Mr President, by Gil Hoy

There is many
a living thing 

That doesn’t love
a wall. 

Like hunters, rabbits
and yelping dogs 

Like the pine trees
and apple orchards 

Like human beings–
Who aren’t cows– 

And quirky elves don’t
like them much either. 

The frozen-ground-
swells beneath can crack 

Even the strongest stone.
And there are too many gaps 

Between the stones
nonetheless. You can  

Rub your fingers rough
and raw by placing
and replacing 

The fallen stones.
Mr. President: 

I see you walking in the darkness.

An old, rough savage-stone 

 Firmly grasped in each
armed hand.  

Like an old hypothermic man
who is lost 

and cannot find his way

Like your crotchety, stubborn
neighbor beyond the hill.

Mr. President:

 Spring is coming.
Let’s walk the lines, 

Remove the walls
separating pines
and trees bearing fruit.

Mr. President:
Forget your father

He was so very wrong. 

Good walls, like selfish men,
make bad neighbors.  

..

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and semi-retired trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University under Professors Costello and Pinsky through its Evergreen program. Hoy previously received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared most recently in Chiron Review, The New Verse News, Ariel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Poetry24, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, I am not a silent poet, The Potomac, Clark Street Review and the penmen review.

Only Children, by Gil Hoy

Last night I dreamed
workers painting my house

Brought all of their children
to work in the morning

With brushes and buckets
of water, to wash and to clean

To scrub hundreds of faces,
like paintings on canvas,

That had appeared overnight
on the walls of my house.

Faces of crying children
in chain-link cages

Taken from their parents
by a cruel, callous man.

Black faces, white faces
yellow, red and brown

And the workers’ children
all the while washing
and scrubbing

But never hurting the faces.

And me, all the while looking on
with a growing awareness

of a feeling of shame
coming from deep inside.

 ..

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared (or will be appearing) most recently in Chiron Review, Ariel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Poetry24, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The Penmen Review, I am not a silent poet, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review

A Familiar Truth by Gil Hoy

For so long as the NRA
controls Congress

With its pumping

Mutant
Pecuniary
Poison
Lifeblood

Corrupting souls
Buying silence

Innocents will
continue to die

From high-powered
Weapons of War

Bought in America
like a bag of groceries
from a grocery store

While Wayne LaPierre
Scribbles his want list
for Republican

Bought and sold
baby-kissers counting
their bankroll gore.

If Congress had lead balls
in its hearts, brains
pelvis

If images of dead
school children grew
so palpable, so intimate

That their fever
opened a passageway

To eternity and back
Would the madness
Stop then?

Would lone wolves
Still sing their rancid
Noteless songs

A Witch’s Brew of shrill
staccato tempo

Tentwentythirtyfortyfifty
Pigeons  intheblinkofaneye

That numbed ears
don’t see anymore

That tastes forgotten
and too familiar
anyway.

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program.  Hoy received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.  He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared (or will be appearing) most recently in Chiron ReviewAriel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Poetry24, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The Penmen Review, I am not a silent poet, Clark Street Review and The New Verse News.

An Unjust Law by Gil Hoy

Can’t get that execution
out of my head, damn.

Took 26 minutes to kill
him, some new-fangled
poison not the usual,
a half-baked horror show.

Sour drugs flowed through
blue veins, the prisoner
strapped to a gurney gasped,
vacant eyes staring,

rattling,
nose snorting,
choking almost guttural–
like food stuck in your
windpipe
on and on, convulsions.

By all accounts, he was
a horrible savage man

25 years ago,
raped, tortured and killed
a young woman with child,

just married, still to live
and be enjoyed.

So nothing cruel or unusual
here, an eye for an eye,
a tooth for a tooth,
Lex talionis, as prophesied.

But this death, more
like a Macabre blunder
at a public square picnic
hanging from days of old,
when the man’s head
in the too-tight hemp noose
might come clean off.

Minute after lingering
minutes, following terrible
60 second minutes
Strangling from the inside,
a mammal gasps for breath.

Heard that his blood in the
crowd had to cover their ears
and wipe their tears from
soaked ashen faces,
I say listen up, after what he did.

If you agree, show the
video play-back to your son,
so he can see what we do,
Though slow suffocation
is not for the squeamish,
something to Hide?

Murder: premeditation
and unlawful killing,
the state does you one better,
premeditation and ceremony.
Who are we to tell

the state what to do,
sounds AOK to me.

Much ado about nothing.
Throw to hungry lions
crush them with fat elephants,
devoured by wild sweaty-toothed beasts
does the trick.
Tear them apart by Galloping horses,
burn him like an over-cooked
headless turkey for your Thanksgiving roast,
crucifixion, decapitation, boil until cooked.

Firing squad? Pass the loaded Gun
please. Stoning? A duplicitous
contest to see who casts the first
stone. Disembowelment, OK,
dismemberment, tie him to a
cannon and set the charge, so cool

your mouth just drips with blood
like a stale English Pudding.
Gas, hangings, electric chair,
That covers it.

But somewhere I read and
believed to the marrow, now
shaking terrified: Turn to him
the other cheek also, or we
will all be Toothless and Blind.

No one’s listening or caring
anymore.

Blood red Hearts disgorged on a
winding cobblestone trail that leads
to a distant dream.
That our eyes don’t hear anymore
and that tastes forgotten anyway.

 

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program.  Hoy received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.  He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared (or will be appearing) most recently in Chiron Review, Ariel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The Penmen Review, Clark Street Review and The New Verse News.

Memories by Gil Hoy

Their homes, cone-shaped wooden
poles covered with buffalo hides.
Set up to break down quickly
to move to a safer place.

She sits inside of one of them,
adorning her dresses, her family’s
shirts, with beads and quills.
Watches over her children, skins
cuts and cooks the buffalo meat, pounds
clothes clean with smooth wet river rocks.

When she sees the blue cavalry coming,
she starts to run again.
Is that what made America great,
back then?

African families working hard
on hot cotton farms. Sunrise to sunset,
six days a week. Monotony broken only
by their daily beatings, by their singing
of sad soulful songs. Like factories in fields,
dependent solely upon the demands
of cotton and cloth.

You could buy a man for a song, back then.
Is that what made America great,
once again?

There are swastikas in our schools today,
gay pride flags being burned. Whitelash.
While those in government spew anti-Muslim
venom, rant of white power.
As the old new man at the top
solemnly swears, he’ll make America
great again.

They say the full moon was bigger and brighter
last year than it’s been in 69 years.
Than it’s been since Jackie Robinson
played his first big league baseball game.

 

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and trial lawyer who is studying poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program.  Hoy received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.  He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared, most recently, in Ariel Chart, The Penmen Review, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, The New Verse News and Clark Street Review.