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New poem: Manure Cannon

BAM!

Echo, like thunder off the shell of the sky-dome.

We, all on the terrace, glance at each other,

Jump to action.

Everyone knows what to do.

Grab something quick,

New poem by TCBH! poet in residence Gary Lindorff: This is the Planet

By Gary Lindorff

 

A bear saves a crow from drowning.
A baboon and a dog and a deer frolic in a field.
A little girl feeds the crows
And receives gifts from them in exchange.

This is the planet we are living on,
Not that other one that we are beating up.

New TCBH! poem by Gary Lindorff: 'Cape Cod 1966'

We used to have picnics on a bayside beach.

My grandmother was too frail to walk on the sand,
So we used to carry her from the car
Which made her grumble,
Which was just grandma.
We never knew how much she hated being carried
Because we were so busy feeling manly,
My brother and I.
And once we got her settled out of the breeze
She would say
“There, this is nice. . .” or something like that...


New TCBH! poem: Romney Running Again?

By Gary Lindorff

 

How inspiring is that!
Maybe we should go back to what we were trying to do
When we got discouraged:
Try to scratch together a living selling loosies in the street
As a man of color?
Maybe someone was building a time machine
And they should get back to that!
Teach a friend’s dog to speak for a YouTube video,
Go out in this snowstorm and not come in...


I feel like I should send you a poem or something

Something about how life or God or who  ever  is behind the curtain of
all things  pulling all our strings,
the strings that jerk us up out of the void and into the light and
heat and cold and make us put on
our boots and start walking and talking and eating cornflakes for
breakfast and slaps us around and
dumps us in the middle of deep dark holes of despair and desperation
where monsters come out of the night
and gobble up our happiness when we aren't looking and then throws us
in the ocean of self doubt and confusion  that dries up the
next minute and leaves us spread out like dead butterflies on the
specimen table of alienation...
Only to have the phone ring and someone tell us that the person we
love most in the world just died
and now we have to look at the sunrise and wonder what we ever thought
was beautiful about it and if it will
ever look beautiful again. . .
And how wonderful it is that after all that happens Life or  God or
who ever it is that is behind the curtain of all things pulling
our strings now Jerks up out of the void the most incredible being
that says, "Look at me!  I'm going to start it all over again.
And I'm so beautiful none of what has come before me matters a flea's
butt because I bring with me the promise that
life can be different and nobody can deny that who looks at my tiny
fingers or by big bright eyes and the way I wiggle my toes
at the cosmos because I'm alive and that's all that matters and if
there's anything
at all close to pure being it's me!”

 

n 

Frank Asch

Frank Asch graciously offered to ThisCantBeHappening! This copyrighted new poem, written on the occasion of the birth of a new grandchild to a close friend. A noted children’s author/illustrator, Asch lives in Hawaii.

New TCBH! poem by Gary Lindorff: 'Grinding my Ax'

By Gary Lindorff

 

My ax is grinding
All by itself!
I can hear it giving itself to the grinding wheel
Every day when I wake up,
Most nights when I go to bed.
 
I am just grinding it.
 
What would I use it for?
To cut down my enemies to size?
To swing against the foundations of the NSA?
To destroy the diabolical machinery
That is excavating the tarsands in Alberta?
To obliterate all the missiles and missile silos...


New TCBH! poem by Gary Lindorff: 'I Can't Breathe'

I’m white.
But I can’t breathe.
I’m suffocating.
Maybe I’m dying.
 

I tried to run
But I got caught
Thinking terrible thoughts about my twisted country.
Dangerous and dark thoughts,
Like a German might have thought
When the Nazi’s were beating up Jews.
And the zeitgeist was shouting at me to stop.
Don’t shoot! I shouted,...


New poem by TCBH! resident poet Gary Lindorff: "Shopping at Walmart"

Welcome to Walmart,
How may I help you?

You can start by reading my shirt.
On the front it says: Leave while you can.
On the back: Follow my ass.

Outside the day-sky is black.
There is a static energy crackling from
Every plant and rooftop.
Everything is charged.
There is an acidic tang to the air,
A volatile fried plastic smell.

I am homeless.
I will do anything for food.
Wash your car, clean your garage.
I am a middle-aged starving, fat American.
I see myself crucified on a solar panel.

New TCBH! poem: Monster in my Garden

By Gary Lindorff


After yesterday
I’m afraid to go down there
Into my own garden.
I went down after sunset to water and
There it was, crouching
Like a gargoyle among the tomatoes.
I got a good look at it
As I stood there afraid to breathe
While a spray of water
From the hose soaked my shoes.
It had two heads
That look exactly like John Boehner,
Terrible to behold. . .

Born: April 10, 1979 – Murdered: March 16, 2003

this article was first published on www.news-beacon-ireland.info

 

“We should be inspired by people… who show that human beings can be kind, brave, generous, beautiful, strong – even in the most difficult circumstances.”    Rachel Corrie

 

by R. Teichmann

 

 

rachel_corrie

 

“We should be inspired by people… who show that human beings can be kind, brave, generous, beautiful, strong – even in the most difficult circumstances.”

Rachel Corrie

 

 

Poem: A party for The American People

This poem is based on two assumptions:

1) A party is good for the American People.

2) There actually are “American People”.

So, let’s have a party and invite the American People!

Let’s have a theme.

We’ll get everything we need from the party store!

I am Outraged - A Christmas Poem

by R. Teichmann

I am outraged

 Because every second children die of hunger by design
Because every second old people die lonely
Because brother fights against brother
Because children are made sick by force
Because we are deprived of  blue skies
Because lies become truths
Because living beings have become commodities

The Esquimos Have No Word for "War"

A poem by Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems: Vol. 1)

 
Trying to explain it to them
Leaves one feeling ridiculous and obscene.
Their houses, like white bowls,
Sit on a prairie of ancient snowfalls
Caught beyond thaw or the swift changes
Of night and day.
They listen politely, and stride away
 
With spears and sleds and barking dogs
To hunt for food. The women wait
Chewing on skins or singing songs,
Knowing that they have hours to spend,
That the luck of the hunter is often late.
 
Later, by fires and boiling bones
In steaming kettles, they welcome me,
Far kin, pale brother,
To share what they have in a hungry time
In a difficult land. While I talk on
Of the southern kingdoms, cannon, armies,
Shifting alliances, airplanes, power,
They chew their bones, and smile at one another.

Creech

By Daniel Garrett

 

I wonder if in the end

there will be something of us

left in them:

that the great circling metal wings

might find themselves wanting

to circle with another span

of metal wings

so attracted to the glint

and gorgon eyes

that in the blue-arched rhapsody

of their fling

they might at last begin to sing

songs of desperate desire

and of earth

 

I do know that the

poor fucks we scorched

were scorched by us

with missiles

we sent from our

hellfire holes

that the air sucked out of daughters’ lungs

by high explosive hits

was sucked out by us

that the dismembered children

what is left of them that can be

remembered

were ‘bug-splattered’

by us

and those later

born deformed

from all the depleted

Droning on... and on, across whole countries... with secret military & CIA programs...

In Air America: Under the Imperial Eye, Chris Floyd reports on the recent revelation that Iraq's supposedly "sovereign airspace" is constantly under surveillance by a network of drones operated by the State Department. Apparently the only reason this news came to light is because of a publicly available government appeal for private bids on the project. Neither we nor Iraqis were meant to know:

"Iraqis were outraged this week to find they are being spied upon by a fleet of American drones hovering constantly in their supposedly sovereign skies, long after the supposed withdrawal of American forces."

SATYAGRAHA HIP HOP

By John Judge

 

Now, I know you think you tough,

But you better keep you distance

If you dealin` with a brother

Knows Non-Violent Resistance

 

You be braggin` bout you juice,

Dissin` everybody, laughing Ha Ha,

But you won’t be smiling` long

When you run into Satygraha

 

Dr. King he had more power

In his one little finger

Than whatever you’ll let loose

By pullin` on that trigger

 

Now, I really don’t think

That you’re getting` the whole pitcha

But you’ll know it soon enough, if

I have to get non-violent witcha

 

Violence gets back violence,

Always has, every minute, every hour

But that cycle’s gonna end

When it come up against Truth Power

Basic Training

Originally published in the Humanist, vol. 17, no. 1, 1957
 

Well, my infant son

such bubbling sounds are softly fit

to the comfort of the cradle nest

but I see you are ill-prepared

for adult reality in our society

during this modestly-named Scienific Age.

 

I’ll tell you a story of once-upon-a-time,

a future time when you will face

both life and your contemporaries

with precise social grace.

 

First, learn the voice of command;

                        Ready on the right.

Ready on the left.

            Ready on the firing line.

 

Also, the standards of a serviceman:

Military Code of Justice;

Dulce Et Decorum Est

By Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

A SMUGGLED LETTER TO MY BROTHER

I live in an asylum
where conscience is forbidden
our fat keepers
are ourselves
so they treat us well
at feeding time
our troughs are full
we lack nothing essential
and if we never complain
and make our own beds
and march in formation
to perform assigned chores
our keepers allow us
to murder our children.

By Ed Stone (1918-1977)

Modern war poetry:

British soldiers explore Afghanistan and Iraq wars in verse

 

A new generation of war poets is providing powerful insight into ongoing conflicts by putting their vivid impressions into words. Sean Rayment and Michael Howie report.

17 April 2011 - For centuries, soldiers have used poetry to describe the horrors of war. The celebrated First World War poets – Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke – memorably used cathartic verse to illustrate the futility of a conflict that saw a generation of young men perish.

Yet war poetry offers much to the reader, too.

U.S. Military Diplomacy – From Wounded Knee to Afghanistan

By Larry Kerschner

1890 Wounded Knee, South Dakota
Lakota massacred by U.S. Army

A blue-coated motorcycle gang
armed with rifles and pistols
rolled into this peaceful
residential neighborhood at dawn today.
Chankpe Opi Wakpala community members
were herded
together and shot down.
Unarmed men, women and children were
pulled from their homes.
Commenting on reports that
those trying to flee were run down and
shot in the back,
one biker is quoted as saying
It was great sport
like shooting fish in a barrel.

Reports of the number killed
range from 150 to 370.

1890 Buenos Aires, Argentina- U.S. troops
intervene to protect U.S. business interests
1891 U.S. troops battle with nationalists in Chile

walking backward
my hidden face
does not go before me
I cannot see
the dogs of war
I hear
salt
blood and tears
dripping down
I hear
children become gravediggers
howling

Christians at War, by John F. Kendrick, 1916

Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty's way is plain;
Slay your Christian neighbors, or by them be slain,
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
Use your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers, Christ okays the bill,
Steal the farmers' savings, take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve, the Saviour's bums must eat,
Burn the peasants' cottages, orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

Speaking Events

2015

August 27, Chicago

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