(A liberal-socialist primer for our youngest, most impressionable comrades)

Note: ‘take the other bus’ is a slang term for homosexual behavior.

Come gather round me, little ones:
you bourgeois girls, suburban sons.
I am your teacher, leader, czar;
get on my bus and we’ll go far.

America is wrong, you see,
and none of you are really free
when rich kids all across this land
have candy, toys, and cash in hand.

Those evil, wealthy, nasty brats
(not one, a child of Democrats),
they make your lives unhappy, poor;
How can you smile when they have more?

Sweet Susie, dear, what’s that you said?
You don’t believe that God is dead?
Your daddy said that you should pray?
Oh, dear young Susie, keep away

from evil men who try to teach
you patriarchal, hate-filled speech,
for God is mean and horrible,
and daddies are deplorable.

(That means they’re bad, young Susie, dear,
so don’t repeat their words in here.
Especially, don’t say, “my dad,”
or little Johnny might be sad.

See, Johnny can’t quite understand
that “Dad” word that our school has banned
since both his moms have tried to stress
that parent roles are gender-less.)

Yes, Johnny? You were wondering
about colonial plundering?
Let’s talk about that, children dear,
for it’s a sordid tale you’ll hear:

The men who tamed this wilderness
were villains all, I must confess.
They brought the smallpox, don’t forget,
and chopped down trees and were a threat

to every wolf and buffalo;
they ruined Mother Earth, you know.
Each racist-bigot-homophobe,
still threatens life around the globe.

So, children, we must join as one
to overturn what they have done.
We’ll fight for redistributing
the toys to which rich children cling.

We’ll fight to end all fatherhood
and girlhood, boyhood, too–we should.
We’ll fight and  yell with all our might
that right is wrong and wrong is right.

No God or family, not for us:
we’re all aboard the liberal bus!

 

Amy Foreman hails from the southern Arizona desert, where she homesteads with her husband and seven children.  She has enjoyed teaching both English and Music at the college level, but is now focused on home-schooling her children, gardening, farming, and writing. Her blog is theoccasionalcaesura.wordpress.com

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29 Responses

    • Amy Foreman

      Thank you, Steven, and I would like to add my own “Amen” to Evan Mantyk’s excellent choice of illustration to go with this poem.

      Reply
  1. Joe Tessitore

    SPECTACULAR!!!

    I was happy just at the sight of your name!

    What a poem!

    (was there no way you could have beaten that “Mother Earth” line into submission?)

    Reply
  2. Chris Tessitore

    You have covered it all!
    Sarcasm used to it’s best effect.
    I am forwarding this.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thanks, Chris! I hope you don’t get “hate mail” from those you forward it to . . . 😉

      Reply
  3. E. V.

    WOW! Way to go, Amy! You’ve delivered a poem with clear meaning and perfect meter. Unfortunately, any poem that upholds traditional values would have a hard time being accepted in most publications. Thank you, Society of Classical Poets for defending conservatives’ right to freedom of speech.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      You are so right, E.V.! Kudos and gratitude to the SCP for confronting the destructive ideologies of our time and for publishing poets whose message would likely be censored in other venues.

      Reply
  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    These are fine quatrains, with perfect rhymes.

    The poem is meant to be comic-satirical, but the melancholy truth is that today, in our corrupt culture, it is narrative-factual. Lower-grade (K-12) public education in the United States is now completely in the hands of leftist ideologues.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thank you for your comment, Mr. Salemi. Sadly, you are right. Their agenda doesn’t even try to hide any more in the grammar school arena, where preschoolers and kindergarten classes are openly indoctrinated in leftist/communist “virtues” before their own moral compasses ever get the chance to develop.

      “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

      Reply
  5. David Watt

    Amy, this is a fine satirical poem. You have precisely exposed the insidious features of modern liberal education. The pairing of ‘fatherhood’ to ‘we should’ is a nice touch. The poem’s rhyming is just right throughout.

    Reply
  6. David Hollywood

    Extraordinarily strong poem. A real carousel of an experience. I don’t live in America, but my goodness this portrays so much of what I try to discern from a distance. Insightful, and thank you.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thanks so much, David Hollywood. I wish it weren’t an accurate portrayal, but alas . . .

      Reply
  7. Monty

    It’s previously been the case, Amy, that I’d find myself growing increasingly stunned with the quality of your work as I was sifting my way through one of your poems; but I’m afraid to say that that’s no longer the case. I can no longer be surprised at such quality; I’ve grown used to it.

    I’ve got a stated policy of never reading (or writing) poetry on my phone (too hindering): I’ll always wait till I get home and read it in luxury on my ipad. Thus, when I got an email earlier today saying ‘New Post by Amy Foreman’, I immediately had that anticipative sense of: ‘I can’t wait to get home tonight to read Amy’s latest’. Once home, needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed, nor stunned, with ‘The Bus’ . . just enraptured.

    Wilde once said that ‘Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit . . but the highest form of intelligence’. For a man who’s had such a major influence on my life (a man who, indeed, introduced me to poetry), that’s the only point of his on which I’ve ever diverged; ‘cos I believe it to be the highest form of BOTH . . wit and intelligence. You’ve displayed the purest of sarcasm with ease, Amy, and I dearly wish that ‘The Bus’ was able to reach a wider British audience, ‘cos sarcasm there plays a big part in everyday banter.

    Bien joué . .

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Your kind words made my day, Monty! Thank you for anticipating, understanding, enjoying, and valuing my work. That sort of appreciation is the greatest compliment any poet could hope for. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Mark Stone

    Amy, Hello.

    1. In the third line of the fifth stanza (S5 L3), if the evil men are trying to teach that God is mean and horrible, then I would change “for” to “that.”

    2. In S7 L4, the word “gender-less” appears. The online Merriam-Webster dictionary has the word with no hyphen.

    3. S9 L1&2 read as follows:

    The men who tamed this wilderness
    were villains all, I must confess.

    One uses the phrase “I must confess” when one discloses something bad or embarrassing that one has done. The strident teacher/bus driver, of course, was not involved personally in taming the wilderness, and would not feel responsible for it or embarrassed by it. So the phrase “I must confess” doesn’t seem fitting. Here is an alternative:

    The men who tamed this wilderness
    were villains. We must seek redress.

    4. My favorite line is S11 L4: “the toys to which rich children cling.” Excellent.

    5. S12 L3&4 read as follows:

    We’ll fight and yell with all our might
    that right is wrong and wrong is right.

    The second sentence seems like something that a conservative would say about a progressive, since conservatives believe that progressives are trying to change how things in society are viewed. To me, the second sentence seems like something that a conservative would say, not something that the progressive teacher/bus driver would say.

    6. The last stanza reads as follows:

    No God or family, not for us:
    we’re all aboard the liberal bus!

    The “no family” doesn’t seem appropos to me, since my impression is that progressives are not opposed to the family per se, but rather how it has traditionally been defined. Also, my impression from watching the news is that many on the left refer to themselves these days as “progressives” rather than “liberals.” So another option could be:

    No God or family, not for us:
    we’re riding the progressive bus!

    7. Notwithstanding these comments, I think the poem is colorful, playful, clever and well-constructed. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Reply
    • Monty

      Being totally immune to politics, Mark; I can only comment on the first 3 of your 7 points.

      1/ As the line stands, it’s clear that the speaker is claiming that GOD IS MEAN AND HORRIBLE.

      If ‘that’ was to replace ‘for’, then the speaker would be saying that the girl’s daddy (and all such evil men) will claim ‘THAT’ GOD IS MEAN AND HORRIBLE . . the exact opposite!

      2/ I’m a strong exponent of hyphens, and I use them assiduously in terms such as ‘time-difference’; ‘english-language magazine’; ‘second-hand’, etc.
      To use one in a word ending in ‘less’ is, I agree, debatable; but I feel that it’s the author’s own choice if they feel that they should eliminate any possible ambiguity for the reader.

      One might say: ‘I chose a carrot-cake, but the cake was virtually carrot-less’ . . not ‘carrotless’.

      I note that you didn’t use a hyphen when you wrote “bus driver” above. I believe there should always be a hyphen in bus-driver; taxi-driver; bike-rider, etc.

      3/ ‘I must confess’ is just a figure of speech which we all use when having nothing to confess to. I’ve been in many countries on this planet which the British Empire once exploited and plundered; and I could easily have said to a local: ‘I must confess that the British once ruined your country’. That’s a statement of acknowledgment, not an admission of guilt.

      But if I may elaborate on your suggestion: if the bus-driver “wouldn’t feel responsible” for the taming of the land . . why would he feel responsible enough to feel obliged to “seek redress”?

      Reply
      • Amy Foreman

        Thanks, Monty, for giving your thoughts on Mark’s comments. I tried to write replies above yours–as I referenced “Monty . . . addressed these below,” but I think my replies are below yours. Technology–I hardly ever get it right . . .

      • C.B. Anderson

        In The Elements of Grammer, the author points out situations where hypens are absolutely necessary and those where they are not, but, overall, hyphens are used to preserve clarity. There is a natural progression in our language, over time, from hyphenated words to compound words. A modern dictionary will usually tell you when this shift has occurred. Consider “heartfelt,” “daycare,” and ‘homegrown.”

    • Amy Foreman

      Hi, Mark. Thank you for your detailed comments. Monty has addressed some of your points below, but I will as well.

      On #1: The “evil men” are not trying to teach that God is mean and horrible; in fact, just the opposite. Susie’s daddy is telling her that God isn’t dead and that she should pray. It’s the “teacher, leader, czar” who claims that “God is mean and horrible.”

      #2: Thank you for this correction. I will update my copy.

      #3: I agree with Monty here. People say “I must confess” for all sorts of things, and a teacher feigning sad regret at the “villainous” ways of our founding fathers only adds to the punch of the satire, in my opinion.

      #4: Thanks. 🙂

      #5: You’re right. The teacher wouldn’t say this, unless she slipped up and let the truth out. But I like this line anyway, because it summarizes the entire liberal/socialist agenda: to turn traditional values on their head.

      #6: Perhaps progressives SAY they are not opposed to the family, but that’s because they have carefully changed the definition of family to mean any amorphous and mutable clump of humans who choose to call themselves a “family.” However, if we define “family” as a specific, long-established unit which contains only one father, one mother, and their offspring, then the progressives are certainly anti-family.

      #7: Thanks!

      Reply
      • Monty

        Regarding point 5, Amy: I was mildly surprised to notice that you concurred with Mark that it’s not really a feasible sentence; perhaps I’m seeing it wrong.

        To me, it reads thus: The ‘baddie’ (whoever one’s goodie or baddie is) is saying that “Let us tell you this, kids. We’re gonna fight with all we’ve got to make you see that everything which you’ve been told is right . . is, in fact, wrong; and what you’ve been told is wrong is, you’ll find, actually right”.

        If my paraphrase is not how you intended it to read, then forgive me: I’ve misread the sentence. But if it is as you intended, how can that not be a feasible sentence; either in the context of the poem . . or in its own right?

      • Amy Foreman

        Monty–you are totally correct, with the interpretation of the phrase you stated so well.

        I presumed that Mark regarded “right is wrong and wrong is right” as a conservative judgment call–as in, the teacher admitting that she’s swapping a universal right for wrong and wrong for right–and, indeed, it can be interpreted that way. And if that were the case, she probably wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag . . .

  9. Satyananda Sarangi

    Amy ma’am,

    Always a pleasure to read you, very little is every word of praise I come up with.

    Regards

    Reply
  10. Amy Foreman

    Thank you so much, Satyananda! I look forward to seeing more of your work as well!

    Reply
  11. Monty

    I’m glad to hear that I was reading it correctly. As a result, I hereby declare ‘The Bus’ to be . . flawless.

    Reply

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