Category Archives: human rights

Typical American Weekend

This weekend has been a typical weekend

for the United States.

In Virginia,

a klan rally gathered around a statue

of one of their heroes,

carrying torches.

They even killed someone

and injured many.

 

A lot of Americans were at the beach

this weekend

enjoying summer

as it winds down.

Kids trying not to think

about the upcoming school year

where they will walk

through metal-detectors

into classrooms

where they will learn

nothing about history

and everything about patriotism

everything about obedience

and pledging allegiance

and nothing about critical though.

For many, this will happen while

they’re wearing their JROTC uniform,

the others will still learn these things,

and they will learn about teamwork

while on the football field

where they will get concussions.

Some of the others will run

cross-country instead

but they will all

be awe-struck

when they see the ribbons

and medals

the recruiter is wearing.

Many of them who,

at the beach

or in a pool this weekend

dread going back to school,

many of them will be

wearing real uniforms

next year

training to go fight

in many places

including Afghanistan

where, this weekend

US airstrikes killed

16 civilians

and for 16 years now

this has been happening

in Afghanistan.

 

For centuries now

men have been gathering

at rallies

around statues of their heroes

or gathering at rallies

around their heroes in the flesh

but on this typical American weekend

with American civilians

on beaches or in pools

and American kids dreading

going back to school

and Afghan civilians

under the rubble of hospitals

and schools,

this weekend

the hoods were removed

and pale faces

were illuminated

by tiki-torches

in Charlottesville

 

 

100 Proof

bottles fired break

bones more than

bullets or bombs

ever do

 

then replace

bottles with bibles

and believe

we want whats best

for you

 

test for you

pass or fail

pail full of ashes

and nails

 

no proof of you

or your cross

ashes gone with the wind

nails buried somewhere

beneath the heart land

 

gunpowder soaked

in spirits

hellbent on burning

drink up

now you’re learning

 

while we’re still turning

graveyards

into boulevards

with cards stacked

by the pope

 

here’s another

bottle,

this should help you

cope

 

though,

it would be quicker

with a rope

The Sun: ode to Japan

06 August 2017

 

2,272,147,200 seconds ago

37,869,120 minutes ago

631,152 hours ago

26,298 days ago

3,757 weeks ago

864 months ago

72 years ago…

the sun fell from the sky

over Hiroshima

rather, we dropped it.

Slightly less time has passed

since we dropped a second sun

from the sky

over Nagasaki.

 

I sit here this evening

drinking tea

as the sun sets

over the Pacific.

Pali

Longing to set sail once

more

casualties of a war

waged with germs

and guns

and drugs

and spam

and pineapples

and sugarcane

and chemicals

and steel

and my heart is numb

and I cannot feel

your pain

the goddess burns

a fire not quenched

by rain

put on grass skirts

you can entertain

the masses

as they raise glasses

to toast tresspasses of old

all that glitters

was stolen

and sold by bitter men

with bibles and swords

reaping rewards

taken at knifes edge

forsaken, you’re on a ledge

and they push you

and count silver coins

as you fall

out of history books

but they don’t turn back

for one last look

and see you

climbing up the pali.

Kalaupapa

how many feet

have walked along this trail

for years and years

and years before

hiking shoes and boots

how many mules

have stepped on these stones

carying the weight of history

how many tears have fallen

remains a mystery

but we taste the salt

on these cliffs

as the winds shift

and the clouds lift

and it is a gift

to breathe this air

to see clearly

and stare

a thousand miles

out to sea

as thousands of eyes

have stared

from this peninsula

longing to be free,

and thousands before that

for generations

and generations ,

branches pruned

from a family tree

fishermen and farmers

displaced by brothers and sisters

discarded by fear,

and a teardrop falls

from the sky

and another

and another

and the heavens still cry

for the dead.

 

Burning Man

The burning man runs

as winds blow

and flames grow

war games go on

and on

and on

without end

SOS

please send

teardrops and fear

candy and beer

pay taxes and cheer

and we’re left with

King Lear

we’re blind

and can’t hear

year after year

after year

we can’t see

the fire

can’t feel the shame

humanity burns

as we play our game

trying to tame dragons

as our covered wagons

head east

we bring famine

and feast

on all that remains

of your culture

 

Palestinian Cigarettes

Palestinian cigarettes burn extremely fast

it seems like, to make them last

we have to stop,

or turn back the clock.

Some say its fate

that makes them burn

this way.

 

I met an old man,

an olive farmer

in a small village.

Sometimes, he would smoke

two

or even three packs

a day.

 

I wouldn’t call him a chainsmoker

it’s just that they burn,

these cigarettes,

so fast.