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Tuesday, March 15, 2016


by Joseph Powell

Let’s have a moment of silence,
for the end of civility
as we know it;
maybe even,
for the end of civilization;
let the trumpet sound, ‘Taps’
for all this talk about progress;
about how we’ve come so far,
only to turn it around,
and retreat backwards
into oblivion,
into, what was it all about, Alfie?
I hear blood crying from the ground;
I hear the rumble of bodies
turning over in their graves;
the screams of
“This is not what we died for!”
too loud for me to think.
I know they can’t rest in peace,
because we haven’t learned
to live in peace.
And the rain continues to fall
on the just,
while the unjust live in denial,
believing that they alone,
own the sun.
And God cries,
Damn it!
over the U.S. of A.
how can He bless
this mess?

It’s too much to take,
sensory overload and such;
I simply want to close my eyes
and ears,
and rest in peace;
but there will be no peace,
while chaos is the order of the day,
and the inmates are running the asylum.

All I can do,
is keep eyes wide open;
with pen in right hand,
and left fist,
held defiantly in air;
say a prayer,
as I march into battle,
clothed with little more
than the truth,
to fight
yet another day.

Joseph Powell is a poet and writer and the author of three collections of poetry: Joby, Uninterrupted: Bittersweet Symphonies and Bohemian Rhapsodies (1989-2009), Poetry Man, and The Writing’s On The Wall.  He is also the creator and author of the blog The Joby Chronicle. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, he relocated last year to Nashville, Tennessee from Burbank, California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Greenville College in Illinois. He has performed at a number of venues around the country including the Austin International Poetry Festival and, most recently, the Tucson Festival of Books. His work has been featured in a variety of print and online journals, including the Nashville-based Calliope magazine. He cites James Baldwin and Maya Angelou as his primary influences and credits his girlfriend, Cindi, and stepdaughter, Santi, as his motivating forces.