Davies and Orloski


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!

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone
Laura Finley
Adjunct Professors and Worker’s Rights
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode Three, Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”
Weekend Edition
July 24-26, 2015
Mike Whitney
Picked Out a Coffin Yet? Take Ibuprofen and Die
Henry Giroux
America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland
Rob Urie
Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone
Michael Lanigan
Lynn’s Story: an Irish Woman in Search of an Abortion
Paul Street
Deleting Crimes at the New York Times: Airbrushing History at the Paper of Record
Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications
Andrew Levine
After the Iran Deal: Israel is Down But Far From Out
Uri Avnery
Sheldon’s Stooges: Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
David Swanson
George Clooney Paid by War Profiteers
They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
Horace G. Campbell
Obama in Kenya: Will He Cater to the Barons or the People?
Michael Welton
Surviving Together: Canadian Public Tradition Under Threat
Rev. William Alberts
American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains
Yorgos Mitralias
Black Days: August 4th,1914 Germany and July 13th, 2015 Greece