Friday Nite Poetry: The Fiddle For The Drum

Joni Mitchell, performing in 2004

Joni Mitchell, performing in 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Oh my friend, how did you come, to trade the fiddle for the drum?”

This week, as our nation has prepared to attack another, Ms. Mitchell’s words have resounded repeatedly through my skull. I hear now that the President is promising no boots on the ground. Isn’t that reassuring?  Just like Libya. We won’t have to risk our young, which I suppose is a comfort. We’ll just have to put our fingers in our ears to block out the sounds of screaming children that die in our “surgical strikes.” Anyway, this week’s Friday Nite Poetry features two poems I just posted on my Tumblr for this occasion. One of these days maybe we will be able to see people in far off lands as actual human beings and not as “collateral damage.”

The Whether Out There

The winds blow hot
ready to carry us away
out into the streets
into a rain
a hail
of lead and depleted uranium

You might get caught
in that terrible climate
if you are poor enough
if you are the wrong color
or born in the wrong  place
caught without shelter
as reality is blasted to bits
all around you

Fire pours from black clouds
eased out by screeching steel
drowning us
with hot air
and false pretense
brought in hard
from a Westerly front

This corrosive precipitation
is a spring rain
and fertilizer
for crops of speculation
and new world order farmers
riding mahogany conference tables
instead of tractors

They grow fat on this storm
while the rest of us
are blown away
to smithereens

Grinding in Damascus

Bang away at the war drums
like Lars Ulrich on crack
pounding frantically
howling manically
growling with the eager hate
of a rabid wolverine

It makes you feel strong
affirms your love of country
a land you are too weak
to truly enjoy
when you casually send
your young to an open air abattoir
in a far off place

You sell them on their service
lie and cheat
to convince them to sell their years
take advantage of their need
to serve
to be seen
to be something
or just to survive
to get them to dive
headfirst into agony
before swimming into oblivion

So yeah
bang away at the war drums
keep that metal riff playing
whip the masses into a fury
so you can squeeze out a few more dimes
a few more lives
and keep the tune playing



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