Category Archives: Social comment
Men long have fought for their flying flags,
They have died those flags to save;
Their long staves rest on the shattered breast,
They are planted deep in the grave.
Now the world’s new flag is streaming wide,
Far-flying wide and high.
It shall cover the earth from side to side
As the rainbow rings the sky.
The flag of the day when men shall stand
For service, not for fight;
When every race, in every land,
Shall join for the world’s delight;
When all our flags shall blend in one,
And all our wars shall cease,
‘Neath the new flag, the true flag,
The rainbow flag of peace.
~Charlotte Perkins Gilman~
Mother Theresa cutting through the bullshit…
It’s we who, with our exclusion and rejecting, push our brothers and sisters to find refuge in alcohol and become drunks. They drink to forget the deprivation of their lives.
Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand.
I saw them from our car today,
As I was passing by—
The women toilers!
Mexican, Negro, white,
Working in the cotton fields
From dawn of day till night.
I wonder what the recompense
Of toil like theirs—
Fulfillment, joy, sweet peace?
Or just the dull despair
Of aching weariness,
That never knows surcease?
I wonder, oh, I wonder how
In God’s great plan,
I shall make restitution for
The joy, the ease, the time
Spent in such idle ways,
When these must wilt
Out in the hot sun’s blaze.
At night I see them
When I try to pray;
God help them to be kind
When they shall think of me,
Beloved, rested, gay—
As I was passing by their fields today!
~Grace Bowen Evans~
He wrote in the sand … the wind-blown sands
And the woman wept afresh,
But not a stone from the hundred hands
Was cast to bruise her flesh.
Not a deadly missile was sent
And the mob in twos and fours
Dispersed and down the street they went
Or gossiped in the doors.
The brave Christ blotted out the sign
Of all her sin and lust;
Obliterated each thin line
Traced in the roadside dust.
Later such mobs used spears to kill:
Lances and spikes and gall—
A wooden cross on a lonely hill
With a black sky over all.
But men have forged these modern days
New things for bringing pain
And they are skilled in all the ways
To grave sins deep and plain.
They cut their neighbor’s faults in flint,
Never in drifting silt,
And how they love the tinny glint
Of scabbard and of hilt.
~Jay G. Sigmund~
Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.
Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, ‘Nigger.’
I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That’s all that I remember.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Henry David Thoreau
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. Henry David Thoreau
Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. Henry David Thoreau
Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste to the sky as well as the earth! Henry David Thoreau
If gutter-puddles after rain
Can always look on high;
And even with a floor of mud,
Can have a roof of sky,
I never wonder any more
How man (a pool of blue)
Can at the bottom gather mire
And mirror Heaven, too.
I went to school with the tutor, Law,
A master severe and grim,
Who taught by the pain of the biting cane –
Yet I learned little of him.
I go to the school with the teacher, Love,
And my lightened eyes can see,
What the pain and the tears of the driven years
Could never reveal to me.
~C. V. Pilcher~
We have no land for which to fight
Except where Russia cracks the night.
This is your land, within your power.
We break the rock; you pluck the flower.
We build the roads on which you speed.
And when we strike for what we need
We learn at once how well you own
The press, the courts and every stone
Of every structure that we rear.
Say, what invaders shall we fear?
Why should we care out on the job
If you or others drive and rob?
We have no land for which to fight
Though all the world is ours by right.
We workers grimed with soot and mud
Have shed enough and more of blood.
Each office-building overhead
Is built on corpses of our dead.
We have no quarrel across the foam
But here within our jail, your home!
We give our pledge we shall not kill,
For ours the braver, kinder will.
But if you force us till we do,
It will be you, it will be you!
~Edward Ralph Cheyney~
I remember the bologna of my childhood,
And the bread that we cut with a knife,
When the children helped with the housework,
And the men went to work not the wife.
The cheese never needed a fridge,
And the bread was so crusty and hot,
The children were seldom unhappy
And the wife was content with her lot.
I remember the milk from the bottle,
With the yummy cream on the top,
Our dinner came hot from the oven,
And not from a freezer; or the shop.
The kids were a lot more contented,
They didn’t need money for kicks,
Just a game with their friends in the road,
And sometimes the Saturday flicks.
I remember the shop on the corner,
Where cookies for pennies were sold
Do you think I’m a bit too nostalgic?
Or is it….I’m just getting old?
The baths were taken in a #3 wash tub,
With plenty of rich foamy suds
But the ironing seemed never ending
As Mama pressed everyone’s ‘duds’.
I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore
Anorexia and diets weren’t heard of
And we hadn’t much choice what we wore.
Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And I think life was better enjoyed.