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I hear you’re to be our Commander In Chief,
Some heard it with joy but I heard it with grief,
Are the legislators you hold in tow
A congress or Reichstag? I no longer know.

Not for myself do I sound an alarm,
I won’t resist you; I’ll do you no harm,
My forgiveness I withheld not from you,
For what you’ve done and for what’s to ensue.

Conscience demands that for you I should pray,
A command I complied with on this very day,
Advanced was the night ‘ere I finally lay down,
Sleep were an unattainable noun.

I saw a woman in effigy hang,
Your minions stood by, celebrated and sang,
I thought they’d drink a toast to your health,
In glasses they’d bought with redistributed wealth.

I saw a woman’s head in a noose,
And knew iniquity was let loose,
The woman whose head was in effigy rent,
She should have been our Vice President.

I saw your gendarmes patrolling the street,
And saw my country her conqueror greet,
Saw the young men now marched off to war,
And saw women weep for the children they bore.

I saw my country when she was seized,
By soldiers who with themselves appeared pleased,
Like a damsel, she was dragged to a hill,
By men about to do their own will.

I saw the damsel on wooden blocks nailed,
Crosswise arranged, and I saw her impaled,
I saw your gendarmes guarding the hill,
And crowds the vicinity starting to fill.

I saw the damsel struggle for breath,
Unable to move, now resigned to her death,
I heard her writhing, and heard a last gasp,
I knew that life had slipped from her grasp.

I heard babies cry and I heard women scream,
As if now concluding a horrible dream,
The shedding of blood having seen, and the tears
I wondered if I had lived too many years.

Then the Poet, from his little place on the hill,
As if overcoming weakness of will,
Stayed till the morning, then home he returned,
A damsel’s grim fate at last having learned.

His room having entered, he fell to the ground,
For all he had seen his exhaustion was sound,
With heaven he wrestled, entreated and pled,
A damsel to see lifted up from the dead.

56 Responses

  1. You are an epic poet John; this is amazing !!

  2. Thanks, swannie, that’s why I love you. I was sitting here thinking, “well, this one’s bombing.”

    Open thread of course, you don’t have to be poetry critics over here; just comment on anything.

  3. He hired Samantha “Monster” Powers to oversee the state dept.

    “Specifically, Power is listed as a member of PEBO’s “agency review team” on national security. The even more interesting wrinkle — Power is focused on the State Department, which the aforementioned Ms. Clinton will likely soon helm.’

    courtesy Ten Guri Women – Nov archives.

  4. Loved the poem.

  5. Is this the same poem you posted then took down yesterday?

    I ran out to get a pizza and it was gone when I got back.

  6. Thanks, chay. I wrote this *before* I heard about the apparent arson of Gov. Palin’s church. Perhaps the images here won’t seem quite so outrageous now.

    Anyhow, it’s an open thread so people can talk about anything.

  7. John your words leave me mesmerized.

  8. Definitely a nightmare. Unfortunately, it is still there when we wake up.

  9. myiq– yeah, I took it down.

    That was the one where I commented that RD goes out for like two hours and the Confluence falls into complete anarchy. I threatened in jest to stage a coup and become a benevolent dictator.


  10. myiq2 – In case you missed it – I posted a comment about K.C. on your prior post.

  11. “Specifically, Power is listed as a member of PEBO’s “agency review team” on national security. The even more interesting wrinkle — Power is focused on the State Department, which the aforementioned Ms. Clinton will likely soon helm.’

    Can he make it more clear that he doesn’t trust Hillary. Why did he hire her then? Hillary wake up before it is too late!

  12. Would it be inappropriate for me to post one of mine ?? This reminds me a little of one I wrote a long time ago , not epic by any means but kind of in the same feeling realm ?

  13. swannie, you lifted my spirit so much that I owe you. You want to do it as a comment here?

    Afrocity, I was very moved by what you said as well; I find your mind to be quite trenchant.

  14. ok , if its bad just groan and go on to the next comment 😉 ..

    We speak the truth, but not “directly”
    We spill our guts but circumspectly
    We tell our tales to the velvet underground
    and hope they hear the muffled sounds
    What is the danger, what are the fears
    that causes all these “outback in the shanty tears”

    Somethings cant be spoken aloud
    might alert the unawakened crowd?
    Something happening here
    Cant say just yet, have but a moments care
    in intimate places we softly share
    wearing hobos faces

    I hate it when illusions turn to dust
    I weep buckets when the shining armour rusts..
    I wanted it so badly to be what I had hoped
    Sometimes these rapids in the flow
    Are sharp ends on which our dreams are torn
    Goddess knows of all the death throes
    Most cherished are the dreams we chose
    More dearly held , hardest to let go
    like a lover or friend
    whom we no longer know…

    I don’t drink and I don’t smoke….
    But hand me a glass and give me a toke…
    This loneliness is too hard to bear
    Without my friends to share my tears
    The sun’s gone out on another day
    I need my friends to help me find my way

    Makes me want to scream and holler
    dance and stomp and weep and wallow
    So even tho I don’t drink and I don’t smoke
    Hand me a glass and give me a toke

    And tell the truth in safe places
    Wearing hobos faces

  15. That’s really good, swannie.

  16. 🙂 Thank you, scrubs !!!.

  17. I have to go for a bit , sorry to poem on you and run yeeekks 😉


  18. If we prescind from the word ‘Goddess,’ which could get me into quite a metaphysical discussion here, I should have to say you have gifts as a poet. A lot of times I change the words around here and there because I thought of something that sounded good, but them some other words come to mind and I say, “this is better.”

    What were you writing about, meaning what made you write that, swanny?

  19. No Quarter has a good story up right now about the latest “meme”: that Blago is mentally unstable.


  20. Ok, this snow is making me crazy now. Off to get ready for work!

  21. on another note- someone threw a shoe at Bush in Iraq- check the NYT and BBC

  22. Obama’s choice of women leads me to question his judgment.

  23. It was a situation wherein an association of long standing was splitting up, because the ” group thinkers” were in charge and prohibiting the rest of us from speaking our minds by calling us out of order , or other things …
    Group think was taking the place of critical thinking ,

    , and it was a group of friends that had been together for a very long time , many years .. I would compare it to watching your friends and family become obots, and eventually those of us who were committed to what we thought was right , split off and formed our own group , and the group purpose changed from its original purpose , and just became a clique .
    It was sad …, those of us who left never went back ..

  24. swan, was it on a blog or web site or something?

    Anyway I’m glad you’re back. I meant to say you can be a poet.

    What I would do with something like that is let the thoughts mature and maybe rearrange some words and get the most perfect rhyme and meter. Anyway, that’s what I do with my own work. The poetry, so to speak, would age like fine wine. I hope you don’t mind me saying that.

  25. “I saw a woman in effigy hang,
    All while your minions celebrated and sang”

    That’s the truth; she was roasted. And now Blago is mentally unstable, just like Clinton was – periodically.

  26. Here’s the link to the Iraqi reporter throwing his shoes at Bush:

  27. swan, when you come back I’d like to ask your permission for something. I love some of the thoughts you express there and was wondering if I could maybe do something with them. I’d like to e-mail you by getting your e-mail from the queue. Would that be okay?

  28. Hmm, why would a link to a reporter throwing his shoes at Bush be in moderation?

  29. Jmac, you’re not in moderation as far as I’m concerned. Links go there all the time. I’ll try to get it out but if not just keep trying.

  30. Okay, John, trying again – link to Shoe throwing:

  31. Jmac on 2008/12/14 at 4:17pm Said:

    Here’s the link to the Iraqi reporter throwing his shoes at Bush:

    Here’s the link to the Iraqi reporter throwing his shoes at Bush: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttwpFIulpMM&eurl=http://www.redstate.com/?False

  32. Jmac I think your comment is up but not in the same order as it was in the queue. Multiple links tend to go into moderation here automatically. I personally am anything but a heavy handed moderator. Let me know if that’s okay and if you have any more problems.

  33. I need to buy some Christmas gifts…I will be back

  34. The only “postive” thing for me as someone with no talent whatsoever, is being able to appreciate those who do. This includes the writers and poets who contribute daily to this blog.

  35. I won the Lotto!

    $10 whoopin’ bucks worth.

    I’m gonna go trade my winning ticket for some beer and (what else?) another ticket.

  36. PJ:

    You could always be a bad example

    Like me

  37. Someone lobbed a pair of shoes at W today. Too bad it wasn’t one of those WMDs they couldn’t find. Only kidding, of course.

  38. myiq: It would take me two lifetimes to equal you in that department. And I hate clowns!

  39. That beats me, myiq. The only time I ever won anything was I think a free sandwich at McDonald’s.

  40. Pat J,

    I don’t know about talent but I know about critics, and I know that you can be a rigorous one indeed, so to get a compliment like that from you tells me that perhaps I passed the test after all.

    Thank you so much.

  41. scrubs57 – thanks for posting that link. I can’t stopping laughing. Since when does having a lot of hair mean your are crazy 🙂

  42. Re: Con Con
    Date : Sun, Dec 14, 2008 10:13 AM

    FROM: PRINCIPLED POLICY BLOG. WATCH THE 4 VIDEOS. http://www.principledpolicy.com/?p=508

  43. Who put the snowflakes coming down? They are supper annoying no matter how cool that five line applet is. I can’t read this site because of them. This is definitely website 101 faux pas.

  44. Lots of hair is a definite sign of insanity, low morals and the lack of virility.

  45. Oh yeah, new thread up!

  46. Apparently Hillary is working 16 hours a day trying to get ready for the SOS job. I guess she is working on that HOME legislation she said she was going to introduce.

    Is it too late to back out of the deal she made with Obama?

  47. I like the snow!

  48. delurking…Johninca, what can I write that hasn’t already been posted. Awesome talent.
    You too Swan!
    It’s so nice to lurk at a place that is hone to so many brilliant and talented people. For awhile, before this blog started, almost a year ago, I thought that intelligent discourse was dead. I’ve been here daily ever since RD set it up, and I’ve never been disappointed. Thanks to all of you!

  49. Thanks for explaining the snow. I kept clicking out — was afraid it was a virus.

  50. While your meter and rhyme may not be perfect, Swannie, I find the message of your poem far more nuanced and subtle than the sophomoric sledge hammer of other poets I’ve read elsewhere.

    I nominate you for Confluence Poet Laureate.

  51. Absolutely Johninca 🙂 sounds like fun 🙂 Thank you for asking 🙂 I am flattered now and blushing ..

  52. Absolutely Johninca 🙂 sounds like fun 🙂 Thank you for asking 🙂 I am flattered now and blushing ..

  53. Nell, on December 14th, 2008 at 6:50 pm Said:
    While your meter and rhyme may not be perfect, Swannie, I find the message of your poem far more nuanced and subtle than the sophomoric sledge hammer of other poets I’ve read elsewhere.

    I nominate you for Confluence Poet Laureate.

    NELL you are so sweet to nominate me hugs to you !!! And i am so flattered you like my writing !!
    ( do we have a POET LAUREATE ?? ) but if anyone deserves it it is Johninca. He is SO much more talented and prolific than i coud ever hope to be ,and my efforst are sporadic and unstructured .
    Thanks everyone for all the nice things you have said you all are too kind !!

    Love and hUGS

  54. Swannie–quantity does not trump quality. My vote for Confluence Poet Laureate still goes to you. That one (male) amateur poet thinks it is his prerogative to critique the work another (female) amateur poet is the height of hubris (IMHO).

    I look forward to reading more of your poetry.

  55. Nell,

    I am presently the poet laureate here, but I do not hold that position jealously; it were Riverdaughter’s alone to bestow or take away.

    I wish to let your criticism of me stand, while clarifying one thing. It is not my prerogative to critique Swanspirit. I love Swanspirit. She asked my opinion and I gave it; that is all.

    You look forward to reading her poetry. So do I. You read it because I asked her to post it here, on my thread.

    You will have your wish, which is also my wish, to see more of her work– if she allows me to post it.

    You will never find me upset at any fair critique of my work, or at your opinion of the superiority of Swan’s work. For me, the only devastating critique is the reader’s silence. –john

  56. I do not see where Swanspirit asked for anyone’s critique of her poetry, only permission to post it.

    John, I find your constant need for approval of your poetic efforts rather sad, but if Riverdaughter has designated you Poet Laureate, so be it. That’s her prerogative. Frankly, if I were RD, I’d find your worshipful adulation downright creepy.

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