IN POETRY ~~~ WHERE IS THE APOLOGY?

images-9

“I AM BECOME DEATH THE DESTROYER OF WORLD”    

© Tom Karlson

August 6th nineteen and forty-five

Enola Gay flies high

8:15

bombs away, Little Boy

 

8:16 one hundred fifty-thousand dead, vaporized

two hundred-thousand Hibakusha,

zombies stagger down streetless streets

silhouetting their dead friends, family

a cityless city

called Hiroshima

 

on a standing wall an image of

a man, a woman, burned into the brick’s retina

 

the little haberdasher is not done

“using the bomb is no great decision”

 

August 9th,

he orders Bockscar to drop Fat Man,

ninety thousand exterminated, vaporized

Hiroshima and Nagasaki will sing no more

 

Eisenhower “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

MacArthur “…no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

“Albert Einstein…President Roosevelt would have forbidden the atomic bombing of Hiroshima had he been alive and that it was probably carried out to end the Pacific war before Russia could participate.”

Image by Latuff

No need to apologise!

No need to apologise!

 

 

A MAY DAY OFFERING

thumbnailImage

Happy Holiday and enjoy!

The Billy Bragg version of the international socialist anthem.

And a poem by Tom Karlson …

The Forgotten

in Texas,

independent, slave loving Texas

was born Lucy Gonzalez

Mexican, African, Indian

mothered and fathered by the whip and chain

freed by the Great Emancipator at eleven

a slave of Gathings for one thousand  nights

liberated again by

former Confederate Captain Albert Parsons

they married

the KKK forced husband and wife to Chicago

where they worked and organized for the 8 hour day

May 4th, 1886 Lucy and Albert were at the Haymarket

protesting a police shooting the day before and

demanding eight hours of work ,eight hours of sleep, eight hours of play

police charged the crowd

a dynamite bomb was thrown

sending seven police and four workers

to the promised land

Albert and seven labor leaders were executed

Lucy fought and won    

full exoneration

the  eight hour work day arrives

carried in by an army of

wobblies, socialists, communists, and trade unionists

 

Lucy Parsons gave her long life to

labor rights civil rights and women’s rights

she died in1942, 89 years old

Lucy Parsons, Presente

May Day lives

lucyparsons

A POEM FOR THE SEASON ~~ A QUESTION YOUR CHILD WILL ASK FOR PASSOVER

First, let me wish all of my Jewish readers, family and friends a Happy and Kosher Passover.

Photo:Marko Djurica/Reuters

Photo:Marko Djurica/Reuters

“Your Child Will Ask”

By Rabbi Brant Rosen

Your child will ask
why do we observe this festival?

And you will answer
it is because of what God did for us
when we were set free from the land of Egypt.

Your child will ask
were we set free from the land of Egypt
that we might hold tightly
to the pain of our enslavement
with a mighty hand?

And you will answer
we were set free from Egypt
that we might release our pain
by reaching with an outstretched arm
to all who struggle for freedom.

Your child will ask
were we set free from the land of Egypt
because we are God’s chosen people?

And you will answer
we were set free from the land of Egypt
so that we will finally come to learn
all who are oppressed
are God’s chosen.

Your child will ask
were we set free from the land of Egypt
that we might conquer and settle
a land inhabited by others?

And you will answer
we were set free from the land of Egypt
that we might open wide the doors
to proclaim:

Let all who are dispossessed return home.
Let all who wander find welcome at the table.
Let all who hunger for liberation
come and eat.

Rabbi Rosen blogs at Shalom Rav

*****

Now enjoy the following ….

How Passover would be reported in today’s media

#AntiApartheidWeek ~~ RAPPING WITH REMI

Wonderful party last night at Columbia U.  Totally packed. Lots of young people dancing the night away to Palestinian music, many of the women in embroidered Palestinian dresses.  These young diaspora Palestinians all knew their folk dances very well, as well as their food and art.  And they seem to fully recognize the importance of keeping these memories.

This was performed by Remi Kanazi …

Nor·mal·i·za·tion: a “colonization of the mind” whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only “normal” reality…and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with.

Those who engage in normalization either ignore this oppression, or accept it as the status quo that can be lived with.

In an attempt to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights, Israel attempts to re-brand itself or present itself as “normal” — even “enlightened” — through an intricate array of relations and activities encompassing hi-tech, cultural, legal, LGBT and other realms.

Normalization applies to relationships that convey a misleading or deceptive image of normalcy, symmetry, or parity despite a patently abnormal and asymmetric relationship of colonial oppression and apartheid.

POEM ~~ REAGAN’S GIFT

 Nominated To Supreme Court--President Reagan gestures during a news briefing at the White House

Scalia Nominated To Supreme Court–President Reagan gestures during a news briefing at the White House

 

Reagan’s Gift

© Tom Karlson

 

someone’s mother said don’t speak ill of the dead

not mine

she said a bastard is a bastard

dead or alive

 

haven’t you noticed that lying bastards

the Kissingers the Chaneys

never die

 

so when Scalia was reported dead

I thought it was a joke, how can this be

then the truth began to stomp and holler

yes he’s gone

now

men and women can marry who they will

women’s bodies belong to the brain attached

nurses can organize

a president will never be selected again by the high court

 

night and day lovers eulogize this man

who wept tears of legal restraint,

an original

who said I will not legislate from the bench

a mind reader of the dead

who knew what Franklin and Jefferson thought

covering his unrepentant race-class-sex hatred

behind a mumbo-jumbo of legalese

 

he died under a millionaires roof

this well travelled hooker

is recused with no more votes to sell

 

 

but what will Clarence Thomas do

THANKFUL FOR WHAT?

Hopefully you enjoyed your 
Thanksgiving dinner yesterday...
But what exactly were you thankful for?
*
                        For This? 
                       Or This??

“I suppose I should be ashamed to say that I take the western view of the Indian. I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indian is the dead Indian, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

Teddy Roosevelt

 

                    Thanks Giving

© By Tom Karlson

That original sin

Our original sin

Not a talking snake sin

No Adam or Eve sin

This original sin

This first holocaust sin

This First Nation

ten million

Double helixed

Chromosome

Long gone sin

200 languages silenced sin

This good, drunk, dead, jailed, Indian sin

as

310 million All-Americans

Sit at the table eating

Corn, sweet potatoes, turkey

Watching football

Giving thanks

                        And Now This ... 
             The Thanks We Get

© By Steve Amsel

When we came to this land

You were mere savages

Hunting in the bush

And praying to trees.

We brought you guns

And taught you how

To destroy each other

So there would be more food.

When you were cold

We gave you blankets

Covered with smallpox germs

So you would not suffer long.

We gave you our god

So we could tax you

Of whatever valuables

You may have had.

When you had children

We took them from you so

You would not have to worry

About raising them.

We killed off your menfolk

So your children would

Be born the same

Color as us.

All these things we did for you

And you show us

No appreciation

At all.

You speak now

Of breaking away

And self government,

Is this the thanks we get?

   All of the above could have been 
avoided if the Native People followed 
their instincts 
Thank to WRH for this one

Thanks to WRH for this one

On a lighter note, enjoy the following …

A POEM FOR GAZA

To the children who lost their lives, and the parents who had to bury them.

Gaza City, June 2015. /Mohammed Asad (APA images)

Gaza City, June 2015. /Mohammed Asad (APA images)

Poem: Hashtag Gaza

Bring your camera.
Bring your candles and spotlights to highlight.
Bring your focus to hashtag anniversary.

Everyday Gaza.

Bring your reporters, your journalists, your moving infographics.

Write:

“Abu Muhammad sits on the balcony, cradling the head of Muhammad.
Sorry.
“The photo of the head of Muhammad.”

Talk about bomb shelters and war sirens in Sderot and Tel Aviv.
Call it “Neutrality”

Talk about your 5 dead and your iron dome.
Call it “Objective Reality”

Bring your billion dollar pledges and your aid caravans
Your excel sheets, monitoring reports and donor requirements.
Call it “Accountability”

Write:

“Abu Muhammmad sits on the balcony hopelessly smokes a hopeless cigarette talks about lack of hope.”

This one is human interest story.

And when we invite you into our rubble homes for tea and bread you call it “Generosity.”

And when we are strong about our suffering you call it “Resilience.”

Write:

51 days.
2,000 dead.
10,000 wounded.

Abu Muhammad says:

My boys took a ball to the beach.
Came back bodies.
How can we remember what we can’t forget?
Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid worker currently based in Cairo.

AMERICAN SWASTICA

safe_image

AMERICAN SWASTICA

© Tom Karlson

red white blue

white field racial purity

13 stars, 13 traitorous states

*

Lee’s battle flag

southern cross

one arm

aimed at that pearl

in the Antilles

the other

pointed toward the Amazon

the beast must be fed

new lands

new crops

new chattel

*

the banner waves at 4500 lynchings

is carried by Forrest and his cross burning thugs

faces covered, dressed in white cotton

Klansmen hanging strange fruit

*

today Arian nation scum are

tattooed, belt buckled, and license-plated

by this calling card of the

American Taliban

*

MEMORIES OF MEMORIAL DAY

animated-memorial-candle

Memorial Days

© By Tom Karlson

they sang and prayed,

naming that day in May,

257 Union men captured, starved

mass-graved, bodies twisted,

joined at hip arm and head, this

Charleston South Carolina

Babi Yar Confederate style burial

re-interred with honor and memory

by 10,000 Freedmen

in 1865 that first day of mourning

the first Memorial Day

today we are at Jones beach

it is Memorial Day

we are fifty souls

remembering our dead, the dead

hundreds of Long Islanders

thousands of North Americans

a million Iraqis and Afghanis

families stroll past

some look, others visionless

all have come to eat, drink,

and salute that insatiable war-beast

they watch the Blue Angles

spin, flip, dive, and swoop,

aging chicken hawks

beg boys and girls to sign up for

the navy, the marines, the air force

2010,

the Turkish flotilla

bringing aid to Gaza

the Israeli attack,

nine dead on Memorial day

1937,

steelworkers are strike Little Steel,

families march

police-guards-scabs open fire

ten dead

thirty shot

one hundred clubbed

on Memorial day

let us remember all our Memorial Days

MOTHER’S DAY ~~ THEN AND NOW

Mother’s Day

© By Tom Karlson 

Julia Ward Howe calls out

Peace and Reconciliation this day, Mother’s Day

No more war-remember-

620,000 sent to the Promised Land,

600,000 armless, eyeless, legless Jonny’s

Dancing days are done

Mother’s day a day for peace

In this new millennium

In America

The United States of North America

Howe is forgotten

Peace is terrorism

Reconciliation is a tool of the fool

The newly dead and near dead

Invisible

Camping on sunless streets

With plastic bowls filled with spare change

Here Hallmark runs this show

3 billion on flowers

100 million for cards

2 billion on gifts

4 billion on meals

Capitalism can sell

Yes capitalism must sell

peace next year?

POETIC BALTIMORE ~~ ‘TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME’

Two poems that say it all …..

296326_5_

The Yards

© By Tom Karlson 

it was the first retro ball park

built on the public dime in 1992

in downtown Baltimore

by that crab and fish paradise

 

today 45,971 seats have been emptied

for public safety

baseball loving gulls are here

and when the organ plays

“Take Me Out To the Ball Game”

all join in

 

gulls fly while fifty players stand stiff

at the Star’s Spangled Banner

later God Bless America is ignored

by all

 

Eddie Murray and Carl Rifkin smile

outside young women and men

march

chanting Black lives matter

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FIELD BOX 54

© by Alejandro Escudé

Its come down to this: empty
major league baseball stands
while the game goes on below,

except for the one skeleton
sitting in Field Box 54, wolfing
down a hot dog whole, tossing peanuts
into its open jaw.

The hot dog bun perfectly preserved
and the pristine peanut shells
scattering past the skeleton’s severed
spinal chord.

The lonely announcer
can’t believe his eyes. “It appears
to be enjoying the game!” he says.

And why not? The whole stadium
to itself, Orioles against
the White Sox, nothing to worry about,

though it still remembers
the gelid badge pressed to its ear

and the godforsaken fear.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Related Blog Post

An empty baseball stadium and social inequality: Reflections and lessons on Baltimore

Read it HERE

104 YEARS LATER ~~ REMEMBERING THE TRIANGLE FIRE AT THE SCENE — PHOTO ESSAY

Never were they forgotten!

The workers died because of the sickening greed of their bosses and the malfeasance of local officials who looked the other way. The bosses never paid for the murder of these workers but in the months and years that followed, American unionism took off and laws protecting workers and improving their conditions were established.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

SONY DSC

*

NYC Fire Dept. displays the ladder they have today which they didn't have 104 years ago ... it was raised to the floor where the fire occurred.

NYC Fire Dept. displays the ladder they have today which they didn’t have 104 years ago … it was raised to the floor where the fire occurred.

*

The victims were remembered by name

The victims were remembered by name

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

Trade Union members and their children came out to remember the tragedy

Trade Union members and their children came out to remember the tragedy

*

White carnations were left at the foot of the building .. each with the name of a victim attached to it

White carnations were left at the foot of the building .. each with the name of a victim attached to it

*

tf12

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

And red carnations for the more recent victims in Pakistan ... see the poem that follows

And red carnations for the more recent victims in Pakistan … see the poem that follows

TriangleShirtwaist-Baldia 1911, 2012

 © By Tom Karlson

doors chained

exits blocked

!fire!

the elevator buckles,

fire-escape collapses

women roast or leap

their bodies,

smashed, shattered

sculpted by fire or the fall

charred pick-up sticks

counted, named, mourned

by lovers and family

146 six workers

laid out

on that sidewalk morgue

an unwanted mausoleum

lined with

tear and blood and a desolate dream

this mass death births law, unions,

strikes, reduced profits

the factories abandon the city

the law of maximum profit rules

riding the air-slip of gluttony, and greed

pigs after truffles

suits hunting surplus value

vampires, of the eighty-hour work week

medicated by NAFTA

union maids, law, labels, and lady liberty

are renditioned, shackled

flying Air America to points

south then east

and finally Baldia town, Pakistan

one hundred and one years from Triangle

the traveling factory, this profit making monster

with windows, doors

yes locked, barred

!fire!

314

dead, executed

bones broken

blackened lungs never to sing

crushed skulls never to read

broken feet never to dance

three hundred fourteen dreamless bodies

Chilling Factory Fire In Pakistan Kills Over 300…Similar To The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire In The US Which Killed 146

Chilling Factory Fire In Pakistan Kills Over 300…Similar To The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire In The US Which Killed 146

TRIANGLE FIRE RELIVED IN PAKISTAN

 Chilling Factory Fire In Pakistan Kills Over 300…Similar To The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire In The US Which Killed 146

Chilling Factory Fire In Pakistan Kills Over 300…Similar To The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire In The US Which Killed 146

TriangleShirtwaist-Baldia 1911, 2012
 © By Tom Karlson

doors chained

exits blocked

!fire!

the elevator buckles,

fire-escape collapses

women roast or leap

their bodies,

smashed, shattered

sculpted by fire or the fall

charred pick-up sticks

counted, named, mourned

by lovers and family

146 six workers

laid out

on that sidewalk morgue

an unwanted mausoleum

lined with

tear and blood and a desolate dream

this mass death births law, unions,

strikes, reduced profits

the factories abandon the city

the law of maximum profit rules

riding the air-slip of gluttony, and greed

pigs after truffles

suits hunting surplus value

vampires, of the eighty-hour work week

medicated by NAFTA

union maids, law, labels, and lady liberty

are renditioned, shackled

flying Air America to points

south then east

and finally Baldia town, Pakistan

one hundred and one years from Triangle

the traveling factory, this profit making monster

with windows, doors

yes locked, barred

!fire!

314

dead, executed

bones broken

blackened lungs never to sing

crushed skulls never to read

broken feet never to dance

three hundred fourteen dreamless bodies

#Where’sCharley?

where-s-charley-raul-julia-complete-on-2-cd-s-a64d

Where’s Charley

© By Tom Karlson

smashed glass

screams, detonations

darkness

16 dead journalists

 

not Paris

not 2015

this is Yugoslavia 1999

no Muslims

no jihadists

it is NATO

a missile attack

on Serbian TV

where is Charlie

 

it is July 2011

that Zionist Christian Islamaphobe is working

Norway

at nightfall 77 dead

teenagers

Charlie not here

 

Honduras, Columbia

40 executed journalists in a generation

no Charlie

 

January 2015

2 thugs at work

12 dead

jihad is war

jihad is terror

2 million march

here is Charlie

 

and now

Charlie is gone

no motive no issue

just mad men

to be hunted down

never an attack on god and country

an attack on one weekly magazine 

A TRIBUTE TO OUR MEN IN BLUE

maniac-cop-a

Men in Blue

By Tom Karlson

 

spawned under the rebel flag

to destroy the slave hating  antichrist

derail her railroad

poison the drinking gourd

send Harriet and Sojourner to the tobacco field

ball and chain Douglass back to Maryland

patrol and police Robert E Lee’s turf

the men in blue

are reincarnated at reconstructions death

in the north

Chicago and her sister cities

anywhere

that workers organize

anywhere

that immigrants march

anywhere there are scabs

there work  the men in blue

some men in blue

stop and frisk

arrest and arrest and arrest

using executors muscle

keeping the machine spinning

stocking the furnace

of the new Jim Crow

some men in blue

protect and serve

with brain and tongue

when forced to fight

for more pay and less hours

                                                  the militia  comes running

governor and mayor with whip and gun

Pinkerton and National Guard

those men in blue do learn quickly

they have no right to strike

against public safety

anywhere any reason anytime

AN ODE TO COLUMBUS ~~ THE REAL MEANING OF THE DAY

columbus genocide
*
COLUMBUS DAY
By Tom Karlson

In long boat and knarr they sail west and south

stars and sun show a way for

Eric the Red’s son

gunless, horseless

a peaceful trip

see the sights pick some grape

leaving behind ruins and blue-eyed babies

Greenland bound   a new saga

 

Mali and Mandingo ships and men

with goods and weapons sail west and north

currents, wind and blind luck

bring them to the Yucatan

remains:

50 ton Nubian faced Olmac heads

myths of dark skinned giants 

financed by Iberian Jewry

the Admiral, Christian or Jew, Spaniard or Italian

leads 120 men in the

Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria

sailing south and west    

India bound

crewed by:

Milton Freedman and his Chicago University goons

     in charge of propaganda, interrogation, discipline,

     race and class consciousness  

Prescott Bush and George Armstrong Custer

     compose the voyage manifesto and mission

below deck are the sun-dried souls of

Rasputin, the Popes, Sylvester the Second and Benedict the Ninth

     in charge of rape, incest, and family values

Pinkerton and J Edgar Hoover

     spying,   pimping, and procuring stool pigeons

Kenneth Lay  

     finance, mergers, and loans

Edward Teller  

     munitions

Robert E Lee’s horse Traveler

will show the way home

where Ferdinand and Isabella’s bishops

find Jews to murder and maim, books to burn, Moors to exterminate

 

Columbus will trade

measles, diphtheria, small pox, and malaria

for gold and land

as he works out the science of genocide on Hispaniola

never forgetting the University’s tools of slavery   colonization

religious fanaticism     and free market capitalism

A RABBINICAL LAMENTATION OF THE SEASON FOR THE PEOPLE OF GAZA

Lamenting for Gaza

Lamenting for Gaza

*

The following was written days before the Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av: a day of mourning for the calamities that have befallen the Jewish people over the centuries. Among other things, the traditional Tisha B’Av liturgy includes the chanting Biblical book of  Lamentations.

Given the profoundly tragic events currently unfolding in Gaza, I offer this reworking of the first chapter of Lamentations.  I share it with the hope that on this day of mourning we might also mourn the mounting dead in Gaza  along with what Israel has become.

*

A LAMENTATION FOR GAZA

By Rabbi Brant Rosen

*

Gaza weeps alone.
Bombs falling without end
her cheeks wet with tears.
A widow abandoned
imprisoned on all sides
with none willing to save her.

We who once knew oppression
have become the oppressors.
Those who have been pursued
are now the pursuers.
We have uprooted families
from their homes, we have
driven them deep into
this desolate place,
this narrow strip of exile.

All along the roads there is mourning.
The teeming marketplaces
have been bombed into emptiness.
The only sounds we hear
are cries of pain
sirens blaring
drones buzzing
bitterness echoing
into the black vacuum
of homes destroyed
and dreams denied.

We have become Gaza’s master
leveling neighborhoods
with the mere touch of a button
for her transgression of resistance.
Her children are born into captivity
they know us only as occupiers
enemies to be feared
and hated.

We have lost all
that once was precious to us.
This fatal attachment to our own might
has become our downfall.
This idolatrous veneration of the land
has sent us wandering into
a wilderness of our own making.

We have robbed Gaza of
her deepest dignity
plunged her into sorrow and darkness.
Her people crowd into refugee camps
held captive by fences and buffer zones
gunboats, mortar rounds
and Apache missles.

We sing of Jerusalem,
to “a free people in their own land”
but our song has become a mockery.
How can we sing a song of freedom
imprisoned inside behind walls we have built
with our own fear and dread?

Here we sit clinging to our illusions
of comfort and security
while we unleash hell on earth
on the other side of the border.
We sit on hillsides and cheer
as our explosions light up the sky
while far below, whole neighborhoods
are reduced to rubble.

For these things I weep:
for the toxic fear we have unleashed
from the dark place of our hearts
for the endless grief
we are inflicting
on the people of Gaza.

*

Brant Rosen recently resigned* as the rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Illinois. He is a former president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and is the co-founder and co-chairperson of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council. He has served on the boards of numerous national and local organizations, including Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Brit Tzedek v Shalom, and Hands of Peace. He is an activist for peace, social justice, and human rights, and he has travelled to the former Soviet Union,Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Iran as part of peace delegations. In 2009, he co-founded the Jewish Fast for Gaza, or Ta’anit Tzedek with Rabbi Brian Walt. Rosen is also an active environmentalist. Under his leadership, his synagogue, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, built their new building with an environmentally sustainable design in 2008, becoming the first house of worship to ever receive a Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. He was the recipient of Chicago Magazine‘s Green Award for his environmental leadership in 2009. In 2008, Rosen was named one of the Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis in America byNewsweek magazine. In 2009 he was awarded the Partner in Justice Award byAvodah: The Jewish Service Corps and he received the Inspiration for Hope Award by the American Friends Service Committee in 2010 for his social justice activism in the Middle East.Rosen is a native of Los Angeles, CA. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

*  Rosen: However, if I’m going to be fully honest, I must also be ready to admit that my decision to leave JRC is being motivated by both a push and a pull. I must also be ready to admit that for some years now I’ve been going down a path that has slowly been pulling me away from the congregational rabbinate and toward a rabbinate more directly defined by social justice activism.

*
The above poem originally appeared on Rabbi Rosen’s Blog, SHALOM RAV

*

Rabbi Brant Rosen, Personification of the Yiddish word, MENTCH*

Rabbi Brant Rosen, Personification of the Yiddish word, MENTCH*

*

* Definition of MENTCH

WATCH WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS ~~ THEN AND NOW

For Maya Angelou OBM

0

*

THEN …

*

NOW …

*

And a letter from Rachel Corrie OBM …

*

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS OF FREEDOM …

WHAT WE TEND TO FORGET ON MEMORIAL DAY

News37

*

Memorial Days

By Tom Karlson

they sang and prayed,
naming that day in May, Decoration day
they dis-interred 257 Union men
mass graved, dumped, piled
broken bodies twisted,
a Charleston North Carolina Guernica
forgotten men dug up, re-interred
with honor, memory, celebration
by 10,000
in 1866 that first Memorial Day
*
it is
Memorial Day 2010
the Turkish flotilla
bringing aid to Gaza
the attack, nine dead,
Americans, Turks
no aid delivered
*
Memorial Day1937,
steelworkers striking Little Steel,
strikers with families march toward the Republic steel mill gate
police-guards open fire
ten dead
thirty shot
one hundred clubbed
*
today we are at Jones beach
it is Memorial Day
we are fifty souls
remembering our dead, the dead
hundreds of Long Islanders
thousands of North Americans
more than a million Iraqis and Afghanis
families stroll past
some look, others see without vision
all have come to eat, drink
and celebrate that insatiable beast
today the Blue Angles
spin flip dive swoop
begging boys and girls to sign up
the navy, the marines want you
as we call out the named and nameless
let us remember these days
past, present, and future

THE NAZARENE

36500_all_007_01-Christ

*

In honour of Good Friday I present a poem I wrote 30 years ago ….

*

The Nazarene

By Steve Amsel

15 April, 1984

*

The Passover is once again upon us and

We reflect on the years gone by;

Of the tribulations of the people

And the heroes of the ages.

 *

The traditional feast, the Seder, has

Been with us for thousands of years.

For most it has always been a joyous meal,

But for one it became the Last Supper.

So cruel they were to you as they

Nailed you to the cross on the hill

Treating you like a common criminal

Rather than the great man that you were.

 *

You felt no malice towards your betrayers,

Instead you asked your god to forgive them

For the crime they committed against you

And those who were close to you.

 *

Two thousand years have passed since

That shameful day and each year

The crime is reenacted by those

Who usurp your name.

*

You taught love and tolerance

But most of that message is ignored.

Instead there have been wars in your name,

Something, I am sure you would oppose.

Where are your powers today, when they are

Needed to cleanse the earth of its hatred?

The very ones who slew you sanctified

Your name and continue to slay.

*

Is there no way you can show them?

*

And yet, the killing continues to this very day …

*

KILLING THE FAMILY OF JESUS

by Michael Rivero

Click HERE to see report

« Older entries Newer entries »