this too shall pass…

this too shall pass

now
don’t take
this
personally
but
all your hopes and expectations
have
no foundation
in history
quite to the contrary
history suggests
that
your optimism
mirrors that
of
those
whose graves
we stand beside today

combat episodes…

he’d seen
every
john wayne
movie
and
every
episode
of
cops
his
black
spit shined
boots
set off
his
neatly pressed
military
fatigues
and
sheriff’s badge
looking
totally
combat ready
carrying
the M4 carbine
slung
across
his chest
he was
well prepared
for
his starring
role
so with cameras
rolling
the team
burst
into
the family’s home
shattering
the wooden door
with
explosives
then
flash grenades
to
dramatize
their entry
finding
crying children
mother
naked
in bed
father
slammed
to
the floor
as
he tried to defend
those
he loved
then
shots fired
teenage son
in pool
of
innocent blood
dark like
his skin
radio interrupts
the production
filming
they’re
at
the wrong
address

vessel…

these are not
my emotions
this anger
and fear
is older than
my years
upon this earth
it is the taste
of dried blood
and the dust
of those once
enslaved
freed by death
to wander with
whatever winds
reach into soul
to reanimate
their words
so their sorrow
and stories
can be retold
these are not
my words
so expect
no apologies
or
absolution
of social sins
the dead
cannot make
such offerings
to the living
they can only
recall the sins
you’ve lived
and
the pain
you’ve bestowed

when silence becomes betrayal…

if you do not speak
when children
are torn
from
their parents
and
caged
like animals
when will you speak
will you cry out
above
the wailings
of
thousands
of
loved ones
mourning
senseless deaths
caused
by
incompetence
if not then
when will you speak
will you denounce
the rancid words
of
traitors to this nation
and
its constitution
with
righteous indignation
and
honest condemnation
if not then
when will you speak
will you order
without delay
those
who enter
the chambers
of
freedom
screaming venomous
mantras
of hate
and
ignorance
is it then
that
you will
speak
harsh words
demanding
their departure
from
those hallowed halls
if
not then
when
will you speak
perhaps
you’ll hold your voice
until
your body
is dragged
by
those same rebels
to
a makeshift gallows
outside
the capital steps
your hands and mouth bound
and
your body wrapped
in
some confederate flag
is it then
that
you’ll scream
to be heard
above
the hideous mob
co-conspirators
that
you would not
speak of
and
to
before
now
but now
how
will you
speak
with your hands
posed
across
your chest

 

triangle tattoos…

the hands
on
the old man’s watch
stopped
as
if
his fears
had entered
an inanimate object
he stared out
from
his apartment window
into
the darkness
memories
projected
onto
today
men
in black uniforms
herding people
into
the street
cursing each breath
they took
striking anyone
who resisted
the poor
the elderly
man or woman
it
made no difference
for
they were not seen
as
humans
but rather
the cause
of
a
sick nation
but now
he was
in
america
and
the scene
that
took place last night
must have been
a nightmare
for
this is
portland

 

self-protection…

before
their eyes
opened
fine threads
of
social expectation
were
layered
around
the infant form
distorting
the view
of
the outside world
and
stunting
the growth within
an arrested development
caused by
a malnutrition
of
truth
as had been expected
with such containment
there were fatalities
but such deaths
were easily
projected onto upbringing
and

or
personal parental failures
leaving the society
blameless
those that
finally
emerged
from
the cultural cocoon
were
as
had been planned
unable to discern
social injustice
accepting
the white cane
of
forced poverty
that denied
them access
to
most of the entry points
of
success
living their lives
as
moths
flutter around
the flame
of
hate
most disconcerting
to
the oligarchy
however
were
the few
that emerged
as
dragons