In a land infected with virtuous disbelief,

where the words of presidents, senators,

jurists and generals

spark only questions

of what scam they are pulling this time,


where employers’ promises of plentiful times 

resonate in workers’ minds as omens of pink slips

or unpaid weekend work;


where siren-songs intoning “duty” evoke mutters, gloom

and a despairing silence,


where will the spark come?


Who will be the first to refuse?

the first to strike, disrupt, 

seize the offices or shop floors?

which cops, soldiers or militia

will first see themselves in the strikers?

first turn their guns to point at the enemy above?

Who will sing the first anthem of freedom?

Where will we burst through the reigning silence,

shatter their power,

and sing in our billions

new pathways to joy?



Heated Words on a Heating World: Poems for a Future. Central Jersey Coalition against Endless War. 2019. .

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