Shelley in the Village

Slaves of America: wherefore gaze into the
Soulless screen from birth unto death, and
From dawn to disintegrating light? Wherefore
Love not your own flesh and look upon your
Neighbor with fear and the bitterest hate?

Wherefore sleep, while with your own bread in
Agony earned, millions are slaughtered by the
Angels of unconscionable doom? Wherefore in
Insouciance lie when health care is sold as if it
Were a bag of trinkets? Have ye public education,

Single-payer, laws, or jobs? Have ye communities,
Unions, or leisure? The soul ye discard, another
Eats, the mind ye abandon another defiles; the
Doom ye know yields the power of the kleptocrat,

For when the night comes softly, the shackles are
Duly placed on the limbs of ye; wherefore meekly lie
Down in submission like a well-trained dog while

The country’s wealth is plundered by a pack of
Savages, nay wild cannibals? Wherefore read lies
Penned by the devil, and cannot think, cannot feel,
And cannot see? Wherefore wage war with the

Opposite sex and embrace not love’s eternal bower,
While books are burned, children are tortured, and
Solidarity abandoned, to kiss the foot of Satan, and
To prostrate your soul at the altar of untrammeled
Anarchy?

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.