Opus 1919, Gwangju
2012, 48 x 36
We’ve Said Our Peace
We’re mollified and marginalized,
Held without Habeas Corpus,
Travelling the highways that remain
After being told we cannot fly.
You are not surprised, since Orwell
Warned us, that the opiating effect
Of Television has left us numb,
That economic struggles take precedence.
A very good friend asked me to censor
Myself for the good of a project.
That project is over, but I wonder
If I should ramble on. Are any of us free?
Bright blossoms stretch under
Loblolly pines as we
Dash from ice to 80 degrees
In war-torn North Carolina.
Larry lost his son. A career
Mail-room worker over at the I.O.G.*
What can Larry tell his friends and family?
How can we make him feel better?
Should we tell him how important
This war is? When we hug him will
He feels our rage and confusion, or can
We mask it long enough to comfort him?
Are there enough folks out there who
No longer take it for granted that
Life as we Americans know it will
Go on like this forever?
Youngsters strut in warm sunshine,
Smiling between classes; hungry
For a life that their mothers’ created,
That their fathers’ fought for:
An American life, full of pace,
Full of struggle, catching just enough
From friendships to keep reality at bay.
We’ve said our peace, but can not
Shut up now. The grand illusion
Is once again upon us: 2004 version.
Nothing changes willingly. Here’s a tear
For those who died in one more American war.