- The State of Resistance
Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
—Midnight Oil, “Power and the Passion”
People hate the truth because its fire
demands that they feed the light
with their bones, not just their words,
those cheap things we scatter like confetti
or light like firecrackers on Chinese
New Year, staccato echoes popping
eardrums to scare away demons—truth
the only effective spell-breaker.
“I hate to say it,” she said,
“but my warrior suit is at the cleaners.”
“Mmmm… well…” sniffs the human rights hero,
“We might be able to help you with that $5,000 ticket.”
And I wonder—who, like me, can feel
the robotic hand clenching? The caging
of the human spirit by house arrest
top candidate for Crime of the Century.
In the distance, I hear the clank
of armies, hear the howl of Holocaust
ghosts, agonized, moaning:
“Not again! NO! Never again!”
Voices stuck on eternal rewind.
“I don’t think the virus can live on cash,”
I said, watching a nervous man buying groceries.
“No it lives on credit at three percent interest,”
he said with a chuckle. I laughed,
but couldn’t help feeling it was gallows humour,
jackboot-marching us into a future where
our homes are solitary confinement cells
with wall-to-wall movies. “It’s a future
that accepts no cash or credit cards,” warned
Naomi Klein, “where our every move is trackable
and traceable.” Today’s fascism marches not
in crisp black uniforms but invisibly,
in the antiseptic chains of ones and zeroes.
The great Beast of Revelations lurches
toward its global coup, the human spirit
a dandelion crushed beneath robotic boots.
Don’t underestimate that green insurgent.
We’ve seen it split open pavement, deploy
its yellow parasols on long milky necks
and carpet a dead field with new sunlight
on a morning untouched by death.
- Storm Year
The year crept in rainy
and feline, black as lung tar
as if you could feel the snarl
crouching in the hedges.
Now that we have banished demons
and angels, debunked water diviners
and spirit mediums, we are more afraid
than ever. Lived apart from the wild
too long to recall the sinuous
darkness we breathe awake.
But it’s not about us anymore,
if it ever was. Gaia is awake,
and unlike us, doesn’t discriminate.
All who tasted the banquet then shat out
plastic in my oceans, raided forests
for toilet paper or stripped mountains
to bare rock, all will feel me roar.
Your poor and your starving, your weak
and your powerful, all will feel me roar.
Do not dare close your ears to me.
I can feel the garden soil tense, waiting.
©2020 Sean Arthur Joyce