Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Baltimore Burns

Baltimore burns

Blame the police
Blame the kids
Blame the thugs
Blame the agitators
It doesn't matter who
lit the match
The city is full of  kindling
to feed the flames

Fire fueled
by poverty
empty promises
Watch it burn to the ground

Watch it on our TVs
in our big houses
in our safe, green suburbs
Shake our heads and withdraw
from the insistent sea of angry black faces
Our own fragment of reality
so much more pleasant

We, the privileged,
who send our sons off to school
with a peck on the cheek
don't wonder whether they'll come back
who curse the crabgrass in our yards
not the clay colored stain of dried blood
on our sidewalks
whose souls are unbattered
ungnawed by daily injustices
ground down by despair
who matter
without having to write it
shout it
burn it
into consciousness
to make people pay attention.

submitted to Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Get Listed for May, Pablo Neruda


grapeling said...

Lola, I hope you post this for The Tuesday Platform as well - it deserves to be read. Thank you for adding your voice ~

hyperCRYPTICal said...

This is really strong and shouts from the rooftops. Sometimes we have no notion nor care about the daily plight of others.
Anna :o]

Fireblossom said...

This reminds me of when I was the suburban kid watching the smoke rise downtown.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Sometimes the best indictments are the ones we make on ourselves. Thanks, this worked as poem and polemic.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A mighty poem! Please may I have it for my 'I Wish I'd Written This' column over at Poets United? You can email me at rosemary dot lifemagic at gmail dot com.