“As Democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folk of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.” H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 16, 1920
gone mad, gone mad
but for the flautist in shaman’s headdress and
the first violinist wearing a necklace of skulls,
praise the intuitive, the holy, the gentle chanting
of the faithful …
defy the bassoonist
blowing brazen notes over Syria
and the cellists hidden in caves; succour the sad sweet
violins of Aleppo, Palestine, Kashmire crying salt tears
for their lost lands, pulses weakening, and there’s
that drummer who down-beats from North Korea
China harps on the fumes of its discontents,
the Ukraine is loud with crashing cymbals
and the snap pizzicato of Russian preying,
while the angel of Germany hosts a symphony,
or tries to, & here in America parties are discordant
[the price of order is dictatorship
the price of democracy is chaos]
politicians out of tune, sections out-of-sync,
oligarchs charge themselves with theatre management
poor acoustics preclude hearing the chorus …
. . . and all the world’s a stage,
the men and women are not mere players
© 2013, poem and illustration, All rights reserved
WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT
The configurations of cruelty have changed a bit since I wrote this poem in 2013 but the cruelty is still with us and often seems worse than ever. And, it certainly turns out that Mencken (quoted above) was prescient.
So how about you? How do YOU see today’s world? Tell us in a poem or poems.
Share your poem/s on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them.
All poems on theme are published on the following Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook. If you do it’s likely I’ll miss it or not see it in time.
IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at email@example.com to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.
PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.
Deadline: Monday, November 19 by 8 p.m. Pacific.
Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.
Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded. I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.
My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, Second Light, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman
* The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others
“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton