by Eleanor Goldfield
On a jungle wall, in embittered scrawl –
these words shouted out to the fall.
We are the unwilling
lead by the unqualified
doing the unnecessary
for the ungrateful
in the cradle of civilization –
savage acts from the “civilized”
is this where we die?
on a dirt road – kicking up dust –
boots on the ground –
how deathly sweet the sound –
on a city street – blood, sweat and tears – repeat
an old song uncle sam used to sing –
oh say can you see –
hands up –
War is the empire’s game –
at home and away.
will you stand for the anthem – take pride in our shame –
do you identify with their lies –
hate who they say to –
see your reflection in a justice rejection
give up your right –
to think –
for the warmth – of a blood soaked flag –
and a ragged constitution, a sick institution
war is the empire’s trade –
slavery never ended –
genocide now an export, by proxy, amended –
the offended –
just targets in digital frames –
miles away – surveil, point and shoot –
do they know that this ain’t a game?
But war IS the empire’s game
the empire’s gain –
blood soaked dollars and black gold hollows
no one wins in the end –
empires fall –
Who’ll build a memorial to peace?
Who can remember it?
on black granite walls, a solemn attempt –
to shadow contempt –
to polish the pride –
tarnished by lies, a truth’s suicide –
and the young ones who died –
line after line, name after name,
each story different yet too much the same –
the unfortunate sons, the forgotten ones –
remembered at baseball games –
where young minds remind to remain – in line.
And thousands of miles away –
another young mind – an Other – young mind –
sees these others toeing a line –
of imperialist homicide –
and wonders –
That why is a cry, rising – harmonizing violence –
from us to them – and the others over there, our brothers coz we share –
more with the enemies of state – than we’ll ever share – with Our state.
I mean, just look at the state of things.
what happens in war never stays there –
our streets bloody mirrors –
a cop’s ready finger
and bodies – cold as ICE
the chain of command that leaves freedom banned – and we –
with nothing but fear in our hands –
begging for more
told to admire the mire
cherish the chains
but The mighty always seem so –
until they fall –
the throne always so sturdy –
till it tips.
And never will the foundations of empire quake –
till we move.
we children of empire, we dissident souls –
in OUR name these wars are proclaimed –
but that’s not what I want on my grave –
I want change –
give me a hell yeah if you’re with me –
give me a hell yeah if you’re with me!
Coz THAT’s what it takes –
I can not end this – endless war –
but we –
can rattle thrones.
Yeah I’m calling for a STRIKE –
if war is the empire’s game – don’t play.
If war is the empire’s gain – don’t you pay.
what if they held a war –
and nobody came?