Settling Accounts

Empress 314


Settling Accounts

How did I earn my money? Let me count the ways.
Of madmen, priests and preachers, I sang the praise,
sinners all who tried to change my ways
by grooming me in all their awful styles
to share the sadistic rhythms of their wiles.

Then there were bosses, CEOs, and chief execs,
whose aim in life was troubling their employees,
the men for unpaid work, the women for sex,
and while we slaved, they lived a life of ease.

Senior teachers, department heads, and deans
reduced all genius to counting and recounting beans.
Those bean counters checking up on us, every hour,
flexing their muscles, overwhelming us with power.

Sometimes, at night, my nightmares fill with screams
as their abuse and privilege shake me from my dreams,
my dreams of freedom, sharing, caring, love, and joy,
all the small things I’d taken for granted when a boy.

In a twisted, corkscrew world we all must live
where the richest rob the poorest who work and give.
And even more shall be given to those who hold
while those who have-not labor and are sold.

A sad world this, but some things remain with me:
my power to dream, to create a legacy,
to mold still willing people with my voice,
to gift them beauty, thought, and power of choice.

Oh dreamers, join with me and sing, be it high or low,
but don’t forget your dreams, don’t ever let them go.

Comment: I went to pick up groceries today and sat in line, waiting in the car, rear hatch open, for 30 minutes. Unwilling to waste my time, I decided to write a poem. Oh dear: I had left my note book at home. I rummaged around the car and found a redemption slip from two years ago and a bank slip from last year. I wrote two poems, one on each of them, each poem thematically linked to the slip of paper it was written on. This is the bank slip poem. I’d say “Enjoy” except that this is what the waiter / waitress says each time s/he places a particularly unpalatable meal before me. Luckily this cannot happen anymore and I am eating delightfully well at home, thank you. I am not a Cordon Bleu Chef by any means, but I am a good one, having learned at my Welsh Grandmother’s knee when I was a tiny tot. Supper tonight: salmon and leek and potatoes! Cost: about $5. It would have cost fifty in a restaurant and it would have been half as good. So count your blessings: cooking and creativity are two of mine and yes, every time I look at what I have and see what so many others are missing … I break my heart.