Muddled Class Set-up

We are conditioned to stay blinkered to the distress
of those we only let inside to mop.
We pretend that they are used to poverty
and so aren’t bothered how the cards are stacked
against their having the security
our lives rely on. We let systems slide
the door shut on the little people’s dreams
and tell ourselves things aren’t so bad at all.

We remain in blissful ignorance of the mess
we sink into, as long as we’re on top
of others who sink first, and we don’t see
that it’s us, the middle people, who are backed
up next against the wall. We think we’re free.
We have free speech, because, to those inside
the halls of power, giving free speech seems
a trifle while they set us up to fall.

California Dreaming

The poor people sleep for hours in the rain.
Why? Because they are homeless, and it is raining.
To the senators in the gold towers, it seems plain
that, since the poor’s sleeping takes less energy than complaining,
they can say that the poor are lazy, to explain
why they, the senators, are right remaining
high, and dry, and feted all the more
while the sleeping people slide towards Death’s cold door.

War Goods

What Happens When You Win:
We achieved everything we fought so long for, and then…

What Happens When You Lose:
We lost everything. Everything, I tell you.
Can you understand me? No?
The phone in this Mercedes has a fault;
I’ll ring back from one of my other cars.

When Neutrality Is Affordable:
Jimmy reached out and maimed me.
I refused to be drawn,
           knowing the teeth
                      that his club broke
were not needed for ice cream.

With God On Our Side:
Nowhere more than in war do we enjoy
such confidence from our people.
We lead and they are disposed to follow.
There were very few we had to shoot.

The Holy War Against Drugs:
           War is a drug.

Something Worth Fighting For:
The better places on Earth are limited
There is competition
for the better grasslands,
           the more beautiful lakes and
                      the fatter sheep.
Sometimes we strong are at peace with each other,
                      sharing with our peers
and deploring the cries
                                 of the have-nots.
disturbing our armed suburbs with their cries.

Black Friday

The poor people sleep for hours in the rain.
Why? Because they are homeless, and it is raining.
To the senators in the gold towers, it seems plain
That, since the poor’s sleeping takes less energy than complaining,
they can say that the poor are lazy, to explain
why they, the senators, are right remaining
high, and dry, and feted all the more
while the sleeping people slide towards Death’s cold door.

High Service

She stood alertly, groomed. Her livery shone.
The valet parking manager approved.
His excellence at Davos was well known
among the other servitors. They moved,

the manager and maid, among the rich
and parked their cars and planes. She curtsied well
and he was proud she did. No single hitch
could hinder either one of them. The swell

and affable world leaders, and their owners,
tipped both of them enough to live a year.
It riled her how the rich behaved as donors
and she, donee, was to them just veneer

on a scene they graced with presence while they planned
how to keep their world another year in hand.

=====================================

It’s our world too, she thought. Her staring frown
made the manager chastise her softly: ‘Smile.’
He could not afford to have her coming down
so he slipped her more white powder. ‘Walk a mile

in their shoes,’ he implored her. ‘Rich is good.
The people who assemble here control
the world to make it function as it should.
Without them, there’d be wars, and heads would roll.

There’d be refugees, and pestilence, and despair.’
She looked up and saw him clearly. Made her cry.
‘You keep telling me plutocracy is fair,
because it works. It don’t, although you try

to excuse the people who’re exploiting you,’
she said, and shot him twice. There’s little new.