Tag Archives: death

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

 

 

Amidst the Rubble: Ode to Mosul

What is a human life worth?

Some would say ‘priceless’

and others might agree

but there are dollar signs

and balance sheets

in mind

all the time

no matter what

they tell

your family.

One death is terrible

two are tragic

three start to free us

and four give us reason

for more war

where those numbers

will increase ten-fold

by lunch

and there is this

one-two punch

terrible and terrible

terrorizing together

dropping leaflets

telling civilians to flee

before bombs fall…

but they can see

ISIS snipers,

they can see

road blocks

and their city remains

locked

so theres nowhere

they can go

and this

we know

as we march on

with our plan

and flames are fanned

and streets long paved

with wreckage and rubble

are again in trouble

as mountains of death grow

and we throw stones,

show our muscles

and flex our flags

and your dead civilians

are worth less

than the body bags

that aren’t used

as they’re tossed

in the river,

buried in mass graves

or left to rot

amidst the rubble

blood

liberated from veins

arms

and legs

liberated from bodies

breath

liberated from lungs

thoughts

liberated from minds

thousands

liberated from life

a city

liberated

obliterated

decimated

devastated

suffocated

lost

left for dead

forgotten

amidst the rubble

 

Storm

it happened again last night

in my dreams

I was running through the attic

running through space and time

was running out

of my mind

finding clues under dusty boxes

and in old books

and I look out an open window

and there you are

but as you look up

the floorboards begin to rot

beneath my feet

and I’m falling

through space and time

just as our eyes meet

and I land in a graveyard

on a dead-end street

and I’m trapped

and space is closing in

and time is winding down

and I scream and shout

but no words come out

and I start to choke on doubt

and fear

and I’m all ears

but still can’t hear

the music playing

as the record spins

and the record skips

and the record skips

and the hour glass drips

seconds

minutes

hours

and the days drag on

and I’m in the basement

and its all gone

but the moldy boxes

filled with hurricane water

and lost memories

 

 

Falling Dreams

When I was a kid

I used to have dreams

that I was falling.

I never landed,

just kept on falling.

It was the same place,

the same dream.

I was on a farm somewhere

and there was a tractor

and there were animals,

cows and sheep

and there probably would have been goats

but I wasn’t really familiar with goats

when I was a kid

so they would never graze

through my dreams.

I would walk up to this stone wall

and look down

and it looked like the edge

of a flat earth,

it just kept…

on…

going…

down and down

but there was grass growing

and those sheep and cows grazing

and I would lean over the stone wall

and look down

and start to fall

and continue to fall

until I woke up.

I never hit the bottom.

I never saw the bottom.

I’m not entirely sure

that there even was

a bottom

because, somewhere on the way down

after passing the grazing cows, and sheep

I would wake up.

 

My grandfather

who we called ‘Poppy’

was a roofer

and it was falling

off a roof

at sixty-eight years old

that killed him.

Well, the pneumonia killed him

but the fall a month earlier

landed him in the hospital

in a medical-indused coma,

and then he got pneumonia

and thats what killed him.

I’m sure that he would have preferred 

dying from the fall.

 

I’m a farmer now

and the farm

is just a short walk away

from the edge of the earth

only, unlike in the dreams of my youth

now I can see the bottom.

A thousand or so feet

down a rocky cliff

is the pacific ocean.

There is no grass growing on the side

no cows or sheep,

but sometimes there are goats.

 

I have dreams now

where Poppy is falling

and I want to catch him

or at least break his fall

but my arms

and legs

won’t move.

I’m stuck

helplessly watching

him fall.

 

In the dreams I had as a kid,

the thing that I’m not sure about

is how I started falling in the first place.

I would be standing there at the stone wall

at the edge of the earth

and then,

all of a sudden

I’m passing sheep and cows

on my way down.

 

I wonder,

Did I

trip

or did I

               jump?

 

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.