Sunday, October 02, 2011

whitman never pictured this

i've been haunted by news and pics of occupy wall st.
i hope it is the seed of structural change
and not something that burns out and fades away.

when i told friends about these protests
they were surprised because they've not
heard or read anything about them in either
the newspapers or television.

that might be changing now.
for the better?
or worse?

the 21st century is beginning to find
its identity even if we can't step back
and see what it might become.

when i look at these photos
of the protests and the police
barricading and guarding the statue of the bull

o wit! o fancy!
i think of a poem by the post-war polish poet
ryzsard krynicki

from a window

The soldiers kill
boredom; they have brown shoes
and to the mute question "What did you do,
when they ordered you to shoot defenseless people?"
they have the mute answer: "I was lucky,
I was just guarding the TV transmitter."

[translated by clare cavanagh and stanislaw baranczak]


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