Visions from the Wasteland

Standing alone in the wasteland
Of dying dreams and abandoned ideals,
I watched the greatest country in the world
Decay into an over-sexed, under-educated
Cesspool of self-gratification,
Intolerance and ignorance.

I saw culture, art, and creativity die,
Suffocated by the new plastic culture,
Whose sterile halls and prefabbed cathedrals
Were crowded with worshipers
Biting, kicking, scratching;
Trampling each other,
Screaming in a frenzy
Just to catch a glimpse
Of the great greenback god
And his hollow gifts,
Promising to fill the voids
And empty spaces
So you no longer wish to die.

I saw a once fit intelligent citizenry
Grow fat, lethargic, and dumb
Minds vegetating, souls atrophying
Entranced by hypnotic figures of light
Dancing in illuminated black boxes.

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What’s At Stake

william_blake_003

Oðinn, Myrddin, Whitman, Blake,
Can’t you see what’s now at stake,
Who’s for real and who’s a fake?
Its time for poets to sing their songs,
Inspire people to right some wrongs,
Leaving hate in the past, where it belongs.

Isaiah, Mohammad, Byron, Hughes,
Any idea what we stand to lose
When we’ve lost our very right to choose?
Fascism marching down our streets,
The government peeking beneath our sheets
Justice and Truth contemplate defeats.

A storm brewing in the night,
We all know what is wrong and what is right,
Now is the time to stand and fight.

11-14-16

Notes:
Oðinn = O-thin (th as in “this”)
Myrddin = Mer-thin (the as in “this”)
Image is The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun by William Blake

I Dreamed I Saw Old Socrates

socrates_louvre

I dreamed I saw old Socrates
Walking Athens after dark.
No people to harass, no questions to ask,
No great debates on which to embark.

His face it looked so serene,
As he contemplated truth.
Is this the man they put to death
For corruption of the youth?

The men in charge, to keep their jobs,
Don’t want us thinking for ourselves.
Its sheep they need, easier to lead,
Not the depth to which wisdom delves.

Question every single authority,
Be certain only of what you do not know.
These men of Athens knew right then
This gadfly had to go.

I dreamed I saw old Socrates
Teaching with his last breath.
I stood among his crowd of friends
As he bravely met his death.

I awoke in tears of anger
At the injustice that had been done.
But I could not define what “justice” was,
And I knew that old Socrates had won.

11/3/16

Image from Wikipedia

Dust to Dust (for Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005 )

simon_wiesenthal_1982

Caught in the sacrificial flames
That licked the heavens,
Burned but not burnt

Your brothers’ and sisters’ blood
Cries out to you from the ashes:
“Where is God,” they ask,
“Where is justice?”

The Lord answered:
Tempered in flame
a voice cried out from the wild,
“I am my brother’s keeper!”
Bearing the shield of righteousness;
wielding the sword of truth,
“Justice! Justice I shall pursue!”

A voice for the silenced.
A memory for the forgotten.
A promise to the wicked:
Judgment Day is at hand.

Who Judges the Judge?

rembrandt_-_moses_with_the_ten_commandments_-_google_art_project

Moses on the mountain.
Words of black fire on white
Etched in stone by the finger of God

Aaron in the desert
A molten idol made of Egyptian gold
Raised up and called Elohim.

The wrath of God among the people
Stone tablets shatter in the sand
Israelite blood on Levite knives

“You shall be holy for I, the Lord your God am Holy…
I have brought you out of the land of Egypt to be my people…
I am a jealous God…”

Should not the judge of the whole earth deal justly?

Thoughts, Dreams and Reflections (For Allen Ginsberg)

allenginsberg

I. Thoughts

I thought of you today, Allen Ginsberg,
As I often do when the howls from
Desolation Row enrapture my mind.
Rapid fired images stolen from
Dreams and nightmares of America.
Starving in the streets like
Hysterical angel headed hipsters
And raggedy vagabond doctors
Crouched in darkened doorways
Snarling, scratching at the
Constable’s carriage for
A scrap of bread.

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