale hue of my sin disappear.
    Restore me to my beloved people and my loyal brother.

    O God, let me see your benevolent, radiant face as Moses has.
    Talk with me mouth to mouth in similitude as you do to My Brother
    whom I saved, reuniting him with our mother. Show me, O God,
    that Miriam, a woman of water and of the sea, woman
    who is the bringer of milk is equal in your eyes to Moses, her
    brother. Bless me with the honor you bestow on him as
    Your Prophet, for the Earth is Mother, and nearly all water,
    and we, Her women, are the liquid link that turns your green
    plants to milk for all the children of Israel and all the Earth’s
    children of the Milky Way of lights in the vast dark heavens.

    For we, too are born of your stardust, and women are born
    from women and men are born from women. Bless us
    with equal honor for we come
    out from between our own legs
    into this world.
    ________________________________________________
    Copyright © 2016 by Daniela Gioseffi. All rights reserved.

  46. steve dalachinsky says:

    the Death of America

    here’s to the death of America
    of sequins & high heals
    formless & unformed trumpets
    & strumpets & triumphs
    here’s to the death of America
    to plutocracy oligarchy & freedom
    here’s to the death of progress
    to the air we carry with us
    here’s to a life of Barbie doll family values
    when our humanity is taken from us
    we only have our humanity to rely on
    here’s to our humanity

    let’s take back our humanity
    in order to retrieve what has be taken from us
    let us question our humanity as we reclaim it
    repossess it / rotten / over-ripen consumerism

    our freedoms are being robbed
    our identities called into question
    here’s to the death of America
    to you America and your demise
    to the robots we’ve become

    here’s to that virus called promise and change
    that so many cling to / here’s to the “Judas calf”
    to the continuance of dialogue or its demise
    here’s to our loss of autonomy
    should we completely lose our way
    here’s to the autonomy we’ve already lost
    but either don’t see it
    or choose not to see it
    or worse yet choose to accept it

    here’s to bloody bloodless revolutions
    to power structures & hierarchies
    here’s to anarchy where is anarchy?
    here’s to the bad guys who are the bad guys?
    where are the bad guys who uses real bullets?
    obsessed with power and control
    we are all obsessed with power & control

    can we really work with the regime
    without totally going mad?
    while in chains?
    all those chain smoking coal miners- to-be
    in chains those mind boggling chains

    here’s to awakening
    & to seeing our world for what it is

    here’s to censorship
    & to upending the balance of power
    to roleplaying in this complicated maze
    here’s to lying in wait at the center of promises
    & waiting for those promises to be broken
    closely without going mad going mad
    over the death of America over one’s personal shame

    there’s a chill down the spine
    a collective chill for many
    it’s called the peaceful transition of power
    not “look – they now seem to like each other”
    it’s called democracy
    not like in a total totalitarian system
    where one guy just kills the other
    then seizes power
    in this case it’s
    just kill her with bad constitutional ideals
    it’s called one wants to literally capitalize
    from the other’s booty

    our so-called founding fathers were slave owners
    conmen & murderers
    despite what good intentions some of them had

    psssst
    there’s something i need to tell
    there’s something happening here
    America is dying
    america can never be
    what we were told it could be
    but listen carefully
    it be be worse a lot worse

    America is dying but hopefully
    a new America will be resurrected
    through its death
    and begin to live
    yet again

    dalachinsky November 9 onward 2016

  47. Loriana says:

    Stazzema
    In questo luogo sacro di martirio
    passeggio
    in compagnia di brusii di memoria.

    Una foglia caduca
    nel suo ultimo volo ondeggia,
    danzando
    innanzi al mio sguardo
    qual lacrima che arriva d’altrove
    a sussurrare all’anima mia.

    Mi inondano le voci vostre
    atterrita son qui di paura
    e ora
    divelta la porta del passato,
    vago oltre i ricordi, oltre la memoria.

    E il tempo quasi s’annulla
    e tra me,
    che son qui a portar il mio pianto
    e voi,
    lì, vittime della follia d’odio

    Non c’è differenza
    vi sento fratelli di stessa umanità,
    vi sento accanto
    a chieder con me giustizia,
    ancora.

    (14.8.2015 – Loriana Lucciarini – copyright tutti i diritti riservati)

  48. Margaret R. Sáraco says:

    Thoughts on the day the Canadian immigration site crashed during an American Presidential Election of epic proportions

    I hear there may be an Inn open in Nova Scotia,
    Near a rocky cliff
    A few kilometers from Annapolis Valley,
    Alongside the Evangeline Trail
    Where Acadians fought bitterly
    And British, Scottish and Black Loyalists
    Lived and sometimes died for control of this then newfound place
    A graveyard marks the spot,
    In a province where street signs in English and Gaelic
    From Pugwash point the way to Grand Pré
    In times like these the blood stain
    Soaks the earth
    Discovered by expats
    Who venture on different soil
    And see in their new homeland, their land
    Never forgotten
    Call if you like, at the inn
    Someone may be there

  49. ELECTION NIGHT, 2016

    5:00 AM I awaken relieved.
    That nightmare isn’t real.
    But that other nightmare, the one on the TV
    that one is.
    And no, they aren’t the same nightmare.
    Not yet.

    At the thrift store for ten cents a couple of weeks ago I bought a greeting card that said on the cover “Proud to be an American”. It had a picture of the flag drawn by a 12-year-old and it was the most artistic picture of the flag I’ve ever seen. I hadn’t known it was possible to draw an artistic picture of the flag. The card was blank on the inside and I was glad of that because I could give it to Jon as a gag, making the inside say “Just kidding”.

    At the polls my friends behind the desk waved “Hi Marion”
    and one of them told me “your son was here earlier”
    and in a voice not much softer, “I think he voted Republican”.
    As I walked through the curtain I called out “Don’t judge parents by their children.”
    “We’re all parents,” I added. “We know”
    and the women behind the desk all called back “yes”.

    Obama and Hilary were very gracious. But if you’re gracious to Trump, you’re un-gracious to Muslims and Mexicans and gays and the half of the country who voted against him. It’s impossible to be gracious to all.

    Well, of the four that my womb contributed to the world, two voted Clinton, one doesn’t believe in voting, and the other…. well, all told, the math says my womb contributed one Clinton vote. At least that. And the one who died, I don’t know how she would have voted.

    Yeah, sure, my vote counted. Like the probability of winning the lottery. Not very much.
    So I can’t really vote.
    All I can do is know. I can only merely know.

    Back in 1969 an old white man smiled at Marielle in the backpack. “She could be president,” he said. I don’t even believe in presidents, but I still remember that. I’ll keep on remembering that.

    Weird. Never in my life have I thought, I don’t have a country. Never in my life have I wanted a country. But now I’m thinking, I have even less of a country than I did before.

    [This is from my forthcoming poetry collection, “We Who Merely Know”.]

    • I like this poem, real, direct, honest, ironic and unpretentious. Enjoyable to read with its sadness and humor.
      Daniela Gioseffi, American Book Award winning author of 16 books from major and university presses. (I say this to give my opinion some weight.) Brava!

  50. Freedom Lost
    the feathers of the freedom bird
    have been plucked
    shredded
    and scattered
    in the suffocating air.

  51. John Vieira says:

    Living Doesn’t Bode That Well, Haven’t You Noticed?

    You have to make up your own answers just as
    you make up your questions in the first place.
    Like doves coming down from high branches
    higher thoughts do occasionally come to us.
    Actually feelings more than thoughts, feelings
    that know the secrets that unwrap the heart:
    The tree of the nervous system like at Christmas,
    we love it and want to wed it in time for New Year’s.

  52. No, Not Again

    By Carol Flake Chapman

    I thought they were all gone
    Banished for good, gone with the wind
    The hoods and burning crosses
    The epithets, the threat of nooses

    I thought they were the stuff of history

    Ah, but here they are
    The same old hateful words
    Tweeted and spray-painted and taunted
    On walls in school rooms in streets

    I thought they were the stuff of history

    They must survive underground like locusts
    Only to emerge to eat all the budding hope
    The tender green shoots of tolerance
    The carefully nurtured bonds of connection

    I thought they were the stuff of history

    Here they come again, making war
    On the familiar victims turned enemies
    Turning pantsuits and rainbows and scarves
    Into emblems of division, into targets

    I thought they were the stuff of history

    How fragile were those bonds,
    How fleeting those victories
    That led us to believe we had made it
    That finally we could all be in this together

  53. Afraid & weak, NAZI werewolves bark, bite, howl, yip. If they didn’t run in packs, they’d be nothing, pornography.

    http://bit.ly/2foQmT6

    I’ve posted a flash fiction piece on my blog that resists the NAZI supporters and their “men” in the Whitehouse.

  54. Ajmal Khan says:

    My missing poem

    My poem is said to be missing
    by the editor
    I got a formal letter today saying
    “Your poem is missing and we regret to inform you that
    we can’t publish missing poems”
    I had sent it via registered post
    signing on the poem
    He had to sign on the register
    to accept my poem
    and in the records he has singed on it
    Still he says my poem is missing
    Did any ABVP goons assaulted my poem
    after editor singed on it?
    This time my poem had a Muslim name
    unlike last time it had a Dalit name then
    Editor didn’t accept my last poem saying
    I haven’t attached an original
    scheduled caste certificate
    since they found the attached certificate fake
    they rejected it
    Now i didn’t have any Muslim certificate to attach with
    but he might be sure of it
    from the syntax, adjectives, verbs and rhymes
    that its a Muslim before it was “missed” between the editors
    Where does all the missing poem goes?
    To the dust bin of the editor and then
    to the dumping wastes ?
    Until a new poem being written and published
    the idea of my poem see no light
    Unless my poem is found in between by the police.

  55. Lehman Weichselbaum says:

    rigged haiku

    rainy season.
    river dry?
    trump!

  56. Chris Brandt says:

    FOR HENRY KISSINGER
        
      Is it too late to curse you, Henry?
      Is it time to have the years obscure your crimes?
        
      Time to close that chapter,
      let bygones be gone, give it a rest, let it be?
        
      No.
      It is not too late, Henry.
        
      And thus begins our curse:
      Be it never too late,
        
      be the voices you hear in your dotage
      your victims’ shouting Assassin! Thief!
        
      Because you sat well-tailored in handsome offices
      and sent others out to prove your power,
        
      because you wrote, “With proper tactics
      nuclear war need not be as destructive as it appears”,
        
      because you found white phosphorous a useful tool
      and napalm a tolerable arm of diplomacy,
        
      and agent orange necessary
      to policy, and tiger cages,
        
      because you didn’t understand why we should allow a country to go
      communist on account of its own people’s ignorance,
        
      because you enjoyed the company of Pinochet
      Marcos, Duvalier, Stroessner Somoza, the Shah,
        
      because you regretted Laos and Cambodia-
      “We should have found some other way of doing it”,
        
      because you killed Allende and shattered Neruda’s heart
      as surely as if you had held the gun yourself,
        
      because you accepted the Nobel Peace Prize,
      because in the mirror you see a god—Hermes, Loki,
        
      because you have a mind for deciding life and death,
      and it’s pure injustice of history that you’re not still doing it—
        
      may the insects refuse to touch you, may the worms spit you back,
      may you never know decay’s comfort and rest.
        
      Let the voices follow you always.
      Let the burning children run toward you forever
        
      clasping you in their flaming arms.
      Let your eternal waiting room be
        
      the stadium in Santiago, filled with silent prisoners filing
      past. Each one stops to look at you,
        
      and you, with all the time in the world
      cannot look away.
        
      None mentions bruises, burns,
      missing fingernails, teeth, faces,
        
      each only recites a name—
      Elena, Nguyen, Christofis, Bobby Jene, Laureano,
        
      and one of them hands you a snapshot of his daughters,
      another his unused high school registration card,
        
      a third the unfinished history of her family,
      a fourth holds out a stuffed penguin, won
        
      at a carnival moments before his arrest,
      the next carries nothing, having no hands,
        
      gives you only her look, and whispers
      a poem, a hymn to the wind.
        
      The line of the disappeared goes on and on
      and you will stand rooted,
        
      seeing them at last. And always,
      always will you hear the songs of love
        
      Victor Jara continues to sing,
      even without
        
      his tongue.
        

  57. Mitko Gogov says:

    #fake choice

    .until we make choice
    what evil is greater,
    we’ll never know
    what it is right choice.

  58. red slider says:

    Service for Democracy

    Goodbye Democracy. We knew this day
    might come, though many did their best
    to see to its delay. A test that showed
    what failure sent you on your way,
    to sing the stars and wanders,
    to dance the skies and homeward go.

    Though many paid dear price in blood,
    and through those veins coursed liberty,
    they understood, too tightly cast or loosely reined,
    she’d bolt as ever was her mood,
    to sing the stars and wanders
    To dance the skies and homeward go.

    Farewell Democracy, dim lit
    and battle-draped, and you
    and with your mistress, too.
    Stay to share a moment’s dream with us
    some stories of that long night through,
    then we bid be on your way,

    to sing the stars and wanderers
    to dance the skies and homeward go.

    — red slider, November 2016

  59. The Night of Trump

    I held my heart,
    my breath,
    my iPad.

    I looked through the screen
    like an agonising wizard
    who casts
    his eyes
    on the hidden
    guts
    of a crystal
    ball.

    How many emotions,
    how much attention,
    could the map
    of the States
    withstand?

    Never,
    never
    red and blue,
    the numbers of colleges,
    the random borders
    of arbitrary plots
    meant to me
    what they meant that night:

    an evil that no soul
    will ever forgive,
    a twilight that our dawn
    will have to redeem.

  60. William Slaughter says:

    9 November 2016

    The mourning after…
    no birds sing.

  61. Tom Fillion says:

    GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER ALT-WHITE

    November 8 don’t forget that date
    Red state blue state
    Put lipstick on a pig
    So all the alt white voters
    can Floridate their states

    November 8 don’t forget that date
    Red state blue state
    Forget the Bloods and Crypts
    It’s time to put
    Some wiggers in the hood
    Some honky on your donkey
    It’s time to celebrate
    all that all-American hate
    with an empty dinner plate
    and round up some tomato pickers
    we can repatriate

    November 8 remember that date
    Red state blue state
    It’s time to get in touch
    With your inner alt-white
    You just signed the pre-nupt
    To grab some pussy and inaugurate

    November 8 don’t forget that date
    Red state blue state
    Make America and Russia great
    How about we nominate
    Vladimir Putin or the boy
    At Wiki-leaks with the email server
    That can masturbate
    for our new Secretary of state?

    November 8 remember that date
    Red state blue state
    Polls don’t matter,
    Neither do debates,
    All you gotta do is
    Call in to talk shows
    mock the handicapped
    or little Marco
    At the children’s table
    To dominate

    November 8 remember that date
    Red state blue state
    Facts don’t matter
    It’s something for the media to regurgitate
    The truth is just another rebate
    The bottom line gets fatter
    Miss universe put on more weight
    It’s all about sipping the white lightning
    Served on this non stop alt white night flight

    November 8 remember that date
    Red state blue state
    Don’t forget what you learned
    In civics class
    Immigrants came to Ellis Island
    And saw the statue of liberty lass
    They are no longer welcome
    By the dragons of the alt white
    Because the statue is not a statue
    It’s just another piece of ass

  62. James Burbank says:

    Dump
    1.
    While picking his staff, Tronald Dump has one thing and one thing only on his mind: The SNL sketch featuring Alex Baldwin as an inept, out of his depth pendejo.
    “Unfair,” pouts Dump who says the skit isn’t true. Can Dump get equal time? Baldwin tweets that Dump can take a hike; the presidential race is over, no equal time.
    Oh, there’s another thing the president-elect focuses on–the grievous and unfair insult given to Pike Mence at a recent production of Hamilton. Cast members of Hamilton must apologize to the VP for saying that the ethnically and racially diverse cast represents those the new president has inspired
    These two areas of presidential attention are much more important, much more urgent than the trying and exhausting business of being el presidente, especially so when you have the attention span of senescent gerbil and you’ve had absolutely no experience. You are a rank beginner.
    At least all this attention-grabbing petty offal can keep our minds off the $25 m. settlement in the Dump U. case and the odious and repulsive selections he has made for national office.
    Can you imagine four years of this?
    2.
    In a recent and first interview with Dump’s brain, Steve Bannon, the chief advisor to the president-elect said, and I’m not kidding, “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they (liberals, media) get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we are doing.”
    Good luck, America.
    3.
    Kellycon Amway is so upset because some dumb people think Steve Bannon is somehow a racist. Bannon is just kidding, so don’t worry. He is more interested in Snow White than the seven dwarfs, but that’s all. He’s not a racist. He is an entertainer. Those things he put up on Breitbart, the antisemitic things, the antiblack things, the antiHillary things, the antiliberal things: all that was just to amuse his audience. I hope you are amused.

    4.
    THE TRONALD DUMP transition team is mulling over a couple of really great and forward-thinking ideas:
    1.) We will start with a Muslim Registry. If you came from a Muslim country, you have to sign up with the registry. We’ll move on from there. We contemplate other registries like the Jewish, the blackish, the womenish registries. Pretty soon everyone will belong to a registry.
    2.) According to your registry, you will wear an armband. Jews, for example, will wear yellow armbands labeled with a Star of David, Muslims will wear black armband with crescent moons, gays and deviants will wear pink armbands. You get the picture.
    Are your papers in order?
    5.

    Tronald Dump is very upset. The Dump Toilet Company out of China has stolen and tarnished the Dump brand.
    “I did not even know Tronald Dump existed when I filed my patent on the Dump Toilet,” says Li Po, inventor of Trumpflush Technology and CEO of Dump Industries.
    The Dump does not want anyone to take a dump in a Dump Toilet without acknowledging and doing obeisance to the Great Dump himself.
    I know that whenever I flush, I remember Tronald Dump whether the toilet is a Dump or an American Standard. I agree with Warren Stuffit who says we should all give Tronald a try and not dump on Dump before he has a chance to dump on us.

  63. Begins with “I”

    Question: Which Middle Eastern country
    sent its gunships to attack &
    meant to sink
    U.S.S. Liberty, June 1967?
    Killed 34 American sailors?
    Though its leaders claimed
    this was a tragic accident,
    deliberate intent was proved.
    Investigation gagged
    by Pentagon, ignored
    by Congress all these years,
    eyewitness
    tale redacted
    by the book-reviewing
    press.

    Hint: the name begins with “I”
    (no, not Iraq)

    ***
    Question: Which Middle Eastern country
    has both nuclear reactors and
    an estimated 24 nuke warheads
    plus planes and missiles to deliver,
    thanks to U.S. aid?
    This country has been
    suspected of
    first use of weapons
    of mass destruction like
    white phosphorus shells,
    fleschette darts, clustered
    mini land mines. When its
    forces strike, claiming
    self-defense, it never heeds
    the U.N.’s calls to cease.

    Hint: the name begins with “I”
    (no, not Iran)

    ***

    Question: Which leader with
    a conscience
    used his stature and position
    to personally look at
    history, then write a book
    with title meant to prod
    our brains to wonder?
    Whose story has been told?
    Whose silenced?
    His reward was being
    banned from democratic people’s
    big convention, in defiance
    of tradition.

    Hint: His initials are JC
    (no, not Jesus Christ)

    ***

    Question: Who has obligation
    as a voter citizen
    to think about, investigate,
    control,
    how tax dollars are
    expended? Weapons sold and
    used? To scrutinize
    the news? (so-called false and true)
    which facts are told?
    which masquerade, or
    tweet from corporate shills?
    which—not facts at all,
    unfit to print—drop bigot thrills?

    Hint: real change begins with “I”

  64. Norma Cole says:

    Hard Candy

    The man
    can’t
    read

  65. Chris Brandt says:

    This Poem

    This poem has been beaten and thrown to the side of a road from a speeding car. This poem
    sleeps on the streets of New York and Kandahar and Athens, wrapped in a discarded quilt,
    this poem is filthy, covered with lice, on intimate terms with cockroach and rat.
    This poem lies down on the exhausted soil behind a foreclosed farmhouse, it sleeps
    under an abandoned trailer, it sits on a street corner, it opens the door to the bank’s ATMs as it
    rattles its cup, it enters a subway car and begins begging – “I’m sorry to disturb you, but…”

    This poem is poisoned by lead in its water, and methane, this poem has cancer from
    uranium tailings, this poem is malnourished from living in a food desert, this poem
    is denied healthcare because it cannot pay for it, this poem is told it should get another job,
    one where it can make some real money. This poem is told money is the only measure
    of the value of anything. This poem is told it is ugly, that it should be more aesthetic, this poem
    is asked, where is the music? Why does it not speak of flowers, and love?

    This poem is tempted to give up and die. This poem is blindfolded and shackled to a chair
    that is bolted to the floor, electrodes are clipped to its genitals, this poem has a towel strapped over
    its upside down face and water poured over it until it thinks it is drowning. This poem has been held
    in solitary confinement for months to prevent it from committing suicide. This poem lives
    on death row, condemned for a crime it did not commit. It has never heard the charges against it,
    they are classified, and knowing them would be a crime but it is rumored they have something
    to do with its refusal to be beautiful, its scorn for poems that provide emotional comfort.

    This poem is a child maimed by a hellfire missile fired by a Predator drone triggered by a “pilot”
    in thousand-dollar comfort in a swivel chair in an air force base, Holloman in New Mexico
    or Creech in Nevada, this poem is littered with limbs severed by shrapnel from bombs and IEDs,
    the eyes of this poem are sightless and its ears hear nothing for they are the eyes and ears
    of corpses. This poem is buried in the mud at Verdun, under the rubble of Stalingrad, Dresden,
    Tokyo, Coventry. This poem screams as its skin peels away at Hiroshima, as it becomes a shadow.
    This poem is replete with horrors. None of us is exempt. It meets us again washing our hands
    in the restroom, and drying them under a blast of warm air. This poem’s hands are never clean.

    But this poem refuses to give up, it will not agree to kill even a rat – it will feed it instead. This poem
    moves the evicted family back into its home, shouting that the landlords and the banks are the thieves.
    This poem growls that money is a fiction – it does not grow on trees or sprout from the ground, it is
    a measure of nothing. This poem refuses to wear lipstick and eye shadow, it remains defiant and ugly,
    it will not make music until every homeless person is ushered to an orchestra seat at the concert
    of his or her choice. This poem says the flowers are in the faces of the beggars begging our pardon
    for disturbing us, this poem will not beg your pardon for its dirty face and discordant screams.
    This poem demands that its reader fight to change the ugly face and dirty soul of “the way things are.”

    This poem is a lesbian mother of two who is asked for the hundredth time whether her partner
    should be called her husband, it is every immigrant who speaks a language other than English and is
    exhorted to speak English, dammit! You’re in America! This poem is everyone who is not in a position
    of power by virtue of skin color, money, privilege or greed. This poem is a shovel, a sledgehammer,
    a pickax in the hands of the many not the few. It says to the few, Beware! Your power rests on
    a crumbling foundation of lies, and we are coming to expose and demolish it.

    And to put in its place a new foundation of truth and grace and love.

  66. Voice from the Unborn

    You promised me, eons ago,
    A world, free of battlefields, soldiers, children
    Abandoned in fear and hunger.
    You offered me Hope, again and again.
    A world, you said, where we will stand
    Hand in hand, beyond color, religion, gender, age,
    One race. One humanity.

    You promised me a world
    Free of poison in oceans, earth and air.
    “You are the future”, you told me,
    “Come and be born in this world I will
    Create for you.”

    My brothers and sisters who believed you
    Are now old men and women, and they wait.
    They wait.

    Listen to my voice, your unborn child.

    Eons ago, you sliced the chrysanthemum
    Off its stalk and left it
    Naked in the sun.

    Over the ashes of Hiroshima,
    Our victory was hailed.
    Beneath that, my ancestors lay buried.

    Stop using me, your unborn child
    For promises and meaningless rhetoric.
    The future is now. I can’t wait any longer.
    The future is now. I want to be born.
    Today.

    ©Frances Kakugawa

  67. The song is dead.
    The swordsman takes
    The victor’s stance.

    But somewhere still,
    A newborn child
    Hears the promised song.

  68. Lager NYC

    You, volunteer:
    Reichsgeboren.
    You choose to be here
    Select.

    You, volunteer:
    You know the difference
    Between cause and effect:
    The people on the street
    Are too stupid to have homes
    Too filthy to wash
    See them root through the garbage
    Nicht essen aber fressen
    Ni yest’ a zhryat’
    They deserve to be there
    They deserve to be there
    Select.

    Concentrate:
    See the dark people
    Sitting in the cells
    They deserve to be there
    They deserve to be there
    And the women of the Frauenblock
    The Fraulein triple X
    Control her, detain her
    Pick her up
    Select.

    Cause and effect:
    You know which is which.
    Select.

    You, volunteer:
    We see you
    On the job where you whisper
    Half of what you think
    And none of what you feel.

    See the clock:
    The digital tattoo says run now
    Rush to the train the transport
    Who cares who gets in
    Who cares who gets out
    Push into the car the transport
    Who cares who gets home
    Who cares who gets shot
    Arbeit macht frei.
    You choose this
    You choose:
    Select.

    Hey, you, volunteer
    We find ourselves together in the subway
    The Grand Ka-Ze Zentral:
    Here in Ka-Ze
    Your face is not a face
    Ni litso, a morda:
    Your face is not a face
    But a snout
    We don’t eat here, we devour
    Nicht essen aber fressen
    Ni yest’ a zhriat

    We don’t give an inch
    And we don’t give a damn
    Only weaklings fall to the tracks
    God knows the difference
    Between cause and effect.

    The selection is over:
    Look how it happened that you fell.
    You choose this
    You choose this
    Select.

  69. Laurie Stone says:

    After, 2
    268 words

    The way people carry vibrant shopping bags as if there were still now. A state where people move to die, then elect a sheriff who outfits male prisoners in pink underwear. The question: Are Jews people?

    Slits of light through a door that has been hacked. The physical repulsiveness of the worst people. Brecht’s alienation effect, where it is impossible to enter the lives of the characters, yet you enter them, anyway.

    The romantic indeterminateness of a dark bar, where alcohol and desire prompt anyone to kiss anyone. The times you forgot to say, “Don’t come closer.” The times people discovered you are not white.

    The time the individual and collective rage of women caused people to split down the middle and one leg to hop off to a forest and the other leg to crawl under a rock. Becoming famous for the thing you are most embarrassed about. Waking up and not knowing where you are.

    Using banned language. Saying you love someone in order not to appear a manipulator. Pulling the plug, as if the world were not wired together. Wondering what the barbell feels when you lift it over your head.

    Pulling a thread as if it were not sewn into the scrim you are looking through. Adding numbers wrong. Caring for animals as if you could become an animal again.

    Pretending to grieve. Finding places of worship obscene. Exhausting people for sport. Becoming a man and chasing history backwards. Offending people as a palette cleanser. Counting the ways you are contaminated by capitalism. Wanting to vomit when you hear the word benevolent. Smelling the hopefulness of toast.

  70. Uncle

    He’s up there — Uncle in the attic, under

    the chimneypots. We hear him at night,

    enraged at things we’ve never seen. We wonder

    at his funhouse laugh, his schemes to brighten

    up the dark, his incessant tap-dancing,

    his unwarranted sense of command.

    Sometimes he stomps down in his underpants

    and shiny shoes to give us guff, demand

    outlandish rents and whatever we’ve got

    in the icebox. We don’t like him. We fear

    his sulks, his quicksilver moods. When it’s hot

    he complains, and when it’s cold. Does he hear

    us when we laugh at him? Do we disturb

    his dreams? Does he ever sleep? All our noise

    comes to nothing. He gives us magic herbs

    to make us think next time he’ll give us toys.

  71. The Art of the Steal

    Don’t pity them — they’re losers. You must seize

    opportunity by the throat. Success

    never starts small. Don’t smile, don’t say please,

    and always get more so that they get less —

    leave nothing on the table. You need fuel,

    dry kindling, an accelerant, a spark,

    just enough to make it start — beauty’s cruel

    truth, truth’s cruel beauty. Keep them in the dark,

    reserve your light for later — it’s yours. Trust

    understands nothing, it’s all bluff, and buyers

    might be sellers. It’s rigged. Sometimes you just

    pretend, and that’s the art of building fires.

  72. paul gorman says:

    “4 years(RED)”
    its 4 years ago
    its 4 years later
    it is now. we are here. where do we go?
    do not let fear decide before you already know
    it is 4 years today and i am limping to the same bus stop
    trying to remain mindful of what i have instead of mucking around in what i don’t got
    backpack full of new scrawlings and old lessons i forgot
    it is 4 years later
    you think that i hate you?…but it is not that
    almost as soon as i get done screaming…already perplexing over…how did it come to that?
    way too many of us think we want to be somewhere other than where we are at…
    hope and fear mingled on the edge off a cliff
    some will abandon, some will hop on, others will try to right the ship
    i am sorry i keep losing my shit
    fuck the apologies…until figure out…what to do about it
    4 years ago i had holes in my arms, pain in my soul…i hated me…Nick wasn’t dead
    4 years later…on the verge of isolation…so many others feel less then…while many more are dead
    this country is eating itself and covered in red
    red…red…red
    white and blue
    how can i speak of compassion, tolerance, and patience when i am yelling at the person who…
    i have a wonderful child with
    46 months and i have not touched shit
    for who for what…i can still be an asshole and lose my grip
    but i am not giving up…not giving up…
    still waters that got polluted for the sake of…
    too many to list
    tell me its raining and i know its just piss
    and the continuous bullshit
    and the unwillingness to do more than just barricade yourself in supposed comfort and exist
    and try to teach…to try to understand each other than preach self important at ignorance
    4 years ago
    4 years today
    4 years from now
    when i look back at the things i have said and done…will i be able to be proud?

  73. The poet William Stafford said “Poetry is an emergency of the spirit.” It was precisely that which prompted the poem I’m about to share with you.

    The piece poured out of me in free-fall recently, in the wee hours, in one fell swoop. after one of Trump’s misogynistic screeds. I think it had been forming in my head and heart for a while, the pulse of it growing stronger, a drumbeat impossible to ignore any longer. But it took a particular turn of phrase from Donald to galvanize me, whip me into a frenzy and push me toward creating what I think of as an anthem for all women, a song of solidarity for every single one of us who has endured any form of censure, debasement, sexual harassment, or worse.

    We all have stories. They may not come from our direct experience. Perhaps it is a story confided to you from a mother, a daughter, a friend, an aunt, a woman who you carpool with, a woman you met at a book club.

    I am not alone in speaking out. As the election cycle continued and Trump continued to huff and puff, he has galvanized women in ways he never imagined. The stories flow from women everywhere, many being told for the very first time. They speak of pain and survival, heartbreak and triumph. They express the painful clutter and confusion in our hearts. Women who have never spoken up until now are saying enough is enough. This is what happened to me. I need to be heard. I need to be believed.

    “If it’s mentionable it’s manageable.” Mr. Rogers said that and it is simply brilliant. Brilliantly simple. When we unearth our stories of oppression, share them out loud, we deflate them to a certain degree, render them less powerful, even if only slightly. This was the result when I wrote my poem “Reverence.” It helped me come to terms with the guilt, shame and dread I felt whenever I thought about this event in my childhood. It helped me grapple with it in a way I do not believe anything else could have.

    Not only is there healing in the telling. A collective of our voices may also work to enlighten the world to the ways we address women, talk to women, work alongside women, treat them.

    There is power and peace in being an individual supported by the many. But it takes courage to tell our stories and even when we summon what is needed and reveal our pain we risk backlash. Just one example is the Irish writer Alvy Carragher who has been vilified since posting her poem “Numb” online about her rape.
    This cannot stop us. This cannot silence us.

    Tell your story. Then tell it again.

    Here is my poem:

    Just Listen

    Women should build a barge,
    A sturdy barge to float down a wide river.
    Strong enough to withstand any current, wind,
    No matter how they may rage.
    Let them rage.
    Those who launch it will be the first to place their stories there.
    Others will know of its coming,
    Line both river banks as far as the eye can see,
    Await it together, and holding hands wade out to it
    As it reaches them, each adding her very own story.
    This mountain of stories will grow, becoming monolithic,
    So imposing no world could ignore them, dismiss them,
    For one moment longer,
    Not this many,
    The sheer numbers of them.
    Here, the place where each woman’s story is finally heard,
    Believed, unchallenged.
    Where each is given the chance to unfold itself in full,
    Uninterrupted, within the woman’s own time.
    Our vessel will accommodate all.
    Every story heretofore untold, buried, unspoken,
    Will join together there knowing
    As Sappho knew, what cannot be said will be wept.
    And we will add yet more, one by one,
    As the barge makes its way downriver,
    Until every woman finds her voice there.
    We will moor the barge together,
    Add kindling and thick logs atop it
    And at sunset, as one, set it alight, this tower of struggle and triumph,
    And the fire will be like no other. It will fill the sky and become part of the sunset
    And there will be no telling our flames apart from the fire in the sky as the day ends
    And women band together to send their stories skyward
    To all the galaxies that may be or ever were,
    Singing with one voice,
    I remember,
    And yet
    I go on.

  74. Daniel de Culla says:

    Every Best Wish

    A HORSE-CHESNUT TATTOOED

    Crossing Columbus Square, in Burgos
    I see in fronf of me a nice girl
    As an Eden’ fruit.
    Smiling, she stop me, asking:
    -Where do you go, Darling, so early?
    I stop smiling her and looking at her eyes
    An eyes plenty of Sky
    Although she’ll say to me later
    That she gives drops on her lacrimal.
    She say to me:
    -Come ¡ Sit on this wood bench
    Of the Espolon avenue
    If do you have time, of course;
    We have to talk.
    -Yes, naturally. I want it.
    We sit. Talk. She, first:
    -I remember ever what well we enjoyed
    The last feast of Villarcayo
    Being me the sweetheart of a King
    Or a Head of Governemnt.
    I was hesitant
    without she would be given account, answering:
    -Oh, Yes, Yes, Oh, no, no, go pretty girl
    Follow, follow, my Love.
    -Well made me love, Love¡
    -It’s the truth, Rachel, I said to her, lying
    And trying to get out of my memories.
    -It had to be in the convent of the Mount of the Abbess
    I said to her.
    -Thus, she replied
    On Earth we see ourselves before in Heaven.
    The two smile.
    – We have to love ourselves, she suggested me
    Smiling again and again.
    -It’s ok, I replied; asking to her:
    -Now, what do you do?
    She explained:
    -Now I’m working in a dental clinic
    Very close to here.
    -Nice, I replied to her
    It has to be interesting to go to your surgery.
    -What a fool you are, she said.
    Paused a moment, and laughing, continued:
    -I have to show You one thing that You gave to me
    Because you’ve been the leading man who adored
    But you not showed up, until today, greenhorn¡
    -Oh, Yes, Yes, Oh, no, no, I replied to her
    Being my color doubtful.
    -Yes, cute, she replied.
    You gave to me a horse chestnut
    Of the two in which You drew an Eros
    Front of me
    And in the convent of the Mount of the Abbess

    Do You Remember?, loving ourselves.
    An Eros tattoo with indelible ink
    Saying to me: “this for you, my Love
    That this one I’ll send
    To the Museum of Mniatures from Mijas, in Malaga.
    -Oh, Yes, Yes, Oh, no, no, I replied to her, smiling
    And ordering:
    -Get up, Rachel, my White Pigeon
    And walk by the Arlanzon River
    With kisses.
    -Daniel de Cullá

  75. Daniel de Culla says:

    Season’s Greetings and Blessed Be¡ in Freedom and Love.

    SONG TO THE RUINS OF AMERICA
    With the Glyn Ford’ eyes:
    “Fascist Europe-The Rise of Racism and Xenophobia”
    I see with horror how from an american country to another
    Racism and Xenophobia are cultivated in ist fields
    Inspecting the growth of fascism and its relationship
    With the capitalist families’ domain
    As Daniel Guerin saw in his “Fascism and Big Busines”
    When Fascism was flourishing in Germany and Italy
    For nothing.
    Cities and fields returns to watering the river Biederitz
    Feeder of the river Elba
    That brings the Hitler and Eve’s cremated and crushed remains
    Together with others of theirs on the studio couch
    Where they were found suicided
    Perhaps the same couch of love where Neville Chamberlain
    the British Prime Minister was sat.
    River that joins and, at the end, matchs to the river Potomac
    In Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean
    Rested in backwater of the White House’ pool
    Built in its foundations and frames
    by slaves and Irish and Italian workers without papers
    that tomorrow will come to call “Trumpbunker”.
    He’ll walk in the middle of the garden
    Arrogant his figure as a God with joke eyes, body to much he-man
    And penisly classic figure
    whose Te Deum will be of the Asses and the Marquis of Sade.
    Heil¡ He’s the “Uro of Heck” big, robust, with long horns
    a brown copper hair, with skin of a certain form
    with fierce behaviour.
    Heil¡ He’s the new Thartac, God of the Hivites with Ass-headed
    well known and loved by priests and parish priest.
    Nor the snow neither the wind will lash, that they believe
    The angry figure of this God-man who loves life
    As a desolated tyrant with dizziness of sex just nasty
    running towards the void of a great National and Global Zoo
    upon which will erect a statue to the Ass
    to which will come the souls of the Eve’s terrier breed scottish dogs
    and the Hitler’ German Shepherd Dog with her cubs
    to piss lifting up its leg.
    And Fabius will sing near the doors of the White House
    The new “Trumpbunker”
    the Rodrigo Caro’s paraphrased song to the Ruins of Italica:
    “These, Trump, poor me¡ that you see now
    Lonely fields, gloomy hill
    Were a time great America”.
    Because the crime, the evil, the cruel and bloody
    Assembly of wars against another peoples and nations
    Ever returns, sooner or later, against one and another.

    -Daniel de Cullá

  76. Found Politic

    I walked out of an exit poll
    and into an opinion made ready and pinned
    onto my sleeve green epaulettes tarnished
    dull we get more
    information in one day than
    Einstein’s library our relative
    stupidity a quantum chasm dog
    politicians speak and no one
    asks where the bones are
    buried.

  77. Rob Taylor says:

    No longer hidden
    Behind execrated shadows
    Are Poverty’s children

    Politicians vent
    For power and a pittance
    Of ignoble fame

    Fifty million scrounge for
    Scarce meals that ballot casting
    Never once improved

    Lost integrity
    Campaign oaths dealt away in
    Venal power plays

    First hundred days this year
    Three thousand bullets take a life
    Death emissaries

    Three hundred million
    Gun owners protecting themselves
    Against each other

    Confound the masses
    Engendering emotions to
    Leverage as votes

    A Dangerous collapse
    Through orchestrated dysphoria
    Divide to conquer

    The daily quota
    Five children dead from abuse
    Insolent topic

    Candidate credo
    The politician’s legerdemain
    Flagrant sophistry

  78. Doctori Sadisco says:

    BECAUSE YOU ARE FREE

    If love has chains,
    it is not love.

    If doors are locked,
    they are not doors.

    The wind is free,
    are you the wind?

    The powerful are never free,
    they have their chains,
    they have their locks.

    They even might be
    lifted up by love.

    Their chains are heavy,
    bulk steel covered in oil,
    so they slide.

    Absolute. Is it free?
    The contentious words
    that bring all power
    to its knees.

    One by one they fall,
    stone hard men
    in the mine shafts
    of oblivion.

    Pebbles who do not
    even make a splash
    when they hit the surface
    of the pool of love.

  79. Belinda Subraman says:

    Diagnosis: Liberal Angst

    Pangs in our chests of sorrow and dread.
    Hitler happened.
    Trump is happening.
    Slaughter has always happened.
    Populations are targeted
    for government sanctioned abuse
    while the poor blame the poorer,
    the Blacks, Muslims, the Jews,
    always the Other.
    Be afraid. Stay afraid.
    Vaccinate and medicate.
    Stockpile guns and food.
    A civil war is coming.
    Families will be divided.
    The refusing to kneel and hem-kiss radicals
    will be sold to farms and foreigners,
    their children raised into conscription.
    We are flying backwards
    to intolerance, regimentation,
    internment camps,
    people as dollar signs only,
    reverting
    to gross misunderstanding
    of the interdependence of Life,
    back to serfdom and the Realm,
    severe punishment for trivial offenses
    back to the Church and State as one,
    public shaming, back to a life we flew from
    grew from and finally found peace with
    only to be cast back to our childhood
    when authoritarian parents
    were hitting us with sticks
    and calling it love.

  80. Nancy Keane says:

    In these “Times Over Troubled Waters,”
    With Hope, We Swim Towards Shores of a Nation Reunited,
    Where Tyranny is Unacceptable

    Heavy mist blankets Gettysburg’s sacred grounds.

    Abe Lincoln’s voice travels from heavens, as his words whistle through tree branches,

    above spirits who sacrificed to form a “More Perfect Union.”

    A union of religious freedom, where all men and women are created equal.

    The dream lives on as we walk path towards equality, stumbling and falling at times;
    victorious on other occasions.

    Tears of Abraham Lincoln, John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King,
    fall like soft rain on land of the free, home of the brave.

    From every nook and cranny of these United States;
    we march to the beat of dancing drums,
    reject words and actions of hatred,
    sing along with John, Ringo, and Paul, the song of freedom for all.

    Nancy Keane 11/23/2016
    (Words written with poetic license. Fiction based on fact)

  81. la máscara de los 43

    busqué a los 43 en el cuarto tras
    ero busqué los 43 cuando se abría
    el alba a los 43 busqué donde el
    agua se secaba y donde el agua se
    mojaba vusco y vusco los 43 por
    todos los jueves del año los 43 que
    busco son garabatos en la carta sin
    caminos busqué los 43 donde mis
    zapatos ya no andaban busqué los
    43 y busqué los 43 en el mercado re
    pleto de mandarinas busqué y buscaba
    los 43 en la calle sin ventanas y en la
    calle que no es más que ventana querría
    verdes a los 43 los 43 ahogados en un
    pozo son piedras que me sonríen los
    43 llorosos y sin cabezas buscaba y
    vuscaba los 43 en la parabrisas del
    limusina y los buscaba en el guarda
    fango del micro estrellado en la sierra
    busqué 43 en el abecedario y en la
    computadora sumergida en el mar los
    busqué donde no sabía nada y donde
    la nada sabía a los 43 busqué y los encontré
    ‘mano los encontré donde sale el sol de
    su madriguera nocturna cuando sale como
    tigre los busqué en el camino bíblico lirio
    del valle y en el camino bobólico del monte
    y ¿qué es lo que encontré? ni modo a los 43
    bubusqué y buscababa así y al cabo las
    ascuas encontré y busqué los 43 mas eran 43
    más y ay busqué por la mano lagri mosca
    del sicario igual que los busqué en mis torpezas
    gringoïdes en mi pantalón meado y en el
    aceite a sombrado que salía del TV los busqué
    en los ojos turquesas de Tlaloc en los
    enrojecidos de Cha’ac con la sangre que se
    borboteaba de los dientes en el ik del
    Ehecatl circular por la ventana con forma
    de T los cuarenTa y Tres a los 43 los
    busco en el reloj a los 43 los
    busco donde el reloj no existe y donde
    existe al revés donde los 43 roncan o
    no roncan detrás del espejo donde mis
    dedos son peces ciegos que ven lo no posible
    mas es bien posible posible 43 por 43 veces
    hasta el ininfinito hasta el finado múltiple
    donde un ojo se abre 86 veces donde el
    caimán se come la lengua en ochenta y
    seis versos donde los 43 monos aulladores
    se abren las bocas en el silencio y los camiones
    de la carretera lejana se llenan de sangre los
    busqué en el juguete en el AK43 en el
    machete cortaplumas en los dólares pes
    ados y en la coca sin peso los busqué en el
    drogadicto tiritándose en su cama en
    el fondo insondable debajo del acensor y los
    busqué donde una mujer sin faz se peinaba
    bajo la ceiba en flor en el centro del tiempo

  82. scour the beach

    the brittle log emplastic
    fat shore said it sp
    linter said envade
    your bathrobe’s filled
    regurgitation ,wake in
    bath ,shave your
    bread such little
    fog you bled ,orange
    beast drooling at
    the window will a
    mirror replace ,will
    threw up in your
    shoes .it’s born it’s
    mud it’s assholes s
    pell yr name regüeldo

    )if lunch if worm if oily sand(

  83. ! Jump ! cockroaches ! Jump !

    They eat your thoughts away

    and spit them around

    as distracted images of false truth

    Reality has fade away

    in an empty space of loneliness

    by misleading interpretations

    …………………………………………….

    Written by Corina Karstenberg © 2013

  84. “And That Morning Too Came”

    /// Background – as Ireland is so opened up to globalisation in general and the US in particular, with the current regime we are open to blame for its ills we facilitate. We cannot change them, but we can close up our involvement with them, become a little more insular as we were and self sufficient, as we were in WWII. ///

    And that morning too came
    Common sense said it could
    Every fool and bigot has a vote
    They use it, unlike us who should…
    We enter times of evil:
    Presented as the common good.

    And that morning too came
    As such times came before
    We are exposed as we let ourselves be
    We must stand on our own once more
    The small have no dealings in the affairs of the great:
    The maxim by which De Valera swore!

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    +++

    +++

  86. dan raphael says:

    No Thanks

    While i have a lot of gratitude
    I need a bit more attitude
    Don’t want to be rude
    But i know when i’m mistreated

    Donald Trump and his cabinet of doom—
    how many horsemen does this apocalypse need—no thanks
    Privatized Medicare, social security and infrastructure repair—no thanks
    An over populated, over-polluted, over-heated planet;
    Racism, sexism and a hatred for all –isms except capital,
    the dollar uber alles—no thanks
    Oil, coal & fracking everywhere
    Privatized water, protestors beaten, gassed & caged
    By corporate, militarized police—no thanks
    Paranoia, fear, physical threats,
    No food, no shelter, no income—no thanks.
    Why are all us turkeys out in the cold while all the stuffing and desserts
    are in gated communities & secure condos.
    Give Trump a chance, wait two years to make changes—No thanks.
    Helping our neighbors, taking to the streets, deafening those in power
    with our cries for justice—yes, thank you. I’ve been so hungry for justice. May i have some more?

  87. Clifton Snider says:

    Hanging On

    Every man/woman/institution
    that ever claimed either of us
    or tried to claim us
    conspires now to keep us apart,
    despises the idea of my wanting
    or having you, another man,
    from another culture,
    who speaks with lilting Latino L’s
    I love to hear.

    They would prefer us loitering
    by some toilet or park bench,
    locked up in solitary boxes;
    they want our lifeblood
    stifled by tobacco, cocaine, alcohol.
    They want stinking embarrassment
    like a fart
    or a festering welt.
    Better, they’d like to have us
    wasting alone on hospice beds,
    pain eating like permanent guilt,
    or no bed at all–a cardboard
    hovel under a freeway,
    till what they call
    the consequences of our behavior
    betray us unto death.

    If we must be, they want us
    separate from each other, martyrs to their
    bizarre notion that biology makes mistakes,
    that my loving you in any
    physical way is some crime against nature,
    some injury to their inarticulate greed
    to weld power like a chisel,
    to hammer us into gravel.

    Here is my answer:
    I believe in biochemistry,
    I believe in connecting tissue with tissue,
    filling up vacuums.
    I want us to come at the same time
    a thousand times,
    to put my lips to yours
    and hang on for sweet, sweet life.

    –from Moonman: New and Selected Poems (World Parade Books, 2012)
    Copyright © Clifton Snider, 2012

  88. THE VOTER

    Those are moments when the cradle receives jolts and shocks
    and in it, the little life rocks
    figuring out later, that happy earthquakes are politics
    which does to a child the very thing the child wants.
    And those sweet lullabies, those imaginative rides,
    those playful hidings and mischievous good byes are all politics
    feeding the child with bribes for gaining the most sad pedestal – position.
    That the parent who has let his child increase on his own
    is a risk taking politician.
    The child will either be a vote bank or a voter.

    My house in my absence built over those dead, from those dead
    and still living a life of royal distempers is an excellent vote bank
    becoming surely silent with my unsure silence
    The vote bank which sacrifices its all to follow the unknown
    Vote banks are those, either with a candy packet or none at all
    They are the excellent digesters of child toffee politics and child toy politics

    and he who has served himself has only served his master.

    Vote banks are slaves to none
    except being ultimate slaves to the one.
    And the one if turns a dictator is loved all the more,
    as they now know, daddy has learnt to divide and daddy has learnt to rob,
    manipulate a mob, to be a cunning heartthrob
    All of these swags dressed in hollow gifted packs just to increase our candy sacks
    Oh dear daddy, you are a true saint
    you are sacrificing a lot, a lot of red flesh for the much promised love
    and how much pressurized demands of gold from my golden brothers
    have you happily fulfilled.

    Vote banks black out all reasons when it’s their ideal father
    Vote banks dig out fresh reasons when it comes to killing their common fellow brothers
    Vote banks like to have things their own way
    and so they honour kill, honour burn, cash kill, cash burn.
    The poor vote banks or little children finding contrasts in the black, calling for big daddy to settle
    and he sees who’s before the cattle, who’s after the cattle
    and that certain dresses hide weapons for battle.
    Daddy would create and it would be daddy setting his own inspections, his own investigations, his own rules.
    The elite vote banks beneficially kill, beneficially burn.
    The candy packet was too much or too less.
    The apetite was over fed or famine dead .

    Now a young girl with a baked skin is public circus,
    a running train being made a dead snake of limited public effection.
    One rises only when it’s about daddy.
    Once God had worshippers, then thinkers had fans.
    Once celebrity moms had fans, now government daddies have worshippers.
    Murders declared good by the majority,
    Murderers declared God by the majority.
    Those whose wishes were fulfilled were greedy to multiply
    Those who didn’t wish grew in themselves.

    Vote banks increased, voters didn’t
    Voters never really got a chance after the political cradle earthquake
    I have always questioned why I am here and I have been answered, ‘for nothing’
    as somewhere I refused being political and diplomatic
    and I refused being a fool creating fools
    and the fool creating tools.

    I knew from then on, I was the equator in an earth of partitions,
    I would always be the voter who votes for his own existence
    and in real votes his own existence out
    and I knew I was in a group of thousands if not lakhs

    and I also knew, growth isn’t manipulated by time,
    It is as old as it.

  89. Package Deal
    “I just wanted the trains to run on time.” – Mussolini voter

    The bathwater and baby are gone;
    the empty chamber turned out to be full.
    Too late to say I didn’t mean it,
    I just wanted change. You got it.

    What’s changing is your right to change;
    was vanishing is the truth –
    because you’ve swallowed so many lies,
    they’re making it your diet.

    You can’t vote for half a person –
    it’s a package deal – the ugly slime
    comes with the promises already breaking
    as those who conned you gather your bet

    and the other bets into a vast pile
    that they sweep their way. You lost.
    So did we. Karma takes a while,
    but it’s coming.

  90. Joy Leftow says:

    Post Election Blues ~ Love and Election, Night & Day
    My love for him lives in little unreachable spots
    Along with reality
    My son’s eyes shine like his
    Too late forced to let go of a lifeline
    Of yes and no
    Black and white
    Cause and effect
    The flow goes where it will
    Time spears existential

    I only saw his eyes
    Mesmerized me
    His life authorized me
    Couldn’t see the sky
    Didn’t realize
    Nor analyze
    The color of my hair
    Eyes constant
    They see what they think they see
    What they want to see
    How they want time to proceed

    It’s the whole package
    Entire gestalt – height, weight, hairstyle – length
    Eyes know eyes or we think when we stare in someone’s eyes
    Swear we know what we see
    We know what we sow
    We almost know where it goes

    We know or think we know
    Boudreau to Bordeaux wine map
    Sanctity – Humanity
    Only way to understand
    Move ahead – my own private heaven

    Hard to feel good in our political world
    Affects me whether I pretend to care or not
    Unable to move ahead
    Live in fear need to survive the
    Stuck here for 4 more years

    Did you hear about the Buddhist Monks who pretended to have a sanctuary for lions & instead bred them for parts to make medicines?

    My own private hell …

    How can we live in peace?
    How can we force those in charge to care for our planet
    Humanity is scary when people in power don’t value Earth’s health
    Though we require it for survival
    Anxious terrified
    I tell you
    TESLA HAS THE ANSWER

    This is a love poem turned political
    Because I can’t shut it out of my mind
    On the brink of disaster, predict war, famine
    Flooding ~ Now understand why the end of days is coming
    Man destroyed by greed
    Wars provide great economic growth
    Biggest trick in the book is to make war

    Standing Rock Nation’s access to water threatened
    God, please help us in our suffering
    Until combined we are strong
    Winter has been coming for a long time
    Now you know it’s finally here
    We must work survive together
    Think love ~ breathe love ~

  91. THE WAVES OF HOLY GANGES
    POEM BY DR. RAM SHARMA
    The waves of holy Ganges
    are dancing in merriment
    discerning the emptiness of worldly pleasures
    i want to take refuse in merriment
    o ! Ganges
    thou has descended into the suffering souls of millions
    thou has blessed them with purified thoughts and minds
    o ! Ganga Maiyya
    thou art life bestower and door to the enlightenment
    o ! Ganga Maiyya
    bless us by your divine touch

    2I WANT TO SING
    POEM BY DR. RAM SHARMA
    I have scribbled myself in writing
    by breaking silence , i have chiselled every word
    i have come to know myself
    i thought to awake you by my songs
    i want to play my role and then want to depart from this world
    i want to plant new plants of hopes
    in the dim dark tunnel of life
    i want to awaken you from the dream of life
    i want to light the lamp of love
    i have one song of life
    i want to sing it for you

    3FRESHNESS
    POEM BY DR. RAM SHARMA
    I want to feel freshness of life
    without colours , passions and spring
    can make a rainbow of life
    be a peacock of bliss to dance at insecurities of life
    change is the way , change is the destination
    open your eyes ! be awake
    hear the unknown knock at your door
    flow with the flow
    feel the freshness

  92. Dinos Siotis says:

    Poor Syria

    Poor Syria, everyone has been bombing you,
    your enemies, your friends, your allies, your
    neighbors, nobody’s leaving you in peace,

    nobody lets you stay un-bombed, all of
    the rogues of nations (united or not)
    see how best to burn you down, how to

    destroy you, how to demolish every single
    evidence of your previous glamor, every
    trace of history from your desolate landscape

    and then the looting will begin with mafias
    of the so called reconstruction, after your soil
    has nursed so many noble civilizations and now

    napalm with neutron bombs in air and land
    rape every grain of yours, making you a refugee
    inside your own land, a boat foundering without

    a lifesaver in the Mediterranean, with wounds
    that won’t heal, poor Syria, how much longer can
    you last before they toss you in their garbage dump

    Athens, March 10, 2016

    Ντίνος Σιώτης

    Φτωχή μου Συρία

    Φτωχή μου Συρία όλοι σε βομβαρδίζουν και
    οι εχθροί και οι φίλοι και οι σύμμαχοι και οι
    γείτονες κανένας δεν σε αφήνει σε ηρεμία

    κανένας δεν σε αφήνει αβομβάρδιστη όλοι
    οι αγύρτες των εθνών (ηνωμένων και μη)
    φροντίζουν πώς να σε κατακάψουν πώς να

    σε καταστρέψουν πώς να γκρεμίσουν κάθε
    μαρτυρία της περασμένης σου αίγλης κάθε
    ίχνος ιστορίας απ’ την έρημη γεωγραφία σου

    μετά θα αρχίσει το πλιάτσικο με τις μαφίες
    των κατασκευαστικών τα χώματά σου έχουν
    εκθρέψει υψηλούς πολιτισμούς και τώρα

    Ναπάλμ με νετρόνια αέρος εδάφους βιάζουν
    τον κάθε σου κόκκο σε κατάντησαν πρόσφυγα
    στην ίδια σου τη χώρα βάρκα που αλυχτά χωρίς

    σωσίβιο στη Μεσόγειο με τραύματα που δεν
    επουλώνονται φτωχή μου Συρία πόσο ακόμα
    θ’ αντέξεις πριν σε ρίξουν στη χωματερή τους

    Αθήνα, 10 Μαρτίου 2016

    —Dinos Siotis

  93. Karen Melander Magoon says:

    THREE POEMS FROM KAREN MELANDER MAGOON

    Regime Change Refugees

    They come from Libya Syria Iraq
    Afghanistan
    They come from the Balkans
    They come from where their homes once were
    They come with children
    The children come
    Because their parents are dead
    Their homes made rubble
    The parents come
    From bombed villages
    Because their babies
    Are kidnapped
    Stolen
    Conscripted for war
    Or prostitution
    The children come
    They come
    From Sudan, from Kenya
    From refugee camps
    Kakuma, Ifo, Dadaab
    They are the lost boys
    Whose villages were burned
    They are the girls of Chibok
    Nairobi
    Victims of Boko Haram
    Victims of violence
    They are the children
    Fleeing violence in El Salvador
    Sent back again
    Across the Rio Grande
    Refugees come
    They come from all over the world
    Seeking safety
    In a world
    Devastated by war
    Devastated by regime change
    By power games
    Fought on the shoulders
    Of refugees
    Fought on the shoulders
    Of children
    Who drown in dinghies
    On the Mediterranean
    Or in the mud of the Rio
    Starve on the wrong side
    Of a barbed wire fence
    Starve or drown on the wrong side
    Of the capitalist divide
    Which has privatized the world
    For the elite
    Beware the privatized states
    When their regime falls to the west
    Saddam Hussein’s fall
    Feeds the pockets of generals
    Appointed to privatize
    And pocket the surplus
    Surplus cash
    From devastation
    Our own country
    Creates money for war
    From money for weapons
    Money to bomb homes
    Money to create corpses
    Victims
    Orphans
    Homeless
    Cashless victims
    Who roam the new world
    In search of succor
    There will be more
    There will be more victims
    More homeless
    As their countries become wastelands
    Syria, a land of rubble
    Empty of its vibrant life
    Its vibrant past
    Calls out for life
    The mother land
    Calls for her children
    ISIS says return in a week
    Return refugees
    Or we will take your land
    Come back
    Return to your land and homes
    So we can take your children
    To feed the teeth of war
    To make them baby soldiers
    Refugees go home
    Migrants of the world
    Return to horror
    Or face another horror
    The choice is yours
    Choose your horror
    From a buffet of terror
    The poison has no antidote
    But peace

    We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident

    Clouds slide by
    A rainbow of gray
    Streaming parallel
    To a blue ocean horizon
    Gulls intercept the gray
    Screaming silently of freedom
    A thousand miles and more
    Their sisters echo back
    Celebrating freedom
    That exacts no price
    They swim the skies
    Through foamy swirling angels
    Dancing blindly
    They know no poverty
    Their children sing no dirges
    Suffer no shots from officers of law
    They have no fear
    But fly above the bay
    Embracing water
    In diving loops
    From California to Cuba
    Absent sadness
    Absent fright
    Oblivious of cunning politics
    Flying above human error
    Wars, lies, violence
    Above the hypocrisy of buffoons
    Who would rule
    A great nation
    In whose hands could rest the fate
    Of all free things
    Of all free ideas
    Of countless nests of tiny feathers
    Countless tiny thoughts
    Pushing towards the light
    Towards clouds, towards life
    Pushing without fear
    Towards yet unknown
    Dreams
    Of flying free
    And diving free
    Full of faith
    Unchallenged
    Yet unchallenged
    Yet unsullied
    Faith
    In free skies
    Free waters
    Freedom

    Umbrella

    An umbrella hangs despondently
    Brushed and rippled occasionally
    By a nearly negligible breeze
    A price tag still attached
    Weather beaten and limp
    Forgotten over the years
    The multi striped umbrella waits
    On a cool San Francisco corner
    For patrons to sit beneath her folds
    And speak of candy and kings
    Or of the super moon
    Decry homelessness
    Find solutions to global warming
    Climate change
    Condemn the desecration
    Of native American lands and water
    Through fracking or oil pipelines
    In spite of countless ancient treaties
    Ratified to protect the indigenous peoples
    And their sacred land
    The umbrella waits
    To hear answers to planetary disasters
    To hear demands for justice fairness compassion
    An end to poverty
    An answer to a future president’s plans
    To dismantle environmental protections
    To strip away rights of immigrants
    The umbrella is ready to hear
    Calls to end hatred
    Solutions to violence and war
    To streaming refugees
    Fleeing violence and destroyed cities
    But fleeing where?
    The umbrella hangs despondently
    Waiting for hope
    Waiting to be raised
    On a cool corner of San Francisco
    To defy the breezes of discontent
    To defy hatred injustice rejection of human rights
    Xenophobia and ignorance
    To defy the desecration of our planet and its people
    To stand tall
    Sheltering new ideas, sheltering compassion
    For humanity and for the world
    The umbrella hangs
    Scarcely moving
    Yet unfurled
    Over an empty table
    Circled by silent chairs
    On a cool corner
    In San Francisco

  94. I would say something new to keep the red light on –Donald Trump

    We are red light people.
    Keep the drama coming
    make us keep guessing
    what might happen next
    so the show always keeps
    us entertained and occupied
    with his antics and his own
    greatest show on earth.

    We are red light people.
    Make sure the cameras
    are running to keep the
    tabloids blazing so that
    we can forget that people
    are being hurt and we don’t
    have to feel their pain
    or their loss; only our glee.

    We are red light people.
    Surround us with the
    tantalizing and the titillating
    keeping us excited and
    enthralled with the power
    and the images of golden
    thrones and marble streets
    we will never live on.

    We are red light people
    Until we turn away from the show.

  95. Don Ogden says:

    Devolution Days

    We thought television would
    remain on the screen not
    leak into life, reality still
    turning over to check for
    a pulse, any sign of life.
    Who will run from office, hide
    away or change vocations
    when presidents are residents
    of utter fabrication in
    a degrading developed nation.
    We recommend ballots cast
    over rails, chum for
    passing schools and, of course
    fools who will say almost
    anything for attention.

    Do not write below this
    line otherwise you’ll find
    yourself in discomfort, asking
    far too many questions where
    did it go so wrong?

  96. Once upon a time there was a shirt in my closet. It was a beautiful shirt made of the purest golden threads and with the finest tailoring and the most intricate of detail; each thread supporting the others and making a fine and wonderful shirt. The shirt was much loved and adored and many complimented me on its beauty and its fine work. I was very happy with it and how it made me feel and how hid some of my own imperfections helping make me more than I actually was.

    The shirt stood the tests of time and many washings and unfortunate mishaps. However, over the years, it became a little tight as I neglected my own fitness and indulged the many pleasures of a privileged life. As it became tighter and tighter I wore it less but on occasion I would pull it out and put it on. I thrilled to see the fine threads and the sheen of the fabric and the buttons of the finest jewels. I adored the shirt and myself in it but I was too embarrassed to wear it out to be seen.

    The shirt seemed to mock me for what I had become and so I took it from its hangar and put it on but, alas, it could not fit me anymore and so I swore at it and screamed at it and began to pull at its seams so that it would fit me once again. But as I pulled and stretched, the fine threads began to give way and tore asunder at the seams. I put it on again and I could fasten the buttons but, alas, the shirt was no longer beautiful. It was a mass of shredded thread and no longer hid my body but put it on display for all to see and mock. I had lost both my shirt and myself.

  97. Lance henson says:

    Here all the gods are dead

    Here children fold the
    Brightest parts
    Of themselves
    Inside….

    As if
    They are still alive….

    Allepo….

  98. Koshy AV says:

    Post- truth
    post- dictators
    post- fascisms
    post-love
    I will still love you
    and you, me, too

  99. Charles Farrell Thielman says:

    Chicago, August, ’68

    Now is the time for all the moon’s foals
    to swim into this uniform sky,
    many good men are ocean waves away,

    Medic ! Medic !

    Four-score towers above leaves of grass, flowers
    blooded via billy clubs, O Captain! Folk guitar
    broken under shouts of battle, plumes of tear gas,

    Medic ! MEDIC !

    Watering coleus after midnight, during wartime

    I rise from the loam of a dream
    and watch heavy winds and rain whip streams
    over roof-tops and asphalt
    as night-shift cars flick on by,
    their headlights lit opals.

    Blue spruce stands above the river
    close to that train’s wail and pull of boxcars,
    boxcars empty or packed wood floor to steel ceiling,
    clanking on to a bridge over the river
    as I water coleus after midnight.

    Tony Bennett croons his heart out from my stereo
    into my workroom’s votive and lamp lit, incense filled, air.

    I snip a few leaves to guide this coleus higher and higher,
    then water the neighboring dracaena,

    thinking of the word lluvia, espanol for rain,
    of borrasca, gale force winds, lluvia y borrasca,
    of my friends and their children sleeping and dreaming
    as it rains and rains buckets this March night,

    praying for all,
    seeing how these plants spread their branches, fronds and leaves,

    praying for all the young soldiers to stop killing one another,
    firing, firing into a blinding sandstorm in the desert

    as politicians finger arrows over maps

    commanding the ghosts they create.

  100. HANGING ON

    Every man/woman/institution
    that ever claimed either of us
    or tried to claim us
    conspires now to keep us apart,
    despises the idea of my wanting
    or having you, another man,
    from another culture,
    who speaks with lilting Latino L’s
    I love to hear.

    They would prefer us loitering
    by some toilet or park bench,
    locked up in solitary boxes;
    they want our lifeblood
    stifled by tobacco, cocaine, alcohol.
    They want stinking embarrassment
    like a fart
    or a festering welt.
    Better, they’d like to have us
    wasting alone on hospice beds,
    pain eating like permanent guilt,
    or no bed at all–a cardboard
    hovel under a freeway,
    till what they call
    the consequences of our behavior
    betray us unto death.

    If we must be, they want us
    separate from each other, martyrs to their
    bizarre notion that biology makes mistakes,
    that my loving you in any
    physical way is some crime against nature,
    some injury to their inarticulate greed
    to weld power like a chisel,
    to hammer us into gravel.

    Here is my answer:
    I believe in biochemistry,
    I believe in connecting tissue with tissue,
    filling up vacuums.
    I want us to come at the same time
    a thousand times,
    to put my lips to yours
    and hang on for sweet, sweet life.

    –from Moonman: New and Selected Poems (World Parade Press, 2012)
    Copyright © Clifton Snider, 2012

  101. Dan Wilcox says:

    WHEN DONALD TRUMP FARTS
    “This Donald anon leet fle a fart.
    As greet as it had been a thonder-dent…”
    — from “The Miller’s Tale“ by Geoffrey Chaucer

    When Donald Trump farts it is like he is delivering a message of Freedom to the oppressed of the Aleutian Islands
    when he farts in his limo or private corporate jet the farts get circulated until completely absorbed by the other passengers, his driver, his pilot
    His children, Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric, even Tiffany & Baron have been hearing his farts for years
    & like all children they got used to them, & now ignore his farts.
    Ivana left him because when he farted he didn’t say “excuse me,” Marla because his farts were loud, violent
    but Melania rather enjoys them & likes to say she doesn’t fart except in the bathroom & when she does they are “melodious”
    but then she likes to copy what other people say.

    Donald Trump says that he is for law & order but he lets his farts fly free without restriction
    He says he wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out while he lets his farts migrate wherever he goes
    Donald Trump says that he wants Muslims to wear a badge, this stinks even worse than his farts

    When Donald Trump becomes President it would be in the World’s best interest to make sure his diet avoids beans, beef, &, of course, beer
    But when Donald Trump farts in the White House the whole World does not have to listen & all Americans should be buying anti-fascist air fresheners

  102. Yvonne Owens says:

    Renewal Quartet

    WAR

    What is this thing called war?
    So close, familiar,
    Intimate and mine?
    As near as the lines on my palm
    Insistent, “you know me….!
    “I’m in you, like wine….”
    A heady draught, an incessant drum.
    Like a pulse, or a song
    That doesn’t end.

    What are you, that abides,
    In the blood, and the bone
    That calls out,
    Is compelled, bound outward,
    and in, bound to see
    Its image flower in the dust
    Spilled like petals
    Carmine blooms, from a basket overfull
    Of good intentions?

    What is the ancient intelligence
    That dwells underneath
    Every protest of peace
    And goodwill, the limbic brain
    Calling forth, from the deep
    Well of memory, and fear
    In sibilant earnest, the desire,
    “To end all wars,” if you’ll just let me have
    This, one more….

    How is this thing
    To ever end, its constant beat
    Its tired song, when all its life
    Is cycle-bound, like any hungry
    Parasite, whose craving need

    Is ever-fed, and hunger is
    Its own reward, a thirsting addict
    Reaching out its blind, poor mouth
    Among our kind?

    So give it alms?
    And throw a bone,
    Or millions, and some crumbs besides?
    The climax of the clamoring beat,
    The drumming pulse, the blood’s own heat
    Insists and calls, from hill to hill
    Like ancient fires, and women’s cries
    That armies on the boil
    Deny.

    The serpent logic stirs
    And wakes, but fails to rise
    Beyond the gnarled, grim root
    But coils and measures, calculates
    The strict advantage, less flight than strike
    “The kingdom’s yours, don’t hesitate
    “Dominion waits,” the blithe,
    New leaves, far higher up, are a’shiver
    The cold wind turning ‘round.

    The seed, the core
    Of war, set deep
    In sex and difference, older earth
    Primary, raw, polluted bane
    Of Other, Mother, Monster, Law
    Dark matrix, unalienable
    Nature’s saw. “What made you can unmake you..,”
    Whispers fear, the throne now threatened
    Balanced, pure.

    THE LOOM

    With each turn of the head
    Another world comes into focus
    Another system, or sensibility
    Of offering

    Though it is all harmonious
    All of a piece, with orchestrated rhythms
    And home notes, and the resonance
    Of native soil

    Red ochre, and yellow
    Burnt umber, white zinc
    Raw sienna, saffron, and berry
    Give voice

    And while this could be Babel
    Or cacophony, or caprice
    Yet it maintains a theme, a synchrony
    Of peace

    Motifs of modest labors
    Of farmers in their fields
    And women at their wheels, or looms
    Or kilns

    And all these tides of industry
    from lands beyond the curve
    Of furthest, veiled horizons, and the shores
    Of ancient seas

    Of desert lands, and mountain realms
    And winding river banks
    Of hilltop aeries, forest camps, and grassland
    Dwellers’ tents

    Converge beneath the Tree of Life
    In jute, or wool, or cotton
    Hemp, or sisal, skeins of silk, or fine
    Angora fleece

    The shuttle turns, and through the door
    A new world joins the weave
    And adds its colors to the loom, and opens
    To the Gift.

    IMAGO

    Small and quiet. Grey and old
    Faded, jaded
    Dead, and cold
    Inert, near buried
    Burned-out coal

    Not much of anything
    To look at, really
    Not much more
    Than a pebble, fallen
    Brought to earth

    Yet made of stellar stuff
    For all of that…
    Now Insignificant
    Quiescent star
    Once radiant

    Once sailing supreme
    Off the shoals of
    Magellan, uranian
    Carbon-based
    Wonder

    Miraculous, unlikely
    Precious and rare
    A phoenix egg
    Laid so carefully
    In the ashes

    Rise again, revenant
    Compressed of dreams
    Forged and hardened
    Into brilliance
    And fire

    Ignite, and tear
    Your way and trajectory
    From shell to bright glory
    To zenith
    Renowned

    In the wink of an eye
    Now you see it
    Now you don’t
    No rock,
    No stone

    But only bursting light
    And heat, newborn
    Exploding
    Exponentially
    Into life

    A rapid, ingenious
    Organization of cells
    Winged, Imago
    Butterfly,
    Or bird

    So hard to see
    Such blazing glare
    Just flickers, fierceness
    And the hint
    Of a form

    And a gesture
    Like a storm
    On the surface
    Of the sun
    Arc of flame

    And sound
    Like the wind.
    Shrieking hawk
    Avatar,
    Inaugural cry

    Sweet agony of birth,
    Of becoming
    Once again
    That high-flying kite
    Ancient light

    Star quality
    Burning need, swift ascent
    Born again.
    Celestial creature
    Of the heights

    FIRE ASCENDING

    To challenge death
    To aspect golden
    To rise again
    To glide supernal
    To dive

    So difficult
    To watch, or hold
    Like looking deep
    Into the sun
    Like clasping air

    All efforts to contain
    Or bind, fall short
    And greatness
    Soars, unchained
    Remembered

    Wild, hungry
    New, and fine
    Undimmed
    Untrammeled
    Untamed

    Innocent, wanting
    Sweet sensation
    Becoming
    A spirit, or deity
    Or flame

    With trust
    Full expectant
    Like a child
    Thrice Renewed
    And Triumphant

    Ripe with knowing
    Full to bursting
    Always rising
    Fire ascending.
    In our sight.

    Yvonne Owens

  103. AFTERMATH

    To Sylvia Plath.

    Life is changing hands.
    Everybody is here
    but We are alone
    bellows the sky.
    The world is around us.
    Wake up, my dear.
    Neither Insomnia nor Fur
    belong to us
    and there is a bright shadow
    on your face
    and there is a light
    on your navel, so
    you have reached an impasse.
    The monster of your scene
    is no more near by.
    Your breath oozes a sweet song
    right now.
    I know you, darling,
    Your aren’t a Jewish princess,
    even if you are mine.
    Just a middle class baby crying
    that your nightmare is getting
    worse than ever.
    Open your eyes,
    Up and down.
    don’t slip,
    don’t sleep,
    beautiful suicide.
    Bad dreams are hectic rivers.
    Forget your fears
    And come.
    Peer into this new verve
    your old mind.
    Record these words,
    Sylvia
    and be fine.

  104. Terri says:

    LIVING IN SILENCE

    By Michael Rothenberg & Larry Weiss

    I
    Where are you tonight
    In rooms of isolation
    You gave up the fight
    And forgot your generation..
    Too bad..you never took the time
    Too bad..you shut off your mind..

    (LIVING IN SILENCE)
    Another day goes by
    You can’t see through the window
    Another hope will die
    Afraid to hear the wind blow
    Too bad..you gave up control
    Too bad..you’ve given up your soul..

    LIVING IN SILENCE..LIVING IN SILENCE
    LIVING IN SILENCE..LIVING IN SILENCE

    (Bridge)
    And there you are..
    In a world of unfulfilled desires
    Take up the cause..
    And light those freedom fires..

    II
    I’m reaching out to you
    Beyond the old reflection
    Beyond the black and blue..
    Into a new perception
    Too bad..you won’t take my hand
    Too bad..you won’t take a stand..
    (Chorus, Instrumental, & Fade)

    c RHINESTONE COWBOY MUSIC/DRUMS OF GRACE MUSIC
    (615) 353-9964

  105. JM says:

    Here in their “conservative,” overwhelming Republican-voting wonderland,
    Tremendous financial wealth,
    Mansions on or near the pristine Florida Gulf beach,
    Highly-maintained golf course retirement communities,
    Expensive restaurants, expensive cars, expensive people,
    Well-funded public schools, parks, and nature preserves,
    Philanthropic banquets, food banks for the impoverished, addiction relief services,
    Mostly European-Americans, mostly friendly,
    A hard-working multicultural labor force, seemingly respected.

    On the surface, and even sometimes deeply,
    All seems well and fine, a model for the future,
    An American success story, the dream come true.

    But at its core, the town, the country,
    All merely America from 1776-present,
    White supremacy from birth-present.

    The mostly European rulers and beneficiaries living in extreme comfort,
    The multicultural labor force comparatively struggling,
    Tucked away in segregated neighborhoods,
    Loving their hearts out, knowing better,
    Literally and metaphorically building and cleaning the wealthy’s houses,
    Valiantly doing the same for their own
    During leftover time.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    Better than a “thank you so much,” a tip, second-hand food, hand-me-down wages, and solidarity by the hour.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    An end to underclass citizenship.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    Actual appreciation.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    Their promised better future.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    Their seats at wealth’s table.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    True respect.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    Real wonderland.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    Familial equity, true love, best friendship.

    Wishing for, deserving, earning,
    Present-presence.

  106. Extracts from A Letter to the President

    32
    Fat cats are drinking corruption drugs
    Politicians munching sanction pills
    Daughters hunting syphilis in avenues,
    Babies suckling on dry empty nipples ,
    our story is a bad story

    33
    We shriek in the dimness of ourhovels every night,
    anopheneles drinking our last hope.

    34
    We swallowed enough bitterness,
    Our heads are boiling with hate
    We are fat with empty promises and sweat talk
    Poverty!

    35
    Our mothers feed onwild berries and termites
    We last sang the rain song long ago,
    We are children of drought relief.

    36
    Cabinet tables are red with wine
    , roads washing with raw sewage
    Children eating diarrhea and drinking cholera,
    Parliament is talking vendetta!
    37
    Mr President, I can’t sing you for supper
    ,I can’t sing you for my breakfast
    I will munch the ballot and swallow the grenade.

    38
    The heartbeat of town stopped beating
    The sirens are loud,
    Motorcades are long.

    39
    I peeped through the broken windows of life,
    I saw ministers sipping our blood,
    Our hopes frozen in cold rooms for the next political supper.

  107. Daniel Brady says:

    Trump the rump will take a dump

    Trumpeting trump is on the stump we fear

    A selfish, brash, rash “everyman” or so we hear
    
He can’t be bought – not with his billions
 no
    From ill-gotten failures or ripping off millions
, you know
    But everyone’s OK with his strumpeting wives
;
    They love his rage-a-holic assaults on innocent lives;
    And each and every wigged out, contradictory off the cuff plan
    
Thus I might rhetorically ask the common intelligent human:
    Oh how did THIS imbecile resident
    
Wind up on the roadway to president?

    With vocabulary crass

    He sounds much like and ass
    
And the nations worldwide they grow hesitant.
    Oh Mr. Trump, how did your farce come to this pass?
    Where you are able to win joking about zyklon gas
    The KKK licks you up – you’re just so yummy
    You say you don’t know ‘em but we know you’re no dummy
    We know your mouth spews what usually exits an ass
    As for morality, honor and courage, you’ve taken a pass

  108. Rae Desmond Jones says:

    Donald

    Is not an evil man –
    Nor even malicious
    But impulsive – perhaps
    Acting on intuition.

    His promise to wall
    The Rio Grande is so
    Immense, grandiose &
    Unwise that he may be
    Compelled by pride
    & the bigotry of others
    To do it.

    Capable of generosity
    His temper may be short –
    I doubt he holds a grudge.
    He could become wise.

    Does he have the strength
    To ignore his own rhetoric
    Listening to those voices
    Echoed in that great statue
    Of stone & liberty?

  109. Sandra Relyea says:

    Stones

    Build a wall
    put out an eye
    punish the adulterer.

    Mark a grave
    break a window
    incite a riot
    fling your rage.

    Chase away a stray
    make it hard to walk
    set up a monument
    to something only mortal.

    Contuse a brain
    barricade a foxhole
    keep animals
    from digging up the bones.

    ….or…..make some soup!

    A big pot in the village center,
    water for the broth;
    A cabbage from the cellar,
    carrots from a loft.
    Onions hanging from a beam,
    potatoes in a sack;
    salt from the mill,
    seasons in a grinder out in back.
    If you have a stone
    we can make some soup;
    there’s plenty to go around,
    unless you think there isn’t.

    Omiagus
    11/2016

  110. Karen Hanson says:

    It is sunrise and my wings are free
    Don’t take me down brother
    Let me be

    Who owns the air that I ride?
    Who makes the rules as I glide?

    Bullets coming from everywhere
    Dust to dust it what they’d have me be
    But fly I must

    This is my air, my time, and my flight.
    You have wounded me and tried to process me
    And yet my bones and flesh have protected me.

    I cannot and will not give into you
    The spirit calls out to me
    and this is what I do
    I fly
    I fly still

  111. As they sing for our troubles

    We all hammocks between two political parties
    Swaying, side to side; as they sing for our troubles
    Blowfish, blowing bubbles; they’re filthy harpies
    -In branches without roots, yes, we’re in their clutches
    Each one of us is toeing a line of their rhetoric
    Each one puts their own, crosses in a ballot box
    Hoping the sun stays warmish, somewhat mesmeric
    Blind—can’t anyone see during each new, equinox.
    The changing of the guard carries no real power
    Each is just a puppet-moon controlling a sea-tide
    Between two shores that never alter or empower
    Centre they sit polar north & south, satisfied.
    Whoever rules for them, it doesn’t have to matter
    Long as people are trussed up in wire mesh hammocks
    As it rains down thunder, or they’re rising to scatter
    Like autumn leaves, we’re all drained by these maggots.

  112. Tepane says:

    CLIMATE CHANGE

    All his life he had accepted

    the story of progress

    Absolutely

    What it meant to succeed

    Until one day

    after years of struggle

    it fell away

    although not yet completely.

    He had read the signs

    realised the story could not end well.

    While those most heavily invested

    kept drilling deeper

    promising the earth

    he noticed

    a climate of fear, panic, despair.

    He wondered:

    ‘How can I help?’

    then quite unexpectedly

    he met an old man

    an old man who seemed young

    alive with possibilities.

    Possibilities living within stories

    stories that came from the land,

    the sea and the stars

    stories of beauty, intricacy, variety,

    belonging

    stories that stirred his imagination

    spoke to him of love, loss and return

    of Unity Restoring Order.

    These stories touched something

    beyond his knowing

    hidden and yet deeply familiar

    seeded a new conception

    no needy, dependant subject

    but a Creator of Life.

    Two questions came:

    How do I support her?

    What does she need from me?

    He let the questions go

    and so came an answer.

    If it is to be

    it is up to me

    not to fix, save, know and tell

    but, through relationship,

    to come to recognise

    my own compulsion

    as fear, judgement and greed.

    The hardest path

    caring, being there,

    yet allowing others to exist

    – to struggle and flourish –

    entirely on their own terms

    to step beyond having the answers

    to invite

    Annihilation

    Revelation

    no more

    heroic self-deception

    no more detached

    cosy comfort of fixed ideas

    Committed

    not to saving the world

    but to changing

    including, inviting

    standing under

    no plans

    with Purpose

    never fully knowing

    present to what is

    between us

    surprised and delighted by

    our lives unfolding

    as One

    new reality

    Loving, Hopeful, Expectant.

  113. As i draw in breath ,
    i breathe in all your deep sighs , ..
    .my sadness got heavier lately
    but also the fire of courage got stoked by your resistance
    to never ever harden your heart…
    the crack between the sadness and the courage
    makes me feel this fragility…
    its terrifying
    but then when i relax ..
    .it’s exilarating ..
    . now more then ever a good heart is brighter then ever…
    a blazing in this darkness…
    OH friends …let’s make a milky way together…

  114. Tricia Marcella Cimera says:

    Horses
    by Tricia Marcella Cimera

    I see Poet Ashraf F.
    and think
    on Poet A. Ahkmatova.
    Life under regime.
    Then and Now.
    Brutalizers keep crawling
    on their low
    bellies through the
    dirty mud
    of Time.
    But Poems
    gallop like strong
    Horses carrying
    messages, their
    hooves tearing up
    the brown mud.
    Even
    the ones who wrote
    the Poems, can’t
    hold them back,
    rein them in.
    They run and run. . .

  115. Valery Oisteanu says:

    Last Yuge Fix!
    POTUS 45 DT

    Valery Oisteanu

    Bad morning America, the ultra-right has
    Hoodwinked the war-hawks in the Pentagon
    The Joker has won the USA Brexit 2.0
    The new world order FBI, FSB & KKK combo
    Franchising Alt-right to EU
    Imperial snakes, fractured flags
    Divided we stand and alone
    The United States of Schizophrenia
    He is not my president, no more
    Than Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1 and 2
    Resistance has no time for passivity
    The neo-fascists do not sleep
    The Supreme-leader does not close his eyes
    The big white lie inhabits The White House
    Tolerant tyrant? digital xenophobe
    They are just malevolent visitors
    While hope lies buried in dark clouds

  116. Woman With Children

    In my country there is a war walking
    in heavy boots across the land
    It is burning, looting, raping the world
    that I live in
    I am ashamed to say it is nothing to me
    I simply watch as my children
    watch for openings to play
    I cannot care for anything but their peace
    In the smoke, the moon believes
    the sun has died, and cries at the pale
    replica of morning
    Stars stare over the edge of Heaven
    I am confined to survival and searching
    for small cans of wounded food
    My husband’s heart was blown to oblivion
    and I must love enough for two
    My hands have blackened, but not my heart
    The water is dirty, but boiled
    in the heavy kettle gifted from my mother
    I focus on the story of a fine, blue heron
    I read of him once in a stolen book
    His head rose far above his body
    in a sunny sweet breezed world of free breath

    • I am moved to reply to your poem. I wish I could make it differant for and your children.
      Your strength is powerful.
      Let us hope for sanity in this world of pain.
      I send you love from Berkeley California.

  117. phibby venable says:

    Because I See You There

    Because I see you there
    I believe in the whirled beauty
    of wild colors
    and in the blue horses that run
    at midnight across the fields
    toward old watering holes
    I believe in the freedom of buffalos
    and the innocence of undefiled lands
    I see a weariness in the human spirit
    that moves along in its dutiful way
    until suddenly
    something beautiful is at risk
    A great stubborness rises
    Stumbling along, getting by
    turns to protest
    and the soldiers of humanity rise
    cracking their knuckles
    standing
    for the lost and found before
    it is lost again
    as the wind with a soft thumb
    strokes the finer parts of man

  118. Corey Mesler says:

    My Country

    I will rise only because my body
    was trained to rise. The sun
    is a dark spot in vision. The
    path that was the path is now the
    wall. I took a pen outside
    and asked the birds to write the
    poem for me. Here I was
    turned away as well. As well I
    found the ink had dried and
    and the paper thin as drool and
    my country shanghaied by odium.

  119. Following is something that I posted on Waccobb.net here in Sonoma County on a thread devoted to the resistance at Standing Rock. I recited a Rumi poem there and The Great Mother Prayer.

    (This is a copy of your post to WaccoBB.net)
    From: Shepherd Supporting Member
    Category: General Community
    Thread: Stand Up for Standing Rock by Donating

    Around 50 people attended an event at Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa yesterday to honor the people at Standing Rock. KPFA-FM broadcasters Miguel Molina and Dennis Bernstein spoke about broadcasting there for a week recently and hoping to return. Miguel said that what is happening at Standing Rock is “a prayer of resistance.” It was mentioned that 2/3s of those there are young people. They mentioned that what is needed is wood for heat through the winter, since it gets very cold in North Dakota, but not blankets or canned food. A Native American woman named Judy helped open the evening with an invocation. A Great Mother prayer and a poem from the Muslim Rumi followed.

    Among the other things said were the following:

    “This is the largest native uprising in the U.S. in 100 years.”
    “This is not considered a protest, but a ceremony.”
    “A delegation from Mexico arrived by horseback.”

    One of the most inspiring things was a colorful group of Mexican children dancing, who received an enthusiastic reception. It was a truly multi-cultural gathering.

  120. Nanci Lee says:

    This Demagogue
     
    like Mussolini less blood
    or a different kind different
    ceremony but similar use of timing
    rhetoric of Other after Europe
    swelled from pogroms & picket lines
    I don’t mean to equate brutalities
    but history is bound by desire
    spit and gut
    you can slay an order
    when we’re grinding our teeth 
    the right mix of wind and kindle
    a clear enough path
    to unleash the legs of flame
    they knew they know
    fear is bloody
    heady
    we don’t care for details
    we’re tired and
    when you’re tired
    the smell of body
    on altar delivers
    hot front full speed
    seemed to come from nowhere

  121. CEASE AND DESIST LETTER TO RACIST AMERICANS

    Way down south in the land of cotton
    may the history be forgotten, look away,
    look away, good ole boys look away
    Way down south in the land of cotton
    be silent little mamas, hold golden tongues
    look away, look away, good ole girls look away
    You waved confederate flags throughout our 50 lands
    spouting separateness and Christianity
    planting your roots into our Capitol’s heart and beyond
    while we all looked away, looked away

    We know who you are we know what you’ve done
    my daddy me taught me to lay low, stay outta your sight,
    told me not to rile you up, to do right in my own life
    and look away just let you be
    that’s how to co-exist and survive the likes of you
    so muted I stayed for too many years
    but not no more, not no more
    Although I was silent I was not blind
    for nearly 60 years I’ve watched and I learned
    I know who you are I know what you do
    and I’m here to tell you you’re near the end of the line
    cause I’ll tell you just what I’ve done
    I did as my daddy said and lived my life right,
    didn’t make eye contact, didn’t rile you up
    but in the background I was doing the work
    Under your radar I spoke in a whisper
    told my children and grandchildren
    who you are and what you do, taught them
    how you operate and taught them your code
    told them about plantation owners, overseers,
    the KKK, White Supremacy and all the hate
    taught them your treatment of black people,
    brown people, the Catholics and Jews,
    spilled the secrets of what you did to the Italians and Irish too
    they know you hated all waves and eras of European immigrants
    as well as the Asians and Native people whose lands you stole
    now its the Muslims and new immigrants caught in your crosshair
    next to the Lesbians, the gays, transgenders, the queers
    and the feminists too
    I teach the truth – you hate everyone who is not you
    dividing us all with ethnic grouping and race baiting
    your economic backlash when lower whites don’t tow the line
    I taught them how white folks watered down our right and wrong
    kept our tongues tied in the lies and locked up our morality
    out of fear of your vengeance if we stood up to you
    told them how we gave you the keys to your nationalism
    and looked away, looked away and held onto our own privilege
    As you ran rampant we looked away to self-protect
    from your fury and hid from your judgement and retribution
    we were cowards and watched as churches burned
    and bodies swung from branches in the southern breeze
    until four little girls poked at our collective conscious
    forced us to see the world we were conditioned to protect and deny
    Four little holes ripped at our hearts scratching at the blinders
    of our own white hoods, tearing the holes bigger
    and bigger with each step that you took.
    In your arrogance, you have no fear of me – one old white women
    you deem as inferior stock and call me a race traitor bitch
    just as you had no fear of those two white college boys
    from the North you left dead in a ditch
    But that there is where you made your mistake
    they had an army of newly woke white folks behind them
    watchin’ and learnin’ just who you are and what you do
    and just so you know, not fearing me is a mistake,’
    cause I tell my children the truth about you and me
    about the blood on our hands, they know white silence
    of your acts big and small hands you the reins to carry on
    our unholy alliance of privilege and greed
    they know from me the economic backlash you use
    to control your own kind to keep your foothold
    is a double edge sword that cuts both ways
    Just know behind me stands an army of newly woke white folks
    ready to push back against your hate determined to stop you
    We know who you are – we know what you’ve done
    what you continue to do
    from the shadows we’ve been watching you
    and we are ready to strike – its just a matter of time
    before your abuse and tyranny is over and done
    you have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide –
    Way down south in the land of cotton
    the hate you’ve birthed is not forgotten………..

    © 2016 Linda DiFeterici

  122. Gretchen Schulz says:

    succession

    little light is left as i look
    a murder of callous crows
    perches within our highest
    berths their dirty droppings tip
    the scales of justice the weight
    is too great for the poor the ill
    the immigrants the old
    the underprivileged masses
    a klan of old rich white foul
    plunderer equivocate
    deceive if any god can
    deliver us deliver us now
    from their cruel conceited
    fascist hooks

  123. Steve Brown says:

    American Fecundity 2016

    These are uncertain times.
    Heat hangs heavy, unnatural,
    skies cyclone-oppressive.
    Hate thickens, alien-green.
    The valley is still; not a blade
    bends. There is a highway out—
    love actually—
    but all stand stoic, lulled
    by the static dreadful
    blossoming impossible.

    I wrote this back in July. I’m not sure why, but for most of the campaign I felt the dreadful impossible would indeed happen. I was caught a little by surprise at the end for I was sure the “locker room talk” would do Trump in. So, I’m not a prophet. I just have never believed any society is safe from Nazi-like movements; so I thought we were vulnerable precisely because we feel immune.

  124. Mark Mann says:

    And a darkness came upon the land,
    and those benighted thought it was light.

  125. “Supermoon”

    It’s so clear
    I can see the stars
    and stripes, cast aside
    ragged and beaten.

  126. pacyinz says:

    In Times of Darkness

    I will tell you this
    In times of darkness
    I have seen people look for God on the pages of sacred books
    I have seen people reach for wisdom opening the gates beyond the world of the living to seek the guidance of bygone ancestors
    I have seen people understand the value of life beyond their human skins to embrace their fathers the stones and their sisters the wolves
    I will tell you that none of them were much better or much worse than the others
    Even the people who claimed to free of human bias and irrational compassion by clinging to the coldness of the rule of law
    In the end, in the darkness, what truly matters is the miracle of the light of each soul and each particle of matters, each brightening a black spot in the universe making it a festival of stars, the most dazzling defense against the fear of the night
    In times of darkness, none should be allowed to be dimmed out of existence

  127. The alarm has sounded
    The siren has bellowed
    There’s a need for change
    But not what is to follow

    Our peace is threatened
    Our muses, nothing to excite for
    There can’t be a positive change
    With racism at our door

    We are bound to lose
    We are going to self-destruct
    If we don’t stop climate change
    And people running amuck

    Something can stop them
    That something is you
    Don’t fall into complacency
    When there’s so much to do

    We can make the change
    We can make a difference
    If we pull together
    And stop the sexist references

    The alarm has sounded
    The siren has bellowed
    We can make the change
    That needs to follow

  128. Peggy Gurung, Sikkim, India. says:

    God made us so!

    Not one leaf is same as another in a tree
    Not two blossoms are completely alike
    As different or same may they seem
    Beauty is in each being their own
    Nature, amazing as She is
    God lovingly made Her so!

    Oh! same way He made you and me
    Same way He made we and us
    Eyes to see and ears to hear
    Nose to smell and tongue to taste
    This world belongs to each and all
    God blessed and made it so!

    What colour and creed we approve or not
    What shape and size we are made up of
    Matters not to the battles ‘we’ face
    What sadness is to you, it is to me
    What happiness is to me, it is to you
    See, God equally made us so!

    When He discriminates against us not
    When resides He in each of us
    Child, I am to Him
    And His child you are
    Love, to bring forth and sow
    For this alone God made us so!

    Against all the battles and wars we’ve faced as the human race, Love and Humanity has saved us, empowered us and alighted hope for better days ALWAYS! In the end, how you lived and how you loved is all that matters. <3

  129. Sunayana Kachroo says:

    What you resist persists—
    even Hate
    The opposite of Hate is -Love…
    not hating the hatred
    Rebellion against hate –is hate too
    Coz’
    We have witnessed it often in the history
    Hatred
    -has crowned fools as kings
    -made religions recession-proof
    -made atheism into a cult
    -enabled free will to be pawned by blood thirsty preachers

    No matter how sinful the other entity is,
    its hatred is yours, comes out of You and You only…
    coz
    Remember
    What you resist persists even Hate

    Copyright @Sunayana Kachroo
    Boston

  130. In the Same Basket

    Deep inside the anger rises
    Each one standing by their choice,
    Perpetrating bad behavior
    Letting violence have a voice
    Oh, where have all the sane folk gone?
    Rebelling when we disagree…
    All of us must work together,
    Become the change we want to see.
    Let the flames of love unite us;
    Erase the hate to set us free.

    This acrostic poem was written after viewing the “Hate” graffiti discovered on Mt. Tom in nearby Holyoke, MA during the week of the presidential election.

  131. I Have A Responsibility

    I have a responsibility
    to my black friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my brown friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my red friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my white friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my friends of all colors

    I have a responsibility
    to my immigrant friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my refugee friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my friends of every ethnicity and nationality

    I have a responsibility
    to my friends of all beliefs and non-beliefs

    I have a responsibility
    to my female friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my male friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my gay and lesbian friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my bisexual friends

    I have a responsibility
    to my transgender friends

    I have a responsibility
    to children

    I have a responsibility
    to the elderly

    I have a responsibility
    to those who are unable to help themselves

    I have a responsibility
    to democracy

    I have a responsibility
    to freedom justice and equality for all

    I have a responsibility
    to stand up and speak out

    against misogyny racism and xenophobia
    against white supremacists

    I have a responsibility
    to stand up and speak out

    against Donald Trump
    and his misogynistic racist xenophobic

    white supremacist government
    I have a responsibility

    to protect the inalienable rights
    of all people regardless of race sex or religion

    I have a responsibility
    to stand up speak out and abide by

    those precious documents
    our Founding Fathers created

    The Declaration of Independence
    The Constitution and The Bill of Rights

    I have a responsibility
    to stand up to speak out

    to refuse to resist to not bow down to
    to never give up

    in my non-violent fight
    for freedom equality and justice

    for all people
    I have a responsibility

    Ron Whitehead

    Copyright (c) 2016 Ron Whitehead

  132. K. A. Laity says:

    SONGS OF DEFIANCE
    (for William Blake)

    I am Blake’s daughter, burning bright.
    I was born for endless delight;
    But your vision, sightless, thrusts me
    into the endless night.

    You perceive only the ratio;
    I see the infinite in all things.
    You have let the grains of sand slip
    between the feathers in your wings.

    You have poisoned the wild flowers
    and slain the lowly wren.
    You shoot the dewy fawn,
    then bid us trust again.

    “The poison of the honey bee
    is the artist’s jealousy”;
    Yet how can I not envy
    your canvas’ grave capacity:

    You weave a winding sheet
    of stars and stripes and error;
    The furnace of your brain
    burns hope and spits out terror.

    I listen to the tale of
    the caterpillar’s grief
    As we sit side by side
    upon the trembling leaf,

    And all who pass beneath
    are bathed in misery and tears,
    On the road of excess, but
    stopped at the palace of fears.

    The church is cold as cash,
    the schoolhouse has been shuttered.
    In every hall, from every box
    your curses have been muttered.

    I can write my revenge in text
    and predict what tragedy comes next;
    But no gods appear to bring us light
    when we embrace the endless night.

    K. A. Laity

  133. Birthright

    Past knots and tendons,

    I look

    to bone

    and see,

    centuries past.

    my face shrivels

    as flames rise higher.

    The point of a sword

    slashes my belly.

    Today, head to toe in black,

    I barely breathe,

    walk the requisite

    steps behind.

    The open hand

    of my husband

    reddens my cheek.

    In India and China

    girls form

    the Greek chorus,

    and chant,

    never born,

    never born.

  134. 11/11/2016

    Early morning walk.
    I greet my neighbors.
    “Morning,” I say in passing.
    I can’t yet say “Good morning.”
    It isn’t good.
    And it won’t be good
    Until
    Everyone can feel as safe as I do
    Walking through their neighborhood.
    And mine.
    Until the woman in the headscarf,
    The youth in the black hoodie,
    The man who is fluent in Spanish,
    The lady in the wheelchair,
    Until all of us can be safe.
    Safe when we roll down the car window
    For the policeman who pulled us over
    Or when we answer the cop who
    Approaches us on the street.
    Safe when we put our arms around
    The one we love
    Right out there in public
    No matter who it is we love.
    Safe when we speak a language
    Other than English
    Or English with our parents’ accent.
    Safe when our disability means
    Maybe we take a little longer at the ATM.
    Safe when we’re the only woman on the bus.
    Safe when our visa has expired and we’re
    Too scared to go back to our broken country.
    I want to know what it’s like to be you.
    I can put on a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt
    And experience the hateful stares and scoffing comments.
    But I can also take it off.
    It doesn’t tell me how you feel every day
    Walking around in the skin you were born with.
    I can speak Spanish with my friends
    But no one assumes I don’t speak English.
    I can wear a headscarf like I did on cold, windy days
    When I was a girl. We all did that.
    No one would assume I was a terrorist.
    I don’t ask that we always be comfortable.
    Only safe. Because safe is really important.
    I have done nothing to deserve my privilege.
    You have done nothing to deserve less.
    Someday I will go for my morning walk
    And say “Good morning!” to everyone I meet
    And mean it
    And know it is also a good morning
    For them.
    Until then
    We have work to do.
    Please, can we do it together?

  135. Stephen M. Clark says:

    Late Night in the Kitchen
    Stephen M. Clark
    copyright 2016

    Late night in the kitchen
    wordlessly watching.
    Wondering, pondering,
    listlessly wandering,
    the faceless mesas
    of concrete & steel,
    that have no foundation.
    Replaced by a nation
    of x’s & y’s, and w’s and z’s.
    They’ve caught a disease.
    Vessels of pestles,
    which hold not a measure,
    of tradition and morals.
    A digital world,
    with no solid anchor,
    where the greedy will prosper,
    while the poor are left to hanker,
    for the scraps that are gleened.
    What does it mean?
    Late night in the kitchen.
    Nothing going on.
    No one’s getting crazy
    Except for this song.
    Late night in the kitchen.

  136. Doctori Sadisco says:

    FOR STANDING ROCK
    don’t call us
    humanity
    Chaos creeps
    very slowly
    so you don’t
    notice

    Watched closely
    you never see
    it move

    Blink once
    and there
    the shambles snarls

    snorting war
    and greed
    and poverty
    out of
    black hole
    nostrils

    stamping
    huge hoofs
    against shards
    of glass
    of bone
    of civilization

    I call this
    Inhumanity

    a far better name
    for us
    than brave
    or saint
    or even
    sinner

    Now
    bathe in
    oil and blood
    where
    the singing
    brook
    once ran

  137. Bruce Lomas says:

    Something has changed
    it’s in the air we breathe
    showing in conversation
    of shoulders weighed down
    by the pressure of it all.
    Distress and confusion
    a fear of the unseeable
    nature holds its breath
    as cold November winds
    drive the dry, lifeless leaves
    across the barren streets.
    I long to make sense
    of what I see all around
    of a noise barely heard
    amongst the crowds
    jostling on the city streets
    living lives in isolation
    hiding in suburban bubbles
    thinking they are safe
    from the approaching storm.
    My voice is too small
    to cut through the discord
    of fearful human hearts,
    yet, I must still try
    to stand above the fray
    speaking truth in love
    of grace and peace.

  138. Blue Shirts, Scorched

    the woman in the rock changes
    in the seasons–now you see her
    face in profile, then again she
    disappears beyond a curtain

    of greenery, shading her from
    the sun, giving refuge to animals
    of all ilk, glittering eyes watching
    all as they come and go, eating

    and being eaten, hatching out their
    young, feeding the same, evading
    those predators who would consume
    one

    war on her and the pike comes out.
    immovable stone, stolid, unblastable
    rock, reaching down to the molten
    centre of the earth, giving her
    that heat to warm others, to
    warn others

    the blue shirts, scorched, top
    the bonfire, flames riddling
    the rubbish while the printed
    word looks on in silent paragraphs

    and the seasons change, and
    she does too, her aspect changing
    with the coursing of the sun

    *”Blue Shirts” refers to the fascist movement in Ireland. I am afraid we are seeing a resurgence of these movements.

  139. Let the Flags Fall
    Let the flags fall
    to half mast
    but let them not
    touch the ground.
    Already they come
    too close,
    draped on caskets,
    and there are
    far too many
    of them lying around.
    Let the flags fall
    emblems abused
    symbols of manmade
    demarcations
    drawn in sacrifice
    in the blood of fodder
    in the blood of lambs,
    in the blood of others
    used.
    Let the flags fall
    despite the wind
    let them not
    wave proudly this day.
    For too many have fallen
    hoisting them up
    too many
    fathers and mothers,
    sons and daughters,
    brothers and sisters,
    uncles and aunts,
    cousins and friends,
    too many
    lost and gone away.
    Let the flags fall
    in memoriam
    let them fall in question,
    what good is tragedy
    displaced?
    The notion of killing for peace
    is humanly flawed,
    and humankind’s disgrace.

    M. Zane McClellan

    Copyright © 2016
    All rights reserved

  140. THE COALITION

    They assembled from north
    to south, from eastern lands and
    western territories they gathered

    the coalition of the willing
    and they reached a conclusion

    neocons would attack the western flank
    neoliberalists would bomb the eastern sand-dunes
    the socialists would secure the north
    free marketers would advance from the south

    no inch of this country should
    be left free of freedom

    humanitarians would drop rations
    of food in plastic containers
    fried rice, mashed potatoes
    preservatives and ambience

    nations assembled and in unison
    they reached an agreement
    for the good of the inhabitants
    they had to cleanse the land
    of undesirable pollutants
    of its disproved freedom

  141. Ballad of the Flow of Commerce

    So you take a business lunch in the financial district
    and two blocks up the street by Manulife Complex
    there’s an active volcano you’d swear wasn’t there a week ago
    though other memories differ

    “Mt. Mazuma? sure, we’ve been sacrificing virgins
    to that hot hole for donkey’s years
    Seems to work, it hasn’t blown up in our face
    since the recession of 1992
    Lava, blood, spewed bones and arteries
    (you ever see a whole street clogged with crimson arteries?
    not a sight you’ll soon forget I’ll tell you
    pullulating like vermilion snakes
    we don’t know why it happened, just as soon it didn’t again)
    seriously, the virgins are cool with it, the families
    reap medical and pension benefits, I’m even told
    (but who can say? participants all mute and stony as is often the case with the dead
    testimony would never be accepted in a court of law)
    the orgasm when lava meets intact hymen
    is so intense it’s worth even sudden death
    I hope so, it’s not as if I wish them ill
    but who wants lava streams, thee storeys high or thereabouts, immolating
    the vital pulse of worldwide commerce in our city
    Burst those fleshy hymens! with molten rock streams
    if that’s what it take to keep the volcano copacetic
    as far as I’m concerned.”

    “I don’t care what anyone says about benefits to survivors
    Volcano Virgin’s as dead end an occupation as you can get
    if it isn’t a glass ceiling at the upper end of the employment scale
    it’s a floor of liquid fire at the lower.”

    Lightning bolts sear words into a now-deserted commercial highrise
    slowly crumbling in still-elegant, ash-highlighted ruin
    Words stand out in black where the lightning has struck
    fade within minutes but most are recorded
    by reporting teams on permanent standby, preserved
    by those of them that earthquake doesn’t swallow or lava purges
    overrun and crisp. . . is that volcano ever satisfied?
    We have a contract for the regular delivery of virgins
    if one arrives mere moments late, or turns out not as advertised
    we have to scramble in one hot hurry to find another
    Is that any reason to violate the terms of our agreement
    signed in ink and ash, judicially binding fiduciary terms
    belch rocks into the upper storeys of towers and lava
    in street-wide streams, at rush hour even?
    You can’t imagine the upheavals
    congestion of major arteries from diversion
    cars popping into flame, at a distance they resemble candles
    stink of gasoline fumes, days and weeks after, embedded in lava ash
    we’d be well within our rights to sue > Do it in a minute
    if a volcano had any capital assets to seize

    “Most women of eligible age for employment
    don’t qualify as Volcano Virgins, so what’s to stop them rising in the ranks?
    Conspiracy? Prejudicial hiring? Don’t be absurd!
    How long would a company keep its competitive edge
    in these cutthroat times if it didn’t exploit to the full every talent
    (however humble the initial position)
    of any employee entering the job stream at whatever level?”

    The writing on the walls is frequently cryptic
    CHANGE IN THE WIND FOR ALL WHO GRASP AT AIR
    BY THE TIME THE FUTURE’S HERE IT’S TOO LATE TO SECOND GUESS IT
    Sure, words of wisdom if you like but what do they mean specifically?
    Buy low? Sell high? Vice versa or try a new place for lunch?
    The only happy campers are those
    running interpretation shills

    “I’m not ashamed to say I’d be a Volcano Virgin in a heartbeat
    if I met the basic requirements / Thrill a minute!
    That’s me, and with so few minutes left
    you bet every one would be a thrill
    Don’t know if there’s any truth to the rumours
    come as you go, but why not? Science doesn’t know everything
    Like to find out myself
    once before I die” “Just before you die” “There is that
    and anyway I’m in a committed relationship”

    PRACTICALLY CONTRIVED DISASTER
    DESOLE / AUTRE TEMPS
    “Hope this lightning’s not going to start throwing nothing but French at us”
    “Could be worse . . . could be Cantonese”
    CHECK FOR TOMATOES IN THE WORD SALAD
    That last one I’m almost positive was faked some way
    Not the oracular ring we’d come to expect
    but what do I know? Why shouldn’t an articulate lightning bolt
    have a sense of humour also?

    Tomatoes in the lava bed are another matter
    Tempers flare in debates at City Hall
    do we go with status quo or finally offer up resistance
    are we appeasing and thus promoting unhealthy appetite in the volcano?
    What’s slim or fat in a towering rocky edifice?
    Who even knows what it wants for sure? Do any of us speak volcano?
    Smart money’s on status quo what with 1992
    still fresh in the memory and tell me please is somebody
    holding a gun to prospective Virgins’ heads?
    Au contraire, there are lengthy waiting lists
    qualifying exams
    competitions for Virgin Queen
    at more than half of our local high schools, where
    testing’s particularly rigorous (as you might expect
    if you know a thing or two about modern high schools)

    The writing on the walls is frequently cryptic
    Later events may strangely clarify an obscurity of phrase
    Many of us wonder what the use is of a prophecy
    you can’t understand until it’s fulfilled
    Perhaps it’s an intelligence test? if that’s the case
    we’re way behind on points > Never mind saving anyone
    There are loads of ways you can make a buck on disasters you know are coming

    Previously published:
    http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinundwerden/summer16/page36.html

  142. Kat Copeland says:

    Division
    Oh my country…
    Tears weeping
    Take me away
    Mourning for you
    Dare one speak
    Feel. Think.
    Shot down.
    Attacked.
    So many
    Archie Bunkers
    Too many corners
    My way
    My way
    My way
    My way
    Is heard — or not
    Screaming seems
    to be the norm
    Take me away
    to my seaside home
    Where the sky
    and the sea meet
    Watercolor houses
    People of kindness
    Culture
    Beautiful music
    Fruits and fishes
    Daily
    Rest. Rest. Rest.
    Hammock of peace.
    Oh,
    Take me away
    Silence. Solitude.
    Peace.
    Peace.
    Peace.
    Waves of soothing
    Songs of happiness
    Dances of wonder
    The ancients wander
    Comfort.
    Lazy. Relaxing.
    Mental most
    consoling
    Oh for peace!
    11/19/2016kat

    • Liam O'Brien says:

      When We Gave Up by Liam O’Brien

      Do we give up?
      Should our bilious bowels hold this poison down?
      Would death be worse than sticking around?
      Death is here.
      His orange jowls hang from cheek bones
      Like curtains in a farcical theatre
      Where the mouth plays the role of misogynist clown. 
      Grabbing the genitals of lady liberty,
      His tongue slobbers a lisp
      Whispering destined broken promises
      For her to swallow obedient.
      Tugging her close, his wispy rug blinds
      And in the dark she cannot arbitrate. 
      Shackled stone, helpless prisoner of the repulsive,
      Statue-still, she hears the heart in the breast of America die, pulse-less.

      Do we give up?
      We might as well!
      Because it’ll be great, won’t it,
      When the Divided States of Hate
      Give us mates’ rates for trade deals
      In which fascists ship the crates?
      May’s shut the gates
      After Farage set the bait
      For Boris to bite.
      Call them all traitors when they don’t vote to leave;
      Congratulate bullies and the lies that they weave.
      United we fall, we’re not racist but…..
      PLEASE!
      And Le Pen writes the script, casting her bete noir as a vulnerable, poor refugee.

      Do we give up?
      I think that I might.
      The planet is warming and swarming
      With people, talking shite, who don’t believe
      That the world’s gonna end
      If the temperature goes up by 4 more degrees.
      Do we give up?
      We’re still burning coal
      When there’s life in the wind.
      But the wind comes for free
      And the white men are greedy.
      So, do we give up?
      There was life in the water
      But we filled it with bleach;
      Now the corals are dead
      And the fish are deceased.
      I’m gonna give up!
      Because everyone’s poor,
      And the trickle down stops
      In accounts of elites.
      You should give up!
      We sit at our chairs
      On a desk at a laptop
      Working hard for money that we don’t get to keep.
      Not that we want it.
      The blood stains our hands.
      Unsustainable foods are the cheapest, you see?
      Give up!
      Give up!
      And we’re murdering meat
      Fed by grain that is plundered from Africa’s feet.

      So do we give up?
      No we do not!
      We have children to raise.
      And for their children
      We want bright mornings spent under the gaze of peaceful skies;
      We want love that breathes life in to our spiritless valleys;
      We want the purest rains to drench mountains, quenching the thirst of young wonder, as they all drink together at the banks of our once bottomless dreams.

  143. Dave Rendle says:

    Intolerantina ( a Poem for Donald Trump )

    ( Here’s a poem for Donald Trump that I dropped down the pan
    crumpled wet and soggy, maybe I shouldn’t have saved it,
    the original resting place captured the true essence of the man.)

    Storm clouds billowing now across a frightened sky
    Voice of hate and division spreads discordant cry,
    The well of hope seems to have dried
    As arrogant voice rises making people blind.

    Fractured freedom try’s to hold it’s breath
    In times of sadness between life and death,
    As walls are proposed to keep people out
    Waves of tears grow among seas of doubt.

    If Trump triumphs and closes all the doors
    Lets fear for his country as kindness gets lost,
    As divisions get wider, faultlines grow bigger
    Waiting in the darkness, unreason cruelly sniggers.

    Hate-mongers and right wing bigots dancing now
    In the land of liberty, the home of the brave,
    Is this the beginning or the end, as intolerance consumes
    Is it not the time to mend existing cracks and wounds?

    Lets pray for America, lets pray they are not too blind,
    Lets pray for sanity, lets pray for human kind,
    Lets pray for the world, lets pray for peace,
    Lets pray that one day blinkered thought will cease.

  144. Anita Lubesh says:

    Cold Winds

    With hope,
    black crows will not swoop
    just as the unfair cold hand of fate
    is thawing –
    frosty fingers like icicles will retract
    saber claws to lay impotent
    in cold, clear callused pools
    where harmless reflections eschew
    all morbid notions,
    because
    they have no choice.
    Without hope, we might grow
    contemptuous of frost.

  145. election day
    casting my ballot
    to the dark wind

  146. Robin Baldwin says:

    Lead by Example

    And so we begin again.
    The world is watching
    Our every move
    As we navigate the unthinkable.
    Let us find our souls
    To do good works,
    Show compassion,
    Help our country heal.
    We still live freely
    In democracy.
    The trick is to rise
    Toward the sun
    Lift our hearts up
    Spread peace and joy
    Wherever we go.
    It is a new beginning
    And a call to lead by example.
    We are America,
    One nation under God.

  147. ZQ says:

    Riots in Our minds

    “Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord, by and by?”

    Riots in our minds. Ever since make-believe

    Became animation gunned down on the screen;

    Shields of civility crumbled into face guards, titanium bras,

    And shoulder holsters concealing mace, and razors

    Freely dispensed in the religion of “crush and hate.”

    Riots in our mind of dissatisfaction. Spurring the beast of greed,

    Whether for gold or for whatever we think

    Is ours; whatever we think “we deserve”

    Piling on the “I am better.”

    For the implosion of pleasure.

    Our society, like Rome is burning.

    Play, Nero, play!

    Sizzle indifference for every god’s sake!

    Burn respectability and responsibility;

    Like crumbling toast on a flaming paper plate.

    An evil tune from Hell’s riot plays!

    Heart bangers and head choppers slither off the stage

    Straddling and humping the sword of decency, heated with fervor.

    You can hear them murmur,

    “Break circle break!

    Break circle break!

    Break circle break!

    Break it for ignorance

    For our self-loving sake.”

    The true self wants this riot in silence.

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