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!

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail