By This Color Divided

The one color that divides
America into “sides”
is not Black or Brown or White,
Red or Yellow, dark or light,
but the color that is Green—
that is the color between
the one side and the other,
between sister and brother;
it is what gives some more rights
while most squawk in petty fights
that accomplish no more than
idle talk, or prayer, can;
it is the power of wealth
that divides all from oneself;
the othering of the bank
and thus the false social rank.
Similarly, it was gold
that was the demon of old—
it was greed that took the lands
from the Native tribal bands
and it was greed that enthralled
peoples from Africa, hauled
to America to build
the dreams of men who so willed
without care of soul or heart
or the lives they tore apart;
nor the migrants near the turn
of the century, yet to learn
that the green of one’s greed
did not care about their need—
though they were just as White
as whom deemed them “parasite”
and used them all as prey
for cheapened labor, and pay,
as like those of modern times:
Latinos from Southern climes,
for Race is just an excuse
to divide us so we lose
the real war of the classes
as one percent amasses
more money, more power,
everyday, hour by hour,
while we raise a wayward fuss
about tribal “them” and “us.”
Divide and conquer, they say,
and it does work, day to day—
the poor so obsessed with hue
while shortchanged for their due.

Carried Away With Oneself

The townsfolk worried when the river would crest,
knowing it would flood their precious farmlands
and ruin crops before the Summer harvest,
all so fearful it was out of their hands—
that is, all except Donnie, the local fool
who lived in a white house all fading fast
and didn’t know how to discern a plain mule
from a jackass, or from a looking glass.
Anyhow, Donnie had it in his dense head
that he would save the town from the great flood.
“Give me all your buckets,” Donnie loudly said,
“and I will reduce that river to mud.”
Townsfolk thought this a hell of a hoot, all right,
and so they gave him every bucket,
and so Donnie took them to pail, day and night,
at the river, walking far to chuck it
away from the river, out toward the swamp,
where he fancied he made a difference,
even as the locals would laugh and would stomp
to see him so taken with such nonsense.
By and by, the river crested and then ebbed
as the floodwaters flowed farther on South
to the tributaries, watersheds, all webbed
until the river ran dry at the mouth.
The townsfolk were amazed to see such a thing
and praised Donnie for his supposed feat.
“If you are so grateful,” he said, “make me king!”
The townsfolk all knelt down to kiss his feet.
Thereafter Donnie saw to the floodwaters
whenever the rains fell in a torrent,
and he had much to eat, and many daughters
from the townsfolk, though it was abhorrent.
Each year the river rose, Donnie would bear it
with buckets, scooping it by the liters
as proof of his practice and pledge and merit
as the river rose, or fell, by meters.
But then came a year with such heavy rains
that they feared a forty-day flood was nigh
while the river swelled and broke over the plains,
the current swift, the whitewater crest high.
“Donnie! King! Save us!” they all cried out in woe.
Donnie scoffed at the river, wide and vast.
“I’ll right it,” he said, his orange cheeks aglow.
“You just wait and you’ll see! I’ll fix it fast!”
And so he took up his bucket, and his crown,
and he went to the rabid riverside
where he dipped his big, greedy buckets down
into that roaring, racing river tide.
For days he bailed at the river, growing tired,
yet the river only swelled larger still,
the farmlands and the town becoming but mired
in the bloat of that Leviathan swill.
“You are a fraud!” the townsfolk said to their king,
but he never lost faith, too much the fool
to ever doubt himself in any one thing
as he sought to solidify his rule.
And so Donnie worked at his usual pace,
which is to say, slow…lazy…no swifter
than the Hare when sleeping in the fabled race
against the tortoise, that steady drifter.
But the river was both the tortoise and hare,
for it ran swift while staying in its bed,
or else moved steadily outward, here and there;
whichever way its swelling excess led.
And Donnie waded out in the deep, thinking
he needed to get to the river’s heart
to pail out the most, although he was sinking
to his neck—yet still thinking himself smart.
“You won’t ever beat me, river,” Donnie yelled,
choking on whitewater as it tumbled
like the frothy fury of millions that swelled
until Donnie tripped and gagged and fumbled.
And, at a blink, Donnie was swallowed from sight
beneath the currents he thought he mastered—
his crown and buckets were found the next night:
the river will always have the last word.

Lord Of The Golf Rings

Lord of sparkling pyrite illusions,
like Saruman with his many cloaks
projecting power through delusions
and defying the Shepherd of Oaks.
He seeks the end of the Age of Man
and is false idol, and false wizard,
and pollutes all those whom he can,
corrupting Middle-Earth with his word.
Having power through what is believed
by those who kneel beneath his tower,
it is a sleight of hand shadow sleeved
as a showman’s at his premiere hour—
not a power of intelligence,
but of lies, deceits, a con’s bluster
ensorcelling those deprived of sense
as they gaze on a false-gold luster.
And what forces may vie against him
when Mt. Doom rumbles at its distance?
Good men lose faith and the light grows dim
while the elder race flees hither thence.
For Gondor has lost its favored son
and sulks in the shadow of Mordor
while Rohan wastes without direction,
king idle behind a wormwood door.
The Rohirrim, too, ride without aim,
flanking the enemy, to and fro,
almost as if playing a child’s game
rather than defeating their sworn foe.
Wherefore Gandalf? To the very small,
yet for who knows what wizard’s reason
as Hobbits rise to the horn-blast call
for a time in the easy season.
For comfort is the worst evil spell
and is far worse than the Uruk-hai
as it halts the hero from his tale
and aids the tireless, triumphant Eye.

Uncomfortable Truths

Priorities
A racial slur has never
killed a single person,
but one must wonder
how many Third-World people we have all
curbstomped
with our carbon footprint.

“Pocahontas”
Just one word and the Wall Street
iconoclast
crumbles, the kitschy tomahawk falling
from her pale hand.
Meanwhile the false gold idol
remains, leering as he slouches
atop the idolater’s pulpit,
untouchable beneath so much
praise
and pigeon shit.

Tax Write-Off
It is as sad as it is
true
that only wealthy middle class Whites
can afford the
guilt
of White Privilege,
whereas for the working poor
it is just another luxury item
cut from the budget
until good times come again
to broaden their purchasing power
and their
overtaxed sympathies.

Pocket Change
The feminist theory book was
closed upon itself,
thick with sermons against ancient
wrongs
in a cobwebbed corner of the room
while the pink pocketbook
changed the world
one purchase at a time
to a more
feminine shape.

Cenataurs

How far they ride upon horse shoes
of beaten silver coin and gold
blacksmithed by the corporations whose
interests have them bought and sold.
Fitted thus they can gallop long
into their old age, man and horse,
even when no longer wise or strong
upon the circuit’s costly course.
Yet they do not steer, horse nor man,
but are driven by the tight reins
of those whose bit and whose bridle can
make or break them in campaigns.

War’s Feast

They believed themselves as having been
suckled by War
like Romulus upon the teat
of the she-wolf
before he slew his brother, Remus,
upon the wolf’s embattled bosom
to give eventual rise to Rome,
and that may be true of them,
but what cannibal-mother
did not suckle a child
to fatten him up
for the forthcoming feast?
Can you not see how she
salivates
while you suckle yourself
complacent?