You call for revolution – and I support your call.
Let’s set the wheel in motion – but let it turn for all.
What use is revolution – if peasants still must starve,
If workers still must labor – for less than they deserve?
What use is revolution, if not for each and all?
What use is revolution, if despots still are tall
And all the rest are crawling – if bosses still give orders
And soldiers still have stations at every nation’s borders?
When hierarchies are flattened – and newer ones not built,
Then all can claim we’re better – and this, without the guilt.
For if the price was bloody, and yet the value’s low,
What use was revolution, for those who’re still below?
What use are revolutions that do not free the soul,
That do not heal the body and make the fabric whole?
Let’s set the wheel in motion, but let it turn for all.
Let virtue rise, with justice. Let vice and evil fall.
We cannot make a heaven, upon this spinning Earth,
But still can make things better, for those of humble birth.
We need no more of leaders, but more, who are aware.
Of lies that are misleading, from those who lead, beware!
The sheep, domesticated, have herders, so their fleece
And flesh can yield the bounties – in England or in Greece.
So humans, too, were corralled, and those, resisting, slain.
So peasants, workers, toiling, gave "landlords", "owners" gain.
We're long domesticated – to beings tame and mild,
Who do as they are bidden, forgetting eons wild…
So those, who wait for leaders – they wait for them in vain.
For when they find their leaders – they’ll find they’re fooled again.
The slaughterhouse is waiting, for grazers on the meadow.
Be wary – and be humble, so none may cast a shadow
In which another’s hidden, deprived of rights and voice
Or stays content to follow – and so surrenders choice.
If leading is your habit, then lead us with the truth.
Perceive your branch of falsehood – and trace it back to root.
If more inclined to follow, then be of courage strong.
It's difficult to follow what's right, when all is wrong.
But revolutions happen – and seem to hold out hope.
The martyrs' blood then darkens, and people feed on dope.
It's still the same old story, and often even worse.
The people still have leaders, who soon will hit "reverse".
The pressures mount from bankers, the threats from powers grow.
The country is in crisis, with prices rising more.
There's fear and there's repression – and soon enough, there's war.
We sacrificed for nothing, for back to naught we are.
For still we had divisions, which still could be exploited.
We turned against each other, and all we gained was voided.
So it's the same old story that's one more time retold.
For those who bought the fictions could once again be sold.
There’s the marching in processions, there’s the shouting in the streets.
There’s the storming of the barracks. There’s the tasting of the sweets
That lasts for just a season. There's then the season sour,
When once again there’s "order", with leaders still in power.
And what has changed, in essence? The hierarchies remain –
Or even when they’re broken, are seen to rise again.
The only revolutions that humans can sustain
Are those that start within us, that seek to end the pain…
We cannot, by our thinking – or writings, prose or verse,
Replace the need for action – or currents strong, reverse.
We need the strength collective, we need the actions bold.
We need to break the choke-holds, reject the notions sold.
But this can only happen, when each of us has strength
That comes from inner practice that’s been of depth and length.
For each must dare to question. Together, mind and heart
Can give to us the answers. To reason, there’s an art…
But reason, in a vacuum – or feeding on what’s fed,
Produces false "solutions". Beware of being led!
There’s fact and there’s opinion. You’re only sure of that,
Which you yourself experience – by wrestling on the mat.
You might have gone to college and learned a lot. And if
You’ve kept yourself updated, unlike the working stiff,
You might have your opinions. But only they, who’ve labored,
Can truly speak of labor. Beware the circles favored!
The inside’s often different, from what the outside looks.
Do not believe the media or even what’s in books.
It’s only when you’re present, to do and see and hear –
It’s only when you’ve lived it, that vision starts to clear.
So who can be a leader, except to lead himself?
For only you have knowledge of what’s around yourself.
No presidents are needed, no bosses up on high –
Or even one that’s nearer. There’s truth – and there’s the lie.
The truth, indeed, is bitter – and yet, what else is there?
To taste of truth, unsweetened, who first will rise and dare?
And who of us will follow – and each with firm resolve,
So all the old deceptions, with newer ones, dissolve?
For that is revolution, when people clearly see –
And that’s what really matters, as all the rest will be
As warmth that follows daylight, as seed that senses rain…
From vision, there’ll be action to lift the yoke of pain…
Beware of those divisions – of race or speech or creed –
That leave the heart in darkness – and mills of evil feed.
Of ignorance, be fearful; in learning more, be bold.
Observe the new perspective – and yet respect the old.
Do not despise the wealthy – nor hold them in esteem.
Do not look down on paupers – or these, as snowflakes, deem.
For all of us are human, with virtue and with vice –
From all around, take counsel – but heed your own advice.
If free to follow conscience, if free to seek the truth,
You then can praise your freedom – and praising, speak the truth.
And that is revolution – when each one, speaking freely,
Can say that she has freedom – that's freedom, well and truly.
What freedom can the man have, who answers to a boss?
What freedom in a country, that’s ruled by gain and loss?
What freedom, when we're fearful of losing jobs or lives
For speaking truth to power? What freedom then survives?
What freedom, when, at Apple, they can pinpoint where you are?
What freedom, in a country that's torn apart by war?
There’s freedom that is waiting – there’s freedom for the slave.
But freedom needs its fighters – it asks you if you're brave.
How many wheels, in violence, have lifted up the low –
But then have kept on turning – until they’re back below?
Let’s call for revolution that frees the mind, the voice –
That clears the vision clouded, so each can then rejoice.
2014 December 20th, Sat. (Some stanzas added Dec. 28th.) Brooklyn, New York