Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Upside down stamps


Why is it we expect honor among predators
     whose core intention is their own coronation
     this is not Camelot, nor some fictional play
     enacted out by two bit actors in the public theatres

Guinevere's waded into Manhattan from the harbor,
     laid down her tablet, bent over & taken up jousting,
     not surprising when under tarnish her torch is just sputtering
     it's all over the nightly news at six,
     but king Arthur's cronies are obviously oblivious,

The round table is taking bets, ante in is 300 Clevelands,
     pocket change to hustlers sporting private jets
     fueled by corporate sponsorships,
     ok lets be PC and call them endorsements
     just don't get caught up in the fine print
     of, in return, what they expect
     & in our silence what we accept,
     great divide growing between us & our political connects

(Record scaAAtCccH) Is this thing on? Let me clear my throat
    
And remind you we have the right to vote
     (for whoever they put in front of us),
     our rubber stamp to make it due process, 
     indoctrinated from birth by the school & the steeple,
     that silent devotion is what makes you humble,
     cause that's how it works in the land of and for
     and by the invisible people,

But before you rattle your swords & get to fist pumping
     or jump just because someone says jump in,
     ask yourself this, how far are you willing to go
     when the revolution gets uncomfortable---
     realizing we are responsible cut bets on political saviors
     wielding excalibre & start acting like 'We the People'

Want something other than a messy divorce, founded in ignorance
     like a spouse on the couch, behind whose back we bad mouth
     for our own impotence, raising children bearing scars
     of a broken nation cause we were too busy pointing fingers
     to take action---a more perfect union, it don't just happen

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - where poets from all over the world come to sling verse. It opens today at 3 pm EST. Be there.

Wrote this after a trip to Washington this weekend, walking around our nation's history, seeing Occupy and those gathering for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, talking with a few of them. And of course seeing what we have been presented as far as choices in the upcoming presidential election. And no Mr. candidate it is not because I am jealous of what you have. Smiles.

126 comments:

Rae said...

Excellent words. Really sums up the crazy political environment we are living in. Washington really made a mark on your poetic soul.

Ruthiey said...

You've hit it precisely. Politics all seems to be a big blame-fest.

Happy Tuesday!

Daniel said...

Rant on brother. Oh, and I love the photograph. Some folks have a lot of time on their hands to make a stamper of this scale.

♥ Braja said...

You're a star :)

It was too late, I'm a sword rattler by nature...caution is futile...

:)

Heather said...

That's a great picture...should be an interesting election...
hope you had a good time in DC!

Laurie Kolp said...

Evocative and very effective, Brian... I think you have expressed what many of us are feeling right now. I especially like the last stanza.

http://lkkolp.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/im-yours/

Pat Hatt said...

Smoke and mirrors is al it seems to be
But you know you spurred an interesting thought in me
It would be a whole new ball game
If one didn't have to vote for those who were all the same
And could vote for whoever they wanted within reason of course
Wouldn't want the winner to be Mr. Ed the horse

Rachel said...

this is perfection. it's a poetic and flawless rant.

Natasha Head said...

Brian, I point my finger, I write my words, and stand on soapboxes on other people's property. Our sky has been bought, our oceans have been leased, and I still have a hard time putting food on my round table. We watch your America the Great on videos on YouTube and we fear the end of the Golden Nation...we watch it on network news and wonder what we got so worked up about. We see our own politicians strive to be like your politicians all of this while we live under Emperor Harper... It will take a revolution, and it will get uncomfortable, and ideally, it will change the world. Rock on Poet! Sorry for the essay ;)

kaykuala said...

Political rants and political comments. These are the laments making the rounds. It is the elections fun again! Great write Brian and a great pic!

Hank

Gloria said...

Is absolutely nice Brian!!

Robert Gibson said...

This is powerful stuff man... good job! Politics or Politricks...

Myrna R. said...

I'm almost numb to Washington antics. Sad though. You state the situation so truthfully.

Anyes said...

It is quite messy even when looking at it from the outside.... The saddest truth of all is that it is more or less the same everywhere...

happygirl said...

of a broken nation cause we were too busy pointing fingers
to take action---a more perfect union, it don't just happen
Yep, this sums it up.

Betsy said...

you should have climbed the steps of the capitol with a megaphone. :)

hedgewitch said...

yeah--revolutions are messy things, and We the People can turn too easily into We the Mob, but good gravy davy, something's got to give here. I'm already locked in a mazed haze of disbelief at the usual 'lesser of two evils' choices--I can't imagine what it will be like after a summer of money-drenched hoopla and Super-Pac insanity in a post-Citizen's United World, all bent on obscuring the truth, twisting the usual lies to their own benefit. Fine writing here, brian--especially the stamp metaphor, and that silent mic.

JeannetteLS said...

People in here, how do we make this go viral? I am serious. These are the words that, as one said, should be shouted from a megaphone.

I do not know how we do that, but I think we should have this poem read all over the place.

THANK you, Brian for putting powerful words to what many of us feel. That it is not enough to moan and groan of impotence, from our couches as we do nothing.

Thank you. So. How DO we do it?

Tara Miller said...

Powerful and well written post today love. We have a right for our voices to be heard by voting and if we choose to not vote then we choose to remain silent and live with the outcome. Every voice is important - let it be heard!

JeannetteLS said...

I went ahead and put a link to this poem. I would suggest each of your followers do the same for election year!

Sue said...

It's a great poem, Brian, and it resonates with me. Sounds like an interesting trip to DC for you.

=)

PS. While I can relate to much of their frustration, the Occupy movement irritates me.

But then, my husband is a banker, and I don't like seeing him smeared by a brush that tries to paint every bank (and banker) the same.

He is as hardworking and honest as they come, and he is not alone in that regard. Nor did his bank require any bailing out.

"/

PPS. By the way, he retires in June, and he can't wait. There are so many reports that have to be turned in to the Fed these days that his job has become literally a nightmare. There simply aren't enough hours in the day or employees to get it all done and still conduct business. And too many of these regulations are just meaningless hoops to jump through so the politicians and legislators can look like they are doing something.

Claudia said...

the core for me here is..part of the political mess we're in is...cause we were too busy pointing fingers to take action.. we're always so fast to tell what "they're" doing wrong that we totally forget that it is our land and our responsibility and if we take it seriously, we can make a difference.. great write bri..a bit uncomfortable though...like you seem to be from time for time..and this is good..smiles

Stuart McPherson said...

How far are you willing to go? An absolutely fair comment in a time where there is enough talk and not enough action. Love the message behind this. To me it says THINK and ACT or deal with the consequences

wood said...

another quality write my friend. im not into politics much, or gang warfare, or whatever you want to call it. i own a coffee shop for 6 years, and last year i went out of business. ive been looking for work and wroking day labor since then. when i finally get evicted from my apartment (which looks like soon) i will need a place to "occupy" d.c. sounds great, maybe i'll throw a tent up on the steps of congress... thanks for the tip.

tera said...

The problem is most people vote for a candidate for one main reason (whatever issue they feel is relevant) and they don't look at the big picture. And then we get someone in office who makes us all invisible and we're no longer citizens but subjects.

Nice job.

farmlady said...

Thank you for this.
"raising children bearing scars
of a broken nation cause we were too busy pointing fingers
to take action---a more perfect union, it don't just happen."

Every word of this is politically "in"correct and right on.
You rock,Brian

Bonnie said...

... standing ovation ... Love that fifth paragraph Brian.

Titanium said...

You nailed it, Brian. The whole thing is just very expensive reality TV with a nasty twist: we're stuck with their reality when it's over.

drybottomgirl said...

Love it! I hear it all the time, people pointing the finger of blame without being willing to go into action to make sure real change occurs. It's easy to talk the talk, but very want to walk the walk.

AmyLK said...

Very good words! So on point.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Amen good sir, fantastic points.

Also, I'm not sure what that stamp is meant to stamp, but anything that large can't be free haha, building that stamp definitely wasnt...

CiCi said...

We The People need to keep a close eye on the people in politics and listen to what they are really saying. We didn't do that 12 years ago and look what that got us.

Daydreamertoo said...

I've said it once to you and say it again, thank goodness it's not my country. Nicely said!

wayside word garden said...

Nice write... not sure myself either of the choices... DC is always an interesting place to visit.

mrs mediocrity said...

ooh, yes, all the finger pointing and silently accepting, and looking the other way, this is how we got into this mess and getting out cannot possibly be amicable, it's going to take yelling and fighting and standing up for what we believe in, hand in hand, together.

great poetic rant, send it on to those in with the stamps in their hands.

Fred Rutherford said...

Brian, excellent write. I love how your mini-vacations always seems to inspire you greatly.

Anthony Desmond said...

write on, right on man! a political storm.. excellent!

poemblaze said...

Especially love the assonance and consonance, the way you run with the sound of words.

turtlememoir said...

Oh well spoken, Brian! - this is so not Camelot (more like a round table of undead, in today's vernacular) - and your questions are important and hardhitting:
(Why is it we expect honor among predators) and
ask yourself this, how far are you willing to go
when the revolution gets uncomfortable

... and I too wonder when we all are going to go start acting like 'We the People'

SueAnn said...

And to see what is presented to us as candidates makes me weep!! Or should I laugh? But weeping and laughing won't fix it...so I get on my knees and talk to one who can fix it or should He?
Sigh!
Hugs
SueAnn

Louise said...

Really good write. It's just the same here. There's no politician available who's willing to stand up outside of political interest, and actually make changes. The tide is turning though...I guess we'll find out how far people are willing to go...

Tina said...

Brilliant. BRILLIANT. You had me at the title - reminded me of those who hid the Jews during the holocaust. They had signals to each other in how the stamp was placed. Got me thinking about an exercise I did while teaching English. We were studying the Holocaust, and I had a timeline I would read. It was dates and events and showed so clearly the escalation of the atrocities. Before I started reading, I told them that they were to lay their heads on the table, with eyes closed, and when they thought the happenings were alarming they were to raise their hands. Had quite a few frogs who were boiled in that pot. Sad. So sad.
I guess I'm in a nostalgic mood because your piece also reminded me of a Scott Wesley Brown song (This Little Child) and the line: and every nation that has fallen, has fallen from within. Too true.

Tina @ Life is Good

Co-Host of the April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Twitter: #atozchallenge

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Fantastic! Wow-ee, get this man a megaphone.

ayala said...

Excellent write, Brian. True and wise.

Arron Shilling said...

you round it up and down here bro... the final stanza just about says it all

Joanne Elliott said...

People are waking up, but you asked the right question...are they really ready to commit to change. Like you point out it isn't just going to happen on its own. Thank you for seeing the mess and wanting more. Well done!

Lady Nyo said...

Brian, this goes to the core of the issue...or issues....in our country.

I for one, have already fallen to the 'lesser of two evils'...or the lesser of two weevils....and can't see anything really except the same ol'. same ol' in this next round of our future.

I'm sitting this one out. Shame, but so it goes.

Revolution? Something needs to give. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel and Wall Street barons are getting fatter on our
labors. I read that 50% of children in the US go to sleep hungry....and this in the "Land of Opportunity"?????

Excellent poem, Brian...but I have come to expect this sharp stuff from you. You point the way and it is good.

Lady Nyo

Divalounger said...

I like your words and you do well on a political soapbox--I think we all feel so unsettled--angry-- it makes for great poetry

@AudreyHowitt

Ginny Brannan said...

Whew! Inspiring! A lot of food for thought in this one Brian, you hit a lot of nails on the head. Particularly like the metaphor used describing Lady Liberty. What's the saying--"If you don't vote, you can't complain." Hoping all those wallowing in oblivion get their butts of the couch & get their voices heard. Great call to action.

Shelley Lundquist said...

Resplendent ranting! A purposely powerful and poetic revolution!

Nezzy said...

Amen Brian, I so enjoyed this one and agree, 'we the people' must take action.

God bless and have a terrific day Man!!! :o)

Kimolisa said...

Awesome piece, sometimes we have to be on the ground and in the experience.

FrankandMary said...

The society we thrash in always seems to be moving against the light. ~Mary

Beachanny said...

Never forget, people, we speak English by ONLY ONE vote instead of German. What perfect nation indeed? It was the Angles who believed there was a duty of Kings to "represent" the people. The Angle in Angle Land led to the Magna Carta, Common Law, writ of habeas corpus, and the constitution of the U.S. Do your duty, vote!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

I have to give you a lot of respect for writing this much need thought provoking story. Thanks

magicinthebackyard said...

freedom... long time gone now. sad but true. politics, bleh! I vote Brian Miller! :)

xox

my offering
http://magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/freezing-pain/

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Love love LOVE this! I have been heartened by some of the grassroots victories I have seen recently but wonder if we are ready for the responsibility that comes with them.

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

Often in the past, poets have helped to re-sing the vision of a people who have lost their way. We are at that moment now, and your poem is strong and rises to the occasion. But our ecological disaster -- the Great Extinction --may be cascading even more rapidly than the global political collapse. Activate the global heart! Or we may all go down together in this, the year of The Whirlwind...

Vernon Wildy, Jr. said...

Now that's a good political rant. Touched on all aspects of the machine.

nerima roberts said...

Did you get to see the Vietnam War memorial? I saw it just once and I thought it was amazingly sublime.

Blue Cotton Memory said...

I love a good, heart-felt political vent. Those Corporations? BP? Well, in 1960, my 80 year old aunt invested in it before it was BP - and kept it for her retirement - BP isn't just a big corporation. BP is my aunt - and a lot of other individuals just like her, trying to survive on their savings and investments.

Changes need to be made - but let's put real faces on those investors!

Vodka Mom said...

"Why is it we expect honor among predators
whose core intention is their own coronation"


why, indeed.


(can't you @#&* up ONCE in a while? Cheezus.)

otin said...

Nothing ever changes in politics. It really doesn't even matter who the president is.

We both talked about R V Wade today. Must have been on the same wavelength. lol

Mama Zen said...

Mr. Candidate, I'm not jealous of what you have, either. I'm jealous of the tax rate you pay on it!

This has got the bangin' rhythm, Brian. Love it!

Yousei Hime said...

This political season always reinforces my belief that "This stuff bores the hell out of me."

Your poem, on the other hand, definitely does not.

Teresa said...

The political arena is certainly crazy right now. Love the way you've expressed it. Glad to know you aren't jealous of them!

marousia said...

I hear you loud and clear - excellent poem

awakenedwords said...

Line 2 sums up the heart of the whole political process problem: they are not there to accomplish anything but their own reelection. Good write.

secret agent woman said...

Politics can be so dismaying, so full of false promises and rhetoric. And yet, some of those issues are so important that we HAVE to talk about them.

colleen said...

It's so hard when we don't even see the indoctrination by school and steeple. I can hear you reading this.


My poem: It’s so hard to be in the present rather than worrying about the future or trying to recreate something pleasant from the past.

Jira said...

Frustrations certainly come through with this poem. I have my own political blog but have put it on hold the last year making only one or two posts mainly because politics just gives me the anger hives. No one can agree on anything because there's always some group or another that thinks they know better than some other group. Honestly, for the sake of sounding paranoid, I think the people pulling the strings keep us against each other on purpose to stir the pot and keep us always apart. :) Glad I happened by...

SUCEN said...

Great stamp :o

Elizabeth Young said...

Right on Brian! It's a crazy world and not too many are willing to pay the price and put their lives on the line to execute change or even the stability of their families and communities. Great post!

Steve King said...

Terrific rhetoric. We are in deep s*** indeed. Not nearly enough people care.

Semaphore said...

Whitman excelled in the long-line composition, with expansive themes, and this has a similar breadth.

Chris G. said...

Why indeed? Strange times, getting stranger, and the political environment right now is a real wash...enough to make a person shake their head in disgust.

Beth Winter said...

No, it don't just happen. Excellent, Brian

Cloudia said...

coloratura!



Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

><}}(°>

Laura said...

last stanza...right to the core!

zongrik said...

my favorite line ->

how far are you willing to go
when the revolution gets uncomfortable---

when you said Camelot, i thought the place, and then you said the play...

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I was going to quote exactly the same lines as zongrik did. Great question to ponder!

G-Man said...

Modern Medievil?
No Jousting!!!!!

Sarah in Maine said...

I was going to do the same quote as Zongrik and Rosemary. Sigh.
Will be sharing this...potent and exciting post.
Peace,
Siggi in Downeast Maine

Glenn Buttkus said...

Leaving a comment at this way station
is like trying to get a cup of coffee at
Starbucks at 6:30 a.m., but just like
there, it is always worth the wait.
Your kick ass poetics, after your
actual trip to WA D.C. mirrors my
sentiments and emotions, and hey,
we never consulted regarding it.
Damn spooky and way cool,
dude.

Bodhirose said...

I can barely stand another round of blaming and pointing fingers at each other. Do I really have to watch?! I don't care what political party you're for..it all stinks!

wurdz said...

Poet!..each time I think you've outdone yourself,the bar rises!wait~LET ME CLEAR MY THROAT!The mixture of spoken word and traditional phrasing is a head banger!Excellent job!

Raen said...

Woah ... this was awesome and incredible inventive and well thought out. My favorite thing about this is that you said so very much without sounding cynical and without crying "poor me." I loved it.

Charles Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Miller said...

Okay, let's say you're right (and you are) how will the words of poetry bring this nation back to its senses? But that's just it, we need poetry to imagine what this dream has been is and can still be. As bro Cornel West says: "Let's talk about principles, let's talk about ideals, let's talk about poetic vision, religious visions using imagination."

TALON said...

That first line just sets the tone, Brian. Why do we have expectations like that? I guess we live in hope.

Kelly E said...

Thanks, Brian. Great message here and some very creative metaphors. Love the ending especially.

Margie said...

A Powerful write, Brian.
A great poem and so much truth in it!

Thank you!

Debra said...

Only the poets and prophets speak the truth. Thanks dear soul!

joanna said...

i do love your rants, brian. they always make me slightly uncomfortable. :) that last verse i found particularly powerful.

jackiedick said...

Much needed words...and powerfully executed. Evil starts when "good" men do nothing or little. It's all about choices. And often we do not and did not choose well, thoughtfully. Ergo, the mess we are in now. Revolution! Sure! messy and uncomfortable. But we made it so, so let's clean up the mess, if revolution is needed, so be it. I shiver to think of it tho. Thank you for this!

Valerie said...

Your election process is dominating our news and from what I see I understand why you wrote those powerful words.

Anonymous said...

From our news I learnt that the top end of millionaires only pay 14% in tax which is a fraction of what the top end of the middle class pay. This inequitable situation is hot coals to the flame of discontent. Although the school and steeple brigade seem to have a straight jacketing effect on all of you as the majority of Americans oppose a free medicare system which Britain and Australia have had for decades. Don't mind me...I just find it all rather odd that a nation would not want a free health service...but then again I'm a backward Aussie!

Brendan said...

To take a note from Gil-Scott Heron (who sadly died recently)l the revolution can't be televised, because it a sitcom of jousting beliefs without real points; nor, as Mick Jagger sang in "Midnight Rambler" is it just a rock-n-roll show: This is our life, our weal, our children's inheritance, and if we don't take responsibility for it we have no one else to blame for the ruins of it. It amazes me that in a democracy any one percent can have such sway, since by sheer numbers the plurality can always vote the bastards out, pass the laws, regulate and right the balance. But like you say, it's our job and no one else's. Great job, Brian.

beckykilsby said...

'Why do we expect honor among predators?'... why indeed..

That question is at the heart of the matter for me. Very involving brian.. the message definitely travels..

James Rainsford said...

A very insightful and thoughtful piece Brian. As a Brit I'm constantly entertained by the immensely contradictory nature of American politics. Great poem.

Lorraine said...

Love and Lies
or
Deep pain and truth

I'm a truth advocate and I'm cheating on my best quality

Dave King said...

that silent devotion is what makes you humble,
cause that's how it works in the land of and for
and by the invisible people,

These lines brought a loud (but silent) "Amen" from me.

Excellent throughout.

Anne said...

Even with dual citizenship, I steer clear of commenting on American politics. I know there will be a lot of politics on blogs as this is your election year. We just had our elections last November and I know that very few people outside my country were even aware they took place. Did you know we had a woman President for over 7 years? I wish you all the best and hope your politicians start listening to the people.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Very straight forward and well said piece, Brian.

http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/night-rules/

kez said...

Brilliant ...loved this really speaks of the climate we live in not just in the states but seemingly all over the developed world ...thank you for such a great read x x x

irene said...

Hmmm..a poetic treatise on politics. Thanks for sharing Brian.

Mary said...

Really it makes me wonder what historians will have to say when they look back upon this period 50 or 100 years from now. Your poem stirred me up, Brian, and validly so!

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Summed up nicely Brian.

Lolamouse said...

Preach on! I love the photo!

wolfsrosebud said...

loved the strength in this piece. A little contemplative today...

Margaret said...

The process is still the best that is out there.. I read a comment above from someone in England. The world must realize what freedom it is we have when everyone can speak freely and we can vote for them. It amazes me HOW many people (who understand what they are voting for) don't vote. If you don't vote, don't complain. Unfortunately, many people who do vote couldn't pass a basic test on how our government works. I think these two issues - the ignorance of the people - are the problem. If we all understood the issues and the way governement works and VOTED, these "yahoos" wouldn't stand a chance as our reps... , don't get me started.

Your poem had lots of rhythm and great imagery!

cestlavie22 said...

This is such an awesome poem! I think with all the internet censorship going on as well this makes a really good point and really should be ready by everyone!

C Rose said...

perfect! loved the delivery of this, the play of words articulating the current moment so well. Our consumption fuels the beast...awareness of that is the first step, I like how you express our ownership in this too. Always good to see you and your words :) ~ Rose

missing moments said...

Oh yes, a political storm a-rising ... great words.

Becky Sain said...

Wow, wow, and wow!
You are on a roll, love it!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I'd like to think things will change one day, but I know they won't.

Dolly@ Soul Stops said...

So true...you say it so well...thank you, Brian

Amy said...

Brian this such an exceptional voice!!! Inspiring and original, full of confidence, love it!

Teri M said...

I got excited when you said you visited Washington, but then I realized that you meant DC, not my overly rainy state on the west side. :)

Ed Pilolla said...

it's a good chant you got going, and good art. i like the fence. i guess people climb it?

Magpie said...

Two very powerful opening lines.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

An excellent powerful rant - bravo!

Anna :o]

pandamoniumcat said...

Brilliant...sums up the political world really and that upside down FREE... it doesn't just happen...we all have a stake in the outcomes... we can't afford to sit silently.

manicddaily said...

All pretty crazy. K.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"And remind you we have the right to vote(for whoever they put in front of us),our rubber stamp to make it due process,indoctrinated from birth by the school & the steeple,that silent devotion is what makes you humble,cause that's how it works in the land of and for...
...and by the invisible people..."


Hi! Brian...Once again, you have written so eloquently, a piece that sums up the truth and nothing, but...about the politicians and politics...that reside Washington,D.C.,

Thanks, for sharing the image too...which truly compliment your poem.
deedee ;-D

william said...

powerful words Brian, echoing just how we all think..