Thursday, November 15, 2018

Unbroken forehead from the east




First snow of the season today.

Here's a great snow poem by Emily Dickinson:


It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, —
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, —
The summer’s empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, —
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

After a Line from Ezekiel






Happy to say that this poem, published in Synaeresis-Art and Poetry in June 2018 ,  has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize:


After a Line from Ezekiel 

                                                          

I keep my Distance from Congress,

from joining this dance,

this trance of doublespeak fast talk,

this prance of  smug smiles.

This tense keeps my future in my past.

 

Oil of wintergreen, of tic tac,

Interrogates a protein,

Questions if a teenaged temper

Will bring on another war.

What will be the next diaspora?

What spores and spondees

What spontaneous combustion?

 

These are the remaining tribes:

Secretive Roma gathering their bright shawls of sunset

Apricot and rose colored, gold gleaming,

Silent birders clutching their binoculars,

Stalking the Pine Siskin,

The meadowlark in the tall weeds by the highway,

Shadowy softball girls clothed in their muddy uniforms,

Weeping aides from the crumbled hospices,

Wheeling the loved ones still living.

Shivering Syrian children

Who chew their shoelaces.

These are the exits of the city:

Behind the bombed out grocery store,

Under the ivy shrouded billboard,

Where woods meet river.

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Acorns and Oaks



Thought for today:
 

"Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs.  Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees."



-  E.F. Schumacher





Monday, November 12, 2018

Philip Roth Predicted This

Philip Roth


This book was published in 2004; Roth described it as an “exercise in historical imagination” Roth died in May of 2018.
 
 
I read the following article in this week's New Yorker  about this book, and how chilling a read it was!
 
The author is Paige Williams.
 
I am cutting and pasting the entire article here:
 
 
Prescient     by Paige Williams
In Philip Roth’s novel “The Plot Against America,” it is 1940; the famed pilot Charles Lindbergh becomes President and secretly launches a pogrom against Jews. A foreign power, Nazi Germany, interferes in a U.S. election. Journalists are targeted with violence. The Roth family, of Newark, agonizes over the nation’s escalating anti-Semitism. As Hitler decimates Europe, Lindbergh pursues an “America First” policy of nonintervention. Roth said that “Plot,” which was published in 2004, was an “exercise in historical imagination”: he wondered if what happened in Europe could happen here.
Earlier this year, Bernard Schwartz, the director of the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, contacted Roth and proposed staging a reading of “Plot.” Schwartz would invite nine actors to perform the novel, each delivering an abridged chapter. Roth, a skillful reader of his own work, embraced the idea. He’d watched the election of Donald Trump with horror, telling his friend the New Yorker writer Judith Thurman, “What is most terrifying is that he makes any and everything possible.”
Roth often talked about “the terror of the unforeseen,” Schwartz said. “That terror transcends the perils that continue to face the Jewish community, and extends to any group that finds itself made more vulnerable: Muslim Americans, immigrant populations, poor people, elderly people.”
In May, with the show’s planning under way, Roth, who was eighty-five, died. Then, twenty-seven hours before the performance, scheduled for October 28th, a man with an AR-15 and three handguns killed eleven people during Shabbat services at Tree of Life, a synagogue in Pittsburgh. He told a SWAT officer that “all these Jews need to die.”
In New York, Schwartz added security. Just before 1 P.M. the next day, nine hundred people streamed into the Y’s Upper East Side auditorium, past a guard with a black Labrador retriever. The performance was dedicated to the Pittsburgh dead. The actor Michael Stuhlbarg walked to a lectern onstage and delivered the novel’s opening lines: “Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear. Of course no childhood is without its terrors, yet I wonder if I would have been a less frightened boy if Lindbergh hadn’t been President or if I hadn’t been the offspring of Jews.”
The audience absorbed the novel’s descriptions of the Roth family: the father, an insurance agent; the mother, a PTA leader; the older brother, who can draw. They live in a second-floor flat on Summit Avenue, near genteel Union County, “another New Jersey entirely.” In the darkened auditorium, people chuckled.
Lindbergh, campaigning for President, makes proud declarations about “our inheritance of European blood.” A “rabid constituency” develops, “flourishing all across America.” On the night the Republican Party makes him its nominee, the Roth children are awakened by neighborhood fathers shouting “No!” from “every house on the block.” Stuhlbarg intoned, “The anger that night.”
Chapter 2: President Lindbergh travels to Iceland to meet with Hitler, whom he calls “a great man.” It was impossible not to think of Trump’s meetings with Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. The playwright Ayad Akhtar read a passage about “Lindbergh’s spirit hovering over everything.”
In the greenroom, the actors who were going to perform the remaining chapters reviewed their scripts, which had been abridged by the Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro. Shapiro was on hand, occasionally stepping out to gauge the audience’s reactions. The actress Jennifer Ehle sat beneath a wall-mounted monitor showing the performance, marking up her pages. Jon Hamm made coffee.
Maggie Siff, who plays the psychiatrist on “Billions,” studied her chapter, “Bad Days,” which mentions a synagogue bombing in Cincinnati. “The anti-Semites so emboldened,” she read when it was her turn, and “soon my homeland would be nothing more than my birthplace.” On page 122, she’d marked an insertion, made by Shapiro the night before, that mentions “the mayhem in St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Buffalo.” Shapiro told Siff, “I realized we can’t cut Pittsburgh now.”
“Every day, it feels like another level of . . . ” Siff started to say.
“And who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Shapiro said. “For a novel to be this prescient is extraordinary. Or maybe the rest of us just didn’t see it coming, and Roth did.”
A stage manager said, “Five minutes.”
“Be right back,” the actor John Turturro said. He went out and read Chapter 4, in which the Roth patriarch tells a Lindbergh-supporting relative, “Not so long ago you couldn’t bear the man either. But now this anti-Semite is your friend. The stock market is up, profits are up, business is booming—and why?” When Turturro returned, Hamm gave him a thumbs-up.
AndrĂ© Holland, who acted in “Moonlight,” read a chapter in which the older Roth brother gets a chance to visit the White House. “I am not impressed by the White House!” his father screams. “The person who lives there is a Nazi.” Hamm, drinking his second cup of coffee, said, “When I read this book, I was, like, When was this written? The parallels are right there.” He added, “I think Roth died from grief.”
Schwartz came in and reminded the actors “There’s no curtain call.”
“Is anybody going to say anything?” asked the actor Scott Shepherd, who was given the book’s final chapter to read.
“No,” Schwartz said.
“Good,” Shepherd said. “Let Roth have the last word.” ♦
This article appears in the print edition of the November 12, 2018, issue, with the headline “Prescient.”
·         Paige Williams, the Laventhol/Newsday Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 2015.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

In balance with this life, this death






World War I  ended on this day one hundred years ago.

I cannot even imagine it.  Neither could my parents; my father was 4 years old; my mother, 3 years old. 

But I know much more about that war and its continuing reverberations because I teach a course called Modernity in Literature to university students.  I've taught it first in 2010, and have taught it about five times since then. I will teach it again this Spring semester. The literature tells so much.

Here is one poem by William Butler Yeats:

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
W. B. Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Let Less Happen


cartoon by André Carrilho


Last night as I finished watching the Rachel Maddow show and pulled myself away from The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell,  I came to the realization that Donald Trump occupies a place in my brain.  A large and unwelcome place.  Ever since the months before the 2016 election, and especially since I began to read and respond to his obnoxious tweets,  he has been there - every day. 

I think back on nine presidents I knew superficially in my lifetime: ( I was alive but too young for Truman and Eisenhower)  Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush1, Clinton, Bush2, and Obama. I never thought about them except during crises, or during the 6:30 news. 

Now , Trump is on my mind every day, and sometimes even during the night when I wake up worried.  This is so wrong.

If this is true of me, it must be true of many other Americans.

He loves and craves attention. He creates false crises to keep our attention.  It's working, and I hate it.
I hate his guts, and pray for his removal from office.  I don't like his Vice-President, Pence, but Pence would not behave like this.

Today I am remembering this wonderful ironic poem by Kay Ryan, in which she yearns for an ordinary day without melodrama:


“Blandeur”

If it please God,
let less happen.
Even out Earth’s
rondure, flatten
Eiger, blanden
the Grand Canyon.
Make valleys
slightly higher,
widen fissures
to arable land,
remand your
terrible glaciers
and silence
their calving,
halving or doubling
all geographical features
toward the mean.
Unlean against our hearts.
Withdraw your grandeur
From these parts.

Kay Ryan
—from Say Uncle



 
 
 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dan Vera's marvelous painting

I love this and must share it here:


art by Dan Vera  " In Our Dreams the Constellations Sing of Migration"


Who Gets Rapture?




Here's a garden poem I like, by Maxine Kumin:


"After the Harvest"

Pulling the garden, I always think
of starving to death, of how it would be to get by
on what the hard frost left untouched
at the end of the world: a penance of kale,
jerusalem artichokes, brussels sprouts,
some serviceberries, windfall apples
and the dubious bounty of hickory nuts.

Pretty slim pickings for the Tribulation
if that's what this is, preceding
the Rapture I choose to be left out of.
Having never acceded to an initial coming
I hold out no hope for a second
let alone this bland vision of mail-order angels
lifting born-again drivers up from behind the wheel
leaving the rest of us loose on the highways
to play out a rudderless dodgem.

When parents were gods survival was a game
I played in my head, reading by flashlight
under the covers Swiss Family Robinson
and The Adventures of Perrine, who lived in a hut
and was happy weaving moccasins out of marsh grass.

I longed to be orphaned like her, out on my own,
befriending little creatures of the woods,
never cold or wet or hungry. to be snug
in spite of the world's world is the child-hermit's plan.
Meekly I ate the detested liver and lima beans.

Now all of the gods agree, no part of the main
can survive the nuclear night. and yet,
like a student of mine who is writing a book
on an island linked by once-a-week ferry
to Juneau, where one pay phone and a hot spring bath
suffice for all, in innocent ways we still
need to test the fringe of the freezing dark.
He thinks he can be happy there year round
and the child in me envies his Cave of the Winds.

Meanwhile I fling cornstalks and cucumber,
pea and squash vines across the fence
and the horses mosey over to bet carrot tops.
I am mesmerized by the gesture, handfeeding
feathery greens to the brood mares. this could

be last year or five years or ten years ago
and I sense it is ending, this cycle of saving
and sprouting: a houseful of seedlings in March,
the cutworms in May, June's ubiquitous weeds,
the long August drought peppered with grasshoppers
even as I lop the last purple cabbage, big
as a baby's head, big as my grandson's brain
who on the other side of the world is naming
a surfeit of tropical fruits in five-tone Thai.
A child I long to see again,
growing up in a land where thousands, displaced,
unwanted, diseased, are awash in despair.

Who will put the wafer of survival on their tongues,
lift them out of the camps, restore
their villages, replant their fields, those gardens
that want to bear twelve months of the year?
Who gets Rapture?

Sidelong we catch film clips of the Tribulation
but nobody wants to measure the breadth and length
of the firestorms that lurk in Overkill,
certitude of result though overwhelming strength,
they define it in military circles,

their flyboys swirling up in sunset contrails.
The local kids suit up to bob for apples,
go trick-or-treating on both sides of Main.
November rattles its dry husks down the food chain
on this peaceable island at the top of the hill.

--Maxine Kumin


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Starry Skies in November


photo by Bored Panda



Here's a lovely poem by Marge Piercy:

"Leonids Over Us"

The sky is streaked with them
burning hole in black space --
like fireworks, someone says
all friendly in the dark chill
of Newcomb Hollow in November,
friends known only by voices.

We lie on the cold sand and it
embraces us, this beach
where locals never go in summer
and boast of their absence. Now
we lie eyes open to the flowers
of white ice that blaze over us

and seem to imprint directly
on our brains. I feel the earth,
rolling beneath as we face out
into the endlessness we usually
ignore. Past the evanescent
meteors, infinity pulls hard.

--Marge Piercy





Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Democrats Won the House of Representatives

cartoon by C Jones


This is an answer to my prayers.

The next worry:  what will Trump do next to unsettle our country?   He has already fired his Attorney General... not 24 hours after the election.

I am "cutting and pasting" a brief article from Vox, an online publication that I saw today:


Two Americas: amplified, tearing apart

The midterms produced a divided Congress that's emblematic of a split America, drifting further apart and pointing to poisonous years ahead.

The net result: Two parties with two wildly different bases and philosophies are pulling farther and farther apart — and are certain to double down on divisiveness heading into 2020.

 

  • The Democratic strategy of targeting women, minorities and the young was vindicated with the new House majority. We saw record liberal turnout in many suburbs.
  • The Republican strategy of targeting men, whites and rural voters was vindicated with the larger Senate majority. We saw record conservative turnout in rural Trump country.

Fox News' Karl Rove, the former George W. Bush architect, said: "Let’s be clear. ... Both parties are broken."

  • A GOP lobbyist emailed:  "Poisonous gridlock. Hemlock?"

Shades of 2016: The blue wave was a lot less ferocious and unanimous than much of the polling, forecasts and commentary had led Americans to expect.

  • It's a reminder that, even after all the post-2016 angst, all the supposed experts still don't fully understand the country.
  • Republican pollster Frank Luntz told me in a phone interview that there’s a "hidden Trump" vote" of 2% or 3% that refuses to respond to pollsters: "They see it as helping the elite control them."
  • Former Obama strategist David Axelrod said on CNN: "I think this is going to prompt a new round of soul-searching about whether and how you can poll accurately ... A lot of these races that were blowouts ... polled as tight."

Be smart: Although President Trump lost the House, he made the midterms about the Senate during his final swing. And the White House feels vindicated by wins in Indiana and — likely — Florida.

  • Look for Trump to act like he won re-election, even though he faces a treacherous two years, with Congress and with his own 2020 re-election map.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Still carried away by America

Voting Line,  painting by Charly Palmer



It's Election Day in the United States.

This year, I am praying for a restoration of the system of checks and balances in our government.

Among other things.


Here's a poem by Alicia Ostriker:

Ghazal: America the Beautiful

Do you remember our earnestness our sincerity
in first grade when we learned to sing America
The Beautiful along with the Star-Spangled Banner
and say the Pledge of Allegiance to America
We put our hands over our first grade hearts
we felt proud to be citizens of America
I said One Nation Invisible until corrected
maybe I was right about America
School days school days dear old Golden Rule Days
when we learned how to behave in America
What to wear, how to smoke, how to despise our parents
who didn’t understand us or America
Only later learning the Banner and the Beautiful
live on opposite sides of the street in America
Only later discovering the Nation is divisible
by money by power by color by gender by sex America
We comprehend it now this land is two lands
one triumphant bully one still hopeful America
Imagining amber waves of grain blowing in the wind
purple mountains and no homeless in America
Sometimes I still put my hand tenderly on my heart
somehow or other still carried away by America.


 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Bright Sign of Loneliness too great for me...







"Yea, I have looked, and seen November there;
The changeless seal of change it seemed to be,
Fair death of things that, living once, were fair;
Bright sign of loneliness too great for me,
Strange image of the dread eternity,
In whose void patience how can these have part,
These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart?"



-  William Morris, November

 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

There are Birds Here




As I worry and pray about the outcome of ourJa midterm elections on November 6,
I am moved by this poem by Jamaal May:

There Are Birds Here
                                                                        
For Detroit

There are birds here,
so many birds here
is what I was trying to say
when they said those birds were metaphors
for what is trapped
between buildings
and buildings. No.
The birds are here
to root around for bread
the girl’s hands tear
and toss like confetti. No,
I don’t mean the bread is torn like cotton,
I said confetti, and no
not the confetti
a tank can make of a building.
I mean the confetti
a boy can’t stop smiling about
and no his smile isn’t much
like a skeleton at all. And no
his neighborhood is not like a war zone.
I am trying to say
his neighborhood
is as tattered and feathered
as anything else,
as shadow pierced by sun
and light parted
by shadow-dance as anything else,
but they won’t stop saying
how lovely the ruins,
how ruined the lovely
children must be in that birdless city.
 

 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

On a Windy Day







Here's a wonderful poem by James Arthur:

Wind

              it’s true sometimes I cannot
stop myself from spilling
              the recycling
 
unpetalling apple blossoms raiding
a picnic
making off with napkins I’m nothing
              until I happen
flipping an umbrella outside-in
                      throwing its owner
              into a fumble
pelting the avenue with sleet or dust
 
at times downtown
              riding over galleries of air
so full of high excitement howling
I borrow an old woman’s hat
              and fling it into the road
 
arriving with news of the larkspur
              and the bumblebee
at times embracing you so lightly
in ways you don’t even register
              as touch
 
 
 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Who can tell the population of heaven?


photograph:  Temple from the Burning Man exhibit, Renwick Gallery, Washington DC



On this All Saints Day, here's a poem I wrote about 10 years ago:


Named after Saints

 

Holographic Holistic Hagiography

Sounds like Hag Geography.

The mapping of Hags around the world.

Hags I have known,

Hags I’ve only read about,

But this is Hagiography, photography that makes you say Gee!

Not hags, but saints, and those

Named after saints.

Monica, model of worrying mother,

Martin , patron of the torn cloak,

Rose, rubbing pimento into her perfect skin,

Anne- in Leonardo’s sketch, huge earth mother with legs like tree trunks,

Like the bed made out of the tree, the castle built around the bed in the Odyssey,

Saint Hopkins, reporting every sunset,

Saint Merton, still falling in love ,

Lucy, with her eyes on a platter,

Lucy with her eyes on the assembly line chocolates,

John the Baptist and Frank the Methodist

and Marlon the Method.

Who can tell the population of heaven?

 

 



 
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween in the United States 2018

The only picture scary enough is this one -  a New Yorker cover from a previous year:

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Someday you'll wish upon a star...



painting by IT Arts



This rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by the Hawaiian singer IZ Kamakawiwo'ole always makes me cry.  Partly it's because he combines it with Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." Partly it's because the first time I heard it was in the closing credits of the movie "Philadelphia"  where Tom Hanks plays a lawyer who has AIDS.

Whatever it is, the poignancy gets me every time. Don't know whether the link to YouTube works, but here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z26BvHOD_sg



Art by Nikki Smith

Monday, October 29, 2018

Because Torah is a Tree of Life



painting by Etz Chaim



A Prayer for the Dead
of Tree of Life Congregation

 by Rabbi Naomi Levy

We are devastated, God,...
Our hearts are breaking
In this time of shock and mourning.
The loss is overwhelming.
Send comfort and strength, God,
To grieving family members.
Send healing to the injured,
Send strength and wisdom
to their doctors and nurses.
Bless the courageous police officers who risked their lives
To protect innocent lives.

Shield us from despair, God,
Ease our pain.
Let our fears give way to hope.
Lead us to join together as a nation
To put an end to anti-Semitism,
An end to hatred,
An end to gun violence.
Teach us, God, to honor the souls we have lost
By raising our hands
and voices together
In the cause of peace.
Because Torah is a Tree of Life
And all its paths are peaceful.
Work through us, God.
Turn our helplessness into action.
Teach us to believe that we can
rise up from this tragedy
And banish the hate
that is tearing our world apart.
We must never be indifferent
to the plight of any who suffer.
We must learn to care,
To open our hearts
and open our hands.
Innocent blood is calling out to us.
God of the brokenhearted,
God of the living, God of the dead,
Gather the souls of the victims
Into Your eternal shelter.
Let them find peace
in Your presence, God.
Their lives have ended
But their lights
can never be extinguished.
May they shine on us always
And illuminate our way.

 Amen.

 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

What's left to break when our hearts are broken?


 
Powerful and grief-filled lyrics; a song by Michael David Rosenberg
 
Lyrics
 
Do you remember how this first begun?
Teeth were white and our skin was young
Eyes as bright as the Spanish Sun
We had nothing we could hide
Now my dear we are two golden leaves
Clinging desperately to winter trees
Got up here like a pair of thieves
While the sirens blare outside
What's left to say when every word's been spoken?
What's left to see when our eyes won't open?
What's left to do when we've lost all hope and
What's left to break when our hearts are broken?

But sometimes
 
Do you remember how this started out?
So full of hope and now we're filled with doubt
A dirty joke we used to laugh about
But it's not funny anymore
I fear I choke unless I spit it out
Still smell of smoke, although the fire's gone out
Can't live with you, but I die without
So what's left to say when every word's been spoken?
What's left to see when our eyes won't open?
What's left to do when we've lost all hope and
What's left to break when our hearts are broken?

But sometimes
 
So what's left to say when every word's been spoken?
What's left to see when our eyes won't open?
What's left to do when we've lost all hope and
What's left to break when our hearts are broken?

But sometimes
 
 
 
Songwriters: Michael David Rosenberg
Golden Leaves lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Saturday, October 27, 2018

My Country Tis of Thy People You're Dying




a song by Buffy Sainte-Marie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTqV1pnQoos


She wrote this song in 1966.  It's about the destruction of the Native American tribes,  However, today, when I learn that 8 Jewish people have been killed in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which caps off a week of pipe bombs being sent to opponents of Trump,  I feel this song is appropriate to read/hear today:

Lyrics
 
Now that your big eyes have finally opened
Now that you're wondering how must they feel
Meaning them that you've chased across America's movie screens
Now that you're wondering "how can it be real?"
That the ones you've called colourful, noble and proud
In your school propaganda
They starve in their splendor?
You've asked for my comment I simply will render
 
My country 'tis of thy people you're dying.
 
Now that the longhouses breed superstition
You force us to send our toddlers away
To your schools where they're taught to despise their traditions.
Forbid them their languages, then further say
That American history really began
When Columbus set sail out of Europe, then stress
That the nation of leeches that conquered this land
Are the biggest and bravest and boldest and best.
And yet where in your history books is the tale
Of the genocide basic to this country's birth,
Of the preachers who lied, how the Bill of Rights failed,
How a nation of patriots returned to their earth?
And where will it tell of the Liberty Bell
As it rang with a thud
O'er Kinzua mud
And of brave Uncle Sam in Alaska this year?
 
My country 'tis of thy people you're dying
 
Hear how the bargain was made for the West:
With her shivering children in zero degrees,
Blankets for your land, so the treaties attest,
Oh well, blankets for land is a bargain indeed,
And the blankets were those Uncle Sam had collected
From smallpox-diseased dying soldiers that day.
And the tribes were wiped out and the history books censored,
A hundred years of your statesmen have felt it's better this way.
And yet a few of the conquered have somehow survived,
Their blood runs the redder though genes have paled.
From the Grand Canyon's caverns to craven sad hills
The wounded, the losers, the robbed sing their tale.
From Los Angeles County to upstate New York
The white nation fattens while others grow lean;
Oh the tricked and evicted they know what I mean.
 
My country 'tis of thy people you're dying.
 
The past it just crumbled, the future just threatens;
Our life blood shut up in your chemical tanks.
And now here you come, bill of sale in your hands
And surprise in your eyes that we're lacking in thanks
For the blessings of civilization you've brought us,
The lessons you've taught us, the ruin you've wrought us
Oh see what our trust in America's brought us.
 
My country 'tis of thy people you're dying.
 
Now that the pride of the sires receives charity,
Now that we're harmless and safe behind laws,
Now that my life's to be known as yourheritage,
Now that even the graves have been robbed,
Now that our own chosen way is a novelty
Hands on our hearts we salute you your victory,
Choke on your blue white and scarlet hypocrisy
Pitying the blindness that you've never seen
That the eagles of war whose wings lent you glory
They were never no more than carrion crows,
Pushed the wrens from their nest, stole their eggs, changed their story;
The mockingbird sings it, it's all that he knows.

"Ah what can I do?" say a powerless few
With a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye
Can't you see that their poverty's profiting you.
 
My country 'tis of thy people you're dying.
 
 
Songwriters: Buffy Sainte Marie
My Country 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group