James Downs

137 bullets (a lament)
.
.
shots rang out…rang out…rang out

they have them cornered and shots
started ringing out…it was as if 13
fingers resting against 13 triggers
couldn’t hold back any more and so
shots rang out…rang out…rang out
.
no one even knew if they were alive
or dead inside
.
.JD

James Downs
5-23-15
(Cleveland car back-fires in front of
police department, a subsequent
100 officer chase…then 13 firing on
a cornered unarmed black couple)

Walt Whitman

image“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES

by James Downs

JDToo many people are paying no attention. Too much is going by in front of     them, because they, like everyone else, have busy lives. …But what is not understood is that the plans, the legislation, that are hidden in lies and disguising words, affects every single one of us in a concrete way…daily.
.
It is thought that politicians lie, that they all lie, that nothing they say means anything to us. First of all, they do not all lie. There are many good folk trying to serve us amidst those who want to manipulate us for their own gain. And what they say affects us every day. It just makes it harder to tell – more work on our part to find out who the honest people are – who the people are who want to serve us fairly and then really get out the vote for them.
.
Government is not inherently wrong. Just as brain surgery or teaching or plumbing are not inherently wrong professions. What is wrong are the selfish, greedy and yes lying people we have let get in office. When you have a loved one that may have to go under the knife on their brain, when you have school age children that are daily affected by teachers, when you need plumbing redone in your house, each of you are diligent, careful, check into what those people do for you.
.
So why do we take what our representative says without question, when we do not do so for any other person that serves us? When they downgrade their opponent and tell lies about them, when they tell us very little about what they are truthfully doing, why do we let that stand?
.
The “Emperors of Power (representative, church leader, talk show host, media giant, corporate rich) have no clothes” because the truth is there to see…and so often we ignore it. It is time to stop that. It is time to demand accountability. It is time for us to take nothing at face value. We have a perfectly good internet with which to search for other sources, sources that can counterbalance what is not explained.
.
And really important… It is time for us to stop being misled by folks that want to play on that one hot button issue that makes us go blind with fear and keeps us from seeing all the other issues that are important. We might find that we have been voting against our own best interests all this time, against what is good for our families, for the economy and for the environment, et cetera.
.
The Emperors of Power have no clothes and it is time for us, like that one young brave boy, to stand up and say that is so. Time to demand the accountability of them that we demand of all the other people that serve us, each and every day.

Merge with the river
by James Downs

Available at Poetic Matrix Titles