Category Archives: Politics

“What Peace of Mind?”

“What Peace of Mind?”

What peace of mind can find a living here?
Pundits’ fantasies will not stop the tears, the midnight cries,
Incessant lies, and still the public yearns to know what we despise
From commentators and the late show comics. Do we fear
The truth and turn the other way when asked
If what comes down the pipe is truly past
Our tacit understanding? Reasons? Seasons? Are there tasks
Beyond endurance here, or is it always first and last
A matter for the courts, the press, the cold realities
That simply digest information and ingest lucid cosmic facts:
There’s them that’s got, and them that’s wracked,
The rich, the poor, the lack of morals backed. Atrocities
And blessings rank as equals, ours to fricassee, ours to fear.
There’s them that’s got, all right, and them that no one hears.

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Reprise: “True Enough, the Politicians Sigh”

Reprise:

“True Enough, the Politicians Sigh”

True enough, the politicians sigh, elections foil
Attempts to rectify the situation leaving choices
Fit for fools and all solutions moot, their voices
Shrill, and rarely if at all do waters yield and boil
At temperatures that formerly marked
The limits of glory’s shores. Even as we speak the seas
Have rushed the gates where now the rivers bleed,
And Arctic glaciers once so permanent, so parked
Reveal the reason for which Greenland was sired
And in the time of ancient Viking sagas so aptly named.
Nothing’s new that was not there before the present maimed
And mauled, reframed, and rearranged, frayed and admired
Its tasteless tableaux in conspicuous waste
to the end that no one breathes
A word who is not cursed or blessed while all the azure planet grieves.

“Minor Prophesies”

Minor Prophesies

“Minor Prophesies”

Minor prophesies, you see, arrest attentions while the majors
Spin their auguries and send well-wishers to the drawing boards;
He who knows he knows cannot doubt the hoards
Of wisdoms summoning the priests and all wizened pagers
To alarm, the preöccupation of bed
And breakfast even on a holiday. They do not rest,
These prodigies of works in progress, filtered guests
And hosts of baseless hubris laced with lead
That lines the public coffers; petty online petrels elect
To withhold judgment, approval by proxy of produce in a downward spiral
To mask denial, pernicious lesions on tenuous surfaces of viscous viral
Social justification, cumbersome with resolution to deny all defects,
To stack the decks and grease the wheels of Vegas
or possibly occupy another park somewhere on the way to Wall Street.
The meek inherit nothing here; the air itself respeaks the fetid breath
of long-malignant greed, the Vulgate and solipsis of universal internal debt.
In a mass transit to succeed, to seed, to reconnoitre losses to the end,
Someone keeps watch at left, yet another the right; today the knife,
Tomorrow perspicuous incisions wreathed in sutures of strife,
The going price for impatience with what only God can apprehend.
Concuspience no matter by what name, post or missive
Finds traffic and intentions snatched by posses ranged in clouds
Like flies that all but promise folly well before the end of urgency. Sound
Advice is not the issue in a world adrift, submissive,
Spliced from virtue, in metamorphosis to vice, usury and programmed gratitude
Become the plough through ancient fields that will do what must be done.
The melody and rhythm in the closing bells are rung, the one
And only cry multiplied by predilection to kinetic irony calls itself rectitude
Of conduct. A prudent pruning of the prototype provides
The perfect recipe for what can be consumed with fingers and a side of fries.
Stereotypes abound as future founding fathers still arrive
From yet another tribe, the other shore, the still further side
Of bold imagination in the surging tides since 1844.  Slide
The rule but inches to the right or left and strive
To understand the ratio or face the inevitable consequence:
Though we took the land from startled natives,
We now tout these varied lists (the case is dative)
In the fray lain wanting in the codex, lost in nuance
That not so long ago applied to Dublin, Roma, gay Paris,
And even Shanghai, Saigon, and more recent private empires–cheques to be
Post dated as the years fly by while those in Congress in a sea
Of interests debate just who’ll pick up the tab, for whom the shopping spree,
And who’ll be the referee. 

Lava

“The Greeks Have Flown”

“The Greeks Have Flown”

The Greeks have flown; they’ve left their god
A morsel, a token of devoted consummation,
And a fitting tribute to Poseidon on the shores of conflagration
As Casandra’s painful cries go largely unheeded beyond a nod
From time to time within the royal brood; their sovereign’s rod
And sceptre sanctified by land and sea, firm determination
To abide by what is thought a victory for the nation
Complete with joyous riots in the streets, the sod
Still wet festooned with crimson oils and a decade laid to waste;
While Trojan mothers weep, their sons receive the final rites
And Priam’s troubles treble as the night in blindness falls.
Wreathes of fine remembrance punctuate belated joys, the caul
Of sorrow thin and thinner in the ritual; they’ll circumambulate
The horse that dwells within the walls and sleep in peace tonight.

“Imagination Styles the Face”


“Imagination Styles the Face”

Imagination styles the face of vanity that solves a thousand wrongs,
And no one guesses what’s behind the door.
Closer to the truth, the portal to escape closes just behind him; gore
And all that glitter exposed, tinsel moments in the early morning songs,
Playground glories among the boys and toys, reasons to declare
An eminence–petulant and sulking–ever hamartia, ever cool,
Who stalks the school yard–recess, lunch, and after school
And preys on younger lambs who cannot see nor dare
To think beyond the present master and the class
To one day leaving what was never meant to be
A permanent abode but stepping stones to what only seems
To be a day’s delay until the graduation fantasy, and one more hall pass.
“But, then again, I never meant to study, people…

I never meant to pass the test!”

“They Told Me All Along”

“They Told Me All Along”

They told me all along and often, always boisterous, boasting loudly, nights
Would come when I would feel the season’s counterfeits rally round
Ten thousand thousand fresh laconic smiles…

…and sweet obscenities chasing tails, and bound
For fiscal glory, …yes! I knew they knew it could not last–nor might
Not more–minutes, perhaps an icecube’s stand, this half hour, or that,…and yet
They always raised their fists on high, and swore,
despite their losses surely, yes, they’d do it all again, and lay
Their life’s breath’s money where their wit is hatched–within the mouth–to slay
Nine dragons thrice betrayed, and thrice removed,…

…and reconsider fiduciary exploits…. No regrets.
Their bellies’ joy in shredding….No! By God! Dissembling

…they were, and lying then.
They’re lying still–standards to the clan, and even after desperate stares
Surround their own destructions, bloated souls,…

…distorted cancer-yeasts, they’re all aware.
They scribble texts, graffitied mountain tailings, organs failing, seal their place:
“A hand! Extend a hand” they cry,” and deal the cards again and as we live
We die together…” “Well, the hell you say! In the Fed we trust; the government forgives,
for goodness sake!””…Mae West my friend, she’ll tell ya!

goodness has nothing to do with it!”

“They Have No Shame”

“They Have No Shame”

They have no shame, no tracks are hidden
The reds, the blues, the right and left;
The balances of power, laws bereft
Of common sense are disobeyed
before they’re written.
It is as if the litany of litanies of the whole
Demands intimidation of the sum,
not so much in matter–
Brains and beard, heel on up the ladder
Through the aurora to the poles, glacial melting for show
And tell; plumbing in seas with no drain, drilling stalled
But not for long– equities defined as winners in the chat box, scattered,
Anointed virtues virtual with no defense as charity declines
and as our beloved Scrooge resigns,
His slogans braying: “Are there no border guards, is there no bottom line;
In the event of volcanic ash and oil spills, the market’s doomed to fall?”
Ignorance is bliss as blogs and blarney multiply;
the tallies shake and confidence is shattered.

“We are encouraged to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that don’t last, on people we don’t care about.”

Professor Jackson, a member of the Sustainable Development Commission of the United Kingdom, made his comments at a panel discussion held this week in conjunction with the current session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

The Baha’i International Community cosponsored the discussion, titled “Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism.”

Countries are being driven further into debt–not to mention potential environmental catastrophe–by levels of consumerism that do not contribute to sustainability, Professor Jackson said.

“The People Say They Want a Change”

“The People Say They Want a Change”

The people say they want a change; clubs
Are ripe for shifting gears and crowning kings
From diamonds or from hearts and while the telephones ring,
The bids are readied, cards are in; spades have flubbed,
There’s no one in the mood to compromise;
The deck is shuffled once again for luck,
Brand-new tires on the same old truck.
Promissory notes are dealt; the bids just rise, and rise,
And rise again. But, what’s this? Speculation’s brought
To automated stops on all the outbound tracks,
And while the freight departs, the passengers arrive. Dealers smack
Their lips, and rub their palms, and bids are caught
Between the speeches and cries at last of “No trump!”
Seconds later, Boardwalk yields to railroads, and everyone jumps.

“Dinner’s at Six”

“Dinner’s at Six”

Dinner’s served at six, and so’s the evening news;
The writing’s clearly on the wall and while the Constitution stalls, the gist
Of nothing from nothing sticks to banquet tables, chairs, and the guest list
Of the average home in Baghdád while the views
Expressed in measured fractions there amongst the factions
In the House feed increasingly on mediocrity and courtesies of strangers
Sporting cellphones where reporters point the finger at the signs of danger,
Motorcades, and armies on an ever trivialised darkling plain. Reactions
Blog communication lines of press and presidents who bear such striking
Poses and resemblances to Dr. Goebbels and his precedents that modern sooth-
Sayers need not wonder where all of this must lead. As Congress votes for truths
To fit pragmatic means, the ends, of course, are guaranteed from spiking
Needs dispensed in sparkling cocktails served each night along with dinner,
Presidential dim sum, cartoons, genocide, and Oprah classed as winners.