97

Industry and progress wait their turn on
Death row; medicine to cure the globe expires
The call-to-arms, yet rallies cry for green.
The death of knowledge must be met with ire;
Enlightened masses speak collective truth.
Hypotheses built shakily on lies,
These ill-conceived refusals condemn youth
To dwindling nature and its gas-choked skies!
Demand for reverence for facts unites
The physicists and priests alike. Unjust,
To kill all hope to grow a jobs sound bite.
The grassroots grow wherever causes must.
Denying evidence for bottom lines
Will make us all canaries in the mine.
—NN

61

Above all curiosities of the day
One reigned supreme from June to January.
His preposterous claims and hair passe
Held viewers captive with hilarity.
A country plagued by disbelief upon
Election night’s astonishing results.
The verdict, a national phenomenon,
Favored a business man hurling insults.
Indignation rose among the oppressed.
United by a common enemy
To rise above cruel factions in protest
Rather than sulking in despondency.
Now bans and walls exclude minorities
And those surrounded tire of their worries.
—ERP, LDS

48

Why is it that shadows of history,
Cast long over a life, or lives, loom large
As if propelled by torchlight of sisters
Unseen, still shining with utopia’s charge?
The marchers of this year alone exceed
The way we count, the footsteps and the voices
Too many to recall, and still I need,
I’m forced, empowered now by them, to think—
When did we fall into a history book?
The distant tales—division, unrest, peace—
Revived—they weigh much heavier than they look,
Batons from yesterdays we thought we’d passed.
While of the past’s stories we avail ourselves,
Will we turn cautionary tales ourselves?
—HM

29

Downtown today, events went on as usual.
The personal effects of absent men
Collected, curbed by rain into a casual
And filthy pile. Some ends of business, then.
The pleasure of the march we staged was song
And shouts–for immigrants, for some of us
A trip imagined of our parents, long
Ago or just last week washed up on shores.
And farther down, in districts where the river
Deposits gold, the crowds came out tonight
For art, for personal affects, for livers
Who sold a mess of garbage, smut, and light.
I walked right through the flotsam—poor, then rich—
For cause, for sale. It all went, life’s a ditch.
—IC

19

As we who strive and fight for rights
Speak up and out against others types,
Those who live in a time that’s passed
Are called outrated, outdated, and hated.
Discriminators fight each other—cold
Disgust for what the other’s values hold.
Do two wrongs in this case make a right?
Or’s this merely a retroactive fight?
Protesters insult the other party
Doing the the same which they wholeheartedly
Condemn, forbid, forbode, defensive mode—
A series of chess moves with uncrackable code!
Both sides resist, reality persists
Which’s better, formed words or fists in fists?

PTL, LDS, ERP

17

His trumpet tweets: the judges’ transgressions!
My noise will live beyond this courtly cadence!
Repeated notes in all the same progressions:
Insults—fake news—the Wall—terrorists—Pence!
The judges’ cymbals clang against this canon,
Whose harsh beat tries again to split and banish;
Injunctions clap down, halting citizens’ panic,
As workers, migrants, students cease to vanish.
Through atonal commotion drums new thunder
Distracting from the belting trumpet’s croons,
The sounds of marching feet respond to blunders,
Demanding different rhythms, different tunes.
The audience, distressed, hears from these marchers,
Freedom’s music, and harmony’s departure.
—LDS, PTL, ERP

15

The symptoms start as stomach disagreeing
With heart, or muscles losing circulation
Where once the blood was red, a palpitation
The eyes—or is it brain?—a narrowed seeing,
And then a fever mounts, delusion speaks
In rash outbursts, the nervous limbs go hot
Or cold, base motor functions failing, not
Under control of mind. State organs seize.
We dreamed the body politic as system,
Created by exceptional solution,
And granted deep immune response to errors
Genetic to all empire—we could list them!—
But now we dream of mortal dissolution,
And ask, is this old age, or some new terror?
—IC

3

As postered protesters deluge the streets
Left empty by inauguration’s storm,
The presidential press-man argues tweets
That say the crowds weighed in below the norm.
Where once Trump said there was no call to gauge
The size of taxes, hands, or Russian hackers,
He now tweets Nielsen ratings in outrage,
Then flips himself, allowing all protesters.
Cavorting to “My Way” with royal feet,
Then offering a C.I.A. address,
It seems the conflict he most wants to meet
Is not with terrorism but the press.
These days, the size of things is much in doubt,
If statecraft’s larger scale he can’t make out.
—LDS, ERP, PTL

2

A crowd’s seen from above. It can’t be known
By man or agency. The satellites
Will serve, but only on clear days. A clown,
A cloud, a clone, a clod, the natural rights
Of things are none, except as met up close.
I march among some hundred thousand, each
As fresh in blood, and flesh of mud, as those
Who first were made, or born, or creeped
From shouting earth. And shouting all together,
In sisterhood, in concert, in our signs,
We sound, at most, like history, or weather,
Like pebbles in the wash, or sand in lines.
So why, while winds make waves of us, and ends,
Do I, no less, find face, to face, again?

—IC