If I Owned a Macy’s

by Nancy Weber

If I owned a Macy’s or other such stores…
I’d tear down the plywood and unlock the doors.
It used to be mine, but things change. Now it’s yours—
Men’s sleepwear to rugs, all the 10.5 floors.
Fill backpack and bags. Come and take what you need!
No cops in pursuit. There’s no reason to speed.
But may I advise you: Avoid mindless greed?
If silk is your love, then don’t finger the tweed.
And as for the famous half acre of shoes
Remember that fashion exacts harmful dues.
Beware the beguiling new seasonal hues.
For fit must come first or you’ll blister and bruise.
That’s it. Oh but please, you must send me a letter:
Tell true. Did my stuff make your life any better?



If You Have a Dream…

“There is no greater evil than anarchy.” —Sophocles

by Susan Jarvis Bryant

If you can light the starless night of hatred
With sanguine smiles of Summer’s golden sun;
If you can bin all spin and sin; negate it—
Restore the souls of those who’ve come undone;
If you can render colour blindness vital
When looking at the shade of someone’s skin,
Ditch all that’s scornful, prejudiced and spiteful
And hear the silenced voice of kith and kin;

If you can paint your pain upon a banner
That states its case full in the face of ill,
And hammer home your message in a manner
That doesn’t burn all bridges, maim, or kill;
If you know blood and bile spilt in a battle
Serve only as a fleeting victory,
That momentary gain will only rattle,
Destroying long-term peace and harmony;

If you know anarchy spells devolution
And lawlessness arrests your goal of peace,
You’ll tread the path of equable solution
Where unarmed truth will bring this world release,
Where we can live together with each other
In keeping with the dream of yesterday,
Where content of each character will smother
The lies that evil tells to get its way.



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11 Responses

  1. Damian Robin

    Antifa looks so smart and nice
    blacked up like mistral negroes.
    If anything, they have one vice:
    world-dominating egos.

    They want to smash all sense of law
    reorganise by smashing,
    To smash the law that went before
    with smash-and-grab and slashing.

    Hard vile’ance is an awkward treat,
    adrenalin gets flowing,
    And though they’re buoyed by re-tweet tweet,
    it’s like their slips are showing.

    For when the city’s rubble-downed
    and citizens are ramblers
    On black-hot cars, with futures drowned
    by hit-addicted gamblers

    Still looking for some flesh to beat,
    some face that gives to knuckles,
    Some glass not smashed by steel-capped feet
    or edifice that buckles,

    Where do they go for angry sleep
    with dead beat deeds done thorough?
    It’s off to somewhere else they creep
    (maybe their local borough).

    Coercion moves the best of them,
    desertion’s their new nation.
    Anarchy’s their diadem:
    all round intimidation.

    A vexed and pumped idolatry,
    tradition for cremating,
    Stupidity’s poor quality
    but still intimidating.

    So let’s stay put and let them be,
    these juveniles of power,
    Erupting in conformity
    for now is their slack hour.

  2. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    How chillingly prophetic – let’s hope it’s not too late to pull the Western world back from the brink of this: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell

  3. Reid McGrath

    You pulled me out of oblivion. I’m going to start reading poetry again. Thank you.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mr. McGrath, your comment has just led me to your page of poetry – it’s engaging, inspiring and beautiful. Thank you! I’m glad you’re reading poetry again.

  4. Lew Icarus Bede

    Ms. Weber’s poem reminds us how many businesses in Manhattan (as well as, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis) have been boarded up.

    Ms. Bryant’s Kiplingesque verse tag seems to side with Kreon in Sophocles’ “Antigone”, where Kreon states “ἀναρχίας δὲ μεῖζον οὐκ ἔστιν κακόν.” For me the tragic flaws of both figures, Antigone and Kreon, are unsettling.

    It is nice to hear from Mr. McGrath. One of my favourite books of poetry of 2019 is Reid McGrath’s “Juvenalia”. I have for some time admired Mr. McGrath’s large, rugged poetic vision.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mr. Bede, perhaps the origin of the Sophocles quote is misleading. Personally, I think these current murderous, dangerous and destructive riots, whereby terrorist organizations are calling for the”defunding” of the police, are indeed evil. My poem is a warning to the naive protesters who take everything at face value. You may have noticed the wise words of Martin Luther King, Jr. woven throughout.

  5. Nancy Weber

    If poems are worth a thousand photographs,
    Why preface them with visual epigraphs?
    Not to be an ingrate! I’m thrilled to be here.
    But wasn’t my thinking sufficiently clear?
    (And unlike the photos not meant to spark fear.)
    I peer at blurred faces and wish I could see
    The all of the lives leading up to this spree.
    (And did they sign releases saying OK
    To publishing their images in this way?)
    Some protest. Some riot. Some loot. Some write verse
    Parsing their truth, for anapestic or worse.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Exposing Crime Matters

    If you take a hammer, smash windows and doors,
    If you ignore laws, grabbing goods that aren’t yours,
    Leave businesses ruined and cities aflame
    (Expecting acclaim and accepting no blame)
    Each headline should scream out your shame and your name.
    If you leave in tatters what raw toil has built
    And then flaunt your spoils when you ought to feel guilt;
    If you destroy towns it’s an utter disgrace
    That blights every right to go block out your face.
    So, put down that brick and go knock out some verse,
    ‘Cause crime caught online is the criminal’s curse.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      … and those who excuse the flouting of law
      May feel differently when crime breaks down their door.

      • Nancy Weber

        It’s a crime to rhyme
        Law and door
        Unless you come
        From Arkansas.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        It’s fine to rhyme
        both law and door
        if you’re from Britain –
        that’s the score.

        Check my bio
        and you’ll see
        for me they rhyme
        just perfectly. 🙂

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