These times are nothing but a continuation of previous ones, most markedly in my time the invasion and destruction of Iraq. But before that even.
Then I wrote—no small portion of my writing at my peak was directly responding to global events (“my wars/ Were global from the start”)—in order to stake out a claim to uncorrupt territory (if only in the mind) against the onslaught of perceived injustice. We write, not for posterity, but for ourselves in the moment; however, if we are lucky, we created a personal monument or reference point to refer back to. In this environs of centrifugal chaos, I have a map to previously covered ground. (At my site you can read the essay about my efforts against said military, criminal, and tactically obnoxious action, "Introduction to War for Peace”.)
It is not well to live one's life with regrets of “If only I had said…” or “If only I had done…".
I compose (and compile) a lot of bad poetry, in times like these. Not because I can alter the course of events; but so that I might stand apart without getting sucked into the vortex. Ultimately, the body may (and perchance will) succumb to the thresher; one labors in order that the spirit survive, though it too may break.
Ilhan Omar in the Face of Republican Slander and Misrepresentation
Because she was Somali-born
They told her to “go back,”
Showed no restraint in heaping scorn,
Pernicious their attack,
Yet Ilhan Omar weathered it
With humor, and affirmed
She would not let threats make her quit
As their slanders she spurned.
They—bigots and hypocrites all—
True love of country, theirs the gall
To defame, as it were,
And stir up malice in the name
Of calling themselves “great,”
But they were never what they claim,
A congeries of hate.
Ilhan Omar stood tall the day
And they all ugly brutes
Were shown to be, and decency
All their posture refutes:
For “godly” read “idolaters,”
For “proud” read “craven cowards,”
For “great” read “bad” and “something worse
Than mere simplistic blowhards.”
“I stand with Ilhan” let be said
By all who value freedom,
Lest virtue get turned on its head,
Men to the nth degree dumb,
Of empathy a deficit
Among this lot extolled—
Nor heaven will this rot acquit
When time’s justice takes hold.