Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kindness on the Potomac






Kindness on the Potomac
Dedicated to The Ruling Class*


The snow rides a black wind, it impartially freezes
kills back flower faces to skull sockets of seed
starves the world’s belly, blunts the high sun
yet it’s kindness itself next to you.

The fur culling hawk wind-dances the thermals
balled eye in gilt swivel beaming out death,
piercing the long distance to one beating heart
soon killed and consumed, yet it’s kinder than you.

The greed dappled locusts in brown thrashing turmoil
fantastically replicated, fall from  burnt sky
devour green grain, beat stripped stems to dustmotes
then dine on their brothers, yet they’re kinder than you.

The sybarite housecat, with no hammer of hunger
in play lets the mouse run then absently strikes,
since it can, makes the weak thing a wee broken pulp.
No kindness here, but still kinder than you.

All these have no choice. They live blind a brief breathing
where the matrix is master, murder life’s instinct,
play hunger’s practice, survival sole mandate.
For you, it’s all fool’s gold to pay for your toys.

I’ve seen how you smile. May it rot to a bone rictus
in an unquiet grave, where all of your eloquence
ennui’s the worms. That blessed silence dark and forever,
would be the beginning of kindness from you.



August 2011




Come join us to share some of the best poetry on the web.



*excepting from this tirade Rep. Bernie Sanders(I) of Vermont and possibly three or four other elected officials to whom it doesn't apply 



61 comments:

  1. oh damn...ok your title caught me immediately, then i read the by line...ha...the mouse beaten to a pulp...ugh...nice visualdark and gritty...and in the face...just the way a political poem should be...smiles. wont it be nice if one day we are forced to write happy political poems because they are doing such a great job...only when donkeys and elephants learn to fly and the tea does not taste bitter...

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  2. No lie, brian. I would love to just once be able to write a poem about our polity that rejoiced in something--anything--positive accomplished, in someone seeing a way forward that fixed instead of broke more stuff. Maybe someday.

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  3. Ahhh, your pen is indeed a mighty silver sword, forged in the fires of truth and wisdom! And these lines are oh so true:

    "For you, it’s all fool’s gold to pay for your toys."

    And it is indeed fool's gold and worthless paper that this ruling class connives to get! But, what comes around, goes around, and Karma can leave a bitter taste in one's mouth!

    "Lord, what fool's these mortals be," Puck, A Midsummer's Night's Dream.

    Thanks for sharing Joy...

    Roger ☺

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  4. goodness...why aren't you going into politics hedge...?? tight write..grabbing opening stanza and kick-ass imagery to the last line...

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  5. Thanks much, Roger.Glad you liked

    Please Claudia, I would sooner have an honest profession like whoring on 7th Avenue, than go into politics. ;-)

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  6. You have warmed the cockles of my heart with this! The truth hurts...still kinder than them.

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  7. As the alchemists say, nothing can be properly joined until it's been thoroughly separated, and so there's no hope for any of us until the nature of those Potomac Greed-Eaters has been shown to be lower than whaleshit. The untender mercies of Nature at least have a purpose in the grander economy of the world -- those Big Money DC suppositories exist only to sing Its Mine All Mine up the arses of the one percenters. Thanks for not allowing any illusions as the campaign trail fumes into town ... - Brendan

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  8. Glad you could identify, Tim.

    @B: Exactly. Thanks for reading, and I owe you for the locusts--they came into mind while reflecting on your Wasp Woman movie.

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  9. I can feel your frustration and anger here Joy.

    Vivid images here specially these:

    The greed dappled locusts in brown thrashing turmoil
    fantastically replicated, fall from burnt sky
    devour green grain, beat stripped stems to dustmotes
    then dine on their brothers, yet they’re kinder than you.

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  10. Intense and heartfelt. I'm with you 100% The assholes, for shame. I'd love to see you read this on the floor of Congress.

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  11. I'd like to have this posted on billboards next to anything that says Vote for Perry (that Ahole) first Bush ruins Texas and then Perry takes out the schools and sixteen years of them would consume the planet not so fast as hydrogen bombs - no we would surely be the toys they played with, dragged through the dirt, made to suffer, sting more. OMG Joy this is great. Submit it EVERYWHERE!

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  12. Great job. You express how most of us feel...frustration and deceived. I enjoyed it. :)

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  13. I nominated this for David Orr's list. The problem with sending it to Congress is: They just wouldn't get it!

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  14. Descriptive and powerful! I really like the 4th stanza.

    laurie kolp

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  15. Our so called governement is in a sad state. Well wrought words that express the rot of this governement.

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  16. So glad I never went in to politics, nor had any desire to.

    Might get a sybarite housecat, tho. :)

    As usual, I hang on tight for the wild ride of your words and am ever buffeted, but somehow come out alive!

    xo

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  17. An assasination.. You smashed this up.
    You warmed me up rapidly with the title and intro - then we hit the ultimate tigger finger stanza

    The fur culling hawk wind-dances the thermals
    balled eye in gilt swivel beaming out death,
    piercing the long distance to one beating heart
    soon killed and consumed, yet it’s kinder than you.

    Boom
    then we are flying on the crest...i did not want this to end but then the ending was so raw and savage i rewound to the top just to hit that ending again.

    A blast and a half for sure Hedge!

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  18. Thanks, all. I feel your frustration and anger and share it.

    @FB Because that works so well.

    @ Maureen. David Orr has done and is doing very important work. Thanks. And I agree, none so deaf as he who won't hear.

    @Gay No one's a hero in his home town, eh? I despise him for his lies and pandering, and what he and his band of crazed zealots have done to ruin a fine state...makes our Okie pols look like the amateur asses they are.

    @Arron, glad you liked that second stanza--it was rewritten a dozen times..but then, most of my stanzas are--it's an anal thing, yes? ;-) Thanks so much for reading.

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  19. Joy, you have said what I feel in so many ways. I too, love Bernie Sanders, isn't he great? I say submit this one, it is awesome.

    Pamela

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  20. Beautifully layered - wow - love this - such rich imagery and melodic cadences

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  21. This is vivid, in emotion and imagery, a 'power'ful 'statement' on those that occupy & wear power for themselves

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  22. Wicked fun here with a point well made. Love the dark ire that runs through your pen, quite the powerful mover that is hard to deny. Style fits the theme and hopefully, like Brian mentioned it would be a great day if political poems could be written in happier days. Again, great work

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  23. Just say what is on ur mind, don't be all this political correctness ... :)
    Great job, bold, in your face, hear this now. I don't need the new channel now. You got me fired up. Great write.

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  24. Hedge...only you can join Nature with politics in such a marvelous way.

    Your insight into the Natural world, combined with your outrage...is moving...

    And moves the heart in the right way.

    Beautiful, like you were on the ground with your nose right up against the critters.

    Lady Nyo

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  25. Wow you really went for the throat, but they deserve every single bit or it. Wouldn't it be nice to finally write something nice about them, but doesn't seem like it will ever happen.

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  26. powerful write...crisp, biting, clarity... a might pen indeed!

    whoah...my word verification thingy was "imiginif"...imagine if...

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  27. @Laura Thanks. The word verification spirits, they always know. ;-)

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  28. This is an incredible comparison, blending politics and nature. Loved how you ended each stanza. This was a three time read for me, which is rare. Very good editing on your part, your selection of words impeccable

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  29. After this read I was once again grateful for the counterbalancing effect of your little flower-hatted avatar mouse. I always laugh, which is all I can do to stay sane in America. That second stanza (not that the whole is not super spectacular) is as awe inducing as a Peregrine Falcon dive at 200+mph. In my ecology class we had to tag falcons and eagles and used a looped cage to catch them. We'd start out the day with a single mouse, bait for all the hawks. That mouse had to experience the terror of being eaten about 8-10 times a day. Maybe the politicians are like that Ecology Professor oblivious to that racing hearted mouse. He's the same professor that made us use quail embryos to study the circulatory system. We peered at the baby quail under microscopes until their hearts stopped beating. Boy your comment word generator is creepy, mine started with Ovium!

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  30. "piercing the long distance to one beating heart"
    love this line, love this poem.
    if only they would listen, learn, stop the madness...

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  31. Intelligent, engaged, enraged and sadly - correct. Our situation is sickening and the anger it is generating is more than a little frightening.

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  32. @Anna Ack! That's a bit surreal on the word verification. There is something totally Orwellian about that story you just told--an ecology prof, yet. You can be sure the pols have long ago lost the capacity to even remember the mouse is there, let alone give a flip for what it undergoes. Stuffing it and serving it in some outre cuisine to impress a lobbyist, that would be the most interaction you could expect. We hates them, precious. ;-) Thanks for reading.

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  33. This is the kind of indictment that only poets can get away with. Our role is to spark change...and vote.

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  34. They don't deserve your eloquence, and I could cry thinking about how bitter that is.

    I do feel lucky to be exposed to your poetry.

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  35. Great capture of the current Congress whose display of irresponsibility is truly much too painful to watch. There are many good bills that have died and will die on the floor because the Republicans have control of the House and the Dems don't have a filibuster-proof Senate (not that all Dems do the right thing, mind you). I had high hopes when Obama first took office but very quickly lost hope when the climate bill went nowhere fast. Not to defend him or anything close to it, but what a nightmare of a job he has. He inherited a major mess from his predecessor (who cared little about civil rights, human rights, financial inclusion, the environment, cooperation with other countries, and on and on...). The economy is in shambles, our reliance on fossil fuel doesn't look like it'll let up anytime soon (doubtful that he'll get in the way of building the Keystone XL pipeline and the money being made on hydrofracking is simply obscene), we're in wars we can't get out of, and I can only imagine how frequently (hourly?) he must drop everything to be briefed on suspected terrorist plots. On top of which, the tea party is wreaking havoc and causing more and more people to hate government. And this is why I feel strongly that we must participate as much as we can. We have within our power to elect these public servants and we have within our capacity to become leaders in our community in our own way.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Great piece of poetry here, as always.

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  36. Whew! Pulling no punches, eh? I think it's a marvellous poem, wonderful language and images, and I love the uncompromising detestation.

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  37. The most eloquent of kick-ass poems, hedgewitch.

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  38. Slap them hard enough and maybe they'll wake up...finally open their senses to the world beyond themselves and their twisted agendas...Yup, I think the reference to kicking ass sums this up best...Fist pump on this one!

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  39. You have truly touched the heart. Mankind is animal, and culture not so far removed as we would like to think. Amazing write! Good on you!

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  40. There is a fire under this one,Joy. Stanza 3 and 5 really caught my attention. Wish there was something positive to write about all of them too. Guess we shouldn't hold our breath...

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  41. Wow!! You know how to strike a killer blow - each stanza is a palpable hit, and the last a knockout punch.

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  42. Perceptive and deeply disillusioned. I can feel your
    despair, disappointment and deep pessimism that our political classes will never rise sufficiently above self interest to serve us well. As usual, brilliantly constructed and profoundly intelligent.

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  43. WoW! When are you running for election?

    Powerful write indeed!

    Remove These Satin Sheets

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  44. Hedge, tell us how you really feel! Seriously, though, I share your sentiments. A pox on all (or at least most) politicians. George Washington warned against political parties, but we didn't listen. Anyway, I love the imagery and structure of this poem, and how it contrasts with such a satiric bite the blind violence of nature and the all-too-self-aware and cunning violence of that freak of nature, homo politicus. Well done! By the way, Hedge, thanks so much for your kind and insightful comments on my blog.

    David

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  45. Impressive write!!! Your words roar like a volcano on the verge of erupting, but is already emitting lava, preparing to burn your enemies *wink*

    I can't wait to read more of your poems! You're such a brilliant poet! :-)

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  46. Oh yess!! I guess Potomac had set the pace for this poem... and it flowed, alright!! With force and vigor, pulling with it all that came its way...
    Unfortunately, evil too manifests itself in a similar fashion... but then again, if we have even ONE to fight against this evil tide, the numbers will grow... eventually!

    Your poem seemed to bring out this idea really well, Joy.. and powerfully too! Superb writing.. as ever!

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  47. Your animal comparisons invite much thought, Hedge, making their use an effective device. Stanza 5 ~ Brilliant and true.

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  48. "...That blessed silence dark and forever,
    would be the beginning of kindness from you."

    ~piercing, freezing, sharp and decisive.

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  49. Excellent! So what do you really think? Visceral, powerful, clear writing throughout.

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  50. Nothing I love more that a curse upon the greedy ruling class! Time to make "the best country in the world" for everyone? And find the money by dropping the "superpower" pose and making a society instead of an arsenal?

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  51. Spot on and brilliant political write, Joy. I swear half the time when I come for a visit here, I've got to come back the next day for my brain is too tired to appreciate your eloquence and metaphor. (or, we could just say, I'm perhaps not smart enough for your poetry!) For me, those last two stanza's sing...the '...fool's gold....toys' had me saying, "sing it, hedge!' Just a fabulous write, period!

    (btw, so glad you dug Civil Wars...if you use Pandora radio, set it as a station...good listening)

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  52. I don't normally hang well in the political arena... but you nailed this one high on the wall, for all to see its glory.

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  53. Grrrrrrr....
    Almost 55!!!!!
    Rictus?

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  54. Thank you!

    You wrote the poem waiting in the wings, watching and listening while I wrote my recent ode to a turkey vulture. Always in my mind was his cousin the eagle, oh so handsome and winsome in his hawkish ways, representing this, all this that you wrote so well here.

    I bow.

    Your language is always beautiful. The opening line really drew me in.

    As we are the pulp, while they gather 'fool's gold for their toys,' we must keep writing. It's not easy to do what you've done, writing a diatribe that remains poetic and not merely vitriolic, and I commend you.

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  55. Many many thanks to all for your generous and sincere responses. Mere hate and anger is useless, as so many of you intuitively know and point out, yet it's also wrong to allow evil and greed to flourish without taking a stand. Thanks to all of you who in your hearts reject it and are willing to hope and push for something better. Thanks for reading, and for speaking up.

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  56. Oh wow, this is an awesomely powerful statement - a shotgun to corruption. Very though-provoking. I too wish for government to rejoice in.

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  57. your intensity is palpable and written to great effect. I wrote "the devil herding chaos" this week about the same phenomena...

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  58. Now that is how righteous indignation is done! So bleak yet true. Loved the phrase 'where the matrix is master'.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg