Friday, September 8, 2017

feel the Bern/political poetry

City silhouette,
cut-outs for lighted windows.
Inside, stories are shared, embellished
to suit the mood.
Mrs. Rio’s son flew into combat.
See her so brave, civilly smiling,
wishing well to each partier who greets her.
But don’t we all have our masked anxieties,
sorrows, shames?  Civilly shaking hands,
breathing deeply to hold from shaking
inappropriately.  Please, more liquid dullness,
more chemical restraint.
More strident complaint of political --
yes Our World’s gone to hell!
How dare THEY tell us how to behave!
I’ve a mind to blast them all into atoms,
to take a stand against whomever crosses
my path without due regard.
When did everything get so hard,
so unyielding, so thick?
I know there was a once we made more sense,
gave more embracing warmth.
There are stories.
What are yours?
 
 
 
politics
 
 
infinite regression of change and resistance
multi-rhythmed rhyme
singing into the winds of change
to move their vector more in line
with where we wish to arrive
 
 
 
so sick (in my gut, in my head, in my heart, in my arms) of all the divisiveness.  Men can't understand women.  Whites can't understand blacks.  Rich can't understand poor.  Left can't understand right ...
That's why we have language, art, long-term complicated relationships, community projects and festivals and  -- tell me your story

If they were listening, I would say:
figure it out
but first, think about your precepts
and, most importantly,
where you want to be
(not where you should; or where you could)
on the other side.

It’s a self-fulfilling system, with plenty
of bad actors to go around.
Theories for social distribution of power (politics)
or resources (economics)
 
 
The privileged have the power of wealthThe people have the numbers, andless and less to lose
 
 
 
ive Revolution
 
 
Revolution comes when it is ready.
Sparks so many times seem sure to light, embolden change.
Only when the tinder is sufficiently arranged will fire take hold.
Blaze clear fidelity to this erupted moment, charging forward.
After images, ash flakes in settling dark, take flight,
swirl within echoed breeze.
Readiness, relative to chaos, free range of human whim.
Revolution is but a shared anthem, parts of anger and revenge,
parts of reaching toward a new religion.
In the aftermath of violent schism,
what bright vision will sustain?
 
 
 
 
 
New World Order
 
 
Post-feudal society
obsessed with security and place
lock-step shuffle of obeisance
counting corners, counting on
science and leaders of order
counting on gospel served cold,
filleted, and layered just so.
Fashionably secured, tied and
corseted, made up for easy recognition.
"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! Buy me
the pretty fire." So mesmerizing, so
certain to tell me who I am, how to be.
Casting savage spells, they are,
far and wide, telecommunication.
Tying up and tidying with vast
imaginary whips and wheels,
spinning like a Pied Piper's tales.
No wonder.
We get it wrong and twisted.
Throwing out the wheat to eat
the chaff.  Poisoning the well
that no enemy may drink our bounty.
Burning our bridges and tunnels
to save them.
Embarrassment of riches.
Gorging on fine cakes and
sugar water champagne.
No wonder.
Eerie daylight marching
timed by mechanistic masters
armed with decisions directing
torture, incarceration.
Power derived from the people
constrained of memory
mistaking some paranoid parody
for a promise of life.
 
 
Power
 
 
What is power?
Power is a word.
Power is an idea.
The Word is power.
The Idea is power.
Power is a distribution of energy, wealth, strength:
Physical, material, mental, metaphysical,
social.
Power is that which allows us,
Or we allow others, to have
sway over their/our actions, emotions, limitations.
Power is a rush of air, of water, of electrons,
of words,
of weapons, of will
-- the force behind movement
or stasis.
 
 
 
 
Feudal Diffraction
 
 
It's not the color chart; it's the hierarchy.
Hoarders of permission slips for supplies
thereby decide what gets prioritized,
which brick gets laid, or even fired,
who lives well,
who scrapes til they no longer get by.
It's not our genetic code that compels stupidity.
Perhaps it's a kind of manic compulsion,
depressive obsession,
mass psychosis,
St. Vitus line-dance to a zombie
caller's tune.
What to do?
Meme-web reconstruction in increments
paradigm warping incidents
realign the pulse of macro/microsphere
benign gibberish cy-phones through?
Take back your time.
Take back your right to self-valuation.
Take back your place
outside of the lines.
If our needs, self-fulfilling desires, greater
ecstatic glory and grace
are to be based
on solid infrastructure,
on fruitful interplay,
on free and freeing expression,
let us take hands in
undulating, beatific dance
multi-rhythmed
direction.
Let us be and do and feel
that which gives us permission
to be whole.
 
 

social net
 
to paraphrase that great poet, Donald Rumsfeld:  We work with the Congress we have, not the Congress we wish we had
 
 
Yes, of course we ought be fiscally responsible.
Yet of far more import is that we be rational.
Hyperbolic apoplectic, Apocalyptic rhetoric
reduces us from politic to stagey raving maniacs.
No need for such hysteria; learn from recent history.
The flagrant ways of LBJ, Reagan and GWB
found mitigation in administrations following.
The People, energized, expand instead of wallowing.
Exciting industries take hold, real worth -- not hollow gold.
 
The conversation we as a nation need
is not a war of virtue versus greed
or capturing the rules to win a game
or playing catch with sophistry and shame.
We need to ask and answer in sobriety
Who we best can be as a society
 
 
 
 
When the national project was stolen before our horrified stares
When it became our duty to kill and destroy for the convenience of profit
When humane policy became anathema, unworthy economic drag
When the will of the gambling elite gamed the rule of law to their pocket
Did you scream so loud that bitter blood poured from your lungs?
Did you set up mourning camps to gather forces,
to train grief and rage into worthy opponents against true freedom's foes?
Did you gaze into the cold eyes of propagandists and say "No!"?
Or did you march along in the parade, assured:  "First they get theirs; then we get ours."?
 
 
 
 
Prophecy
 
 
And He became The One
as we all swarmed together
in His direction
anointing our Saviour.
We, so impatient to be saved
from evil history
from slavery, hunger, hate
to make a better fate
for our kids
(and, don't kid yourself, ourselves).
Caught up, trapped, in the trappings
of fashion, co-opted hypnotic
consciousness.
Drugs to cure us of our many flaws;
because if you're not flawless you
haven't got a chance.
In marketplace fierce competition,
a youthful escapade can ruin you
for a respectable life,
that adheres peers' and elders' expectations.
And then where are you?
May as well be burning in eternal
damnation -- at last.
At least Satan wants you
for your sins.
In a mythical colony,
far from their petulant King,
it is said a people
fought and died, and stood their ground
for freedom.
It is said such pageant plays
are widely performed today.
"Freedom is not Free; but based
on blood sacrifice."  They say.
Freedom dependent on militia,
on strictly disciplined troops
firing into pregnant crowds.
Ancient wizards foretold
potent prophecy.
We will not listen.
We insist on martyrdom,
worshipping, as we do,
cults of murder.
Thus human life leads inexorably
to eternal death,
just as we demand,
when we all come together
anointing yet another One.
 
 
 
We Didn't Know
 
 
Efficient development requires deprivement.
No profit, no playground to feel alive in.
Those few groomed for career cheer, mocking:
"Can't you hear; that's freedom knocking."
"Work for rent, or stay in school, dude."
You get no cake for being a loser.
Orwell warned "Big Brother is watching."
We didn't know he meant on you-tube.
 
We didn't know our life was a crime
Sentenced from birth to pay all our time
Cast from the truck to the roadside to rot
Drawn outside of luck, all about what you're not.
Media screams their revealed truth feud.
Sell saturated garbage labeled food.
Orwell warned; we were warned:
"The best of you will be co-opted."
We didn't know they meant on you-tube.
 
 
 
Freedom FOR Security
 
 
Either, by nature, you're plagued with paranoia
Or you've bought pervasive propaganda.
I do understand:
It was so cheap, and in your color.
It wasn't labeled "Propaganda."
Sold as "News," common knowledge,
accommodation to the norm.
And it fits your internal dialog so well
"Danger is everywhere these days of disorder,
scary change."
Just like all the days
when Freedom seems such a flimsy wage,
a cheap exchange
 
for sham Security.
 
 
 
So envious of the unwanted? Quit your lousy job, too taxed, too overworked, too ignored.
Surely you deserve better those under. Enjoy your natural bounty, and all that our country offers.
Taxes? Ever it has been so in our culture. Jesus was born, so the story goes, when his mortal parents
were on the road to pay required tithes of their livelihoods. For the privilege of doing business, trading
our time and skills for pay, the top takes their cut. We pay our homage and percentage to our lord,
and hope his armies will protect us from invading hordes.
If you don’t like the system developed over eons for the benefit of those who have forced their way
to be in charge, create a better one. Then (here’s the trick) sell it to a majority; and make them care enough
to follow through.
Money will never be out of politics. It’s too attractive a game. The only way around that is to make money
irrelevant. The people would need to understand and agree on better leadership, better policies, that are
personally meaningful to them. They need to feel a real stake, real reason to believe it’s not all fixed
beyond their ability to make a difference. And, it’s got to be easy to begin.
 
 
 
It's not about
black or white
might is right
fuel to fight
 
It's not about
East or West
who's the best
forget the rest
 
It's about
me and you,
if we so choose,
what we can do
 
 
 
turn the protest into a party;surround the hate groups with flowers, and love
Sing and dance and make a racket
They won't know what to make of it
They'll try to shout out "HATE!" --
drown out their silly songs with roaring anthems
to peace and fun ~
 
 
Time for dancing in the street to relieve stressTime to take a peaceful revolution to the people
Time to recapitulate the 60's in the light of greater hindsight
and foresight
and vision
to demand true freedom
first of ourselves
then with each other
people
united
to wrest our best hopes
from reality
 
 
 
I miss the space, open and free and wildI miss the marvel in exploration of each child
I miss the sky of stars unmarred by jets
I miss a market based on trade instead of bets
I miss people happily about their work
without expressing through their inner jerk
I miss sentimental time not on tv
I miss the way we thought by now we'd be
 
 
 
The Earth screamsPeople die before their time
Or never get much of a life
Species die, their music silenced
Crazy theories of wealth
belie obligation or simple seeing
the laws of consequence
Scream Earth!
Pierce the cosmos with your
terrible cry
Acid rain burning through gold
falls
 
 
 
Government happens
Power differentials are natural
Makes sense to attend to these matters
consciously,
rationally.
Hot heads, coarse tongues, flail of arm,
crush of foot, outthrust chest, rancorous
demands
lively show and tell;
Yes, such forceful yell might get bells
ringing, choirs singing, merry pageantry.
After roaring Sun’s descended, crowds
disbanded to bars and beds
to dream lusty victories or private
histories, nobody charged to watch
for this twinkling of time.
Without law, there is no crime.
Without rules, no crown ascends
by common call – but only by
all against all
in squall of terrors,
contests of survival, games
scored in blood.
Believe all people peaceful
if you just let us be.
Walk among our brethren.
Tell me what you see.
If human kindness is our cure,
why do the poor stay poor?
Truly self-governing civility would
so obviously

transcend ills of political governments.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

woman

Earth Goddesses
 
 
 Ceres, mother of the Earth
 Athena, of cerebral birth
 Juno, queen of all the gods
 Vesta, pure against all odds
 Virgo woman, life bequeaths you,
 Standing proud amongst your sheaths,
 Wisdom, loving gifts of grace,
 In all fields is your place
 To give of virtue, mind and soul
 You plant the seed. You help it grow.
 You till the soil and prune and weed.
 You are the soil. You are the seed.
 
 A snow-white light on field's relief
 To countenance divine belief.
 The image of a wishful star:
 A steady shine -- but still so far.
 The nights of hope; the days of pain
 And on and on, that old refrain
 We are the heart, the soul, the spleen
 We are all we've known, done and seen
 We are the time that marches on
 With much to do before we're gone.
 
 
 
Your Philosophy
 
 
movie plot as object lesson
boys find valuable object
boys lose valuable object
boys fight to get valuable object back
 
 
I am woman born
no source of father's pride
too early in my days, they
track my aroma
I know not to hide
use me in some back room
until my womb rises with a new slave
for their diversions
 
I am sacred mother
tit tied to feeding, always feeding
(agonized bleeding in secret shame)
No more than a tether, a trough, and
tantalizer of the profane. I am a wrecked
train, a vehicle left to rust, blamed for
slatternly stagnation,
never quite thrown away.
 
Reject me; reject hard truths,
long trod diamonds, scuff-polished,
hidden like icebergs in paleolithic mud.
Dismiss prophetic exaltation, work songs,
labyrinthine gardens,
we who are only dreams in your philosophy.
 
You may well be better
stuck in your own
wheel of clay.
My lesson, when I am ready,
is to leave you to your way;
cleave to the ecstasy
loose, lost, subjective
heroic
 
 
 
Scrying on the Moon (for Brigid)
 
 
~twilight of the goddess, call to song to aery dancing, lady fair your fiery trance rewinds our souls; enjoy these offerings of fancy: all art is yours ~
 
By sibylline light
images I recognize,
creviced captures of my life.
I know her judgment to be my own.
 
"Nourished by Moon rivers
mythical cavern blooms
unseen by sunlight
glow green." 
Thus she sets the scene;
becomes the prophecy.
 
"Purest white simplicity
curved to suggest fragility
faith fed maiden ready for
plucking,
given in bondage to womanly woes,
hard rows to hoe
for that human hug through 
crying of night.
 
Fate of mortal soldiers, sacrificed to lust.
Seeking relief, beg for the boon of drama
high adventure
sneaking into sad hotels
for a fix or a tumble.
Laughs,
deadly play,
danger, a real chance.
 
Barefoot in the snow
icy roads
winds so strong
I could not make you hear.
I thought you were my destiny.
Crazy thoughts, far from clear;
but I believed
song lyrics from Saturnine deities
would not lie, leave me
dying, fading into winter's grey
drifting clouds,
endless sorrow endured for naught.
Lost on this careless corner,
dreaming of oblivion, intent on visions
like rain
tapping against eternity's
vast windowpane.
Scenic serenity.
Nature's gradations of green
soothe tired eyes,
trembling nerves, throbbing  veins.
Slivers of moonlight reflect
in withered refrains, unearth secrets
embedded in song
effervescing through cool pure air
 
cleansing the uprising nestling
set aflame
resurrected
tempered mettle,
pure, wise, tested
engorged with the will
to rise"
 
 
 
Lady Moon
 
 
Masked Lady Moon shines
into my room
speaks of fantastic adventure.
Dare I question her
abundant concern?
I a masked gypsy
painted in gloom,
a taste for wry humour,
impossible promises,
resplendent terrain.
A woman insane,
taken in by the Moon
fair sister, sparkling cold
so far
I wander without home
but that clear, quiet salvation
hiding like Moonlight
unmasked in my mind.
 
 
 
Athena's Valentine
 
 
Athena fair
stalwart daughter of Zeus
graces her time and place
with divine knowledge.
Today unlined face,
silken hair,
robust yet fragile form
are proclaimed as the graces
of womanhood.
Athena, lost in the pantheon,
whispers to the nightears
of her faithful,
saying:  "True woman's mind
inclines to wisdom."
But Daddy's girl
wants more recompense
for loneliness.
 
 
 
Bride
 
 
She awoke in a body, young, womanly, driving consciousness
on hold somewhere like dreamless sleep.
It was her occasional brief invasion to feel in touch with
mortal concerns.
She is to be a bride, again.  Foolish, innocent yet of so many
regrets and betrayals to come.  She is ready to exult in the veil
and it symbolic lift.  Happy to perform, darling of her audience
of familiars.  Happy day, swept clean of trepidations, of all
yesterdays and their burdensome effluvia.  Today is always hers.
These ceremonies, traditional duties and pleasures, bind her to
cults, cultures, accumulated lore and intuition.  Not creature, but
weaver – still she is inseparable from the story.
Today she again assumes bridehood.  Tonight, awash in festivities,
again she removes her spell of possession.
This new bride returns to a familiar world, changed.
No longer civil child nor spiritual supplicant, she has ascended.
People see her differently, treat her with more deference, more
distance even as they proclaim her their precious chosen intimate,
ply her with cherished secrets as if her allegiance would add value.
Her bearing carries an air, an enhanced spirit, a subtle awareness,
unspoken by any inner voicing.
Language is a human art.
 
 
 
Here at the bar again
 
 
Here at the bar again, bar nothing to me.
Deepest Scorpio, gusts tinged icy.
Onward toward Chumley's  2 pm Village poetry reading.
Searching outside book stall for bargains,
found a Paul Goodman
with cat and dog and baby photographs
to give to Cindy
a gift of love for a fragile child
stranger/sister.
Still affright from last night's heavy scene,
wherein the police took my man away again,
this time with my blessing and accomplicement.
. . . A man is a hard thing.
Also a drag on my developmental aspirations.
When all he does is loom and threaten
Big Brute Violence
to storm my sensibilities.
(What's frustrating is he doesn't hear me
plead for shelter.)
Laughing in the park we loved
Crying in the night we parted
Oh, beseech I, gods above:
Why must you leave me broken-hearted?
(and I know he'll be returning with more disregards
and diatribes and possibly pistol drawn to fire)
So I sit here in the bar, again.
Drinking sweet Kahlua and awaiting the poetry.
Taking a respite, you see.
Oh, Goddess, for this while,
bar nothing to this troubled child
(for child I feel, though woman grown).
Let peace alone assail me.
 
 
 
Pink and Blue
(and red all over)
 
 
Fist shakes from rage
channeled, coursing,
flailing bloodlines.
Caught, snarled,
stagnant dying ocean
willing to be taken down
from fear to violence.
Call wild arms,
breast, sinew, shame.
Chemistry surges, overplays.
One mortal coup de grace
burst sword to heart
that never lived
beyond desire.
 
If man is fire, dissolved
into greater waves,
why does Woman weep?
Why does not the flood
of pain absolve and
succor?  Why should fate
deny blessings of mortal
release in wash of blood
to lady fair,
snakes and thistles to braid her hair,
expose her tortured face?
Eyes that kill in silence,
stone lips, wrinkled nose,
washed out in times of
stoic denial.  Why must
she kneel, vile, victim
of violence, not its cause?
Who makes these laws of
natural selection?
Who takes the stone?
Who takes the stone's projection?
 
 
 
sacrifice
 
 
Why would a woman risk
death or other bodily terrors,
social exposure to all the slings and arrows
of frenzied hate,
to end her unborn’s fate?
She is protecting her child, like a good mother does,
despite her own suffering,
protecting her innocent from this horrid world,
from people like you.
 
 
 
Bitter Dregs
 
 
You don't get it.
You don't want to.
It would be too much to bear
if you let your thought go there.
Briefly unconscious, awakened to
hard concrete ground surrounded
by heels and toes, amazing
they don't crush me, but no,
like clockstep they walk around
though occasionally a(n unmeaning?)
shove -- I'm not a someone,
just a minor obstacle
unnoted in their busy day.
No worries.
Not like shoved down under
hard muscle, jutting  bone,
stinking of beer and rage;
or waking from too brief oblivion,
broken pain, bleeding
tears, torn, bruised, a
colorful toy
made for pleasure.
Then the voices, echoes.
Harpies and Sirens, Furies
and sad old women.  Fingers
shake in disapprobation.
Shrill voices call me beautiful,
in the way that ugly things are.
So bad, so pitiful, cardinal
status among the neverweres.
Struggling shadows, whispering
curses demurely lest anyone
notice and throw them further
down, below duration.
Never easy, confessing degradation.
The sin adheres.  No one wants to know.
 
 
 
God of Sky and Rain
 
 
Women hold up half the sky?
In His world
women hold up the sky.
Men sit around, masturbate, watch football,
occasionally,
go out and rape
lowering
that small part
of the sky.
 
 
 
Capricorn Woman
 
 
I am not nice, or warm
I am not a cozy fire nor a sparkling stream
I am practical, compassionate, concerned that form
follow substance, not content to seek what comes
easily.
I swim stormy seas, climb rocky spires, sometimes pretend
to conform while I investigate the scene. 
Winter born, Saturn ruled, not a saint nor a fool,
Capricorn woman, I discreetly ascend
into my truth.
 
 
 
A Woman Disappointed and Disillusioned, Courageously Facing a Seemingly Empty Life
 
 
Dressed in sadness
Depressed to madness
Mad to believe in passion,
which never lasts beyond the hour.
Shrieking to bequeath the
power to stand, to breathe.
Years appear, macabre hag
preening her wares.
"See how it was, how it could be.
Drag and drop your face, your fate
onto a printed page.  Can you see
new meaning?  New lamps for old."
She cackles, like
a metronome.
New maps for a new age.
That charming village erstwhile
known as Hell
has realigned into Helvetica.
All that burning sorrow
tomorrow's poetry.
 
 
 
Lovers Meeting
 
 
Carry her with love
Always, in your deepest places
She is a woman upon the Earth
in a land of briar and weeds
It is so easy to fall
to fail to thrive
set upon by slavering beasts
and prophets
You know she yearns to serve
so well
that none could find fault
Yet every agonizing step
like angry knives
cutting from below
hobbles her further, deeper
leaving less to give
Bloody prints mark her
dusty trail
Thirsting for the cooling warmth
of love
Carry her into your
sacred caverns
secreted wellsprings
journey's end
 
 
 
cubicle woman
 
 
The moments slither by if you forget they're there.
Sucking in sweetness,
hot sugared coffee, aroma of memory.
It might be a sluggish, clammy
descent of summer afternoon. Hints of autumn
like blackberry spicing the air.
The people here are decent.
They smile to make conversation a pleasant bit of business.
They want me to feel safe, subdued.
It doesn't matter that we are never more than strangers,
passing faces, complaisant.
They bring me coffee with sugar and plastic sticks for stirring.
In this moment all of the world
turns so skillfully
I move along without pause for acknowledgement,
stealthily aware.