You are herePoetry


New TCBH! Poem: Tipis in the City


Do you hear them?

Around the block,

Just around the glass and marble corner.

Smell the smoke

New TCBH! poem by resident poet Gary Lindorff: 'Bombs of Love'

Let us bomb your neighborhood

Guided by our intelligence.

Let us erase your neighbor

Out of love.


New TCBH! Poem: 'Grieving and Praying'

Pray for the day
When the gun-god turns to salt
And melts away.
Grieve our helplessness
To change what we believe in.
I had a gun once
With a silver bullet,
A gold bullet,
A diamond bullet.
I loved my gun so much,
I loved the bullets.
I shot the silver bullet into a cloud
And it rained.
I shot the gold bullet into a dream
And it landed on my pillow.
I shot the diamond bullet at a star.
It circled the earth
And it came down
And told me stories.
But I wanted more from my gun and bullets.
I had one more bullet
That was made of clay.
I shot that bullet into the ocean.
It didn’t change a thing.
I threw away my gun.
I turned to the land of my home
And I walked
Toward the far horizon,
Grieving and praying.
           --Gary Lindorff


New TCBH! poem by Gary Lindorff: 'A moment of silence for Cecil'

Let’s have a moment’s

Silence for Cecil (Ses’-al),

But not yet.

During that silence

Let us think about why

New TCBH! poem: 'Holding the door'

I watched a man whipping an apple tree.
I held the door open to him.
I knew that when he got tired
he would turn around and see me
holding the door for him.
And maybe he would come inside and we could talk.
I could see that many of the trees in his orchard
bore the scars of the whippings
they had received over the years.
Some of the older trees were bent over and knotted
as if riddled with pain.
Finally he turned around.
Who are you? he asked.
I am your door-man, I said.
I never saw you before, or that door.
Has that ever helped, I asked?
Whipping your trees?
It helps quiet my demons, said he.
And then I saw that the grass was crawling
with a nasty host of creeping and flying
and buzzing creatures of hideous appearance.
Anyone might have thought they were insects.
Nothing will make them go away, he said,

New poem: Manure Cannon


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!”



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


“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





“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.


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


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."


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.


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.

Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

(Invite David Swanson to your town!)


April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.


April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.



April 14, Bellingham, WA, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, evening

April 15, Seattle, WA

April 16 Portland, OR




Other Events Here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.