Canadanarchy | Adrienne Stevenson


nobody could have predicted this
one existential challenge drops on top of another

much like the weather, seeing farther
than three days ahead seems unlikely

each time we think we have it sussed
events transpire to prove us wrong

even the birds couldn’t sing
drowned out by blaring horns

what winter's chill couldn't still
harsh diesel fumes conquered

cardinals, woodpeckers, sparrows
crows—all fled upwind to peace

wings gave them ability to flee
what human residents endured

Mob Rule, Ottawa 2022

the urge to do something positive overwhelms me
cabin fever drives me outside to winter's chill
I am greeted by diesel fumes and honking horns
an air-raid siren blares above them—deafening

holders of extreme, selfish views, from far and wide
descended on our city—we were warned
but prior groups had all been civilized
demonstrated, made their point and gone away

a vociferous minority, much less than one percent
holds hostage our daily lives, those in need
unable to obtain necessities or support
invaders speak of freedom while ensuring our captivity

our common enemies cannot be seen
neither the virus that has upended all our lives
nor the shambles we have created of the planet
so some lash out at targets they can comprehend

mythology they follow designed to bolster 
sorry egos that desire power but warrant it not
the freedom they request applies only to them
they would deny it to the rest of us

how do a few coerce the many? 
a question well-known in history
—expedient collaborators in the halls of power
emerge to take photo-ops—follow the money

augmenting the insult, local officialdom seems paralysed
police infiltrated by those of similar ideology
fearing to lose their privilege, feeling threatened
from all sides—women, minorities, the other

around the clock abuse accumulates with impunity
pets terrorized by fireworks augment the noise
local citizens the only ones fined or arrested
the insurrectionists enabled at every turn

driven by blind hatred or driven to take a stand?
when people blockade our streets, hold knives, clubs, guns
fully prepared to wield them against the innocent
do fine distinctions matter?

if we must descend into anarchy, for all our sins
against each other and the world, it would be easier
to bear if it was a natural disaster that sent us there
and not our fellow, imperfect human beings

lungs suffocated by fumes, ears deadened by cacophony
eyes weeping over obstruction and assault
I withdraw into my warm haven, to grieve democracy
not knowing when or if my positive outlook will return

Trust Fund for Tomorrow

a change of world is coming
we cannot stop it or even interfere
without precipitating its arrival
—it has been on its way a long time

symptoms of the upheaval
pile up daily—society's fringes
restless, rumbling, ranting
chanting conspiracy theories

will we avoid the lawlessness
that so often accompanies change?
our eroded infrastructure
might not cope with turmoil

I take heart in my fellows
whose forebears endured war
disease, oppression, hate
survived, remained strong

we are the world's trust fund
we are the reservoir of courage
we will resist anarchy, those who would
tear us down, and we will rise

©2022 Adrienne Stevenson
All rights reserved

Adrienne Stevenson…

…is a Canadian living in Ottawa, Ontario. A retired forensic scientist, when not writing, she tends a large garden. Her poetry has appeared in more than thirty print and online publications in Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia, most recently in Bywords, The Elpis Pages, Silver Apples, WordCityLit and The BeZine.


Be inspired… Be creative… Be peace… Be

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