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Captains of Society

I mentioned when I posted Angry Young Poet there was a second poem I shared from my youth with my students. I softened this one a bit, as it had an angry voice. I know this version sounds pretty harsh, but it is gentler. A recent conversation reminded me how I marginalize voices of those already marginalized. A professor commented he was told by an affluent person that another less fortunate person was a non-entity and the worth of human was measured in material worth. I know this might be isolated, but it troubling and I was reminded of this poem.

Captains of Society

Shallow, superficial, arrogant

Single ambition

Greatness in the eyes of others

Only those with resources can apply

The rest

Forgotten

Pay a high price, but…

It’s their fault

They own their misery.

A cheque to charity

Assuages my conscience

What about the despair?

Don’t care

I claim I do

Donations in good faith, but

It’s a tax receipt

I can really claim, but…

Done on the backs of others

Get the staff to donate time

Not mine.

Increase taxes

Not mine!

No way!

It’s wrong!

Tax others!

What is work?

I create jobs

It’s a spectator sport

This work, which

I manage from afar.

Drive luxury wheels

Shout

Curse

What’s the hold up?

Who’s blocking my way?

The ‘75 Ford station wagon

Engine shot

Dead broke!

Is it their home?

 Throw a party

Drink

Eat

Be merry

No concern for homeless

A romantic notion this ‘hobo jungle’

Not my world

What’s wrong?

It’s not my fault

I gave at the office.

After all.

Throw money at problems

It might help

Don’t

Stop, see, care

If it really helps

Denying, refusing, unfeeling

I pay for a clear conscience

After all.

 The misery

In surround sound…

Is out of sight;

Out of mind

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

4 responses »

  1. Mitt Romney does poetry?

    Reply
      • just seems like something he could have written.

      • I had to think about it for a few minutes. I wrote the original poem in about 1969 and the theme remained consistent. Had I written it today, the answer might be yes, but in 1969 I was seeing the beginnings of a world I did not particularly care for and it has gotten progressively worse.

        Thank you for the reflective and thought provoking comments and time to consider it in full context, It is appreciated and good for the heart of an old rebel.

        Ivon

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