Tragic

I hear the boom
and the crackle of gun fire.
I live in a world where the sound of hate
is louder than the call to heal.  

I tire of useless gods,
swap them out    for any that give a damn.  

 I tire of government weasels
               who don’t give a shit.  

I tire of those who make me sad,
make me groan,
make me regret
I share a space 
in time 
and a genetic code. 

I live to cry 
and long to smile. 

Tears soak my pillow,
I wring it out 
and create streams 
that swell into rivers.

We kill, kill, kill 
then cry, cry, cry. 

Praying,
it’s someone else’s turn 
to die.  

We tolerate, 
legiti-mate,
the tools of the trade.

Needing the gun wielder
to shield us
from the gun wielding 
bomb thrower who follows ideologues
that have the innocent  die for the cause. 

Invisible ideologies that drive intelligent
beings,
to maddening acts.  

We prevent rabies, but have no clue,
how to vaccinate 
against the rabid god, 
the rabid leader 
the believer.  

              How tragic,
to be mired
in hate. 

Thomas Coex/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Ride

Ride with me—
clasp my dream, hold me close
and hang on tight.

The wheels on this bike
spin, like the wheels
of a fifty-seven Chevy
in heat down a quarter mile stretch.

The road we’ll ride
is downhill steep

the ride, a tailspin, a barrel-roll.
See the gravel at our feet—
don’t cry sweet,
I’m scared too.

Just hold me tight, and
don’t let go.

The Unfortunate Fools

All they needed was time—
and heartfelt embraces,
it’s what’s worth giving,
yet, they willingly, sold it to the boss
or gave it to the gizmos
they called tech.

Like cats at a canary
they gazed at screens,
instead of each other.

After they gave the boss
the extra four,
when they came home,
even if one had wine,
and the other kicked back a brew,
there were no syllables between the two.
they chose to horde the time they had on loan.
They became the unfortunate fools
that had everything,
but   each other.

 

 

Was it Yesterday or Today

Was it yesterday or today
that sane voices
were drowned out
by the musical stir
of bombs bursting in air
and rockets’ red glare
as children ran to and from
bullets
that whispered a prayer

Was it yesterday or today
that angry bullets
found their mark
on innocent flesh

We grieve
We mourn
We sit in sackcloth and ash
We wait for God to take sides,
and politicians to pray
while we wait
for angry bullets
to no longer fly

Was it yesterday or today
that the metallic sound of tat-tat-tat
echoed
in tender ears
as rapid-fire sounds alarm
and children hide
from fatal harm

Was it yesterday or today
that children weren’t safe
from bullets
that flew their way

Was it yesterday or today
When we mourned them
While they Laid in state.

Was it yesterday or today
that we Laid them to rest
in shrouded coffins
of extinguished
light

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Migrant Mothers Song

It was 1946—
America the Great.
900 miles to pick cotton in Arkansas

An inhospitable welcome from the farmer,
and a rundown chicken-coup for accommodations

Sisters, Hermanas,
young brown girls.
Niñas color bronce como sus abuelas,
raza noble.

Happiness glitters in brown eyes.
They laugh as young girls do.

Hot from the field,
a quaint country market,
they’re thirsty.
Una soda para refrescar.

“We don’t serve your kind”
sounds the voice of white supremacy,
the lash
of Bible Belt Christianity.
A cruel reminder of when they are

In the words of Langston Hughes,
“The Dream Deferred”

The moment
imprinted on their innocence
like boot prints in deep snow,
a cold wound—that will never heal.

A migrant child’s
on-again, off-again education,
children plagued by segregation,
whose singular purpose—
prepare them
for farm work
and hotel housekeepers
“The Dream Deferred”.

America the Great,
land of opportunity,
but not for them,
“The Dream Deferred”

In 1953—
In a Great America,
Brothers home from the war,
Korea
was their patriotic duty.
Proud men,
Americanos born of Mexicanos
proud to serve—
yet signs display:
“No Mexicans or Dogs Allowed”
“The Dream Differed”

Shed blood!
Pick crops
but stay in your own Brown Lane—
was the prevailing wind
of that Great America.
The land of the free and home of the brave.
Free to labor in her fields,
brave enough to die in her wars,
but to the Gringo,
they were disposable, invisible people.
“The Dream Differed”

America the Great,
but not, if your skin was brown,
and you spoke the language of your abuelos.

For the sake of her children and grandchildren,
she would fear to have
America, made Great
again.