Political poetry

August 12th, 2008

I “cheated” – this is something I wrote awhile ago but I somehow managed to miss about a month of RWP poems so I wanted to get back into the swing of things one way or another. I generally don’t write poetry of witness; I know my limitatons. But now and then poets should confront the forms they generally avoid. All of us, now and then, should confront the things we generally avoid.

Fifty Years in the Making

Flame of shame
is too obvious a rhyme,
but sometimes the obvious is true.
Sometimes the obvious sits in front of you
fifty years
waiting to be noticed
and when it is,
pent-up energy sparks
a chain reaction
picked up by strangers
who don’t speak your language
but understand every word
and send the signal on down the line.
We’re the flame now
this conflagration of outrage
sending sparks across channels
and oceans
and to the roof of the world
where they wait for this burning
fifty years in the making.
No domesticated flame, this
no desecrated flame, this
just the fire of an outrage
fifty years in the making.


There’s more poetry – political and personal – here.