on the eve of trump's election
We rapidly disappear all drinkable water
Ramming engorged steel pipes
Like a rapist’s penis into the Earth
Injecting its insides of vile poisons
Lacerating its core
Leaving warm radiant grasslands
Stippled of dark grey gaseous machines
Rusting oozing mucus onto the countryside
Choking-vaporous clouds rising from rivers
Waterways cloaked with upended salmon
Assorted insects we’d yet to encounter
Of other life forms run amuck
Because of us
We indulge in gluttony
Zealots for crude oil
Nuclear fuel and intangible futures
We indulge in greed
Crazed for imbecilic video games
Prime time and commercial ads
Making others rich
And our minds poor
We coddle our narcissism
The idea that we are invincible
Masters of the universe
Superior to all life forms
Yet ignorant of countless creatures
Inhabiting black depths at the bottom
Of our own planet’s seas
We sentence ourselves to wrath
Placing madmen at the helm of a nuclear empire
With money and palm oil lovers
Torching vast swaths of Earth’s forests
Decimating acres at whim
We sentence ourselves to deception
Choosing fanciful illusions
We are leviathan stars
On a global stage
Existing only inside
The flat screens of our skulls
We sentence ourselves to sloth
Lethargically sitting by
Witnessing the implosion
Of even our own families
Never lifting a finger
Never troubling our carcasses
Out of cushy cheap sofas bought at Walmart
On Veteran’s Day sales
We splatter everything over
Of syrupy affirmations
That disguise our crimes
That masked our cataclysms
Our self-inflicted Armageddon
Like a junkie shooting up
That last dose of bad endings
A rehashed nightmare
How utterly foolish we are.
© 2017 Nancy Mercado
Humanity will not survive given our current ways of life, beliefs and the political apparatuses we have put into place. If we’re to leave any semblance of an operable world for our children, we must change in mass. There has to be a shift in the manner in which we view life; All Life, including animal and plant life. We can no longer afford to believe that our species is more powerful than other species nor that, due to racial, social or class status, one person is more worthy than another. We must throw our human hubris into the garbage.
What can anyone, in real honesty, expect when you have a country that was founded by forced occupation, brutality toward its native populations and on slavery; a country that still invades other sovereign nations at will? What can one expect the outcome of continued injustice to be? If life has shown any of us something, it’s that there is a universal law of balance. The scales may be tipped in your favor now but those scales will eventually, one way or another, tip back the other way. Native Americans understand this well.
The continued killings of unarmed Black men, boys and women by police officers in the United States must reach its limit. No longer should people of color in the United States be obligated to contend with a rigged judicial system that favors whites and the rich; a system that incarcerates men and boys of color at a rate of 60% more than their white counterparts; a judicial system that, to a large extend, allows corrupt politicians and Wall Street bankers to get away with egregious crimes; a system that simply does not convict police officers who break the law.*
The ethics practiced in the United States are topsy-turvy at best. While its “leaders” espouse the US to be a democracy, a class system is perpetuated in which 1% of the country’s population; the rich, own and control 40% of the nation’s wealth.** While its “leaders” turn their back on the children of Michigan and now Puerto Rico, they’re quick to bail out corrupt Wall Street bankers to the tune of billions. While they exalt and proudly brag about the beauty of “their” country, they condone fracking: a gas extraction procedure that has devastated the wild life and rendered useless much of the clean water ways in over 18 states; just one of several deadly methods used to make profits from dirty energy.*** It stands to reason then, that those who truly run this country would do no better, indeed much worse when it comes to exercising actual justice. When decisions are made based on their costs, based on their profit margin and on the requirement to maintain control in a capitalist (not democratic) country, what can one really expect? When common sense is trumped for profits of gun sales for a few therefore, no gun legislation is allowed to pass by the profiteers, what does one expect the eventual outcome will be; the gunning down of police in Dallas?
The United States is supposedly a symbol of egalitarianism. Not so fast. Of course it allows freedom of religion for example, knowing religion is a great way to control the masses. It allows for demonstrations and “free speech” as long as the demonstrations consists only of walks and a few shouts and “free speech” is exercised in a limited manner. What did those in charge do to Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Pedro Albizu Campos for their use of "free speech" while Rush Limbaugh continues to slobber his rightwing racists hate speech on radio across the nation with impunity; not to mention the hate speech of the Republican candidate, for president no less; Donald Trump?
Those who consider themselves our “leaders,” whether in government or the wealthy 1% better take honest stock of their ethics, actions and the systems they impose either by way of dictatorship, terrorism or sleight of hand. In the United States, to start, the judicial system must be rectified to convict police who break the law, to institute legislation regarding the sale of assault weapons and to deescalate the militarization of this country's police force.
But, there is a bigger broader problem that extends beyond the United States. It is the condition in which humanity finds itself; the callousness toward another human life, the extent of greed for money and material wealth at any cost; even if it means depleting the planet’s natural resources and killing off all life including our own. Humanity is at a crossroads. We must stop believing we are invincible, all knowing and start exercising good old common sense and that old fashion adage; love thy neighbor, whether thy neighbor be a Black man, boy, woman, white, tan or orangutan. If we do not turn our ways, we will all perish because of them. It is simply no longer sustainable to keep pummeling each other, our animal companions and the planet with hatred, killings, bombs and destruction of all kinds.
As naive as some of this may sound (and equally difficult to do); somehow, someway we must restructure the political and social apparatuses we've built. We must attempt to eliminate the prejudices we carry. The world, the universe including human beings are wonderful, beautiful mysteries, we should explore and delight in together.
Nancy Mercado, PhD.
New York City
July 9, 2016
*Americans for Progress:
***Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington