The White House Torture Sonnets
[These offerings are a poetic protest covering the past eight years in U.S. political history. I am not of the opinion (like many so-called major poets are) that political or protest poetry is somehow less valid than yet another poem about oneself. I have used the out-of-fashion sonnet format (loosely, i might add) given that sonnets are so often associated with love poems or other lofty matters. Get real: White House sanctioned torture is a major crime on so many levels; it is the opposite of love; it is also YOUR tax dollars at work.
The White House Torture Sonnets are now available in pocketbook form. Proceeds for its' sale will go toward furthering the work of independent media at Valley Free Radio in Western Massachusetts. To order a copy send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - d.o. ]
Gathered in an oval office
projecting a new american century
with an awful callus calmness
deceit, betrayal at every entry;
filthy rich and unelected
commanding views, manufactured consent,
all dissent firmly rejected
all reality to reinvent.
Outside the roses in the garden
drop their flowers, shed their leaves
as the land begins to harden
resisting footprints of traitors, of thieves;
when will their plans be laid bare open
and justice brought to such as these?
Towers burning, we all fall down,
crimes go unpunished, plots are drawn,
flags unfurled, doubtful come around
and all sense of reason seemingly gone.
The young line up and take an oath,
fed, housed and clothed, then reconfigured,
taught to kill, taught to loath
then cast into the fire undeterred
and held in the fire, time after time
as the family shops in the distance
and they are cut down in their prime
or come home to a kind of resistance
or worse, and the greatest crime,
a long and enduring silence.
They will invest with others' blood
amass more wealth than ever seen
their base will toast the coming flood
tell us exactly what does this mean?
Oil and empire, desert sand,
a knock on the door, a false alert.
It's pain and fear that sweeps the land,
hooded figures rise from the dirt.
There's something secured there to his hand,
there are dogs and blood, a world of hurt.
Your honor, may we take the stand?
You may speak but do not say a word
You may look but you must not observe,
pay no attention to what you've heard.
Medieval acts, brand new renditions,
basement level, bad situations,
more deprivation, more inquisitions,
more thrown elections, more bad relations,
unscheduled flights to painful places,
tropical views through chain link fences,
news reports of disappearing faces,
lost and forgotten in small screen trances.
Far overhead travels Air Force One,
grounded in blood, burning up heaven,
covering up the light from the Sun,
so many dreams so sadly riven
by those within and unattached
cruel, obsessed and madly driven.
"It wasn't supposed to be this way"
high school civics, Hollywood
"we do not torture in the USA"
(at least not in the neighborhood).
It takes a certain kind of person
to attach electrodes to another
to administer pain, conditions worsen
as if they never knew a mother, a lover.
Monsters walk among us, don't be fooled
some obtain high office and such
some are born, some are schooled
White House grim shadow's clutch
beating hearts and reeling minds
as dark storms batter each parade.
Record these names in infamy too,
Bush; Cheney; Hadley; Rice;
Rumsfeld; Tenet; and Yoo,
All with malice and bad advice,
all traitors to humanity,
to the nation, habeas corpus, history
and any semblance of sanity,
lack of punishment a mystery.
Strange fruit and burning witches
the past burdens todays presentation,
turn the page to Republican niches,
greed, selfishness and conflagration,
the clock on the wall says time for justice,
it doesn't take much imagination.
Now we close this eight year trial,
the judge distracted, the jury dazed,
reporters’ scripts in deep denial,
the guilty set free; justice praised.
Another election to test the nation,
a new lot of fiction, counterfeit change
on sale today with disinformation
and attractive baubles, all very strange.
As pain is applied to taxpaying masses
and yachts sail off into sunset and shelter,
leaders forget history for what passes
and the peoples’ dreams go into the smelter.
A nation dissolving, principles in flames;
Who will resist? Who will swelter?
You can fool some people all of the time
you can steal another election
the heralds will edit what's really a crime
then bury or spike the correction.
That other power can take to the street
but their efforts seem governed by ease
unless they are willing to turn up the heat
and the places of power are seized,
yes, the law will "administer compliance holds"
and inflict both misery and pain
but unless we are willing to break the molds
don't expect to win in this game.
You can't fool all the people all the time
even where the criminals reign.