Document 2017

The peaceful transfer of power

We all watched it happen: the shaking of hands, the sitting through ceremony,

hands on Bibles. Peaceful Transfer

of power.

To witness the immediate consolidation

and abuse

of power.

To stomach the legislative complicity of

that abuse of

peacefully transferred power.

If this is where we are after 10 days,

where are we likely to be in 100 days?

I am told not to despair,

that we will fight back. Yes.

But all that power we handed over,

so peacefully

Is being used to frighten, silence and beat

us all.

If you think this is not you,

just wait.

Unless you belong to someone in that room

applauding each fresh signature of doom,

don’t believe that this won’t catch you


People will bow to authority before they recall

their humanity and

acknowledge yours.

Each of us has power and often we hand it over

because we trust,

we have faith,

we believe

that others mean us no harm.

What we forget is how poorly

we understand harm when it is not us

but our neighbor,

our colleague,

the guy across the street, city, county, country

whose livelihood, dignity, existence

is at stake.

‘No harm done’ we say so easily

because we followed protocol

when it came time.

We witnessed the peaceful transfer

of power.

Laws will be broken.

Orders will be given.

People will suffer. Always.

And that room of self-satisfied men

will know

That they got the power cheap at a

fake news rummage sale.

And they will hoard it and flaunt it

and use it against us,

because we gave it to them,

we handed it to them through

our quirky institutions and unspoken appetite

for criminal political theater.

The power they got peacefully handed over

will be the instrument of our undoing.

It already is.





















4 thoughts on “Document 2017

  1. Your poetic wisdom brings to mind the famous phrase of Martin Niemoller (1892-1984): First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists (and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionists). Then they came for the Jews (and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew). Then they came for me (and there was no one left to speak for me).
    You are modeling how to be a voice for justice and humanity. If we can be that and more, we should.
    Uncle Thad
    P.S. There is the ironic coincidence that Pastor Niemoller died in 1984, the same year of the book title by George Orwell. Now to search for those alternative facts that are not lies.

  2. DANG! This is so… prescient? aware? At the time, I remember being nervous but certain that our institutions would stop him, that those others would stand up to him, that… something. Instead, I realize that I was so busy focusing on peaceful transfer that I forgot about power. Thank you for bringing this back to our attention now.

    1. Oh Amanda, I wish I could have been wrong but even I was stunned at how many of these things came to pass in these years since Jan 2017. This is a hard knock backwards to be sure. We’ll recover but it’s a tall order. I hope you are well, friend. Take care.

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