Meaningless, all those hours you spent, Raising your voices, lifting your glasses To Cheer. It was meaningless, harboring that hatred, For a man's skin color and shouting The South shall rise again, everywhere, For their health is endangered while Their mouths run, compassion wins. Meaningless challenges the courts Rule: that the poor can be healthy, Rule: that insurance is a right If you pay for it, and you will pay For it, because we aren't grown up, Not enough that it matters, To hand our gratuitous illusionary cash Over to social programs. To a single system. Meaningless, the lack of tact To hammer over and over what the masses Refuse to understand, that they are part, The most important part, for they work at the Bottom of a triangle and seek to pull themselves From poverty. So they shouted, hated, hurt Made bleed when all they had to do was share. Meaningless, the first one hundred days, While apes jump up and down as the President Learns to color and write his name. Meaningless his statement of KING. I acknowledge no king, emperor, ruler, Whose hearing aid and heart are missing. Meaningless, caught in a box crayons Without benefit of a piece of paper That says "In pursuit of happiness." Scoffing, I bow to mediocrity, pretend I can understand...But I don't. It's all meaningless.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Oh, my, the face of the political machine. Grim faces, hollow eyes, lies after lie, One citizen who stands, remembers, raises a fist protesting, In a game, a silly game, where men tackle men, Where brains are shaken, battered and bruised, So that humans may be equal. Why his fist now? Why raised in protest? His brothers in arms, From the streets he escaped, are beaten, broken, With trials valid only in confusion. Murder and Murderers wear badges that shame the men and Women who give their hearts to the law. Young black women, volleyball champions, From a high school, a high school that Sent countless youth to futures lacking hope, now those That were uncertain, rise. With pride born of knowledge, These teenagers, born in the poor side of town, Bear witness to the deeds of the bully pulpit. Against Which female athletes rise for equality that Great-grandmothers and fathers raised in conflict earned. Denied for decades, for a century now. Time flies, promises fall And the hatred based on color, sexual preference, sex. Even sex still. An amendment to a constitution that Gave women the power to make decisions, to be independent, Yet we are dictated as to how our lives must center itself on trust, Color should be celebrated. Voices raised in black churches. Voices raised in protest. Signs written, petitions filed, Congressmen and women elected that see us, hear us, raise us to The seriousness of action, against inaction, refusing quiet. These must become our battle flag. A voice that steadies. So powerful that it rocks a nation of quiet shame, Of angry men and women, of injustices and just protests. We allow the beatings of First Nation peoples as their Water turns black with oil and greed. Tall and proud They stand, fearing nothing but inaction. A president Feeding on the profits he earns while his ears are closed To the Appeal for commonsense. We should be a Nation Of commonsense, looking for the future of all of us. "We the people" in earnest reformation "Of the United States of America" the beautiful, the possible. "For liberty and Justice for all" shall carry a message of the cause Justice, Of the welfare promised, of the charge that we be given "happiness." For "We the People of the United States, in Order to form A more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote The general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty To ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish This Constitution for the United States of America." This is the promise for which protests are just. This the hope of the poor, to be seen and raised. The middle class, the wealthy. How mighty the voice As it pours into the streets? A wave of determination. Protestors meet immigrants with signs. Hello! Welcome! Mighty the wave of compassion while we are poisoned By the water we buy. Action instead of promises broken. Promise that we are the real voice of our nation, The serious citizens of the United States, willing to resist Compounding moments of shame formed by greed, fear and hate. An interest rate we are unwilling to pay anymore. We are, Willing to love, include, protest for equality and against a voice that should never have emerged. The ugly voice of racism, hatred, fear and indifference. Pledging allegiance to a flag of action. Protecting The welfare of all Americans, not just the few. Brothers, Fathers, Sisters, Mothers bring your seriousness To bear on the foolishness of folly in office. We are a union of action shouting at the sound of profit Born on the backs of the common citizen who works. Serious times need serious measures they say. We rise to the Call for justice for all, just like we pledged In elementary schools, middle schools, military, congresses Where the idea of patriotism was a promise to action. Raise fists so that truth will come. We rise. We pledge.
Overwhelming, the number of letters Your soul can handle, Before it all comes crashing done. Twelve letters, rolled off the tongue, Held in abeyance only by the off switch. How? Why? And the answers pull me Into a world I do not know. Positions on humanity that spout And sputter into being based On a nameless fear of something... Political parties spare for the news Broadcasting a descent from known facts Until even the broadcasters must turn away. Limits on being human, kind, mindful, Actions based on color, mindset, empty empathy. "Don't let them in." No, not out either, For a four year old refugee might Play games of war as youth becomes teen. It's a ridiculous argument, Holding that a sixty-five year old... Change all that was good, helpful, given As a gift from government. Make it void of Color or charm and let me scream My frustration at the overwhelming hatred Of bigots, fanatics, tv viewers... They sing a song of hatred, without A single why. One hundred thousand visas, Cancelling hope. Banks cheering, burdens given, Regulations falling, Morality redefined Millions of mothers standing, fist raised to the morn. Overwhelming, twelve letters becoming twenty-four. Discourse to hold off the helplessness Of being Disabled, a woman, unable, wished able, To make the world step back into sanity. Not the globe, My world, my resolve, my liberty. You threaten me at your peril, for I think. I write. I protest and resolve. I turn, I hide nothing, I am...and being I must Prevent this overwhelming sense of doom. Overwhelmed as we rise, surrounded by void. By Twelve letters that roll off the tongue. Easy letters. Ts and Ls, Es, O, a G. Government stating that there are none of the above. Twelve letters that hold us back. W, V, R, H, M Twelve letters to define the abject despair, Actively adding the ing to the pile We face now, with limits on rights, hopes, dreams, loves, friends, health, Overwhelming. And continuing...
What happened in Orlando is a crime against your humanity, the victim’s humanity, and even my humanity.Yes, I’m white and middle-aged, but my family has gone through watching my brother’s struggle to be equal no matter what his sexuality. It’s not easy for anyone. He is the best of us, the most beautiful of us, and the most damaged because of what society put him through. I can’t understand, but I can grieve with you. You are a brave man for telling your tale so quickly, honestly.
I was stunned and then horrified when I saw people blaming the victims for what happened. I watched the thread of conversation in Farmville2. I realize that people fear what they don’t know, but there is no excuse for blatant hate in this world. Those who spread hate, hand it out to anyone who has a fear. I wasn’t stunned that Trump jumped up and down expecting his weary line about fear to gain him popularity through this sad event. But Americans need to be better than this wave. Roosevelt said very clearly, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” It’s time for the US to wake and realize that knowledge culls fear. We can’t keep this rhetoric over bathrooms, differences, sexuality, race and religon going. We’re better than this.
Then the news came out that Pulse was a place that was friendly and open to any who wished a sense of community. I saw the lines that John Oliver showed on his show that were lined up to give blood to the victims of this crime. I watched people in chatrooms on facebook speaking out against the mindset that you are “defective” and the line I like best is that “We are all human. When you threaten any LGBT or transgender, you give up a part of your humanity. When you foster hatred, you give up your humanity.”
I cry for your four year old self, just wanting to be a child. To be punished for being a child and wanting to be kind and generous and filled with beauty is beyond child abuse.
Then I learned of another disturbed man targeting the Pride Parade in L.A. They were fortunate that they stpped the man before more lives were lost. This is a sickness and we all need a cure
I want the world to be a place where you are accepted as you. I want you to have the freedom, happiness, and safety that you have the right to experience. The “pursuit of happiness” promised by our constitution needs to be given to you, your friends, the family you surround yourself with.
No one should have to fear living because of a label. I wish you all the best and if you were in Virginia, I’d have you over for pie and lemonade. I’d give you my shoulder.
(a reaction to an article on the shootings in Orlando)
The hunt began at dawn, like most hunts. Mother’s first warning was a shotgun blast over the water. The enemy were coming. They came in droves. She whirled gathering her children, feet muddy from the moment of peace by the water where she had brought them for their daily chores. They ran together, the youngest in her arms. Her oldest pulled the middle child, firmly determined that they would not face the sorrow, the useless sacrifice again. This family had suffered too much in earlier hunts.
There was a platform standing on the top of the hill. It filled slowly, giving the prey time to lose their way, to blunder.
It was time for older prey to gather as many of the young they could find and shepherd them to places of safety dug into the ground, tunnels thirty and forty feet long. These tunnels were destroyed by rangers when found, but new ones replaced old, and here was kept the center of their society. Here oral histories were passed down. Here grandmothers prevailed still, preaching love, and understanding. Preaching hopes needing to be fulfilled. They couldn’t believe how many years they’d been hiding. According to their mothers, it had been 200 or more.
“Sometime these others must come to their senses. We pray for it to happen, to end this senseless butchery. They promised us sanctuary.”
The men of the clan scoffed, and left the mothers and young. They felt themselves too valuable to be killed in a run. They were small in number, after all. If they died, the hiders would die out.”
Homo sapiens sapiens, of the greatest God-fearing country on Earth, rushed to the platforms. It was Winter Hunt Time, time which shouldn’t be lost. They arrived laughing: armed with their picnic baskets, bottles of beer, soda, water and milk bottles for the babies. They brought cameras, cell phones, electronic tablets and recording devices. Adults, their parents and preachers turned out for this mid-winter hunt. Family time.
They brought drums to be beaten, trumpets to shout, and the fine town’s leaders all hung in finery warm. They were waiting for the first victims to run, for then they would cheer. They brought out their shotguns, their rifles, their bows, with ammo designed for one purpose below. Something would die today. More than one would die. They would celebrate that night with presents and dinner with toasts. The excitement grew, and so did the boasts.
Laughing with joy at a kill shot, they took turns turning the soil to red. They were a powerful people, opening their arms to refugees worldwide, giving homes to some while others disappeared, or were labeled terrorists so they would not be missed. Glorious leaders of this strong nation kept it all in check, using mass rallies of their glory, and corrupt political policies, too. Their godlike speeches belied their intentions.
During the growing time of Summer, the prey were joined by runaway natives who tried to learn languages, record stories and take them back where they were labeled fiction and unprintable. The journalists, teachers, advocates and writers were vanquished to the kill zones. The government thought that a rat trap was a good place to hide all of the rats.
Mother ran, her heart beating so loudly she was afraid it would be heard. Her eldest murmured words of encouragement, taking the lead away from her mother and trying to turn them all deeper into the woods. That’s when the closest gunshot became loud and real.
The baby exploded in Mother’s arms. She had time to gasp “no” as the bullet continued through the child and into the mother’s heart.
Eldest child threw her brother into the underbrush with a whisper.
“It’s under the rock. Find it,” she whispered. She had a plan.
He wiggled and dug in the earth pulling an old plastic bag from beneath him. She snatched it from his fingers and whispered again.
“Stay here, in the ground, until they have gone home to celebrate. I have something to do.”
Aged six, her brother understood the action that was needed. He wiggled under the leaves, into the mud, out of sight and mindful of the killers as Eldest bolted away toward the platform. As the trees thinned, she stood tall. She opened the bag. The gun in her hand had been dropped from the platform as an insult when the killers had killed her grandmother and her father. She had taken it.
She moved through the bush and gathered her cold sense of honor. Her actions gathered the attention she sought.
“Look, a small one begs for more attention from you, Hunter. It’s only fair you should end her. She won’t survive without her breeding mother and is almost old enough to start breeding herself. Just an animal.” They laughed the hunter back to a spot on the wall.
The hunter was smartly dressed for this celebration day. She lifted her rifle, focusing her sights on the child, and then abruptly brought the gun down.
The crowd jeered her as she succumbed to the first thought in her life involving compassion. It didn’t last.
She raised her rifle again. Two shots rang out in unison. One shot from above, and one from below. The bullet struck the hunter in the forehead spreading brains, blood and skin bits everywhere. The platform emptied screaming.
Eldest child staggered to her brother and dropped the gun. “Hide it,” she murmured.
Middle child tried to stop the blood. He was too small to treat such an injury.
Eldest child’s name was called in the moonlight by a search party of old women. They found her brother shivering and in shock. They found the bodies. They heard the child’s story. Life changed that night. They learned a lesson.
They could fight back.
(I wrote this after watching the news about the fears we should have in giving shelter to those in need. I thought about what might be the outcome if the Tea Party took over the government and watched the ideas being flown as flags about what Americans are and who we are. This is a last possible case senerio, aside from war. “Bring me your tired, your hungry, your oppressed…” and thinking of what use the immigrants would be to such a government. Things like this have happened in history before, hunts based on religion, cruelty, mocking the ideals of “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Do I believe us on a one way course? No, that’s why even with a corrupt government I had people trying to help these prey, even at the cost of their own freedom and life. I’m hoping for a good hopeful topic to be selected by my flash fiction group. I don’t like this place in the shadows.) Placed 5th in Linked In Writer’s Hangout Flash Fiction Contest.