Reasonable Doubt

Here in the land of the free

we incentivize

and wonder why

so many police officers patrol our streets

always ready to meet and greet

an enemy,

leaving behind Baghdad for Baltimore

but they were well trained for ‘war’

and what we see is what we paid for

and we pay for more and more

and more and war keeps coming home

with MRAPs and drones

and gi Janes and Joes

used to aiming at brown faces

in civilian clothes

and cellphone videos don’t matter

department budgets still get fatter

with special ops and swat

and this is not Afghanistan (but even then)

it was just some teenager that ran

a red light

but you’re about to make his a silent night

and they’ll all still salute this brave white knight

who ended the fight before it began,

‘He’s got a gun’ no wait, he’s just a black man…

too late, can’t turn back, man

more like Pacman chasing ghosts

still raising toasts, though

at the VFW

‘Hand over the cellphone, son

I don’t want to trouble you

but after what I’ve been through

lucky I’m alive

been through

hell,

fuck you

you don’t know…

I got my preference

points

I got my badge

I got my gun

and I’m ready to go

ready to show America

what she’s been paying for

ready to show America

that for a soldier

every day is war

and this is just my latest tour

and they’re all brown

and black

and poor

and we are well trained,

we are the cure…’

 

It’s a deadly exchange

leaving down range for down the block

that kid only had a sandwich,

not a Glock

but we went down the rabbit hole

we assessed the threat

and made mountains

while the mole

was on our face

all the while

and we smile

as our younger brother

teaches us a thing or two

like him now,

we’ve blurred the lines

of green and blue

and it’s shoot to kill now

no matter what it is

these ‘suspects’ do

but what happens

if they start aiming

at you

like they’ve been aiming at too

many people

who we don’t care

to think about

did we just give up thinking

we’re just too far

down this rabbit hole

to dig ourselves out?

and whatever happened to reason-

able doubt?

Must we settle

for this treasonable rout of justice

that is, if we still wish to pretend

that it exists?

 

Posted in Black Lives Matter, human rights, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Autumn

We are all staring

as the old barn collapses,

there will be no rise

 

it will fade like leaves

as they fall down and decay,

this is all there is

 

there is no phoenix

only the ashes and dust,

and cities of rust

 

there’s no God to trust

as the harvest lays rotting.

The voiceless now sing

 

songs that were muted

about lives that were looted

since the beginning.

 

Autumn is here now

the fat sow is done eating

but the farmer’s drunk

 

and the butcher’s dead

only the pigs and their filth

remain, as snow falls.

 

 

 

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #223 Rise&Fall

Posted in haiku, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Our God

Why do we wonder

how it is things got this bad

when they have long been

 

from the moment we

transformed ourselves into I

and auctioned off men

 

and began hoarding

wheat and grain, butter and bread

just stockpiling life

 

ignoring the dead

and the dying, all the ones

toiling in the fields

 

and loading the guns

and dying in foreign lands

to meet the demands

 

of our God, Wall Street

to whom we all learn to pray

and we all must play

 

by the rules of greed

it’s all about want, not need

the system plants seeds

 

early on, day one

pink or blue, come on buy one!

to celebrate life

 

you have to consume

and color within the lines

or there will be fines!

 

dry your tears and play

though some may say ‘run away’

just where will you go?

 

just who do you know

that loves you like Uncle Sam?

plus, he’s a lion

 

why side with the lambs?

this world, it’s kill or be killed

and plus, it’s God’s will!

 

so swallow the pill

just relax now and sit down

God is on our side

 

if you don’t think so

just look around, do you think

God supports those guys?

 

Do you think God cares

when they die? God doesn’t cry

God adjusts his tie,

 

sits down at his desk

and demands the president

start another war

 

and build another

prison to deal with the poor

and another war

 

and another war

and another new prison

and another war

 

and another war

and there’s money in the ground

old growth trees be damned

 

and rivers be dammed

though all the fish are dying

there’s no use trying

 

to prevent progress

you better just dress right, dress

and help us oppress

 

the lambs we slaughter

enlist your sons and daughters

and help us pay for

 

yet another war

more tanks and guns and drones and

jets and bombs and death

 

yet another war

and you’re left with heroin

and meth and football

 

bread and circuses

after all that we’ve been through

out of mind, and view

 

we see no evil

and we can’t hear through the fear

and we say we want

 

a revolution

but we’re stuck in delusion,

here in collusion

 

whether we know it

or not, we chase the red dot

it’s better than yarn

 

it’s barn-burning, sing

about the rockets red glare

don’t ignore market-

 

share, buy Raytheon

buy Boeing, buy BAE

freedom isn’t free

 

buy another war

buy another prison and

buy another tour

 

for some poor farm kid

who wants to live like Jesus

did, lay down their life

 

for their fellow man

but we’ve been killing Jesus

for seventeen years

 

in Afghanistan

though, in the name of the God

in whom we all trust

 

stay the course, we must

and protect the bottom line,

and dig another

 

mine, yes the world’s ours

to milk for all that it’s worth

leave the rest in dearth

 

ashes to ashes

and of course this is unjust

but we should entrust

 

ourselves to this God

though it’s all just a facade

and we have long been

 

sharpening the ax

every year as we pay tax

and all the trees fall

 

to print more money

and things like this aren’t funny

but you have to laugh

 

when you buy the jokes

and when you but the bullets

that are killing folks

 

you just have to laugh

because this is pure madness

we must be insane,

 

feigning ignorance,

but this isn’t happenstance

this has been well planned

 

supply demands war,

and the rich demand the poor

exist, but barely

 

clinging to ‘freedom

isn’t free’, longing to be

on top looking down

 

we’re trained not to see

all the inequality

we’re trained not to see

 

people, black and brown

beaten down, and shot and killed

in city and town

 

it must be God willed

we think, and we drink, and drink

and we pay taxes

 

and we blink our eyes

and accept the age-old lie

‘it is what it is’

Posted in america, american dream, haiku, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Life & Death: An Ode To Water

 

It’s finding a spring

just when you’re dying of thirst,

hope amidst despair

 

though it’s a false hope

just as you’re quenching your thirst

you taste the poison

 

you lay by the spring

hoping for an antidote,

but things are hopeless.

 

Your thirst is quenched now

but you struggle to hold on

as life slips away

 

and you breathe your last

hoping at least that you’ll serve

as a testament

 

that folks will see you

and they’ll see the spring and know

that you drank from here

 

they’ll know this water

brings not life, but death because,

greed has poisoned it.

 

They will thirst, like you

but they’ll see you and pass by

in search of water

 

water that brings life

clean, uncontaminated

the way that it was

 

because water is

life, water is life, water

is life. Greed is death.

 

We have turned water

into poison, into death

and now we all thirst.

 

We thirst now for life

but all we can find is death

all we know is death

 

and we are killing

ourselves to make a killing,

life comes bottled now

 

those who have taken

continue to take, and make

a killing from life

 

they keep taking life

and selling it back to us,

and we keep buying,

 

the price is our life

we think we don’t have a choice

that we have no voice

 

but until you die

from thirst or from the poison

you do have a voice

 

as well as a choice

and we all need to choose life

we all need to choose…

 

Posted in Dakota Access Pipeline, death, haiku, idle no more, life, oil, poem, Poetry, Standing Rock, sustainability, Uncategorized, water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Sailed With Columbus

When I was eight years old, in 1992

I first learned about Christopher Columbus

and I sang along with my class

“In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two

Columbus sailed the ocean blue”

and we drew pictures of him

and we had a party to celebrate

the 500th anniversary

of 1492.

 

Ten years later, I graduated from high school

and I joined Columbus

and his crew

and it was such an honor

to sail around the world with him

finding new places to discover.

I drank away what little money I earned

but I believed so much in Columbus

and so much in what we were doing

that the money didn’t matter,

God was on our side!

Some people got a lot of the gold

that we brought home

but I felt blessed to even be a part of the voyage.

It was my duty.

 

Even after I left the great explorers crew

I happily helped pay for his voyages

as he sailed off to discover new lands.

After spending some time

reflecting on the voyages

that I took part in

however,

I realized that,

though I have two eyes

I had failed to see

the humanity

of the people

in the places we ‘discovered’

rather,

in the places we invaded

and conquered,

these places we terrorized

and pillaged for gold

and for human beings.

 

Though I can unfortunately

never forget

the song that I learned

as a youth

about Columbus sailing the ocean blue,

my support for Columbus

and his voyages

is through

and, though I cannot undo

the things I’ve done

if I ever pick up a weapon again

I will be fighting alongside the Taino

not Columbus and his men.

Posted in Columbus Day, Indigenous People's Day, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Descendants

Human beings evolved to care for one another

and for the earth

because, from the beginning we needed to

in order to survive

and right now we need to

in order to survive.

The day society begins teaching empathy

humanity will begin to realize our potential

and the earth will slowly heal

and we will slowly heal

and we will survive

and our descendants will thrive

but if we don’t begin teaching empathy

and soon

there will be no descendants

there will be only the sun and the moon

looking down at mother earth

as she slowly heals

from a couple centuries of trauma

that we inflicted

because we never learned

to care

about anyone or anything

we only ever learned

‘let freedom ring’

we never learned to paint

and draw

and sing

and dance

and that’s why peace

never had a chance

we never learned to share

we only learned to walk by and stare

and say ‘well, life’s not fair’

while never offering a helping hand

we never learned to understand…

and we don’t understand

that the bombs fall on all of us

and the oil seeps into all of our water

and we are all someone’s sons

and daughters

and we are all connected.

Posted in poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

Empathy

What good is science

if most people can’t afford it’s advances?

What good is technology

if it’s only used to build more and more deadly weapons?

What good is engineering

if it’s only used to extract more and more ‘resources’

What good is math

if it’s only used to count profits

and dead bodies?

 

 

Posted in poem, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged ,