I Drove A Car Last Night

*WARNING*GRAPHIC CONTENT* (This poem is about cruelty to animals. This is sadly a true story. The police are not providing animal control services, though they get county funding to do so. There is a small understaffed & underfunded nonprofit clinic here but our only vet is away for a family emergency. My wife & I volunteer to foster dogs since the clinic legally can’t house any animals, and there is no shelter on island. The police department have a dozen empty kennels they are supposed to use & are funded to use, but they turn people away who call about abandoned and stray animals. We had 18 foster dogs when I left the farm last night, now we have 19. I wish we had 20. So it goes…)

 

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(Written June 11, 2019)

I drove a car last night

for the first time

in over a year

and when I got where I was going

my eyes welled with tears.

 

I drove a car last night

and my eyes cannot unsee

the sight of mans inhumanity

that I saw as I walked 

up to a near-lifeless dog

with half of his brains

dangling from his head

left there to die

but still far from dead.

 

I drove a car last night

though my conscience

makes me ride a bike

but when a frantic man called

appalled at what he’d seen

I grabbed a knife

and got in the car.

 

I drove a car last night

and it took all of my might

to do what had to be done

and for the first time

in a very long time

I wished that I had a gun.

 

I drove a car last night

and the dog still had life in his eyes

and I was thinking

how we could get

back to the farm

and stabilize him

but he had more brains

out than in

and if this isn’t a sin

there is no God.

 

I drove a car last night

because the police came

and saw the condition of this dog

and thought nothing of the sight

as they filed a report

about a dog bite on the son

of the man who ran home

and got a knife,

not to take the life

of the dog 

but to act out scenes

from Hollywood horror movies.

 

I drove a car last night

and I’m sick to my stomach now

just thinking about the sight

that I can’t unsee

but I’m grateful

that I was able to free

this poor, poor, precious dog

from such pain and misery

no longer tied

to a three foot chain

no longer owned

by people so inhumane

no longer lacking food

and lacking love

I buried him

at midnight last night

and planted a tree above him

and he’ll nourish the roots,

trunk, branches and limbs.

 

I drove a car last night

because I had to euthanize one dog

and rescue his sister

a beautiful blue nose

who kept licking my arm

on the way home

but before I left

the scene of the crime,

the traumatized Samaritan

who called my wife and I

gave me a hug, thanked me

and said he’d called the police

weeks ago

because they get paid to run

animal control

but they said

“leave the dogs where they are”

that is, chained up

and abandoned

in an empty yard

and though this neighbor

struggles to pay his bills

he visited the abandoned dogs

every single day

and filled their food and water

and he ran out of his house

to what he called

the most awful screams

he’d ever heard

and as he got there,

the father of the boy

who was bitten by the dog

on the three foot chin

in the empty yard

dropped the knife

and didn’t say a word.

 

I drove a car last night

because where I live

the police take money

from the county budget

to provide animal control

but don’t do a anything

to control animals,

don’t take in abandoned animals

and apparently don’t put animals,

chopped up and suffering

with more than half of their brains hanging out,

out of their misery.

 

I drove a car last night

and I’m not mad at the man

who attacked this poor dog,

maybe morally he has a right

to kill the dog, maybe not,

I’m not here to argue that,

I’m just sad for the man

and sadder for his son

because if the man got a gun

and shot the dog

the dog would have died instantly

but I’m sad that the man

wanted to see the dog suffer,

and how much pain

must the man be in in his life

to want to see any creature suffer

and I’m not mad that the police

didn’t charge this man

with animal cruelty

in the first degree, a felony

in the state of Hawaii,

I’m angry that the police,

who can’t try to blame

raw emotion

like the father can,

saw this dog

with more than half

his brains hanging out

and left him there

to die a slow, painful,

cruel, lonely death.

 

I drove a car last night

and on my ride home,

with a lifeless body

in the trunk

and a beautiful dog

riding next to me

on her way to freedom

I wondered how a man

could be so cruel

and how the police

could be so cruel

and then I thought about

the world we live in

where cruelty to humanity

is something we all see on TV,

how bombs fall

overseas, constantly

and how the police kill

black and brown people

with impunity

and we’ve all seen it

for so long

we’ve all grown up

hearing war songs

and learning that violence

is always the only answer

to any perceived wrongs,

like a dog

on a three foot chain

abandoned in an empty yard,

scared and scarred

from abuse and neglect

biting a child that steps

into the tiny bubble

that the dog exists in.

 

I drove a car last night

and right now, all I can do

is hold my dogs tight

and fight for a better world

where neither man nor beast

is treated inhumanly.

 

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Posted in abuse, animal abuse, animals, aspca, death, dogs, Germany, god, guns, hate, hatred, human rights, humane society, humanity, life, loss, love, Nonviolence, oil, peace, people, pets, poem, Poetry, police, police brutality, poverty, ptsd, sustainability, taxes, trauma, trees, Uncategorized, violence, war, war tax resistance, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nonviolent Resistance

They taught us that the only way 

to nonviolently resist 

is to compliantly persist ,

to exist in silence and burn candles 

while they burn villages,

to wave banners 

while they waive human rights.

DO NOT BOYCOTT 

DO NOT DIVEST 

DO NOT FIGHT 

Just light another candle 

while another bullet you bought 

enters another innocent chest.

They taught us about Dr. King’s dream 

but it didn’t seem important to them 

to show us his letter from Birmingham jail 

and they failed to mention 

the sermons he gave against the war

and how, when he was killed,

he was campaigning for the poor.

They told us we were Christians 

but their Jesus Christ is filled with hate,

somehow it’s lost on them 

that he gave his life nonviolently 

resisting the state.

Posted in Civil Disobedience, Howard Zinn, MLK, Nonviolence, Nonviolent resistance, poem, Poetry, solidarity, taxes, Uncategorized, Vietnam, violence, war, war tax resistance | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Stardust

We can’t see the stars 

through all the haze in the sky

and we can’t see our connection 

to billions of people 

who live and die 

beneath these stars 

so we quiet our hearts 

and numb our minds 

but then a clear night comes along 

and a twinkling star finds us

and we remember 

that our way of life 

is killing stardust

and we realize 

that our bloodlust 

is turning life into ash

as we’re busy trading 

stardust for cash 

for houses too big

and for fossil burning cars

I wish the haze would clear 

and we could see all of the stars 

and see all of the scars 

on humanity’s heart 

and see that we’re all scarred 

because we’re all a part 

of this universe 

we’re all singing the same verse, 

breathing in 

and breathing out 

breathing in

and breathing out, 

look up at the stars 

before they all burn out.

Posted in Uncategorized

To Etch Our Luck Into Stone

We’re really lucky, 

aren’t we? so lucky in fact 

that we just can’t see 

how privileged we are, as if

we got here without a car

as if we got here

of our own accord, as if

we’re blessed by the lord 

as if our cars not fueled by 

the tears cried by the oppressed

as if we’re not dressed 

in sweaty clothes, as if the 

wind has always blown our way 

and today’s our lucky day 

as it’s always been 

because Christian God himself 

prefers straight white men

and used his pen way back when 

to etch our luck into stone

and give us stones to 

kill everyone we oppose 

and to forgive us 

when our luck makes their blood flow 

into our rivers of dreams

and to forgive us 

when the earth screams out ENOUGH, 

and to keep blessing 

us with more and more and more 

and more and more and more stuff.

Posted in Uncategorized

Once Humanity Has Gone Away

Birds will sing the same old song

once humanity has gone away

cats will still eat mice and rats

and night will follow day

fireflies will come in June

and dogs will howl at the moon

with stars still twinkling in the sky

there will be no one left to cry

once humanity has gone away

rivers will flow and forests will grow

from springtime rain and winter snow

and planet earth will slowly heal

with no one left to slice and steal

and keep ignoring nature’s appeal

once humanity has gone away

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

Piss & Plastic

We’re walking on the water

and swimming through the air

we’re flying through our days now

we’ve got no time to care

 

We’re higher than the Rockies

and deeper than old bones

we’re burying humanity

with eyes glued to our phones

 

We’re on this roller coaster

our stomachs tied in knots

the butterflies can’t get out

we can’t connect the dots

 

We’re fluttering through fantasy

and numbing all our pain

our less than living wages

we’re pissing down the drain

 

It flows into the river

then washes out to sea

mixing with the plastic

you want to walk with me?

 

Or we can run like water

and leave on all the lights

so truth doesn’t attack us

and we sleep through the night

 

As rusting bridges fall down

on cities filled with dust

with ashes on our foreheads

in golden calves we trust

 

It’s beer and wine and old moonshine

and mountains of cocaine

and heroin and Cheshire grins

we’re drinking acid rain

 

There’s poison in the water

and vultures in the air

we’re pigs before the slaughter

there’s no one left to care

 

The butchers high on blood now

the baker burned the cake

the candle maker melted

and the jesters on the take

 

The stakes are high, we’re born we die

and bishops wear gold rings

the queen sideswiped the rook last night

but pawns can take down kings

 

 

Posted in poem, Poetry, song, Uncategorized, Words, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

As The Germans Did

In America,

white people are like Germans

in the thirties, we

act like good citizens and

pay our taxes when we’re told

 

even when when we know

too many of our neighbors will

will never grow old

because the government kills

some of them all the time and

 

its done on our dime

and we always bite our tongues

we refuse speak

of evil we hear and see

and we tell ourselves we’re free

 

while our neighbors lungs

are robbed of air, we don’t care

because if we did

we’d demand justice when the

next black person is murdered

 

we’re kidding ourselves

if we say it isn’t true,

if we pretend that

we’d do as Jesus would do.

We do as the Germans did.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized