You Know the Party’s Over

You know the party’s over
when the face paint comes off,
when the hot tub is naked no longer,
when the goats come in
and start nosing, nibbling
tablecloths and tin cans

much as the wind, gentle,
relentless, unseen uncovers
the truth of the matter

when even men and dead horses
genuflect before her
omnipresence —
there is no stopping
her.

She is the patience
and the unyielding command
to grow here, to shrink there
and thus
to change

much as the pages turned
reduce the book on one side
only to grow imperceptibly
on the other

a walk through the woods
and on the beach
ends with subtle increase

and a form frees itself
fully formed, but waiting
for the smoothing, slowly
so slowly, of the sculptor’s
fiercely tolerant hands.

Humpty’s Last Hurrah (take 2)

Wouldn’t you say this is getting out of hand?
Is the iron fist we depend on for order losing its grip?
It’s like the thing being held so tight
is breaking into 99 pieces moving
like living grains of diamonds
and squirming through the cracks,
and dropping out all over.

They are in Charlotte bothering
the Bank of America.
They are in tiny Fredrick Maryland near Camp David
where the mighty G8 is hiding out.
In Chicago they are massing
with buses bringing Americans from Boston and San Francisco,
from Providence and Portland Oregon.
You’ll find them in New York City sitting
with the Native Americans
and standing up to the CUNY and the NYPD
against tuition hikes and police tactics.
In Detroit they occupy foreclosed homes.
They are even gathering for protest in Texas
for God sake.
And on June 20 they’ll occupy the entire world
for a Global Midsummer Festival for a Living Wage.

Is there no stopping these people?
Is there no end to their popping up everywhere?
Whack a mole, whack a mole, whack a mole.

Somewhere I read that all the kings money
and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty
together again.

What’s to Come

Hear me read this poem What’s to Come

She rises from our bed like a satisfied sigh
and as her sleeping gown slides to the floor
the sun’s first rays softly illuminate her body.

She becomes clearer as I wake
and I see her ripening curves
holding the future for us all.

Though I am old enough to be her father,
the father of her offering is ageless.

Though I might not have enough days
to be with her at the birth, I am content.

In the beauty of her womanhood and
in the fierceness of her painful giving she
affirms the rhythm of the world that always returns
to balance, simplicity, transparency and equity.

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Friends of Occupy, let’s remember our roots…

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Gentle Warriors

Gentle warriors never scarred
(outside, that is.)
happy warriors training for battle
armored with smiles,
headed for battle the best intentions,
trained in nonviolent action.

Will there be an audience picnicking on the hillside
watching? Politely applauding?

We are good people, your neighbors,
uncle Charley and aunt Rose,
the man with the missing finger who runs
the hardware store, three singers
from the church choir without their robes,
the award winning high school teacher
with a stutter.

Where are the politicians, the bankers
the PAC men, the CEO swinging their boards
of directors? Are they lining up
on the other side? They haven’t got a chance
we outnumber them 99 to 1. They live behind
electronic gates and work somewhere in the clouds.

The stakes of this battle are everything.
We want it all: democracy, equality of opportunity,
money for education and a modern infrastructure,
healthcare for all, the freedom for unions to organize,
peace. Is that too much to want? To demand?

We march to meet the 1% but instead we will
be met by the thin blue line. They will push us,
cuff us, pepper spray our unguarded faces,
club us on the head, arrest us. They won’t let us
meet the other side face-to-face for a conversation.
Why do the cops fight us? Are their homes never
foreclosed? Do they never face medical bankruptcy?
Do they happily and completely cover their children’s
student loans? Do they only watch Fox News?

They are only following orders…

So let the struggle begin. From Saugatuck,
Harrisonville, Cape May, Morristown, Northeast Denver,
the University of Baltimore to Mount Pleasant Michigan,
from Ulster County and southside Chicago and Portland Maine,
Chico, Sacramento, Long Beach and Antelope Valley,
Houston Clear Lake, Uptown Kingston, from Santa Fe Springs
and Northside Chicago to the University of Central Florida
to East Harlem, Ottawa Illinois, and hundreds of other cities,
we are coming. Don’t underestimate us.

May Day – 2012

From Beltane to Walpurgisnacht,
from Red Square to Haymarket Square,
from scattering fish blood to beseech a good crop,
to crowning the Queen of the May

May the 99% occupy this day
and graft with the deepest roots
of civilization’s growth
in merry celebration and mischief

Marking nonviolently our fields,
continuing to broadcast the seeds
that will flower into a million mighty vines
hanging with the fruit of a new order.

Life and Death in a National Park


A bear bit a man of the 1%
who was eating a Châteaubriand
and wearing a Rolex watch.

Earlier in the day a Park Ranger tried to
discourage the bear by locking down
the refuse bin lids.

The bear reasoned, If I can’t have
garbage then I’ll
eat some fresh meat and have
a great time doing it.
Just watch me.

Once and Now

Once I was an albatross
drifting wheeling hanging
on hands I could not see
that kept me floating above the endless waters
so I never had to float on those endless waters.

Once I was a sapling tree
or was I a blade of grass
swaying bending dancing
to the mood of someone I never saw
that kept me from the curse of stillness.

Once I was a snail
craning my neck to watch
the birds and trees above
and I could never understand.

Once I read a poem by Rumi —

I live my life in growing orbits
which move out over the things of the world.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last,
but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower,
and I have been circling for a thousand years,
and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm,
or a great song.

Now it is Spring and we are the 99%.

Fat Men of Wall Street – by Joe Lamb

O fat men of Wall Street
why do you worship the Golden Calf?
Look how elegantly the blackbirds
feast on earthworms
gathered in your cemetery.

Calling All Clowns

The pageant has lost its luster
the audience is drifting away.

The producers scratch their collective head
and wonder how last Fall’s hit
has become this Springs flop.

They scanned the script with a meticulous eye.
Every character was scrutinized.
Even the music was suspect.

Nothing amiss was found.

Then an unnoticed guy in the back
with the flashing bow tie
and size 20 shoes
called attention to himself with a fart,
the missing dimension was revealed.
Their drama could bring the audience to tears
it could send them out into the street
with the revolutionary fervor.

But what they had not asked the audience to do
was to laugh. They needed some kind of a
clown.

This poem was inspired by a story at http://wagingnonviolence.org/2012/03/how-to-create-a-dilemma/

  • Rolling Stone Magazine – Politics

  • My first book of poetry

    Click on image

  • FIRST WORDS: Poems of Two Minds

    Several years ago I gathered together some of my favorites and put them together in a small book format. The book is OOP (Out of Print) and therefore exceedingly valuable. In fact, it can’t be had for any price. But wait, have I got a deal for you. Now you can get the entire book FIRST WORDS: Poems Of Two Minds for FREE! Just click on picture (above) and it’s yours. Friscobeat a.k.a. DonEdward a.k.a. MS
  • Important Info

  • Poems of Two Minds_The Book

    Several years ago I gathered together some of my favorites and put them together in a small book format. The book is OOP (Out of Print) and therefore exceedingly valuable. In fact, it can’t be had for any price. But wait, have I got a deal for you. Now you can get the entire book FIRST WORDS: Poems Of Two Minds for FREE! Just click on link and it’s yours.

    Friscobeat a.k.a. DonEdward a.k.a. MS

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