Poetry

Poetry

  • Is this America – Ron McKinley
  • A Poem – Mary Getlein
  • Been occupying Venice for some time – Roger Houston
  • Ancestral Memory – Jim Smith
  • Our Neighbors – Juditte Erki
  • 99 to 1 – Dean Henderson
  • Wealth’s Privilege – D. A. Green
 
————————————-
 
Is this America

 Is this America
just stack the paper
it’s all about the money

Is this America
just smash who don’t agree
with your pedigree
Is this America
the one telling the
ninety and nine
it’s all mine
Is this America
the obtuse rule
where intellect is 
threat
Is this America
where health
is maintained by
wealth
Is this America
where a cycle
of buy consume
will be our doom
Is this America
an American
on America
Is this really America
–Ronald McKinley

 ———–

A Poem
They are sitting at one big table
Full of fun and laughter
She laughs and smiles and try’s to give me an idea for a poem
As if all I have to do is go home & write it
She doesn’t understand; The poem writes itself
Sometimes so fast it’s all I can do to hold on to the pen
The brain hand connection
But what is the brain connected to?
Good question
I know we are all connected.
When I got here, this sleazy little Venice
I knew I was home
I know people have lived here for centuries
Lots of people partied here, told jokes here, sang songs here
before there were houses there were lean-tos or tents
or nothing
Whales swam here, dolphins played here,
birds flew here, all sorts of animals
I would love to write a beautiful Indian poem
About who used to live here, so long ago-
But all I know is what I know
That people form alliances with each other for whatever reasons 
Some people come here to die
and others come to live
just like any other place
The pretense of the sea is to give us a place to go and 
be healed
The waves in and out take away our troubles
and cast them in a new light;
It’s life a miracle! You look out to sea and see
New life jumping out of it.
And feel like jumping yourself.
–Mary Getlein
 ———– 
Inside the Talking Stick….. Been occupying Venice for some time. Rememb’ring back, before it was a crime, To sleep inside a Ford Econoline, Before there was a height restriction sign, Before Bill Rosendahl would turn his back On guys like me; a harmless man in black. But things have really changed. Gone are the days Of gypsy life in Venice. Simon says To go along with PATH, follow the track That leads to Silverlake, and not look back. Accept the Section Eight, give up what’s mine. Bohemia is dead, killed by design. Big money calls the shots these days, and I’m About to walk away for the last time….. Adios, Roger Houston
————-
Ancestral Memory
By Jim Smith
I am that man sleeping in the cave
I am that woman walking out of Africa
I am that Pharaoh sitting on a throne
I am that slave building the pyramids
I am that women dying of Black Death
I am that priest taking Buddhism to China
I am that man praying with the Iman
I am that woman burning at the stake
I am that Celt being raped by a Viking
I am that Viking not knowing I have a son
I am that general marching with Napoleon
I am that Roman soldier dying in Gaul
All these and millions more
Live inside my genes
I feel them stirring in the dead of night
and in the heat of struggle
They brag of feats and warn of dangers
Giving advice freely according to their epoch
 
Someday I will join them
in genes and cells not yet born
Will my advice be bad or good?
when I reside inside the bones of humanity.

 ———–

Our Neighbors
Who are these people who cook our food?
Who are these people who clean our houses?
Who are these people who raise our children with loving hands?
They are our neighbors
Small statured brown skinned gentle people
Who had crawled through sewers
Walked hours in the blazing sun
Bravely faced hundreds of dangers
From scorpions to machine guns
As they headed North with determination.
When they had arrived, we welcomed them with consternation.
We wanted only their hard working hands
We didn’t care about their past
We didn’t care about their emotions
We didn’t care about their spirits
We didn’t care about their hardships
We put them on our fields
We put them in our kitchens
We put them in our nurseries
We made them work hard and paid them next to nothing.
And what do we do when after years of service we don’t want them anymore?
What do we do when the economy has a downturn? 
What do we do when the wind of our politics changes direction?
I tell you what we do!
We throw them away like an old worn out pair of gloves
We want them to disappear
We want them to go back to where they had come from
We tear their families apart.
Do we care that they have no place to go?  
Do we care that their children are American?
Do we care about their despair?
What kind of people are we?
What kind of country we live in?
What is the solution?
These people were part of our families
They made our lives comfortable
They had cared for our children
They had built our houses.
When are we going to open our eyes and see our brothers’ suffering?
When will we look into those soul filled brown eyes?
When will we recognize that our neighbors are just like us
Human beings not just a pair of hands?
When we do, then we will awaken to our own humanity
Then we will step out of our isolation
Then we can taste the sweetness of this earth
And the depth of our soul
Then we can say with satisfaction
We are Americans and proud of it
And when the time will come to knock on heaven’s door
We won’t be turned away.
– Juditte Erki
———-
“99 to 1”
We marched down to City Hall
To have our grievance read.
They sent the cops to drive us out,
We’re lucky no one’s dead.
99 to 1, 99 to 1
You’d think that workers had a chance
At 99 to 1
Tax breaks for the billionaires,
Cuts to health and schools
The lackeys of the 1%
Are playing us for fools.
99 to 1, 99 to1
You’d think that workers had a chance
At 99 to 1
They’ve pushed us all up to the wall,
Our children’s future snatched.
We’re rising up, we’re rising up
There is no going back.
99 to 1, 99 to1
You’d think that workers had a chance
At 99 to 1
 –Dean Henderson
———–
Wealth’s Privilege
By D. A. Green
Any spare change?
she said to me
As I walked by
so hastily
I looked down upon her
as no one
Racing towards
my destination
On my return
in front of me
She stood there smiling
not down on me
She gave me far more
than I to she
And I was the poorest 
for the night
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Categories: Poetry

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