Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Poems Flare Through My Skull

My poems
flare through my skull
like molotov coctails
exploding in the night

like cannisters of tear gas
tossed into the fight
like rocks thrown
like cars burned
like rubber bullets that can kill
like police truncheons that can maim
like students running, chanting
like homeland security troops in riot gear

this never ending battle
between evil and good
never is a fair fight
when all the real power
lies in the hands of the state

when protesters' bodies
get tossed into the rivers
and are left to float down stream
back into the heart
of the gleaming city

while the middle class
watches on tv
clucking their tongues
and shaking their heads
sighing deeply at the tragedy
and waste of it all
while praying all the time
that they might emerge from the brawl
stronger and more secure than ever

poets and dreamers are expendable
or so the pundits like to say
and youth
well, youth must have its way

but it is the warlords
more often than not
who somehow manage
to come out on top

No matter how brave the multitudes
who may have taken to the streets
No matter how many trade unionists and students
wave their angry fists

shouting slogans
blowing whistles
using the tops of garbage cans
as shields
courageous yes
but victorious too?

Sadly it takes more than clever slogans
boldly painted on the palace walls
to topple despots from their seats of power
to chase them from their velvet stalls

someday maybe
when millions more
have marched and fallen
willing to trade their lives
for the sacred cause
it may be possible
to teach the puppet masters
a lesson
or at least to provide them with pause

haven't we all learned by now
that power yields nothing without a row
if making revolution were that easy
we'd all have had one by now

it is only much later
after all the battles
and after all the smoke
has cleared away

only then
after we've cared for the wounded
and buried the dead
will we possibly be able to know
if our sacred cause
(our always sacred cause)
has won the miserable day

Philadelphia,Pa. 2011

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