Seventeen

I was seventeen, once

and now, this year

we will mark seventeen years

since we all succumbed to fear

letting our imaginations be manipulated

and we began to think we were hated

by peasants we’d never met

in places we’d never heard of

and so, we bought bumper stickers

and t-shirts that said

‘never forget’

but we’re not elephants

so we have forgotten

that we’re at war

haven’t we?

we think not of the casualties,

of the generation lost to war

as their parents had been lost before

when the Soviets played Genghis Khan

but the battle wounds still lingered on

as the Taliban added to the trauma

then, in 2001

we set out for

the boogeyman

and now, seventeen years later

Afghanistan is the war

that we will never lose

because we will never leave.

 

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, america, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized, war, war tax resistance | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Elegy For Fluffy

IMG_8190.JPGStop this senseless violence

strong against weak

rich against poor

this dog-eat-chicken world

I can’t take any more

a lot of good chickens

have been eaten for fun

but the dogs just keep smiling

knowing not what they’ve done

tried to run, tried to fly

what’s done is done

we all die

but the means by which we die

differ a lot

sometimes it’s age

but sometimes we’re shot

and sometimes we’re eaten

by the strong and the rich

or like Fluffy the chicken

done in by a bitch

but the dogs aren’t aware

of the death that they cause

we are people, not dogs

please take a moment to pause…

 

 

Fluffy the chicken was killed today

in a violent attack

she was sitting peacefully on her egg

when the dogs came

and took her out back

and ate almost everything.

Our horse, Daisy

witnessed the death of Fluffy

and, though she didn’t know her,

she was still shaken up a bit.

When we found Fluffy,

there was nothing left.

I dug a hole,

planted a tree on top

and reflected

on all the beautiful memories

of Fluffy.

She wasn’t just a chicken,

she was part of the family

and she’s gone now

and we’re sad

but we’re happy for her

that she was so loved in life

and remembered so fondly in death

and that she will live on as an Ulu* tree

providing food one day

sometime in the future

as she has provided food for us

nearly every day

since we’ve been on the farm.

I wish that all beings could be loved

they way that Fluffy the chicken

was loved

and I wish that all beings

could be honored in death

the way

that we honor

Fluffy

the chicken.

Sadly, that’s not the case

in much of the world

for chickens

or dogs

or people…

but here on the farm

it is.

 

 

*Breadfruit

Posted in animals, birds, chickens, collateral damage, dogs, empathy, family, farm, farming, humanity, life, murder, pets, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized, violence, war tax resistance, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Makers The Rain

Alone in the pockmarked countryside

an old woman finds no place to hide

her children and grandchildren have been dying

for forty years

and her tears have become rivers

that the clouds have taken

and taken

and God has forsaken her again

as her tears have been dropping

back down from the sky

leaving salt covering the countryside

as they dry

and, though seeds may be sown

no life can be grown

and thirst cannot be quenched

by rivers like these

and thirst cannot be quenched

by clouds like these

pay attention please

we are the makers of rain

we are the takers of life.

Posted in Afghanistan, america, collateral damage, death, poem, Poetry, russia, taxes, Uncategorized, violence, war, war tax resistance | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Sun

sometimes on a rainy day

the sun come out

just in time to set

Posted in Uncategorized

Think Of Others (by Mahmoud Darwish)

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others.
Don’t forget to feed the pigeons.
As you conduct your wars, think of others.
Don’t forget those who want peace.
As you pay your water bill, think of others.
Think of those who only have clouds to drink from.
As you go home, your own home, think of others
don’t forget those who live in tents.
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
there are people who have no place to sleep.
As you liberate yourself with metaphors think of others
those who have lost their right to speak.
And as you think of distant others
think of yourself and say
“I wish I were a candle in the darkness.”

-Mahmoud Darwish

Posted in human rights, humanity, Mahmoud Darwish, palestine, Palestinians, poem, Poetry, poetry for peace, Uncategorized, war | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

So…I Smoked Crack

So… I smoked crack

not long after I got back from Iraq.

We had been up all night

and I lost track of time

after too much salt

and too many limes

and too many lines

blurring reality

and I couldn’t fight the urge to see

what sent so many black people to jail

and there were no more piss tests

so I could only fail myself

but the drug failed me

when I couldn’t see

how this was physically

any worse than vodka or whiskey

and then white privilege

finally dawned on me

when I was twenty-three

and I was getting high one night

with a white farm-hand

and I began to see

that if he had more pigment

than his farmers tan

society wouldn’t see

just a broken man

they wouldn’t see

someone who was only lacking love

they would see only a criminal

and shove him in jail,

without fail

without bail

and without someone to listen

to his depressing tale,

the way I listened

to this white farm-hand

a decade ago

when we ran out of lines to blow

and the only place

he could think to go

at 4am

was to a crack dealer

in Springfield.

 

 

 

Posted in america, american dream, crack, drugs, Iraq, poem, Poetry, prison, racism, Uncategorized, war, white privilege | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gaza

I was losing myself

in the sky

reflecting in a puddle,

a mirror

left by an afternoon shower

on the floor of our open-air barn.

Mesmerized by the tree branches

swaying in the breeze

and by the clouds

arriving and departing

into and out of

this four foot

by two foot

puddle on concrete

but I came back to reality

as ripples began to form

when Gaza,

our black and white,

shorthair domestic farm cat

found what she had been looking for

and took a few sips

before running over

and laying down next to me.

Posted in animals, cats, farming, farms, Gaza, kittens, poem, Poetry, rain, reflection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,