[OPE-L] Poetry

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Wed Jun 07 2006 - 19:37:41 EDT

Does anyone on the list, in addition to Cyrus, write poetry?
In solidarity, Jerry


     Weekend Edition
      June 3 / 4, 2006

      The Caged Bird and the Attorney General

      A half-digested ration in the belly,
      A half-broken body on the bone,
      A half-beaten word on the beak-
      The caged-bird is a mere half,
      The birdcage is the other half.
      We need to ask Mr. Darwin:
      Is this mutation?
      Is this mutation?

      A crowd of excited primates in the wild act: "We Support Our Troops!"
      A row of bumper stickers in a plush neighborhood react: "We Support
Our Troops!"
      Hello, Mr. Darwin!
      Is this evolution?
      Is this evolution?

      * * *

      The cage is the melody,
      The bird is the echo,
      Now, music is our foe!

      The cage is the verse,
      The bird is the voice,
      Now, poetry is our foe!

      The cage is the face,
      The bird is the mirror,
      Now, beauty is our foe!

      We lashed the Earth,
      We thrashed the Heaven: - (we put mouth in God's words),
      We faked the freaking facts-big time.
      Now, God is our foe!

      Do we need a Mr. Einstein or a Mr. Gödel
      To measure the void and disgrace?

      We feed the cage,
      The cage feeds the bird-365-24-7
      In Abu Ghraib or Camp X-ray or who knows where;
      And liberty is made the battered wife of cowardice at home
      Where the heart is wiretapped, the mind is wiretapped -
      dignity is wiretapped:
      - (They search the heart to seize the love;
      They ban the thought to bar the mind;
      They hack the soul to halt the body!) -

      They kill the goose that lay the golden egg!

      Do we need a Mr. Homer or a Mr. Shakespeare
      To recount the tragedy?

      * * *

      A half-rationed meal in the belly,
      A half-shaken pride in the bone,
      A half-naked pledge on the beak,
      And enough rage packed in the chest for the Day of Judgment.

      - (Here the bird wilts without the sky,
      There the sky withers without the bird.) -

      The bird has no currency, no credit, no clue, no conviction;
      The bird doesn't read the lies or the truths or the trivia in
      the New York Times;
      The bird has no pretense, no defense, no constitutional protection.

      * * *

      "ALL RISE!!"-A commanding voice orders through the loudspeaker:
      And ALL is the bird-sad, silent, and solitary!
      - Standing before the judge and the Attorney General
      In an off-the-sight, off-the-mind, off-the-shelf rendition of

      "Is the bird oblivious as to the cause of her confinement?"
      -The judge asks nervously;
      "Your Honor:-we certainly hope so;"
      "Your Honor:-we think this alone should be enough for indictment,"
      Replies jolly-good, smelling-blood Herr von Attorney General!

      The case was closed,
      The cage was grabbed, Abu-Ghraib-ed, and bulldozed,
      The bird was nabbed from memory,
      The sky is vanished six feet under,
      The birds didn't surrender!
      The birds didn't surrender!

      Cyrus Bina is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics and
Management at the University of Minnesota at Morris. Email:

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