The Village without Fear
‘Tis of Thee
Try as You Might
Love and Life
Eden Sank to Grief
THE VILLAGE WITHOUT FEAR
This farmland’s our home,
They call us squatters here,
Where our families have grown,
The Village Without Fear.
Government came in,
They didn’t waste a tear,
Burned our wooden houses,
The Village Without Fear.
With clothes on our backs,
Still the ruling’s clear,
Suicidal, we must leave
The Village Without Fear.
‘TIS OF THEE
A culture, decadent, that worships flesh
And death will eat itself like cancer cells
In nursing homes, and dollars won’t refresh
The worshippers alone in private hells.
The public debt a threat, the internet
Divas and doctors who dispense advice;
Another sting on teenage cigarettes,
Another show with cops who chase down vice.
Higher skyscrapers, pop songs, dances, stars,
New snobs, the stars who show how low they ride,
And in the cities, suburbs, hills and farms
Bedazzled grooms drive home with plastic brides.
And animated baseball, bodies zipped
In nylon parkas on Mount Everest’s slopes
Where copters will not fly; elections tipped
By social media and voters’ hopes,
A birthmother search, HIV home tests,
The nouveau riche improve their aging shapes
With dyed hair, facelifts, and inflated breasts,
Toupees and tummy tucks, the great escapes.
The middle class can barely keep the pace,
The welfare kid keeps falling far behind
Despite the billions squandered to replace
The guilt, for giveaways don’t stir his mind.
In God we used to trust, and now it’s Self–
The water’s bad in India, the wars
Leave body parts and orphans on the shelf–
“Who cares? My cards are maxed from clothing stores.”
The fix is on, you bet on any horse
And keep your mouth shut, win or lose, you pay
Your money, take your chance; no-fault divorce
Will rescue you from shame and disarray.
The dilettantes sell Art for vanity
And dollars while the poet-prophets speak
The Word in season, out of season, free
Or as slaves, obedient and meek.
Avenatti and NXVIM, branding marks,
Satellites, laser beams and astronauts,
New Ponzi schemes, illegal telemarkets,
Honeypots, afterthoughts and counterplots;
Flat tire, a gun for hire, they sell desire
In bars and motel rooms where no one tells
‘Cause no one asks; an L.A. arson fire
Gets paid, though the investigator smells
The sin of fallen man in Eden’s green,
As though a time machine had showed him bliss
Only to shake away the scales unseen,
Exposing evil as in Genesis.
The hoaxers, perjurers, and murderers,
Unpunished, roam the land wild as mountain goats,
They’re wealthy, influential, and secure,
And they know how to sway important votes.
Teenage flirts, cubist shirts and campaign dirt,
A suicide who’d called out pedophiles–
No drugs, no words relieve a young man’s hurt:
How can a sinful man be reconciled?
Peace treaties, diabetes, kiss your sweetie,
Nuke waste, a mugger Maced, two-faced rat-race,
So many potholes you can’t see the street;
So many taxes, cheating’s commonplace.
Perverts expose themselves to talk-show hosts
And hit-men have their quarter-hour of fame;
Mass media ignores the Holy Ghost
And acts as though the people are to blame.
All are one: Black and yellow, red and white,
Said JFK and Martin Luther King,
But on the subway ‘round ten at night,
The stench of fear and hate is sickening.
The dress-down candidate and his smart wife,
The steel magnolia, herbal remedies,
Montana Freemen and the F.B.I.
In wait; a watch which needs no batteries,
With child abusers, cocaine users, gun-
Toting cruisers, boozers, losers, and gang-
Bang drive-by shooters, the karate nuns,
With tennis shoes as codes, with convict slang.
The leveraged buy-outs, mergers, acquisitions,
Foreclosures, bankruptcies, bonds, notes, and deeds,
Rich democrats in powerful positions,
Like barrel cacti pointed in the weeds.
You rich and powerful, you’re food for worms,
A hunchbacked woman groans outside your door,
The smell of unwashed flesh: the butler squirms,
But you’re too busy phoning Singapore
To see the soil is drenched with babies’ blood.
The jet-set crowd has parties ‘til the dawns,
Posterity is thrown like rags in mud,
Prosperity makes men automatons.
Indecisions, forgetfulness and haze
Coagulate in corners of the stair;
Subversives sleeping, triggered, rise and daze
With a false-flag distraction, a gun nightmare.
Churchill, Prime Minister, declared, “The price
Of greatness is responsibility”
(Or so a poster said) and heed advice,
For “history guides us by vanities.”
Political correctness versus Christ:
Over the long run you can bet on Him
To overcome man’s wicked “Paradise”,
Naive as games upon the jungle gym.
My poetry is art; it’s serious
To me, and though you may not understand
The ins and outs, at least you’re curious
To read the words that print out by my hand.
The unacknowledged legislators of
The world are poets, Shelley in defense
Remarked: With skill and loads of Christian love,
With verses soaked in meaning, this makes sense.
The times were tainted by their ignorance,
And he was treated like an orphan boy,
But by the grace of God, with common sense,
He did God’s holy work and felt His joy.
Invisibility has benefits,
Take it from me, invisible for years,
With bandages wrapped ‘round my face, and slits
Through which I view the changing of the gears.
A preacher taught on Reno radio
The ways the Bible can interpret news;
A poet taught from texts of long ago
The Lord’s design for man began with Jews.
As 60 million babies’ blood, in fright,
Cries out from reddened earth to deafened ears,
Don’t say that you can see by dawn’s pink light
The Emperor has worn no stitch for years.
Don’t say a thing, for when a house implodes
It traps and crushes those beneath its beams;
Yet in the rooms, desensitized and slowed,
A nation’s conscience whispers still of dreams.
In Gibbon’s Rise and Fall the punishment
For immorality was Huns’ offense;
A Christian in the White House would prevent
The land’s decline to Roman decadence:
But as the Communists were fond to say,
“We’ll watch as you disintegrate within.”
Now at a graduation kids can’t pray
And teachers preach on Self-Esteem, not sin.
A king put Jeremiah in a well
For saying that his kingdom had to fall;
A prophet’s truth can seem like bagatelles
Until barbarians barge through the wall.
And I will turn to Paradise on earth
In serving Jesus Christ with all my heart;
Let him determine what my work is worth,
And let the world go mad for hollow art.
Iced tea, a stick of gum, a book of verse
And thou, is Paradise enough when Thou
Art Jesus Christ, who shattered Eden’s curse
Through death, a crown of thorns upon thy brow.
Try as You Might
Try as you might each day and night
You’ll never understand
The ways the King of Everything
Has brought about His plans
For you, His child, so mild and wild,
Perplexed, confused, adrift
Between the rocks that bang and block
Sea passages that lift
You higher yet, for He’s paid debts,
All debts that you’ve accrued–
Each rude caprice and fleshly spree–
How Christ has been abused.
He’ll comfort you when you are true
And love with no reserve;
You’ll be surprised He’s realized
That you have curved and swerved.
When darkness falls, the Spirit calls
With a gentle tug on heart:
Confess your crimes, give him your time . . .
Let Him make you His art.
Love and Life
I may not be a famous man,
Or one who makes a hero’s plans.
I do not have a Ph.D.
Or Pulitzers in poetry.
But still I see some trouble here
(I want to be exact and clear);
I see great evil in the land,
Corruption hard to understand.
They’re killing babies left and right,
And I’m opposed with all my might.
A baby has the right to live,
To grow and laugh, to cry and give.
A baby isn’t just a rag
To toss into a bloody bag.
A baby’s us, she’s you and me,
With head and heart, with thumbs and knees.
When zygotes form within their wombs,
God forbid those wombs be tombs.
God says those lives must thrive and grow,
To see the worlds of sun and snow,
To lie upon their mothers’ breasts,
To learn and play, to work and rest.
To take those lives is no small crime,
A Holocaust that taints our time.
Soon the Lord will cast His pall:
May He have mercy on us all.
We’ll knock the mountains down
And fill the canyons in
We’ll smooth the mounds
And nobody will grin
Or laugh or weep or shout
We will all be the same
Nothing to cry about
And nobody to blame
Each with the same color
Each with the same race
Each with the same
Featureless grayish face.
And no one will have dreams
And no nightmares either
None will need a freezer
And none will need a heater,
Each with the same income
Each with the same thoughts
Each of us controlled
By the same uniform bot,
And I will never lose
And you will never win
No one will be right or wrong
And none will ever sin,
And everyone will eat the same,
A tasteless grayish gruel,
And everyone will attend
The same barred, guarded school
Where we will learn the same,
And on the monthly tests
Teachers will grade with “C’s”
So no one’s worst and none is best.
We’ll ride in robot cars
To robot supermarts
Where bots will choose our foods
Because they are so smart,
And you will have a mate,
Your marriage bot-arranged,
And you can rear one child
Within the Central range,
But you cannot sing a song
(Music makes us less the same),
You cannot sculpt or draw–
For you might get a name.
As for names, you won’t have one–
A number will suffice
Tattooed on your arm
With chips as small as rice.
And no one will write novels,
Short stories, tracts, or plays,
Each number dressed the same,
The same in every way.
And you won’t need your brains,
So they will be shut down,
So ruling bots may run
A smoother Sameness Town
Where no one will be smart
And no one will be dumb
And you will walk in fog
With all your senses numb.
No one with cosmetics
No make-up for the face
With faceless namelessness,
Each number in its place.
Though each one will be free
To choose his suit each day:
The gray or gray or gray
Or gray or gray or gray,
And you won’t need a mirror
To see your daily face,
For it will be the same
As each one in your place,
And you will have your pod
That sits right next to mine
Inside our gray-gray hut
Where no one has a mind.
No one will be black,
No one will be white,
No one will be wrong,
And no one will be right.
We’ll learn to work and play
In buildings gray and beige
Where we will be contained
Like monkeys in a cage.
We’ll never spend too much,
We won’t have much to spend,
We’ll have enough to ensure
The State will never end.
We’ll have a medicine
To cure our every ill,
Injections in our veins
Or take the latest pill.
If Central says, “It’s war,”
Then off to war we’ll go;
We’ll kill our enemies
Then hurry to our homes,
But never shall we fight against
Our special master bots;
We’ll never think of it:
They won’t allow such thoughts.
We’ll have no surprises,
Each day will be the same
In Sameness Utopia
Where no one has a name.
And we won’t have a devil
And we won’t have a God
And will dreamless sleep
In grayish numbered pods.
And no one will be first
And no one will be last
And no one will remember
The future or the past
You will not have a sex,
So no one will be different,
No perfumes or deodorants,
Each human with same scents.
You’ll have a proper hut
That stands right next to mine,
And you and I will mow our dirt
Saturdays, the same time.
We’ll breathe and work and rest
And never have a fear,
We’ll never hate or love,
We’ll never shed a tear.
You will not have to strive
To be the best you can:
The same awards will go
To everyone who ran.
And each of us will vote
Just as the bots direct;
We’ll have no nasty run-offs
From races neck and neck.
And no one will be sad
And no one will be glad
And no one will be good
And no one will be bad
And no one will rebel
And no one will create
And we will shuffle each day
Through the same numbered gate.
And we will work in factories
To refurbish bots
Each noon we’ll pause to thank
The State for all we’ve got
And we won’t talk of love
And we won’t talk of hate
And nothing will be small
And nothing will be great
And it will never snow
And it will never rain
And no one will be cold
And none will suffer pain.
You must not speak your mind–
I have to make this clear–
Or say bye to those you know,
For you will disappear.
If you hold a censored book
The bots will know at once,
And you’ll spend days in jail
For acting like a dunce.
And if you cry some night
Because your dog has died
A bot will come and stick
A needle in your side.
At the allotted time
We’ll take our exit pass
And climb the tallest tower
And jump down to the grass.
Eden Sank to Grief
Adam dreamed he lost a rib.
He woke up–it was no fib.
“Missing rib? Where is my bone?’
Adam asked. He felt alone.
God answered him out loud:
“You’re gentle, innocent, unbowed.
You were lonely and asleep,
You had a bone, no need to keep,
I opened up and took the rib
(Which spared the trouble of a crib).
I poured the breath of life within
And sculpted lovely skin
From that one rib, something new.
I made a wife for you
Out of your chest, out of a bone.
Your bone’s your mate; you’ll be alone
No more,” said God. “Woman for me,”
Adam said. “What curves I see!
“Helper-mate,” the Lord declared,
“Made when you were unaware.”
Adam said, approaching there:
“In Eden God has answered prayer,
Honey-sweet, a precious dove.”
The first man said, “I am in love.”
“You’re in charge,” God said to them:
“Eat, drink, play, or take a swim.
Do what you will, but do not eat
The tree that lets you know of evil
And of good; it’s at the middle,
This garden’s center: I don’t kid.”
“What if we want a smell, a sniff?”
“You’ll regret a single whiff.”
“But if I take but one bite . . . “
“You’ll find out it isn’t right.
Take one bite and you will die,
No matter what you say or try.”
Eve walked out to look around
And she saw Snake on the ground.
“Wouldn’t you like to be wise?”
She heard from Snake, the King of Lies.
“How?” asked Eve, who was naive.
“I”ll show you, if you believe.
There is a tree, near where you sat.”
“But God said no, don’t eat from that,
For I will die if I eat.
God is good and I won’t cheat.”
“Don’t give me guff,” Snake replied.
“Others ate, and none have died.”
“Shiny red, it does look fine.
I wish that fruit were all mine.”
“You must think and use your heart.
God knows fruit will make you smart.
You’ll need guts to take my dare.”
“A bite can’t hurt,” Eve said, impaired.
She took a bite. Snake disappeared.
Adam came and shed big tears.
“This fruit is good,” Eve told her mate,
But he was worried for her fate.
“God is good. He said, ‘Don’t eat!’”
“But take one bite. This fruit is sweet.”
Adam loved, and he was torn.
His eyes were sad, his look forlorn.
“Death will come,” he said to her.
“But how can you be so sure?
Snake told me I’d be wise– ”
“That was Satan in disguise!”
“Don’t you love me? I am your mate.”
And Adam saw and took and ate.
“We’re naked!” he remarked.
“We have to hide inside this park.”
God walked amid Eden’s trees:
Cool afternoon with a light breeze,
And he asked Adam, “Where are you?”
“We’re scared. We’re in shade, too,”
Adam said, “We need some clothes.
We were ashamed, and this we chose,”
“Ashamed? You? You must tell why.
You live with me in Paradise.”
“Our eyes were opened when we ate:
Evil, good, we know man’s fate.”
“No, you don’t,” the Lord replied.
I said, ‘Don’t eat or you will die.’”
“But now at last we’re wise.”
“The Devil tricked you in disguise.”
“Snake told me I should eat.
He told me to, and it was sweet.”
“She asked me to. She is my mate,”
Adam said, “so I ate.”
“You broke my rules!” the Lord God roared.
“You’ll walk in Eden nevermore.
On his belly Snake will crawl,
Women giving birth will bawl,
The pain so great they’ll want to die.
Snake, you are the King of Lies.
For the evil you have sprung,
Her children will despise your young,
And all your days you will eat dust–
Never will you regain my trust.
The woman’s child will crush your head;
You’ll bruise his heel when he has bled.
From red dust you were formed,
Adam, from red dust you were born,
And from red dust you’ll earn your bread
In painful work until you’re dead.”
Cherubim with flaming sword
Guard Eden’s east for the Lord.
With heads bent down, the banished pair,
Lonely, weeping, depart with cares.