Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bearing Witness to the Times: The March of the Oligarchs

(Headline from The Guardian)
(Headline from Quartz)

The March of the Oligarchs

When I was a child
I was momentarily confused
The first time my older brother
Brought out his chess set.
The game board
Was exactly like the one we used for checkers,
But the rules were entirely different.
                         -  -  -
Growing up during the Cold War,
We thought the threat
Was coming to an end
When the Berlin Wall fell
And the Soviet Bloc collapsed.
We were giddy
With thoughts of freedom –
Oppression had been lifted;
The “Communist Threat” was fading.

That giddy moment of freedom
Was soon seized by corporations.
They flew under the banner
Of free enterprise,
Thereby flying under the radar
That scans for
Enemies of the state.

Global corporations
Have become the prime movers,
Making governments inconsequential.
Seen as good for the country,
Essential for the economy,
Creator of jobs,
Granter of benefits,
And source of political spending,
Big companies hold Congress hostage.
Legislation may soon bear no more weight
Than nice ideas
Voiced by well-meaning folks
In a Sunday School class.

In today's political arena
The playing field is familiar.
The game board looks the same.
But the rules have changed.

                                               ~ CK

*   *   *

Flynn was paid over $30K for speech
by Russian TV
Manafort worked for Russian billionaire
to advance Putin's interests

"Steve Bannon vows daily fight for 'deconstruction of the administrative state' "
(Headline from The Washington Post)

*    *    *    *

The best thing that poets can do is to bear witness to the times – articulate what is happening in the moment; speak to the real life experiences of your people.  I am setting myself a goal to write a poem each week that reflects what I see and experience in the life of our nation... if I can write one poem a week there will be some chronicle of our sacred/tested/doubtful union.


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