Preludes, 2011

(for Bradley Manning)

In another world they do not put a man to death for asking questions: assuredly not. … When my sons grow up…, O my friends…, I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing. …

— Socrates (from Plato’s Apologia)

For speaking truth to power… a cold cell.
Naked now…, and yet, they fear you!
You watch a spider weave, perhaps recall
The crime scene, viewed on a monitor:

Men like puppets dancing in the dust, fired
On by U.S. drones; and the button-pushers
Laughing, ten thousand miles away—life reduced
To video porn, sordid and crazily robotic.

The robots shop, vote, fuck, kill, do business,
Take meetings, squawk endlessly democracy,
Free markets; get replaced—interchangeable—
In the Machine… until a voice says “No.”

And the house of cards collapses; the dream
Recedes; the dark, stark landscape, revealed:
A people bought for bread and circuses—
Mostly circuses—more silhouettes than people.

But the voice remains: Socrates in the agora;
Christ among the Pharisees;
Galileo Galilei; Paine and Thoreau;
Gandhi and King—questioning, exposing.

Now in the shackled world, a moan goes up
From the well of our debasement: Cease
And desist: the depredations; soul-murdering;
Earth-murdering. … The implacable voice arising.

Out of the chrysalis of what has been,
A global being struggles to be free:
To extricate its wings from the wax of retributions;
To save the dying planet; to balance and revere.

Shia, Sunni; Christian, Jew; Buddhist, Hindu, pagan;
Male and female—fledging to resurge anew:
Out of the yearning cauldron of suffering
And endurance—diamond-cut humanity.

Poet-playwright-journalist-fictionist-editor-professor, Dr. Gary Corseri has published work in Dissident Voice, The New York Times, Village Voice, CommonDreams and hundreds of other publications and websites worldwide. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. Gary can be reached at Read other articles by Gary.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Angela said on March 12th, 2011 at 4:30pm #

    Gary as always reminds us of those who tried to make humanity understand our way can be the wrong way:

    “But the voice remains: Socrates in the agora;
    Christ among the Pharisees;
    Galileo Galilei; Paine and Thoreau;
    Gandhi and King—questioning, exposing

    I believe I witnessed a revolution, military control and now I am watching a town in Japan become totally covered in seconds by water, debris, etc.
    Oh, and there may be a nuclear meltdown.

    Scary times

  2. Don Hawkins said on March 13th, 2011 at 4:23am #

    ABC News’ Tahman Bradley reports:

    President Obama just could not wait for spring weather to arrive.

    For the second week in a row, the most powerful man in the world stepped away from the White House to hit the golf course.

    Men like puppets dancing in the dust,

  3. Vic Anderson said on March 13th, 2011 at 1:49pm #

    Indeed, with a solar panel on every roof and an electric car in
    every garage. Then begin Manning the Barackades!