Ode to greeds rump

yes I know you
you walked in the shadow
of Hitler’s wing
bent to kiss Mussolini’s ring
powerful words your voice
did sing
words of protecting
the homeland
echoes from the bunker
of Adolf’s last stand
mob stereotypes
your weak mind had at hand
you never missed a meal
your father trained you well
to know how to legally steal
how not to allow your eyes
to fall
upon those who have nothing at all
while you and your friends
drink at a masquerade ball
laughing deliriously
at those who huddle hopeless
in the dark of the cities
concrete halls

The Immigrant, by Michael Peck

her story was a vivid tale
travels through both heaven and hell
people who wanted her
those who treated her as a cur
the tale was complete
not the type that put one to sleep
too much realism
to allow the mind
let one’s interest lag behind
the story was not one
of Christmas ease
of pretty presents under the Christmas trees
one of something
much more dear
the confrontation and escape
from utter fear
into a place
her heart could soar
a new home
she would run no more
her outlook was bright
it was pure sunlight
she knew cloudy days would still come
but they would only temporarily
block her new internal sun

Apathy, by Michael Peck

apathy runs rife
through our streets of gold
no one cares about the poor
they hunt the streets
for one more meal
one more drink
they know they are the nation’s discards
only the successful families’ sons
need to apply for careers
not for work of course
they don’t need work
they need opportunities
other people work for them
other people suffer
because they are too lazy to thrive
in the land of the free
affordable housing sets the economic bar
well above the average wage
far from the upper-class neighborhoods
too far to walk
for those who don’t have a car
life on the streets in a food desert
listening to the lies
that it is their own fault
they don’t want to work
they have chosen drugs as a lifestyle
the privileged have chosen success
they don’t like those
who didn’t make the same choice

The President, by Michael Peck

thin-skinned with sharp edges
he stands his hair an artificial Flame
his lips bleeding
eyes wide
glaring with fear
that he may not receive
his inflated share
power Trump’s intelligence
force Trumps compromise
anger Trump’s outside consideration
he is the leader of the most powerful Nation
flexing his muscles of dominance
as others flee his grip
he never wonders
how he will rule an empty room

Refugee, by Michael Peck

her plight was all too familiar
those who had taken her innocence
who had abused her mercilessly
groping her young body
with unwashed hands
stinking of smoke and alcohol
they didn’t see her as human
but a release
a gratification satisfying a physical need
no more or less
than a cold beer on a hot day
something to satisfy the senses
and be thrown away
after her innocence was gone

The Unseen, by Michael Peck

yes we all scream at night
hope for sweeter dreams
something so free
as our American dream
not the dark depression
of economic fear
fear of losing everything
fear of having nothing left to lose
I listen late into the night
to the raw sweet black skin blues
they knew the whip
when it was made of leather
now societies whip
is not a thing
but hollowness and emptiness
drowned in cheap beer
failure wraps around my throat
Anaconda strong
choking me so joyously
not caring whether right or wrong
the oily streets
bite at my feet
and won’t suffer us sleeping there
we might scare the visitors
the tourists from we where we sit and stare
our sin is always been the same
that we did not belong
our clothes are not so neat and clean
so we look like some dirty dog
you tell to move along
oh yes we live in the land of the free
we will live just as long
as the rest of society
has food to throw away
we can pluck it
from the smelly garbage can
and eat until
we waste away

Tribute, by Michael Peck

Everything seemed to slow down, movement became almost imperceptible, the clocks hands seemed frozen in place – no one was speaking, a pregnant pause filled the room, they were waiting for the speaker to arrive – waiting to hear what they expected to hear – the curtain opened slowly to a bare stage – a small man walked to the microphone flattening out a small piece of paper – studying it closely as if the writing was illegible – he started slowly reading word by word ” I’m sorry but the president won’t be speaking tonight he’s been shot and is currently in the ICU at the hospital” – moans and frightened voices filled the audience – we ask you all to go home now, so  the theater can close early – no one moved, a few people shouted questions – the small man left the stage as the murmuring voices gained in volume – large ushers started moving row by row making sure the people left – they were bouncers from bars, large and unsmiling – the room emptied out and then the ushers gathered in the front of the stage filling their glasses with whiskey – laughing, toasting, here’s to our fearless leader found drunk and naked by his mistress’ husband who shot him in the ass with a pellet gun

Popper King, by Michael Peck

he was a Popper King
rising to power
on secondhand ideas
the people were tired of
the last leader’s promises
the continued suffering
of those in need
the total lack
of any meaningful change
the new man
it seems it’s almost always
a man
dressed up yesterday’s ideas
in a different color
made enforcement stricter
gave the police more power
in the ruling class
smiled knowingly
while the people
continue to wait
and suffer in silence

New Meaning, by Michael Peck

he brings new meaning
to the bully pulpit
fulfilling those inelegant words
laughing oblivious of the pain
he causes to those
he’s unaware of
those who do not have value
to him
he likes to condemn, demand
but his soft skin
so easily hurt
cannot accept
Advice or criticism
preferring the well rehearsed stroke
the paid for beauty
on the various women
of the night

pigs trough politics, by Michael Peck

there was not enough
for all of them
to have more
some of the larger pigs
demanded the smaller pigs
snouts squealing
at siren strength
there was no
only the need
for more
small red eyes
heartless, intelligence
looking at each other
as a possible
future meal
pushing each other
to be at the front
to get the first
and largest bite
none of them thought
anything about it
they were that type
of animal
ferocious, mean, hungry
only they lacked
the bigger picture
that they were bred
for slaughter

It’s not a time, by Michael Peck

it’s not a time
of world adventure
today those who rule
want censure, restriction
white knuckled control
advertised under the
name of protection
protection from what?
Those others
who don’t think the same
as those whose wants of control
extend beyond their boundaries
no, it’s not a new ideology
it’s just dressed in new polyester uniforms instead of
cotton, wool
the red buttons of destruction
are bigger
the hands who hover above
their power
are puffy, not calloused hands
of privilege
that have never known
the angry knot of hunger

I wonder by Michael Peck

at the microphone
using the words of men
a blowfish speaks
puffed up with spines
around its body
simply compressed air within
bellowing the defensiveness,
fear, and isolation it feels inside
we watch and listen
wondering what has become
of our country
why are we allowing
of a self-possessed madman
to steer our ship of state
toward the rock-strewn shore
will we be brave
to stand
to mutiny
takeover the ship
and save ourselves
or will we
wait for someone else
with more courage
to save us
I wonder

Sometimes it seems by Michael Peck

Sometimes it seems men
have only crept out of
the cave
brutality barely hid
fears shiny as an oil
on their skin
they have an uncanny
way of not recognizing
their reliance on one another
seeing things only
as needs, wants
even dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit
everything else is a threat
how long will it take
for us to see ourselves,
others and the world
we live on as necessary?
How long will hope and fear
hide inside our stony hearts?
Sometimes I wonder
if we will ever wake up
from the nightmare of self-protection
the hard road of solitary beings
to the prosperity and ease
of cooperation
with one another and our world

There comes a time by Michael Peck

There comes a time that we must look at ourselves for what we are and where we have been. Plowing over our dead beneath the ground, compost for the next growth of war presented wrapped like Christmas presents in glory, righteousness, and all the mumbo-jumbo created by those who never send their own sons and daughters to war. Never fought themselves except in the trenches of political campaigns promising glory, bounty, endless prosperity for the few. Never for those who are the collateral damage, those whose children die in the land of plenty of hunger and preventable disease. No, they are the forgotten, the never born ones who are never even spoken about or given names. The time is always now for change but change is bound by the chains of expectation and the plotting onward of what has gone on before. Oh, the beautiful lie of endless growth that in medical school is called cancer. Bellowed over the microphone and TV about making America great again and how the groans of the dead who’ve heard this before go unnoticed.

The flat faced God by Michael Peck

We told ourselves
it was a simple improvement
we didn’t see its looming impact
on our society
our future
our children
just a better communication system
it would only improve our access to information
and keep us informed

then we quit watching
the physical world outside
most of us joined the iPhone society
wandering down the street
with our minds somewhere
a thousand miles away
wrapped inside the flat screen

it seemed harmless enough
until we quit talking to each other
even on our phones
now we text
it’s quicker and less personal
you can be abrupt
and not seem rude, uninterested

now our lives are stored in hand held
memory banks
we don’t question the information
just look, like and share
look, like and share information
emotion icons and symbols
but not ourselves.

Reward of Combat by Michael Peck

he watched her every morning
start her run
dressed in black
matching the fading night
which creeps slowly west
he watches her return
wiping the sweat from her face
standing at her door
he pictures her showering
her naked body enveloped
by hot water and steam
slowly turns around
as her door shuts
his desire still hot
moving towards the kitchen
in his wheelchair
toward the coffee pot
the only warmth
he can look forward to today

Pandemic by Michael Peck

the sickness spread silently
starting in individuals
then into groups, government, and religion
the altar was cleaned of statues
a mirror set on the Gold leaf table
beautiful people stood before it
women fluffed their hair
men adjusted their ties
that was the genuflection now
wallets were placed upon the scale
donations made by weight
still, they all came on Sundays
to be seen
to smile, shake hands, brag about their businesses
no one seemed to notice
the church and God being transformed
once more by those who made them
and the rules

The Game by Michael Peck

We chose to play the game
struggled to become a piece
on the board
knowing inside it wasn’t a game.
we knew only hunger
we wanted to eat something,
anything to fill our bellies,
feel some respect and dignity
to ease the pain of being empty
we wanted a chance.
we would play the game
that wasn’t a game
we would carry the bag
go where they told us to go.
we would run with the bag
if anyone tried to stop us,
if we dropped the bag
the rules of the game
said we were dead.
maybe the police couldn’t run as fast
as us
maybe if we ran through the streets
they wouldn’t shoot if
there were people in the street.
so we played the game
knowing we were expendable pieces
on the mean streets
of life’s board game
half starved with frightened eyes
trying to look mean or brave
knowing it was for ourselves
because no one else cared about us
we wanted to eat
and knew in our hearts
one day we would be eaten.

American individualism by Michael Peck

American individualism makes itself great again
sandwiched between myth and distortion
scandal flavored tea with spoiled milk
the minds somnolent attitude refuses to wake up.
Sandwiched between myth and distortion
the dreams of men wither
the minds somnolent attitude refuses to wake up
traditions knee-jerk reactions turn into habits.
The dreams of men wither
their potency dissipates without new images
traditions knee-jerk reactions turn into habits
the empire wants just one more piece of the pie.
Their potency dissipates without new images
iPhones and TV simply imitate the known
the empire wants just one more piece of the pie
chaining those in service to toil and die.
iPhones and TV simply imitate the known
repeating sound bites, texts, and recorded laugh lines
chaining those in service to toil and die
while hunger for something real grows unseen.
Repeating soundbites, texts, and recorded laugh lines
the conversation dies in the infertile ground
while hunger for something real grows unseen
history is repeated in impoverished grammar.
The conversation dies in infertile ground
minds ache from the vacuum inside
while hunger for something real grows unseen
American individualism makes itself great again.

Within the Body Politic by Michael Peck

Within the body politic
the infection breeds
first is the discomfort
then comes the enduring pain
until what is brewing inside
erupts on the outside
the source of the pain
forecasting the coming demise
the decimation of the host
and that disease within
Greece, Rome, Spain, France, England,
have all succumbed in the past
to the infectious disease
The head refuses to acknowledge
the foot
the state ignores
the need for world interdependence
the people think
independence is possessions
wealth and power
forgetting where they came from
the ground they stand on
where they will return
the grand compost heap
the steaming raw material
that life will use
to form
its next experiment