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
…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.