I Name the Crises

by Thomas Davis

The virus raging as so many elders die
and young people party, drinking into laugher,
risking brains that swell with fevers,
mini-strokes, hallucinations that skew apart their world;
The economy collapsing into unemployment
as bread lines form like they did in the Great Depression,
hollow eyes looking at the world with despair
even as social distancing, safety
is an impossibility as you stand in line, hungry and afraid;
The video of a black man saying, “I can’t breathe” twenty times
as a white policeman kneels on his neck,
hearing him calling for his mother out of his terror,
exploding into a nation’s consciousness the history
of white robes and hoods, the spasm of confederate statues
trying desperately to rewrite the history of military and social loss,
the Trail of Tears, a President throwing paper towels
as Puerto Rico mourns destroyed homes, flooded lives,
spirits concentrated by a hurricane to rows of graves;
The teetering of democracy as black, brown, Asian, Native people
stand in lines for hours to vote in rain storms, intense heat, cold
as sanctimonious voices praise the Lord and American exceptionalism
and celebrate cages on the border
where children, separated forcibly from their parents, cry,
and a flush-faced leader claims he is the One, the only one
who can solve the problems he has helped intensify;
Then the ecosystems’ warnings
as Antarctica glaciers melt, song birds cease to sing,
the Amazon Forest burns and shrinks from year to year,
migrations from wars, starvation, ethnic rage, dictatorial triumph
put words in politician’s mouths that celebrate
how great their country, party is;
and then the greed that celebrates the rich selling snake oil:
            Come, give us tax breaks, roads, communication networks,
robots that feed our wealth-making machines —
            rescue us when our venality threatens our prosperity
            as the virus rages, the middle class collapses, small business people fail,
            poor families lose their homes, the homeless starve,
            mental health deteriorates, people march for justice,
the great extinctions
            of insects, plants, fish, all living things grows ever more deadly
            to the long-term health of the world and humankind,
            and greed demands the glorification of greed
as the solution to the problems greed creates.
I name the crises.
The question is, what do we, as human beings, do now?


Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

17 responses to “I Name the Crises

  1. Good question that I hope could explored in a peaceful, empathetic and understanding way.

  2. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:
    Tom Davis has captured the essence of our current demise. Whether we are aware of it, we are on a “journey down a rabbit hole,” not whimsical but one that is new and unexplored. — kenne

  3. Skyislander

    Truth-telling paints this wall of mourning. Can enough of us work for change and believe in a shining alternative?

  4. “Alas, I bring no stardust home tonight,
    For I confess I see no hope in sight.”

  5. We are a critical point. Election near, anger filled people. Time for the world to stop. Lead with concern, kindness and listen. Time to repair, fix and heal. Harder days are coming. I pray we are like my grandparent. Survived wars and the many depressions. If we lead with anger and violence. Our world will fall in madness. No-one will win. Powerful words shared.

  6. Reblogged this on johncoyote and commented:
    Powerful words and needed words shared.

  7. A powerful summary of all that we’re facing, Thomas. Scary times indeed, and I’ve been asking myself that same question.
    Never giving up hope though.. .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s