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Archive for May 4th, 2017

May4LN-blog480Image of 4 young people, martyrs of the Kent State Massacre

By Emma Rosenthal
(bold text by Neil Young)

“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I heard the drumming
Four dead in Ohio.”

Tin soldiers are marching again
bayonets pointed at the multitude
Nicaragua
Vietnam
Grenada
Cambodia
Iraq
Afghanistan
El Salvador
Chile
Kent State
Jackson State

Tin soldiers point their weapons at the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so the tin soldiers, eyes glazed and without vision
at the command of the generals take aim
point their state of mind
their point of view
the eyes of the state
the words of the state
the will of the state

and

four lives hit the floor
thirteen lives hit the floor
one hundred lives hit the ground
three thousand lives are swallowed by the dust
one hundred lives disappear behind prison walls
two million lives are swallowed by the state
six million lives are burned at the stake
are thrown into ovens
are tossed into ditches
are chained to the gates are lost for the ages
are hidden in attics and temples
are thrust behind the guns
are transformed into tin soldiers
are lulled into passivity
are hiding behind night clubs
this year’s fashions
the evening news that tells you nothing
the elections no one votes in
the television that doesn’t tell you your story
the latest horror movie about government conspiracy

But it’s just a story so don’t worry
it could never happen
someone would say something
and the government would never destroy a whole town
a whole village
just ask the indigenous of the Americas
Mai Lai
Love Canal
Three Mile Island
Santiago
Baghdad
South Central

CIA drug sales while whole generations are thrown into jail
in the war against drugs
unless the drug can fund the war against the rising multitudes
and incarcerate a whole village here at home.

 

“Four dead in Ohio”
“Four dead in Ohio”
“What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
How could you run when you know?”

Could you watch her tiny form as it fell
could you call to the heavens and pray for her vision
to continue to dwell amongst us
could you watch her spirit as it lingered for a few seconds
as it rose to the clouds and left us forever
four dead
ten dead
hundreds dead
thousands dead
millions dead.

What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls sound like?
What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls feel like?
What wealth have we lost
as the tin soldiers march and mark their territory in the blood of the forgotten?
Where are the paintings?
the stories
the poems
the discoveries
the cures
the embraces
the children running in the streets
playing amongst burned out cars, bombed out buildings
and land mines
that mark the territory and say
don’t walk here
don’t tread on this free soil
it has been apprehended from you
it is no longer a field of grain and sustenance
it is a land of horror and devastation?

“What would you do if you found her dead on the ground?
How could you run when you know?”

And when they catch you in the cross hairs of their high powered rifles
or in the cross hairs of a phone tap and the clicks on the line get louder
or your mail starts arriving already opened for you
or a stack of evidence is piled up against you for a crime you did not commit
for a crime that may not even be a crime

Will you run?

Will you name names? Elia Kazan

Will you rot in jail or twist and turn at the hands of your torturers
at the executioner’s swing of the ax or turn of the knob

Dalton Trumbo
Julius and Ethyl
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ashata Shakur
Mummia Abu Jamal.

Where will you go?

Will you hide out in suburbia?
will you pack you brief case and kiss your vacant wife?
will you pack his vacant brief case with tuna fish sandwiches on white bread
and mayo and cut off the crusts for him
and be his vacant wife?
will you scream about having your own life
but never really get one?
will you cry behind the wheel of the Mercedes Benz
you used to croon about with Janis Joplin
and swear you’d never become what you are today?

Will you sit with your friends and insist that it’s all just too far away
to do any thing about?
and remember her broken body as her red blood
spilled onto the pavement
and left her pale and lifeless
and forget that you ran because it was
too close

It isn’t too far away
it’s right here
it isn’t gone
it hasn’t moved
the tin soldiers are poised and waiting to attack
their eyes are glazed over with the threads of disbelief
with the fog of discontent
with the need to belong
which is like food for the hungry

They are poised and ready
they are in your back yard or the park by your home
what would you do?
she is lying on the ground
will you hurl her into the bushes of your memory?

Will she rot behind the azaleas and the camellias?
will you bury her in peat
and water her daily
and let everyone tell you what at beautiful garden you have
while you forget that she is even there?

Will you fight?
speak your mind against the multitudes of the opiated?
will you raise your voice in protest to the destruction of the sacred
or will you run and hide and pretend you never knew?
pretend it was all about the next top album and sex and who had the best stash
or will you stand still and let them build a monument to the veterans
of the destruction on the graves of those who died
that day many years ago?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you stand still over her body
while the guards circled and dug her grave and planted new grass
and erected a monument to their own perpetuity

How could you?

How could you not say something
were the gun pointed at you?
or was the next technological innovation
the next breath you wanted to breath?

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?
have they taken you hostage behind the picket fence of your imagination?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you hide from the destruction all around you
and bury your life in the television of the visionless?

Tin soldiers point their weapons ant the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so your eyes glaze and are without vision

The command of the generals takes aim
points their state of mind
at your state of mind

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?

Do you tell your self
it’s just a story so don’t worry?
it could never happen
someone would say something?

 

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