Through Ferguson’s Eyes (1st attempt)

Those with guns

get sons.

Those without

go without.


Beautiful brown hands

are raised,

shots are fired,

hot life runs out,

is not gathered again.


Does the blood run

right to his home,

avoiding the carpet,

to tell his mother he’s dead,

like in the Colombian tale?


It seems to have sent a trickle

to every house

in the neighborhood

(‘these are the people

in your neighborhood’).


Every single citizen

bears a single drop

to the scene of the


shaking with fear and horror.


They pool the drops together

into a great red weeping

question mark

that smears into a raging

unreadable scream.


This is the way the world bends


to birth another enmity –

and fire must follow

as surely as tears.


Sooner or later,

weeping and gnashing,

rioting and looting,

rubber bullets and

tear gas reactions too.


Shadowy masked figures

loom out of smoke, heavily armed

and blue-lit like bad retro sci-fi,

a corny dystopia

not funny now at all.


Those with guns

get sons.

Those without

go without.


White skin is beautiful too,

but it’s harder to see

right now – it just looks


absent of color.


Good cops exist,

and peaceful protesters,

but naked animosity

runs deep in all of us

and very near the surface.


No one really knows

what’s going on,

but we blog and tweet

and like and share

to show we (appear to) care.


We don’t know

what we care about

or care about

what we know –

it’s just a show.


But we do feel,

and in our better moments

we try to follow wherever it leads,

to whatever little truth

it bleeds.


Those with guns

get sons.

Those without

go without.


Or so it seems

when we’re living

hellish dreams,

where power never left

its hallowed whitewashed halls.



protest # 173

thank God for Immanuel!
thank God for Immanuel!
go ahead,
bind and gag,
bind and gag.
thank God for Immanuel!
I’ll shout it through
the dirty rag.
all the gulfing chasms between us
bridged by a yearning star burning near!
I’ll die on a choked and muffled
praise in my mouth
thank God for Immanuel!
and you’ll think I begged
for my life.

but Life begged for you.