Phil Ochs Told ‘Em (inspired by Plato Told by e.e. cummings)

Henry david thoreau told ‘em
Harriet beecher stowe told ‘em
Frederick douglass told “em
W.e.b.dubois told ‘em
Upton sinclair told ‘em
Ida tarbell told ‘em
Carl sandburg told ‘em
John steinbeck told ‘em
Martin Neimoller told ‘em
Mohandas gandhi told ‘em
Martin luther king told ‘em
Nelson Mandela told ‘em
Desmond tutu told ‘em
Thich quang duc told ‘em
Phil ochs told ‘em

Folk singers
The oppressed of every race
Sexual orientation
And creed told ‘em

It took an unseen virus right up the nose
And into the upper respiratory system to tell ‘em
That a tangled web of beliefs
Over time
In many places
Among disparate groups
can be harmful even fatal if swallowed

Paul Cech has been writing poetry since 1970. Several of his poems have been published as Saturday Poems in the Pittsburgh- Post Gazette and the Thomas Merton Center of Pittsburgh has published several of his poems in NewPeople. Read other articles by Paul.