Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May One Speak Out?


The first day of May takes on added significance this year, the year of Republican governors and their state-house stooges, not to mention the damfool Repugnants of the House of Reprehensibles, all of them intent on rescinding worker rights, New Deal programs, long-established benefits and pension plans, and anything else the bastards can dream up, even Social Security--which the liars claim draws on government coffers when in fact we citizens pay into it directly, shares of our hard-earned wages, and it's funded till 2040 or some such, and could be secure for good--the public good--just by raising the cut-off level for paying in.

Or, jeez, here's a radical thought... WE COULD TAX THE RICH! We could end the three wars we're (quag)mired in. Instead of giving rebates and tax breaks, we could actually collect corporate... call them dues because they're way overdue... from the fracking transnational global round-the-world pay-no-taxes close-the-factories move-the-jobs-overseas MEGA CORRUPTIONS!

But no. Instead the Repugnants rob the poor and middle classes to pay the rich--blatant payback for campaign contributions, and "pay ahead" for the future lobbyist jobs awaiting ex-Congress folk. (Folkers, I'd call them.) So teachers, firemen, the police, farmers, workers in general get screwed again. And so this May Day means more.

I'll end the rant on a calmer note, with this careful rewrite of a favored "tea party" slogan, my revision closer to the reality we live now:
"Representation without Taxation is Tyranny by the Rich." (Think about it.)

And herewith my attempt to create a less-overwrought, less overtly political piece; think of it as "Politics makes strange bedfellows" meets "All's fair in love and war." In other words, it's a love poem...

Mayday

This is the cry for help.
This is the weapons parade.
This is the mad dance--
poles and checks in balance,
bodies swirling, engulfed,
this chilly come-what-May
Day, in ribbons and rue.
Abandon inhibitions. Dance.
Abandon hope, all ye, and dance.
Abandon ship, come all ye true...
Mayday, mayday. See the flares
fire, guns fire, fires flare up,
the dancers leap and turn,
fire in their limbs. Skirts
flare, nostrils flare, a melee
yet may be. Oh baby, burn!
Hearts on fire, cities afire,
the flames roaring higher,
isolate unions, dancers
come sole to the dance.
This May Day of no knowing,
fires rain down and weapons reign,
while marching armies arrayed
for the military's sights
show us their might and main.
Still bound by night, by fires
on the darkened plain, desolate
dancers bound, their hearts re-
bound, to sway and be swayed
again. Return us union now,
that all may know us free,
till the bounding main engulfs
the flames, the ship of state
founders, the dancers bank
each other's fires, the last
lover goes down with her heart.


B&w photos: workers, spouses, children observing May Day circa 1920--One Big Union in solidarity.

4 comments:

Alan Kurtz said...

May Day in recognition of workers' rights never caught on in the USA as in Europe, probably because of its association with communists. The overriding memory of May Day from my youth is watching black-&-white newsreel footage of goose-stepping Soviet soldiers and humongous ICBM missiles parading through Moscow's Red Square beneath the approving gaze of whatever baggy-suited tyrant was in charge at that moment.

Before seeing it in today your blog, I never connected "Mayday" with May Day. Upon looking into the matter, I learned that "Mayday" as an international distress call derives from the French venez m'aider, meaning "come help me." Apparently "Mayday" and "May Day" are etymologically unrelated.

I Witness said...

Oui, monsieur, mais... aidez-moi... poetically apropos, well, that's a broader and more forgiving horse. I am presently impervious to doubts; had me poetical licence renewed, doncha know (he said licentiously). Besides, love and war make for strained relations.

Cowtown Pattie said...

And here my hubby thought the day was named in honor of his family name...LOL

I Witness said...

One granddaughter is known as Maddy. We're careful not to Frenchify the pronunciation.