Pockets Full Of Coins

I had a dream last night

and in the dream, I woke up


and I didn’t know where I was.


There was nothing leading up to it,

I just woke up in a strange place.


Before too long, based on what was happening

I figured that I was in hell, or someplace like it.


I must have died somehow, and now I was in hell.

It was absolutely awful.


There were people dying all around me from famine & disease

and from the bombs dropping on them

and the bullets flying at them

and they were too weak to run


Then, all of a sudden the bombs stopped falling and the bullets stopped flying

and the people seemed to be recovering.


There was food, and medicine.


Some people even started playing music.


Miraculously, things were turning around.

Maybe I was wrong, maybe this wasn’t hell.


I was beginning to think

that things were going to be okay


when a crowd of people gathered around me

and I followed them to these machines


and we had pockets full of coins

and we put the coins into the machines


but as soon as the coins were in the machines

the people who had been dying earlier,


not the ones who I joined at the machines,

but the other people started to die again.


Death began to appear back on their faces

and then the bombs and bullets started to find them again.


More and more people died from famine and disease,

and from the bullets and bombs.


Then, suddenly, the bullets & bombs slowed down again

and the people stopped dying and they grew stronger


they grew stronger

and life was good


so of course this couldn’t be hell…


but then the other crowd reappeared

and I followed them, on autopilot,


and we put more coins into the machines

and then the other group of people


started to drop like flies

faster and faster


old women, old men, and babies

children, mothers, and fathers


they looked awful

and were dying in greater numbers than before


dying from famine and disease

faster now than from the bullets and bombs


but still, more and more bombs were falling

and still more bullets we’re flying


until I finally realized

that there were none of the other people left alive.


The bombs and bullets continued for a little while longer, for good measure

but the people were all dead


and in the new silence

the birds began to chirp again


The first group of people

the ones I followed


they were walking back towards me now

but none of them had any coins left


and I had no coins left

so we just wandered around


stepping over the rubble

and the dead bodies.


This went on and on and on,

walking around like this on autopilot


stepping over the dead,

looking for more coins to feed the machine


but there were no coins

and now we were hungry


but there was no food

because the landscape was decimated


and nothing would grow

in the wake of the machine.



Then I woke up. My heart was racing

and I was covered in sweat.


I thought about my dream

and I realized that it wasn’t hell at all.


It was Yemen and Syria

It was Iraq and Afghanistan


and Libya and Somalia

and Palestinine and Pakistan

and it was everywhere the other people live


the only difference was, in my dream

we could see what we were paying for


and we could see what was possible

if we stopped feeding the machine.


No, that wasn’t hell.

Hell is out of sight and out of mind.


Hell is where we call the dead “collateral damage”.

Hell is full of the other people.


So no, we don’t live in hell

we live in purgatory


but we create hell

for the other people.





About soitgoes1984

I live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean in the Hawaiian Kingdom which is currently illegally occupied by the American government and military. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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