A Dustbowl Poetrical

To be read in the Talking Blues style of Woodie Guthrie…

I don’t know
what I see anymore
when I look at you
your dark fragrant airs
defeat my imagination

when the poets of the past
talked about a rolling land
I didn’t know they thought
you’d be rolling
in your own pollution

rolling those wheels of progress
across the USA
rolling those trucks and boats and trains
across the prairie lands

but they’ve rolled so much
put so much smoke into the air
they’ve obliterated the view

(gasoline smoke that is)
but then who burns wood these days
unless its a cross?
and the federal buildings
are all made of concrete and steel
(they bomb those)

ah, yes ladies and gentlemen
come with me
take a deep breath
tell me how do you feel
do you see the rivers and lakes?
that’s our water

I’m surprised tho’ it don’t all turn green
what with all the money it’s seen
using our rivers for industrial commodes
making a buck

it seems
the proverbial horse
‘stead of pulling the plow
has got right behind it
pushing it right for us
hell-bent on destruction
gone berserk and out of control

ah, america
you were once a beautiful land
with your rolling rivers
your mountains and streams
and your prairies so grand

but your ingenuity
and raw
get-it-done-guts
is turning you
to a ball of dust

1973 – During the US Post Office pipe bomb home-grown terrorist era.

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