The Eyes Have It

The eyes of the prophets

are crossed

and the line is dotted

signs are spotted

in the crowd

remove the shroud

it’s too loud to think

swim, don’t sink

but crossed eyes blink

Morse code

teaching us to curse

the winding road

but pay our tolls

to fix potholes

and catch lost souls

looking for a fix

and we want out

of the mix

but the goal

has always been progress

has always been

dress to impress

but I must confess

though this world is a mess

and you have more

with less

we shackle the poor

with stress

and fear

and drugs and beer

and year after year

and day after day

we sing along

as the anthem plays

with hand over heart

and crown over self

the truth gets lost

on a dusty shelf

we don’t read

between the lines

we resign the future

so the past confines

but the chains

are ours to break

it’s fourth and goal

this is ours to take

but sometimes

it’s best to kneel

they can keep their pills

I would rather feel

my way through the night

I won’t follow Rome

with it’s stolen light

our own eyes

have the power

to set us free

and if we’re lucky

in the darkness

we might start to see

 

Posted in alcohol, america, american dream, Black Lives Matter, capitalism, collateral damage, dancing, death, depression, drugs, earth, empathy, empire, eyes, god, government, greed, human rights, humanity, Iraq, Kaepernick, life, love, murder, music, night, poem, Poetry, poverty, propaganda, racism, religion, Syria, taxes, Uncategorized, violence, war, war tax resistance, writing, Yemen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

National Day of Mourning

You don’t have to be a student of history to find the truth behind all the turkey and football games.

The truth was buried at Wounded Knee, and is silenced in federal prison cells. The truth is in the pieces of granite chipped away from the Black Hills. The truth is in town and state names, and in the silent halls of the old government boarding schools. The truth was in the terrified eyes of the women and children who were scalped by settler-colonists and soldiers alike.

The truth is buried with the bones of ancestors beneath shopping malls, city halls and town squares, beneath universities and prisons, beneath meth labs, liquor stores, and army recruitment offices.  The truth is in the polluted, pockmarked-earth left behind after the gold, copper, oil, and coal were hauled away by peasants to make businessmen wealthier.

The truth is in the prayers of the Lakota and Dakota water protectors, it is in the radiated sands of Alamogordo, and in the red dirt washing from Kaho’olawe into the Pacific each time it rains.

The truth can be found in books like An Indigenous PeoplesHistory of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, which challenges the founding myth of the United States. It shows how, from day one, indigenous people actively resisted the expanding empire, and were massacred from sea to shining sea.

The truth is in the heart of Wampanoag territory on the 4th Thursday of November each year, as some of the survivors of the indigenous holocaust gather around a tiny stone known as Plymouth Rock to honor their ancestors for what is known as the National Day of Mourning. These survivors don’t have post-traumatic stress, their trauma is on going, much like colonized people everywhere. It is a daily struggle as what little remains of their sacred land is taken from them piecemeal, as the empire sees fit.

We should give thanks every single day, but Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of indigenous people, the theft of their lands, and the endless assault on their culture. The fourth Thursday of November should be a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which indigenous people, and people of color continue to experience in Plymouth, and around the world. I refuse to give thanks for genocide, colonization, and occupation.

 

 

 

Posted in america, Sioux, Standing Rock, thanksgiving, Uncategorized, water | Tagged , ,

30 People

last week it was 29 people,

29 civilians.

Today? 30 people,

30 civilians

slaughtered by our dear friends

the Saudis

using the sticks and stones

that we gave them

to commit war crimes.

 

These Saudi airstrikes

using American

and British weapons

and aircraft

have been hitting mostly civilians

since they began.

If you didn’t know better

you might think

that they were targeting

mostly civilians

for some reason…

but these are our good friends

and they would never do that,

right?

 

Posted in poem, Poetry, Saudi Arabia, Uncategorized, Yemen | Tagged , , ,

100 years

I certainly don’t want you

living in my neighborhood

so, by all means,

move into that house

over there.

It belongs to someone else,

but here is a hammer

break the window

and let yourself in.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Purgatory

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 and disease.

Bombs were dropping on them

and they were too weak to run.

 

Then, all of a sudden

the bombs stopped falling

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 ok

when a crowd of people gathered around me

and I followed them

and there were slot machines

and we had pockets full of coins

and we put the coins into the slot machines

and as soon as the coins were in the machines

the people who had been dying earlier,

the other folks,

not the ones who I joined at the slot machines,

the dying people started to die again.

Death began to appear back on their faces

and then the bombs started to fall on them again.

More and more people died from famine and disease,

or from the bombs.

 

Then, suddenly, the bombs slowed down again

and the people stopped dying and grew stronger

and stronger

and life was good

and of course this couldn’t be hell

and 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 came back

and immediately they were dropping like flies

faster and faster

old women and old men,

babies,

children,

mothers,

and of course, fathers

they looked awful

and were dying in greater numbers than before

and then the bombs started to fall on them.

More and more bombs

falling on more and more people

and then I realized that there was no one left.

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

but the people were all dead.

The other people were walking back towards me now

but none of us had any coins left

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.

 

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.

It was Syria.

It was Iraq.

It was Afghanistan.

It was Libya.

The only difference was,

we could see

what we were paying for

and we could see

what was possible

if we stopped paying.

 

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.

Hell is ‘over there’.

 

Do we live in hell?

No, we live in purgatory

and we create hell

for the other people.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in collateral damage, hell, poem, Poetry, taxes, Uncategorized, violence, war, war tax resistance, Yemen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

29 People

According to Merriam-Webster,

the definition of terrorism is

“The use of violent acts

to frighten the people in an area

as a way of trying to achieve

a political goal.”

 

29 people were killed today in a terrorist attack.

29 human beings were killed today in a terrorist attack.

29 civilians were killed today in a terrorist attack

at a small hotel

in a market

in the north of Yemen

in the Sahar District,

but the terrorists

are our drug dealers

and the civilians they slaughtered

were not white

and were not American

so you won’t hear about it

and if you do hear about it

you won’t care

and if you do care

you won’t do anything about it

and if you try to do something about it

you’ll get frustrated and give up

but you will never give up

that needle in your arm.

 

So, more civilians will be killed tomorrow

and the day after tomorrow

and the day after that

and so on

and so on

and so on

and so it goes…

and you will go to work

and you will pay your taxes

and you will help send more bombs

and help send more planes

and help send more terror

and help send more death

and destruction

to Yemen (and places like it)

where, even after the bombs stop falling

which won’t happen anytime soon,

but even then,

more

and more

and more

people will die

from famine and disease

and this is just in Yemen

and this is just our drug dealer

getting their kicks

using the stones and sticks that we gave them

to beat the shit out of a scrawny little kid

so we can take the lunch money

after he’s been bloodied

and left for dead.

 

For the Saudis,

war is turning into a hobby

but for us

it is our way of life,

it’s all we know

but we don’t know

or at least we pretend not to

as we cry today

for 8 civilians killed by terrorism

in NYC

but pretend not to see

the 29 civilians who were killed by terrorism

in Yemen

killed by American made bombs

in Yemen

killed by American made planes

in Yemen

killed by America’s drug dealer

in Yemen

killed by one of America’s best friends

in Yemen.

 

Yemen is being executed.

We didn’t strap them in the chair,

no, the Saudis did that,

but we build the chair

and we can shut off the power

anytime we’d like.

But we won’t,

we would never do that

just like we won’t pull the plug

from the dozens of chairs

that we’re using

all over the world.

 

Posted in america, collateral damage, death, history, human rights, NYC, oil, poem, Poetry, taxes, Uncategorized, violence, war, war tax resistance, Yemen | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Armistice Day

November 11th. We call it Veterans Day, but our grandparents knew it as Armistice Day. According to Merriam-Webster, an armistice is a “temporary stopping of open acts of warfare by agreement between the opponents :truce

Armistice Day was first celebrated in 1919, marking the first anniversary of the armistice that ended “The War to End All Wars”. In 1918, the armistice between the allied nations and Germany went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Peace between nations.

In 1938, an act of congress made the 11th of November each year a federal holiday, ‘A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.’

The War to End All Wars, didn’t. By 1954, this day dedicated to the cause of world peace, officially turned into a day to ‘honor’ the veterans of the growing list of America’s wars. Armistice Day gave way to Veterans Day. Peace gave way to patriotism. According to the VA, Veterans Day is ‘a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.’ Its important to honor our veterans, those among us who were willing to serve and sacrifice for the common good, but we should ask ourselves what it means to truly honor them.

Most Americans didn’t serve, don’t know any veterans, and can’t relate to them. Most Americans have no idea how many countries their taxes are currently paying to bomb, how many US military bases are scattered around the world, and how many sovereign nations their government has overthrown for political reasons. Forgetting our history, and ignoring the present, is the opposite of honoring veterans.

Nearly twenty million people were killed during World War One. Lets remember Armistice Day for their sake. Lets also remember Armistice Day for the sake of the tens of millions of people who have been killed since the end of ‘The War to End All Wars’ with casualties becoming increasingly civilian as time has marched on. From bombs and bullets, to famine and disease, war has claimed a lot of lives since Armistice Day.

As a veteran of one of the many wars since 1918, if you want to honor me and my brothers and sisters, please remember Armistice Day and pray for peace.

 

Posted in Uncategorized