Tag Archives: politics

MICROCOSM

 

 

                  It was impossible to make it through the tragedy
                 Without poetry.

                      – Joy Harjo (“Becoming Seventy”)

This other world of cows and calves,
of motherhood exemplified, and bulls,
like men, trailing wire of down fences

is yet to be expected. A bumper crop
of rodents and snakes surround us,
the full moon coyote count of duets

and trios draws closer around us
in the half-light. The metaphors
and similes come easily to favor

humanity ‘midst the tragic chaos
where the latest issue of the truth
has come to be disbelieved.

 

SCIENCE FICTION

 

 

The future descends upon us
with new magic for old maladies,
like the greed and lust for power

science can’t dissuade or make
invisible, can’t deport to asteroids
spinning towards black holes in space.

Not even the best Boy Scouts
can be prepared for tomorrow dangling
like a spider from its thin filament

waiting for the wind to move it
towards fuzzy, unknown realms
where human nature remains the same.

 

 

artist: Chesley Bonestell

 

ROADRUNNERS, RATTLESNAKES & SNAILS

 

IMG_0218

 

Light feet at dawn
inspect Iris and Aloe Vera
to crack shells on the rock
border between gravel and lawn.

She curtsies like a ballerina
in a low, feathered quivering,
teasing, anticipating
the dance in a garden arena.

CHORUS:
               Beyond the reach of Covid-19,
               the divisiveness and hate—
               beyond the crazed confusion
               the fools among us imitate.

Birds multiplying here to a dozen
as watchdogs for the unwanted,
the rattlesnakes and snails,
beyond the reach of poison.

CHORUS:
               Beyond the reach of Covid-19,
               the divisiveness and hate—
               beyond the crazed confusion
               the fools among us imitate.

 

OR NOT

 

 

Hard to be a good guy, find
a melody for wannabe lullabies
overwhelmed by hard-rock thoughts

to make things right
or left, red or blue dominions
as if ordained by God

laughing up his sleeve
at the idiocy of humans
fashioned in his image.

We are merely ants in the anthill,
sub-atomic specks of insignificance
trying to get along—or not.

 

DEPENDENCE DAY

 

 

The shelves of supermarkets
are dependent on farmers,
               both foreign and domestic
               dependent on bankers—

               on tractor drivers, irrigators and brown skin labor,
                              both legal and illegal
                              looking for a better life

               to fill the trucks for grocery stores
               that fill our families’ bellies.

We are dependent on the weather and electricity
               to pump the water
               to grow the crops for harvest.

We are dependent on our phones and Internet
               to keep in touch
               with skewed news and friends
               lest we find ourselves alone
               for an hour—lest we begin
               to know our minds
               or even reason for ourselves.

We are dependent on the politicians
               dependent on corporate donations
               as they campaign to stay
               close to the feed bunks,
               instead of representing
               the workingman trying
               to pay for his consumption.

We are dependent on the planet
               as we carve up the heart
               of its landscape, as we spend
               its resources today
               instead of saving for tomorrow.

We are dependent on one another
               for love and understanding,
               for common sense
               and compassion.

And lastly, we are dependent on God
               and hope to hell
               He’s paying attention.

 

ONCE UPON A TIME

 

 

Yea, once a great nation of statesmen and orators
forging principles, annealed by fire, an ethic
shaped with hammer to anvil. Yea, we once were

the envy of the world, yeoman and scholars free
to speak the truth despite their fears—despite our need
to be greater than we are, we fool ourselves.

Four percent of the planet’s population, we are small,
leaving the elite to run this country into the ground
as we consume like feedlot cattle with credit extended

at 25 percent—we have become vassals to the bankers
on Wall Street—our greatness measured by their numbers
with little else left of value to speak or be proud of.

Once a great nation, we are an embarrassment
to humanity, to a once common sense—
we follow the pack like scavengers praying for a bone

until we blindly consume ourselves without wisdom
or compassion. Where are our senators and statesmen?
Have we forgotten who we were, once upon a time?

 

JUNE 25, 2020

 

 

Our day never done
discussing cattle
instead of politics:

all the pig-headed
pontificators hawking lies
like sideshow barkers.

A nation sick to death
trying to get back to normal
we’ll never see again.

We ride this wild earth,
hang-on with gentle hand
feeling for a familiar rhythm.

 

TO MAKE A HAND

 

 

Only the lesser man regards himself
as superior, assured and measured
by the whims of fleeting fortune—
he clings to hackneyed slogans
like jetsam in the raging river’s storm.

Beef dressed in a layer of white fat,
you cannot tell the color of its hide
on the rail, when cut and wrapped
in butcher paper, or ground to satisfy
your convenient consumption.

In this global herd of humanity,
fear is the currency of exchange
rekindled with falsehoods
propagated by impromptu scripts
to be played by bad actors.

This is not the only show on earth!
Do not be afraid to respect a man’s
hands and heart, learn to look him
in the eye and listen to a rhythm
common beneath your skin.

 

APPETITE FOR ANARCHY

 

© Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

 

                      Son, they all must be crazy out there.
                           – Michael Burton (“Night Rider’s Lament”)

We get the news as black or white,
reckless words that conceal the truth
reduced to red and blue enamel.
No sage advice from Washington,
no common sense to right the Ship

of State, and no one at the tiller
to face the tempest’s hate—too busy
painting enemies to blame
while adding anger to the storm.
We get your craziness in colors

with the rising smoke and flames
on a planet waging war
in the cloud of a pandemic
neither understood nor cured—
a collage of clashing colors

without a brushstroke for compassion,
discipline or pride lucrative enough
for the media to cover
with an appetite for anarchy
where only self-righteous ride.

 

 

“Night Rider’s Lament”

 

SHUFFLING THE DECK

 

 

All that was missing was a single-action Colt .45 revolver when I visited Rite Aid early this morning, my hands slathered in hand sanitizer entering and exiting the drug store. With few customers and all employees wearing facemasks behind Plexiglas shields, and me with my bandana—my hearing aids picked up some distant chuckles, but I felt safe enough.

In our culture of comfort and convenience, Covid-19 is teaching us all how things really work. I caught snippets of USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s address to the nation yesterday. No preppie politician, Perdue’s Southern drawl appeared to have a rural, hands-on appeal when he says that there is plenty of food for all and that bare-shelved grocery stores are a result of a demand problem, not a supply problem, as dairymen dump milk and farmers plow their crops. $15.5 billion has been earmarked to purchase ‘milk and other protein products’ to help bolster the Ag markets. An obvious question is whether or not the USDA will take possession of these commodities. Beef and pork producers, and the USDA, have nowhere to go with the livestock as feedlots are backed-up because packing plants for both have been shuttered due to the Coronavirus.

The cattle market has been in a tailspin since the Trump Administration’s trade wars with China and other countries. Now touting billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out American farmers, $62 million has already gone to Brazil’s JBS SA, the largest meatpacker in the world whose owners, the Batista brothers, have spent time in jail for corruption and are currently under Justice Department probes. JBS SA Just how this will shake out is anyone’s guess.

We’ve been busy gathering our Wagyu calves for a second round of vaccinations as required by our contract with Snake River Farms. Normally, this is the time of year that we lock-in a price for the calves we are contracted to sell to Snake River, to be weighed and shipped at least two weeks after their vaccinations. Our calves will be lighter than last year after virtually no rain in January and February. Normally, our feed year ends around the 15th of May, leaving us 30 days to agree on a price. We’re watching the market with nowhere else to go, but nothing is normal, the deck has been shuffled.