Poem: an artists insurrection against impending armageddon

I wrote this poem some time ago, but i’ve been haunted by the armagedon wet dreams, the self fulfilling prophesy of the inevitable end of days, to justify an unquenchable thirst of greed.  

an artists insurrection against impending armageddon

by emma rosenthal


we have reached the end of days

if we listen to the generals

the strange interpretation of biblical text

we are approaching armageddon

there is no room for artist in heaven

along with jews and other infidels

we will all burn in a sea of fire

as the generals and soldiers

these crusaders in a war for oil and empire

march through the gates of heaven

how do they envision paradise?

is there any room for imagination

beyond the brilliant justification for world destruction

these ends of days are like a funeral durge

slow measured frightened and beautiful

we march behind the soldiers

in contrast to their naked brutality

we sell flowers on street corners

chant durges on the steps of city hall

paint our forms in chalk on corporate pavement

there is more for us in paradise

than these hollow promises

we cannot march to the drummers of the death knell

i dance to the sounds of the birds and the wind

the crickets whisper to me the direction to take in battle

we fight with paint brushes brooms and sewing needles

reconstruct from the ashes of their bitterness

a sea of transformation splendor majesty

hope against the fear of sky scrapers

and the destruction of the city commons

where can i meet you

will i see you at the library or the marketplace

we have no space in common anymore

each leaf and blade of grass is patented by monsanto

even my own garden isn’t mine

in defiance i sow forbidden seeds

hide fugitive artists in  my garage

stash implements of self expression behind the tomato plants

hide remedy in soup bowls

sneak books of poetry across the border of forbidden thoughts

let us gather our plows and printing presses

march out our army of artisans, poets philosophers

mothers      children      the disabled

we shall gather in front of the monuments to corporate monopoly

creative, we shall do more than merely redistribute wealth

let us paint a mural against the bitterness of capital

let us dance with fingerprints upon the freshly polished glass

let us reconstruct  deconstruct the corporate structure

let us build a monument  to hope from the finest marble

gather our finest sculptors to chisel away the corporate greed

let us create a world of wealth not measured in numbers on digital screens

abundance in the depth of paintings sprawled on canvas in children’s art classes

in the prolific dances in newly reclaimed public gardens

in the flowers that bloom organic to meet the paint brushes

in the heart that meets the hands that bridge divides of freeway and distance

the dismantled impositions of capitol and greed

they cannot take you away from me

let us storm the bastille and free those trapped behind stolen opportunities

lost dreams, misplaced hope, false divisions, broken promises

gather the dispossessed and storm the factories of death and theft

let me meet you in the public square after we have dismantled corporate tyranny

taken back our territory granting it to our children in collective perpetuity

we will reclaim this paradise with our hammers and chisels paint brushes keyboards

paint and build and dance and sing through the gates of paradise

an artists insurrection against impending Armageddon

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This entry was posted in an artists insurrection against impending armageddon, HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION, HUMAN RIGHTS, POEMS, SOCIAL JUSTICE by emmarosenthal. Bookmark the permalink.

About emmarosenthal

Emma Rosenthal is an artist, writer, educator, reiki practitioner, farmer and human rights activist, living in Southern California, whose work combines art, activism, education and grassroots mobilization. As a person with a disability she is confined, not by her disability but by the narrow and marginalizing attitudes and structures of the society at large. She is the founder and co-director of The WE Empowerment Center and Café Intifada, and she lives and works at Dragonflyhill Urban Farm. As an educator her emphasis has been in the areas of bilingual and multicultural education. Her experience as a grassroots organizer, political essayist and speaker has been life long and has included many progressive causes. Her work seeks to combine art, activism, education and grassroots mobilization. Her poetry and prose is impassioned, sensual, political, life affirming and powerful. In her writing she explores the use of art and literary expression to elicit an ethos more compelling than dogma and ideological discourse, providing new paradigms for community, communion, connection and human transformation. She has been a featured poet and speaker throughout Southern California at a variety of venues and programs including; The Arab-American Festival, Highways Performance Space, The Autry Museum, Barnes and Nobel, Poetic License, Borders/Pasadena, Beyond Baroque, Freedom Fries Follies (a fundraiser for The Center for the Study of Political Graphics), KPFK, Arts in Action, Chafey College, UC Irvine and Hyperpoets. Her work has appeared in several publications including Lilith Magazine, The Pasadena Star News, The San Gabriel Tribune, The San Gabriel Valley Quarterly, LoudMouth Magazine (CSLA), Coloring Book; An Eclectic Anthology of Multicultural Writers (Rattlecat Press 2003), Muse Apprentice Guild and the Anthology, Shifting Sands, Jewish-American Women Speak Out Against the Occupation, Spring 2010. Her work has shown in several galleries in the Southern California area, including the Galleries at Whittier College, and Pasadena City College, as well as Beans and Leaves Coffeehouse in Covina, CA.

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