Thursday, June 30, 2016



We say, “This is a country free.”
And yet, I’m sure, to a high degree,
That almost everyone I see
Is an “owner” or an employee.

And though some might be both, we know
Our minds are set where income’s more.
And each of us, in verbiage, thought
And action, are, in mindsets, caught.

For every “owner”, you will find
A thousand of the other kind—
The ones who work, with hand or mind,
For bosses—gracious or unkind.

And which of these, I ask, is free?
And what’s the measure or degree
Of freedom that could ever be
The portion of an employee?

And even he, the boss of bosses,
With minions counting gains and losses,
Must carry too his gilded crosses.
Upon his bed, he turns and tosses.

So when we say that freedom shines
And show contempt for one who whines,
Remember—freedom isn’t guns
Or bombs that make a thousand suns.

Freedom is the lack of debt
And not being caught within the net.
You’ll find your freedom—this, I warrant,
When poised to be, where bosses aren’t.

Kayapos dancing, with shorts and sandals on, Brazilian Amazon, by Thomas L. Kelly
But even if you struggle free,
By climbing up the power-tree
Or breaking loose, what happens then
To all, who still are captive men?

A captive woman too must dance
As much in Yemen as in France.
And now, despite the "women's lib",
For women, freedom's still a fib.
Some dream that freedom will arrive
On owning Benzes they can drive.
And others aim yet higher, while
They wreak their damage, mile on mile.

There can’t be freedom, when the banks
Get richer, while the men in ranks
Are marching, so that profits flow
To those, who’re wanting even more.
There can’t be freedom, when there’s war
That issues from the place you are—
Or comes, like dread disease, to visit,
Bringing woe and horror with it.

When corporations give the orders,
As humans still are penned by borders,
While money speeds like light, with ease,
Then serfdoms grow and freedoms cease.

So women in the past have marched—
And others, who had long been parched—
To drink of freedom’s heady draft.
And yet, they’re snared by Mammon’s craft.
So sons of slaves might wonder why
They still must work, until they die,
At jobs they’d rather leave, but can’t,
While hearing still that jive, that rant.

The daughter of a worker slaves
And pinches pennies, scrapes and saves,
But still, with earnings low, may find
A world that hardly rates as kind.

“We’re free!” the politician blares,
And yet our heads are filled with cares.
We’re free, in certain states, to buy
Our guns—but not to question why.

We see that science, much maligned,
Has been, by engineers, aligned
To suit the needs of plebes and those

Who buy, at Bloomingdale’s, their hose.

And so, we’re free to buy the stuff
That’s made by workers treated rough
In distant places, and we’re free
To claw to climb the hierarchy.

And science and tech have brought us things
Like ‘planes that speed on windswept wings
And ‘phones that each of us can carry
And bounties for the military.
We’re free: to use, instead of rocks,
Our fiery bombs, with thunderous shocks;
To burn alive, our fellow species;
To strew the planet with our feces!

If this indeed is freedom, why,
Do give me freedom, then, to die.
If freedom truly comes, then whisper,
“That dummy missed it by a whisker.”

But if, as likely, it remains
As distant, query, "Who then gains,
When workers, working ever faster,
Speed the race towards disaster?"

“Produce, produce!” the teachers teach.
“Consume, consume!” the pundits preach.
Who then has time to think, reflect?
To Mammon’s priests, we genuflect.
“Free-dumb! Free-dumb!”  Hear that shout
And ask yourself, what it’s about.
Can ignorance let freedom be
What it should mean to you and me?
2016 June 25th, Sat. & June 30th, Thu.
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

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