FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Davies and Orloski

by

Uncle George and the Woods
by ROBERT A. DAVIES

Under a canvas
slung over a pole
I lie in my sleeping bag
looking at the world below.

Suddenly I see a shadow
just beyond the cliff
I’m camping on,
Uncle George
old man
high up in an oak.
How long has he been watching?

We greet each other.
He has shown me Cassiopeia
identified many plants,
he too at home in the trees.

I wish I could greet him now
prominent among the ghosts
of those whom I haven’t thanked.

Thank you, “Uncle George”
uncle to countless scouts.
I find the woods welcoming
whether in them, or as now
picturing myself in them.

Driving to Timber, Oregon
by ROBERT A. DAVIES

After the fields of red clover
set against green and blue
my acre of trees will be no less a pleasure.

The big Douglas firs —
all over Timber the residents
are cutting trees that shelter their houses.

Next, the houses themselves!
Winters are wet and cold and long
jobs scarcer than ever,
there’s no CCC to return.
Roads are smoke filled, the town
naked as sheared beefalo.

What happens when trees in the yard are gone?
Of course there are plenty of trees
they just aren’t legal, though dawn
might usher in another what’s-theirs.

Robert A. Davies is the author of Timber and, more recently Bluff Hollow. He can be reached at  rjdavies3@comcast.net.

Kadavergehorsam in the Land of Opportunity *
by CHARLES ORLOSKI

Come, come Angel of Death,
please visit my rented-room, let us talk?
In late-1980s,
a University of Scranton graduate,
I planned marriage, children,
building prosperous future working
for Taylor Borough’s Amity Lumber Co.,
and Municipal Waste Landfill,
at $7.25 an hour.
Daily, I watched garbage trucks enter
upon the landfill’s State Certified scale,
where total garbage tonnage was calculated,
municipal waste processed for proper burial,
and lots of “Green” fell into Amity family coffers.

Angel of Death,
please help me remember here?
Was it Saint Thomas Sunday
when Amity family approached,
asked me to speak at a Taylor Council meeting,
provide persuasive argument why residents
should consent to landfill expansion plans,
come within 200 feet of people’s backyards,
in vicinity of kid’s swing-sets, bird baths,
elderly hammocks, vegetable gardens.
Angel of Death, I’m sure you heard many
muddled tales like mine, so please don’t go?
I want to make confession,
and undergo America’s favored purification act,
become, “accountable for actions,”
before you come along, and account for me.

That anticipated night,
at Taylor Borough Council meeting,
I rose, stood confidently at podium,
told residents how unwise for them
to protest Amity Landfill expansion.
With Letterman charm, I asked,
What mattered foul garbage odors, rodents,
potential ground water quality threats,
daily noise from dump-trailer
and “haul-pack” heavy burial equipment?
Talking DOWN to crowded assembly,
including friends played and grown-up with,
I explained how Taylor needed “good jobs,”
and guaranteed how veto of Amity Landfill
expansion would forever stymie T-town’s economy.

Angel of Death, I am sure you understand
how I needed to secure prosperous future,
and while doing my duty for Amity family,
I emphasized financial benefits of having
Municipal Waste Landfills built
in post-anthracite coal hometowns.
Chided assembly, called to mind “N.I.MB.Y.,”
I cynically remarked how no one wants
prisons and heroin-addict rehabilitation centers
located in neighborhoods.
“And until the Federal government invents better
Final Household Waste Disposal Solutions,
Taylor’s garbage must go somewhere,”
I lectured.

Angel of Death…,
upon speech conclusion, a hullabaloo,
comic annihilation of my purported
“eloquence,” compromised testimony.
Afterward, hot September night,
angry Taylor citizens waited upon my exit,
owner of local barbershop threw me the finger.
Alarmed, I hurried to car’s sanctuary.
And now, Angel of Death,
as I approach hour of flesh-bone demise,
and while there’s still time to confess
before becoming just another “obedient corpse,”
lowered into an E.P.A. approved grave,
including double-lined abyss,
State-of-Art methane collection system,
at age 62, I want you to know
that its terrible to have learned
all the loyal “duty” Adolf Eichmann did,
all for upwardly mobile career advancement.
And in comparison, Dear Angel,
I ask you to internalize how easy
OBEDIENCE once was for me
to a Municipal Waste landfill owner’s
will and revenue goals.

In closing,
and prior to application for “final dirt cover”
upon all that one (like me) must leave behind,    1.
I must keep hope your C.E.O. understands
where I have been – through arbeit darkness
did I tread for decades, not blind,
just banal 20/20 vision.

*   A German word meaning “obedience of corpses” found in Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the Banality of Evil.”   Arendt explained how Adolf Eichmann, as a law-abiding citizen, “consistently acted upon orders – always so careful to be “covered – he became completely muddled, and ended by stressing alternately the virtues and vices of blind obedience, or Kadavergehorsam, or the “obedience of corpses.”

This line sneakily appropriated from the mouth of Bono’s band U-2, song titled, “All that you can’t leave behind.”

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, PA.  He can be reached at orlovzek13@aol.com.

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response.

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us ashttp://www.facebook.com/poets.basement. To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 19, 2017
Melvin Goodman
America’s Russian Problem
Dave Lindorff
Right a Terrible Wrong: Why Obama Should Reverse Himself and Pardon Leonard Peltier
Laura Carlsen
Bringing Mexico to Its Knees Will Not “Make America Great Again”
John W. Whitehead
Nothing is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics
Yoav Litvin
Time to Diss Obey: the Failure of Identity Politics and Protest
Mike Whitney
The Trump Speech That No One Heard 
Conn Hallinan
Is Europe Heading for a “Lexit”?
Stephen Cooper
Truth or Twitter? Why Donald Trump Is No John Steinbeck
Binoy Kampmark
Scoundrels of Patriotism: The Freeing of Chelsea Manning
Ramzy Baroud
The Balancing Act is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us about Israel
Josh Hoxie
Why Health Care Repeal is a Stealth Tax Break for Millionaires
Kim C. Domenico
It’s High Time for a Politics of Desire
Shamus Cooke
Inauguration Day and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
More and More Lousy
David Swanson
Samantha Power Can See Russia from Her Padded Cell
Kevin Carson
Right to Work and the Apartheid State
Malaika H. Kambon
Resisting the Lynching of Haitian Liberty!
January 18, 2017
Gary Leupp
The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump’s Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)
Charles Pierson
Drone Proliferation Ramps Up
Ajamu Baraka
Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama
David Underhill
Trumpology With a Twist
Chris Floyd
Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All the Way to Hell
Stansfield Smith
Obama’s Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Ron Leighton
Trump is Not Hitler: How the Misuse of History Distorts the Present as Well as the Past
Ralph Nader
An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
NATO and Obsolescence: Donald Trump and the History of an Alliance
Zarefah Baroud
‘The Power to Create a New World’: Trump and the Environmental Challenge Ahead
Julian Vigo
Obama Must Pardon the Black Panthers in Prison or in Exile
Alfredo Lopez
The Whattsapp Scandal
Clancy Sigal
Russian Hacking and the Smell Test
Terry Simons
The Truth About Ethics and Condoms
January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail