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Running time: 2 minutes each
Songs composed and performed by Michael Gregory
Copyright 2021 Michael Gregory
NO MORE WAR
I went to the drugstore and I looked inside Saw my good gal had upped and died Hung my head down and I cried Don’t want no more war
Can’t drink this water can’t breathe this air Can’t eat this food that’s been shot up to here Can’t walk on the ground with cement everywhere Don’t want no more war
You say what you’re doing’s for the good of the race All that you’re doing is trying to save face Please look at yourself and get off my case Don’t want no more war
You drive down the road with your gun in a rack You sleep in a doorway with an old gunny sack Looks to me like it’s time we get back Don’t want no more war
I walk in the mountains I walk to the sea I walk cross the desert I walk through the trees Nothing manmade makes as much sense to me Don’t want no more war
Going to find me a river build me a farm Raise up a roof with my right arm Out where nobody will deal me no harm Don’t want no more war
Let’s pick up this mess and try not to waste Let’s grow some food we can smell and can taste We’ll learn to make love without so much haste Don’t want no more war
East is east and west is west I’ve got no idea which one is the best Any place is ok where a body can rest Don’t want no more war
Next door the Doctor and the Lawyer Haggle each other down While the Actress and her Baby Entertain the American Clown While in his office up from Harlem The Professor wears a gown The lights go out all over the place And Papa’s lost his crown
I remember in the forties Watching the faces turn brown In photographs of history books People caught underground There were couples in the sewers And everything was known Of how their deaths occurred to them And how their fear was shown
On the streets above the cellar Silence ruled the town And the shadows never wavered And no insect made a sound And everyone was dying And some they never found From the burning at the center To the burnout all around
Still today our bombs are falling On a land across the sea While the eyes of starving children Beg to us from our TV But still we vote for murder Pay taxes to insanity While the warlords make their profit And the killers still go free
Michael Gregory‘s most recent books include Pound Laundry (Red Dragonfly Press, 2020) and Mr America Drives His Car (Post-Soviet Depression Press, 2013). An internationally-engaged environmental activist, since the early 70s Gregory has lived off-grid in the high desert of southeast Arizona ten miles from the US-Mexico border, the setting for much of his writing.
Poet Michael Gregory Contemplating the New Day (source: Smithsonian Magazine; photo by Heidi Dehncke-Fisher)
Took me back to my youth. Seems all our singing and marching didn’t make a dent.
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I think you made more than a dent, your values and artifacts became part of the culture, and even on the right much from the 60’s era is culturally imbued and taken for granted. What’s going on now is reactionary, and well funded. For instance, we see it was the fossil fuel industry that marketed subversively the idea that climate change is a hoax. That’s something to come up against as poets, we must remember, as I like to say, that all beliefs are cultural artifacts, and in that we are a marketing/counter-intelligence culture. How do we manipulate that as artists and poets? Well, for one, Michael Gregory has here, but we should all experiment with that under our own ideas and visions, sometimes going back, sometimes looking around, sometimes looking forward. Is this a poetry writing prompt here? Help yourselves to it.
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