Category Archives: collateral damage

33

The wind’s whispers are drown out

by screams and shouts

broken dreams, no doubt seem

the end is near

awash with tears

and years and years will pass you by

what dreams did come abruptly die

and cry and sing farewell to pain

and dance and stumble in acid rain

all that remain now rot and rust

ashes to ashes

and dust to dust

and winds blow truth from dying tongues

but void of proof

with smoke filled lungs

and coffee black

and crack the code

and heart attack and gravel road

we found Tom Joad all out of breath

the preacher man led him to meth

but Jesus freaks don’t speak for him

they leave him hanging from a limb

with nails and pails to catch the wine

heres silver coins, pay Caesar’s fine

we burn the flesh and worship dust

who is this God in whom we trust?

We lust for treasures, fortune, fame

we’ve broken rules of every game

and its a shame we cannot see

that we all hang from the same tree.

 

Roman legionnaires are we,

shouting ‘freedom isn’t free’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountains & Oceans

The weight starts adding up

the moment the lights go out

and dreamland arrives,

the weight piles up

minute by minute

hour by hour

pound by pound,

until around the time

the sun rises

until around the time

the roosters start to crow

it feels like a mountain

it feels like an ocean

it feels like the universe

holding you down

crushing your body

crushing your spirit

crushing your will to…

will you just get up already!!!

and its already 7…

and its already 8…

and you’re already late

but can’t lift the weight

wish this mountain would crumble

so at least you could try

to stumble out from the darkness

but there’s no lifeline

you’re all alone in this coal mine

eating dead canaries

trying not to starve

using broken bones to carve

love letters to dead sinners

but the saints will eat

our hearts for dinner

lets load coal in carts

and hope it starts

to burn

Ash Wednesday comes

our stomachs start to churn

start to crave blood-red wine

and midnight walks with Patsy Cline

and a gallon of moonshine

and a fine pine box

now it’s too late for TED Talks

and the doves are dying

to be hawks

and one fish,

two fish,

red, white, and blue fish

and cable or dish

and tossing coins

pollutes the well

I wish I weren’t here

you’ll see me in swells

get swept away

hell or high water

drown any day

will grandma still pray

and will the cows still lay down

when it rains

will the fresh white paint

hide the stains

will the sweet red wine

clog the drains

plant sugarcane

to sweeten the deal

sell liquor and coke

theres mass appeal

all mirrors and smoke

and polished steel

and bullets and pullets

and brooding hens

and methlabs and rehab

and a blurry lens

looking back on history

wash it clean like Listerine

and what’s it mean

red hands seem clean

when oils like water,

how can we ween?

and have you seen the mountains

of bones and dreams denied

and oceans filled

with all the tears

a billion eyes have cried

the universe has endless love

but all they preach is hate

while blind men start to argue

the elephant storms the gate

she ran away from the circus

too many lions and stale bread

the tightrope snapped

the jester clapped

the prophets left for dead

and now red, white, and blue

form puddles on the floor

since mountains grow

and oceans flow,

leave flowers at the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South of Richmond

Every other billboard

literally every other billboard

along a one mile stretch of I-95

just south of Richmond, Virginia

is for the Army National Guard

The others are for God,

Jesus,

and the Navy Federal Credit Union.

This is God’s country

and if God loves anything

its giving poor kids

a false sense of hope

in a better future

before sending them

to kill other poor kids

who have no hope

of any future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May Day

It’s May Day

May Day

May Day

come, workers of the world

unite and fight for justice

tell all the boys and girls

that today’s the day,

no need to pray

we’ll stand up and we’ll fight

and we won’t forget coal miners

still out of mind and out of sight

and lightning strikes a second time

as conmen steal our pay

and rob social security

it’s time we seized the day

and seize the capital

take back what we have lost

a billion here, a trillion there

we’ve lost sight of the cost

May Day

May Day

May Day

we’ve lost count of all the wars

and Johnny lost his mind

on one of his eleven tours

though it was there for many score

the factory shut down

the lights went out in Holyoke

and an Irish widow frowned

and drowned in cheap whiskey

can’t drink away the truth

though try, she will

wash down more pills

can they make a higher proof?

they’re making bombs now

it’s the only job in town

unless you want to be a jailer

or a methcook, or a clown

we’re down and out now

and out of options once again

May Day

May Day

May Day

I need a job, I need a friend

I need a living wage

and I won’t build your bombs

this needle seems less harmful

see, it’s the only thing that calms

and psalms the preacher reads

like Casey long ago

I’m a lonely ghost of yesteryear

lost, looking for a soul

but April showers bring May flowers

that you’ll lay on my grave

May Day

May Day

May Day

wish I had a soul to save

I gave it on the dotted line

fine print, I did not read

I thought I’d fight for freedom

but I only fought for greed

and seeds of hate are sewn

ships blown a mile of course

May Day

May Day

May Day

the carts attached to a red horse

and dead men dictate what is just

but these men owned human beings,

why is it in their God, we trust?

is there something we’re not seeing?

let’s all dance around the Maypole

roll our sleeves up for this fight

and stop funding war and violence

if we believe in basic human rights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stones and Sticks

We’re sticking knives

into the heart

poking and prodding

and twisting

rusty old knives

one by one

and sometimes many

all at once

only they’re not knives

but stones

and sticks

because we’re primitive

with insatiable thirst

and the blood

has trickled

from our lips

flowing down mountains

into valley streams

emptying into rivers

and larger rivers

and larger rivers, still

spilling into an ocean

we pretend will never fill

as humanity slowly bleeds,

we’re drowning.

We’re drowning.

We’re drowning.

We’re drowning in a blue,

white,

and blood red ocean

staying drunk and high

just trying to get by

while more bombs and bullets fly

and mothers and fathers cry

as they watch the future die

and the nightly news anchors keep lying

while the eagle keeps eying

the dove.

Humanity is on life support

in dire need

of love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking Man

The sidewalk loosely guides us

as we drone along on autopilot

gliding between building and street

building and street

building and street

until the sound of honking horns

overpowers our headphones

and we see red hands

prompting us to stop

and for a moment we’re briefly aware of the world

that exists beyond

our fingers and thumbs

until the walking man comes back

and again we distract ourselves with our cellphones

that are miles away from just ringtones and phone calls

and nearly all those we walk past

wouldn’t cast a glance at us,

even if they weren’t staring at a screen

and we would both act shocked

if the other said ‘hello’

we would ignore them

since we have somewhere important to go

and we’re distracted,

minds drifting

shifting gears as we scroll

and this is important

and that is important

and I’m important

and my cellphones is important

and my job is important

and my cat is important

and low-fat is important

and this and that are important

and gluten-free is important

and TV is important

and it’s important I make it to that local corporate coffee shop

before I get to work

they have one on every block

between here and the office…

and the horn honks

and the red hand demands we stop again…

And we can stop pretending that we care

saying, ‘it’s not my fault the worlds not fair,

I pay my fair share to society’

through our cellphone screen we cannot see

that we pay for massive inequality

we pay for the bombs that drop out of sight

on helpless people we have no right to kill

we might say, ‘that’s terrible’

but we pay for it still,

shrugging, ‘but it’s God’s will…’

and all of our hands have long been red

but we never stop to count the dead

the collateral damage

the black

the brown

dying in far off lands

and in New York town…

and you’re having a hard time

trapped on the sidewalk

but the walking man is back again

and coffee black again

and bomb Iraq again

and we’re off track again

and Eden burns

and Syria learns

lessons in democracy

that they don’t show you on your TV

and the student learns nothing

from the teacher

and Dr. King wasn’t just a preacher

he preached against war

and violence

and fifty years ago April 4th

he said it was time

to break the silence

but exactly one year later

he was silenced

the dream was already becoming a nightmare then

and today, we don’t dare speak up

we shrug as April 15th creeps up

and we go to Turbotax or H & R Block

and we follow the flock

and just a few more blocks

until we trade more stock

and we buy sticks and stones

and we buy tanks and drones

and raw materials for these cellphones

and we break hearts and bones

but we’re paying off our student loans

and yes I know where our taxes go

but I can’t change how the winds may blow

though the the truth may glow like a lightbulb in front of me

this cellphone screen all I see

think it makes us free

but we lose the ‘we’…

the red hand rises

we’re the ones who bleed

we gasp for air now

consumed with fear and greed

by wolves we pay to lead

and they will always feed

on both you and me

and we start to see

but we avert our eyes

as we pay to level villages

and silence cries

we’d rather just get drunk on reassuring lies

and we adjust our ties

as we walk into work

while blood drips from our coffee cup

and cracked i-Phone…

Bless me father, I have sinned

and now I must atone

but religion’s not the answer

and I cannot condone

such narrow minded thinking

open up your eyes

we don’t even care when baby Jesus dies

we kill him everyday

just like the Romans did

we found Pandora’s box

and threw away the lid

and they hid and hide the truth

of why we drop our bombs

we pay our taxes

but on Sunday, we’re reciting psalms

and it calms us when we take the pills

and eat the bread

the circus is perpetual

ignore the dead

until the newsman tells us

that we should be sad

then bombs away

we wave our flags,

and fuck Baghdad

or wherever else they tell us that we need to bomb…

but that wasn’t collateral damage

it was someone’s mom

and someone’s sister,

daughter,

brother,

father,

and someone’s son

someone’s grandmother

and grandfather,

what have we done?

and we keep doing it perpetually

and all they have to say is ‘freedom isn’t free’

and when we disagree they say ‘unlawful assembly’

then haul us off to jail to make us try to see

that ignorance is bliss

and Uncle Sam is right…

you are property,

we own you

please don’t try to fight

we tell you when to stop

and tell you when to go

watch your TV

it will tell you

all you need to know

and the circuses will help your hands

stay pearly white

while keeping civilian death tolls

out of mind and sight

please have a beer at night

or two, or three, or four

you’ll forget we’re at war

even though your cousin’s overseas

on his 7th tour

and he’ll no doubt have more

because of endless war

you may sleep fine at night

but both your hands are red

and your soul will not be saved

by all those lies you’re fed

it’s not just that you’re silent

but that you pay for war

and all it is begetting is a lot more war

and we all lock our doors

and we all drink our Coors

but the walking man is gone now

we’re stuck with Babylon’s whore

though she is not a woman

just an orange man

who takes over

fifteen years into Afghanistan

and cheers come from his subjects

as he bombs Assad

helping ISIS,

are you kidding me?

No, there is no God.

The Sermon on the Mount

was preached by mortal man

there is no God to save us

but if we all try, we can.

Lets stop waiting for miracles

to come our way

and stop waiting on saviors

bound to save the day

no use to hope and pray.

There’ll be a brighter day

with no more jars of clay

when we stop funding war

and let the children play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East v. West part 5

rising tide

old tie dye

worn out

tattered

and torn

indie flicks

hippie chicks

bags of subsidized corn

keep us fed

on this path

that we blaze

in the sand

here and there

everywhere

lets dig in

take a stand

leave the flock

save a rock

skipping stones

through the sky

babble on

millions gone

do we care

when they die?

taxes paid

wreaths are laid

an old gravedigger cries

burried youth

burried truth

since day one

you have lied

trinity test

1, 2, 3

1, 2, 3

bombs away

hope and pray

we believe

that we’re free

north and south

hand to mouth

we keep feeding

the flame

don’t you dare

say you care

we all share

in the blame

times are tough

drafts are rough

beer is flowing

like wine

edit still

drink your fill

patriotic moonshine

wagons east

slay the beast

that we’ve raised

all these years

sun has set

I regret

living shrouded

in fear

east and west

north and south

it’s all one

and the same

weapons raised

I’m not phased

this is all

just a game

bury me

out at sea

wash away all the pain

here and there

city square

and the beast

is now slain.