America, your shadow casts a lengthy darkness where
it should serve as a lamp to guide the blind;
and those enemies you imagine beyond your hallowed gates,
fermenting with opportunities to express their angst
and shake you from your complacent sleep,
why do you seek to destroy them, wishing them dead?
Does not a worthless and weak opponent serve
to weaken your own resolve and reduce your own strength
while encouraging the illusion that you are omnipotent?
Wouldn’t the best defense against the Red Menace,
rather than castrating the Left Wing,
been to strengthen democracy,
live up to your stated ideals,
proving by example the fallacy of your evil foes claims?
Surely, America, you are more than empty words
backed by full missle tubes, aimed at any dissenting voices.
Do you believe in equality? In the sanctity of free speech?
Wouldn’t the best course be to act
as if your sacred principles were the truth?
America, your hypocrisy is that you don’t believe in yourself;
and yet, your jingo jangle rings across the globe,
your corporations seek to spread your gospel
laced with the poison of underlying greed.
There is a better way to defeat your enemies.
Make them no longer your enemies.
To fight the war of proof,
using weapons that defeat your message,
and ulterior motives,
is to lose your self,
and without that, America,
you are just another fascist regime
that supports self-righteousness
because it entertains your illusions of profit,
at least while they are expedient.
America, yours is not a national campaign —
it is a return to the high ground that is required,
and that elevated place knows no borders
but shares its light
rather than casting a shadow.
09 JUN 2004
Pondering John Kerry’s use of Langston Hughes to convey a message of sorts, I thought I would write a poem focusing on what I think Kerry’s message should be.