Two poems by Ingrid Bruck

What you do to them, you do to me

I went to view the 87 page shooter’s manifesto
but social media had deleted it.
Should I accept this for the supposed greater good?
What are the ethics of depriving me a view
of the grist of a hate mongering document,
purged from the internet, forced underground.
Being sent there could co-opt its appeal
for unhappy young men,
weak and susceptible to lure.
I can understand the shooter
wants to play the internet,
wants to trawl for white killer recruits.
When did government get the right
to treat us as brainless fools?
When did we let go of the right
to decide for ourselves?
When did We the People vanish?


100 Muslim Massacre

“Headlong his gallop
on knee-tight held horses.
Headlong his hot charge
mad for mad massacre.”


Killer, you were mad for mad massacre
(like Aneirin told us in year 590 AD):
fifty New Zealanders dead, fifty more shot,
Muslims of all ages,
children, an old grandfather

Killer, you, a white supremacist crusader,
posted a 87 page manifesto
rage, rage against the dying of the light.
You will not claim a martyr’s death prematurely,
will not go gentle.
You, young man of 28, a bereaved son
missing the father of 49 he lost to cancer,
how dare you misdirect the words of Dylan Thomas

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says you brought evil
to an island of peace and tolerance,
vows never to speak your name.
Brendan Tarrant, she enacted a new gun law in six days
and social media took down your internet posts

Killer, you trapped your victims
on a desert of raw gunshot wounds.
You gamed and trained in chat and meme,
pandered your innocence
on the world wide web.
Remorseless Muslim slayer,
memorial posters proclaim, We Are They

How did you lose contact with butterflies?
There is power in the kiwi silver fern,
it lights the opera house in Sydney,
bigger than you’ll ever know.
My Aotearoa friend tells me she cries again
when she see this photo of condolence,
the fern unfurls, cups, holds her in silver silence

  • After: Dylan Thomas & Audrey Lourde:

 Dylan Thomas – “Do not go gentle into that good night” &
“rage, rage against the dying of the light “
Audrey Lourde, “I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds”

Rap Me Under, by Ingrid Bruck

Trump fanatics around here
make me wanna loose my head.

Walk in the woods
you meet local thugs,

the gun toting kind
with Make America Great in mind.

They gather weekends for gun shoots,
automatic weapons discharge instead of bird hoots,

rifles and revolvers repeat fire.
KKK gets into shape to make nice,

those makers of strange fruit next door,
sometimes, I don’t wanna live here no more.

Lowing cows, birdsong, hum of bees in my garden,
in the cacophony of gunfire, my ears harden.


Ingrid Bruck lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania, a landscape that inhabits her poetry, she protests American gun madness. Her poetry appears at 
I Am Not A Silent Poet has published some of her protest poems.

Free Woman, by Ingrid Bruck

After Langston Hughes
Let America be America again,
Where sheiks turn the firehouse into a temple
Where wearing a turban won’t get you shot
And a man slapped to the floor doesn’t get his ribs kicked
Let America be America again
A science museum turned into a classroom where Chinese artisans craft
Where visiting the zoo isn’t for the bear eating the preacher
And that preacher ain’t no geek in the corner wearing a dunce cap
Let America be America again,
Where children sleek as rabbits climb the jungle gym
Hang upside down on monkey bars,
Walk balanced on top of a fence rail
Slight and slim, they run its length unafraid of falling 
As I once did on a fallen oak over a stream
Let America be America again,
Where a girl jeered by boys as a slut
Claims her place in the world as a woman,
Owns her own body and sex
Goes alone in the woods to pick mayflowers,
spring gems hidden in seams of brown leaves
Picks silver words in sunlight from wild white pigeons,
And after a firefly flashes, uncovers the tremble of dark
Ingrid Bruck lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania, a landscape that inhabits her poetry, she protests all abuse of women. Her poetry appears at 

Backtalk by Ingrid Bruck

Besotted love birds, they entered,
arms wrapped around each other.
He kept his hands on her in the library, 
her body molded to his. 
They cruised up and down aisles
clasped like tandem trailers, stitched together,
he could have been her shadow. 
It was Darlin’ this, Honey that, and Sweetheart,
I wondered if the man knew her name.
She pulled away, he resisted. 
His hand slid quick as a snake to her shoulder, 
clutched her neck, compliance assured
with the steel of possession. 
I did a double take, watched more closely.
“Let’s check out a movie,” the man announced.
They spoke in silent gazes. 
He gave her a wordless look, frozen, she stared back. 
“Were they lovers so immersed in each other
they couldn’t bear to be parted a moment?
Or was he an alpha claiming domination?
Or worse, a woman abuser. 
I approached them, trying to read body language,
“Is there anything I can help you find?” I asked
and heard a mumbled, “Interferin’ Bitch.” 
He turned his back abruptly,
just as quickly, she slid out of his reach.
She whispered, “Gotta’ use the restroom.” 
Too late he ricocheted back, pursued his lady love 
who reached the door first, closed it.
He, a guard dog, stood outside the bathroom,
I wondered if she’d ever come out when she did.
He yanked her by the arm, pulled her hard,
no whispered sweet nothings in her ear,
and escorted her outside 
to the parking lot located in a field.
No place to run, she didn’t try. 
Ingrid Bruck lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania, a landscape that inhabits her poetry.  She’s a feminist who champions a woman’s right to live peaceably and in equality with men.  Her poetry appears at 

Eminent Domain by Ingrid Bruck

Look obscene.

Look crude and raw.

Look scars the countryside.

Third finger raised,

obscenities rain inside the car

on invading muscled white men

in large earth movers.

They work six days a week,

try to beat winter, lose.

We travel north on River Road,

pass a slashed farm

missing a six highway swath

of cow pasture,

turn left on Martic Road,

two lanes slow to one again,

more orange roadside signs

for the pipeline assault us.

The country road criss crosses

two more Amish farms

subdivided by construction,

corn fields, hayfields,

woods gouged out,

the land blinded

as the gas line marches east

confiscating land

in Pennsylvania.


Ingrid Bruck lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania, a landscape that inhabits her poetry, she opposes the gas pipeline being built here. Her poetry appears at 

Voice the Forbidden by Ingrid Bruck

White entitlement hides behind its walled enclave,

strikes people of color with hate,

clobbers the others in the name of business interests.

These self interest promoters

confiscate money, education and property

with each seizure of state park land for development,

every new well drilled in the Arctic,

the lessening of medical care for the masses.


Men build a blockade around their fortress,

tout the trickle down of greater good,

grow personal wealth

though profits run dry at the top layer.

In the pursuit of business,

they reject evidence-based research

revealing harm to the planet.

In the pursuit of business,

they prohibit science-based research

exposing hurt to people.


Rich white men cringe at the word entitlement,

a slur, the word assaults their honor,

slaps them with contempt.

It’s the middle word on a list

of seven forbidden words

issued to CDC by the Trump Administration,

words government employees are forbidden to use

to mitigate collateral damage to our leaders.


People of color are the enemy,

this vulnerable majority

increases in number everyday.

White men fear becoming an endangered species,

outnumbered as they are by people of color,

intimidated by the diversity and vigor introduced.

Any one other is a threat to the white elite.

No one outside the inner circle is safe,

the diminished middle class gets sacrificed

to make the rich richer.


Whites, in fear of their shrinking numbers,

build a higher barricade and threaten,

“Keep out of Wall Street.”

Those inside the fortress want all the money.

The barrier wobbles,

the masses call for bread, medicine, clothes

a roof overhead.

Pity the transgender outside.

Pity the fetus born into this maelstrom.

A mob in the streets calls for heads.


I’m including a poetry site that took up the Seven Forbidden Words as an agenda. I admire them for doing this. I send it to you in case it is of interest:
The CDC Poetry Project
Poems using the 7 words forbidden in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents for 2018 – Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon, editors
Founded by Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon to give voice to the forbidden. A collection of poems written in response to the Trump Administration’s directive to the Centers for Disease Control on December 15, 2017, as reported in the Washington Post, that official documents being prepared for the 2018 budget were not to contain the following words:
Starting on December 16, Sarah and Amy invited poets to submit poems in any form that included all seven of these words, preferably in repetition, to, for publication on the blog