“Bury Me Not” and “Orwellian” by Thomas Piekarski
Bury Me Not
Don’t bury me on some dismal plain. I instruct you to
cremate me and scatter my ashes on the American River
in Coloma, at Sutter’s Mill where I’ll blend with rapids
during their unimpeded rampage after a big storm.
Along the way to the ocean a contingent of dissident
refugees in tug boats will collect, chug beside my ashes
and snatch gold that tumbles in the roistering currents.
Our vigil down river will not be smooth, the gold filched
by privateers that sail waters worldwide. As well as gold
the soul of our nation hijacked, taken captive, tortured.
So we must lean on broad shoulders, the collective spirit
of those who have dedicated their lives to defend, protect
life and limb, urge them to enlist any available ordnance
in their quest to obliterate the grisly colossus, Ruin.
Nothing is indomitable, not even the universe. Chaos
the only order we know. Chaos is truth, and truth beauty
says Keats. Of this there can be no responsible dispute.
In an Orwellian sense the distance from here to nowhere
can be measured in light years. Stationed in present tense
the sphinx bends to compliance, integrates past and future
by way of a science through which it becomes nothingness.
Then the gold has run out, distanced itself from rationality,
for the populist czar brimming with unimaginable turpitude
makes his way pawing the crowd with holes in his pockets
through which the nation’s culture slips into fearful frenzy.
And yet none of the foregoing should rattle one’s feathers.
Lies don’t have wings. They fall like rocks, and eventually
cause an avalanche of dissent. The goods horded by misers
in ivory bowers we can’t see are most decidedly ephemeral.
Tweets get you nowhere. Love gets you everywhere. Thus
those shunted under the bus will rise up as one bold force
and cast asunder plundering pirates of freedom’s platitudes,
leaving little latitude to maneuver against pitted resistance.
Alternate reality he said he didn’t mean, but it was uttered
in such a powerful tone as to stultify our popular dynamics.
When shoes hit the ground and placards abound veins are
strained, and our rights ascend from the dark ocean floor.
It came scratching at my chamber door as I slumbered
he said in response to the question of why he was dead
set on embracing ideology contrary to established belief
perpetuated by public opinion and documented in blood.
Media the medium. Twinkle twinkle little periwinkle.
Barefoot in the kitchen her motto, she frying catfish in
a blue-hot skillet. We will resume construction today of
rights everyone unwittingly relinquished absent consent.
Missionaries emerge from the shadows of long absent
data. A man-child with IQ beyond your furthest reach
smirks as flash points sink. No-one wants to cave, not
you, not me nor the owl asleep in a palm tree at dawn.
The new administration is an old incarnation instituted
ages ago. The oxygen in the green room growing thin is
no excuse for substituting law for flawed anthropology.
What we see we paint, what we contest made obsolete.
Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly and Pushcart Prize nominee. His poetry and interviews have appeared widely in literary journals internationally, including Nimrod, Portland Review, Mandala Journal, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Boston Poetry Magazine, and Poetry Quarterly. He has published a travel book, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems.