Our Pond Is Dying

American Society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.

— Henry Adams, in a letter to Royal Cortissoz, art critic for the New York Herald Tribune, September 20, 1911

Nothing would fundamentally change if elected president.

—  Joe Biden, HuffingtonPost, June 19, 2019

The silence is gone, replaced by constant
Chatter and Twitter, but the fundamentals
Still apply as time and pandemics go by.
We’ve got two parties but one ownership,
The richest who run the American enterprise,
Control what it was founded for, buying and
Selling, from the South’s plantations to New
England’s mill towns and the West’s Silicon
Valley, the business of our business on the
Land we took by the gun and rule by the myths
Of democracy, exceptionalism and a city on the
Hill we never intended to build for the people.
That once lofty talk gave way to spectacle
And distraction for citizens transformed into
Jabbering consumers and gossips, clowns
Of a civilization tired and drained of its
Humanity and spiritual striving, celebrated
By the likes of Whitman for its energy and
Pride, for the decency of its expectations,
Now reduced so its noblest dream envisions
The lesser of two evils as its highest office.
Our pond has been contaminated and
Corrupted, its biggest frogs croak the
Ugly sounds of humans lacking the
Imagination to envision and pursue
Life liberated from the claws of the
Evils that poisoned our pond and the
The bigger pond we’re part of.

George Salamon lives in St. Louis, MO, where he did not grow up. Read other articles by George.