Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cruelty is Zen

Cruelty is Zen
You can rail against the madness,
You can work yourself to death.
Until the workers wake up,
The lash is what you'll get.

Why butt your head in fervor,
Until you've brains no more?
The wall will never crumble
Until you're joined by more.

You can follow, quietly, conscience,
But beware that this is known.
When you're punished for your efforts,
You will find you're all alone.
There are those who value labor,
There are those who think it cheap.
There are those who value knowledge,
There are those who shun the deep.

When the conscience is extinguished,
When the wisdom has been lost,
Then what avails the worker,
Who's the one who pays the cost?

The mother does her nurture,
The father works his day.
And both of them are working
For the rent and bills they pay.

The teacher does her teaching.
But if, at this, she's caught,
She had better flee the system,
For her future, there, is fraught.
The banks have swelled with profits,
The hedge-funds daily soar.
And Bloomberg's gone, but Cuomo,  *
At us mice, can sit and roar. 

And now, he throws us morsels,
And we run to gather crumbs,
As our union-heads, say, "Listen!

Those who're voting no are dumbs."

Can a wolf become a rabbit?
Can their Andrew be our friend?
When his hand is further strengthened,
Will we ever see the end?

There's a culture of corruption
That is global in its scope.
And until we end that culture,
For a better, is there hope?

We can see the children troubled,
We can see the children spoiled.
But can we see the reason,
And why our labor's foiled?

The quick and easy answers
Are often not the truth.
The reasons may be simple,
But you've got to find the root.

For we adults, we are troubled,
And we adults, we are spoiled,
Though there's many, who may labor
And be saddened this is foiled.

The forces, strong, of commerce,
They have made, of virtue, vice –
And so, of vices, virtues.
So the city isn't nice.

Our values are degraded,
Our honesty is fled.
And lies – and those who're liars –
They're ruling us instead.

We are all in need of money,
But this surely can't be all.
For the simple act of nurture
Makes a culture rise or fall.

When we're racing for the money,
When we're harnessed, blinkered, then
The sanity is squandered
And the cruelty is "Zen".

I have labored and I've acted,
But the time is growing nigh,
With my strength and wisdom failing,
For retirement, with a sigh.

So I doff my hat to workers
Who have time to organize.
And I hope that they're successful,
And that some of them are wise.

Is there wisdom in acceptance?
Is there wisdom too in zeal?
It is heart and sight and conscience
That will tell you how I feel.

When the cheaters are the wise men,
When the zealots are in league,
When it's money that is speaking,
Does it matter, how we feel?

We are stranded in the shallows,
As the nonsense keeps us there.
Beware of what is peddled.
To challenge peddlers, dare.

We need wisdom, we need courage.
We must listen, we must speak.
We need action, where it matters,
As we steer towards the deep.
2014 June 15th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York

* Michael Bloomberg, former three-term mayor of New York City, and Andrew Cuomo, current governor of New York State, moved strongly to curb whatever was left of union strength in New York, while maneuvering, fairly successfully, to keep compliant union leaders from coming out strongly against them. 

Bloomberg and Cuomo, along with the owned mainstream media, have worked to further the interests of the affluent and powerful elites of the financial institutions and other large corporations, with support from the federal (currently, Obama) government.  They also have the backing of the political right, the "center", and those who are on the left on "social" issues (such as gay rights) but not on issues that might lead to giving workers a voice.
Unfortunately, many workers have been brainwashed into divisions along ethnic, class and occupational lines.  Divisions have also been created between workers in the private and public sectors.  And so we have been conquered -- at least for now. 

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