summer feeder pigs

clouds grow but withhold water
cool now but has been hotter
day by day we speculate
wonder what will be our fate

changes flow down from the top
nothing seems to make them stop
earth grows smaller by the day
no place left to run away

wealth of few grows ever big
like a summer feeder pig
hog cash from money they lend
comes the fall we know the end

* * * * * * *

Thanks for reading.


PS: My fourteen year old son suggested this song to go with my poem. This a link to the Beetles singing “Piggies”.

freedom from fear

6 HOUSE VALUES FELL.I wonder how much of the fear which tints my current world view has been fertilized by two non-mainstream dissenting-voice blogs I read. One blog reports on shenanigans underlying the worldwide speculative real-estate bubble and predicts the inevitable repeat crash. The second blog searches for signs of economic, environmental, political and social deterioration. Both blogs condense and re-spin gleanings from the internet morass.

I found the ‘housing crash’ blog during my search to understand why we haven’t been able to buy even the lowliest hovel since we moved to California. I found the link to the ‘deterioration’ blog on the ‘housing crash’ blog.

Since internet searches in part reflect the point of view of each searcher’s questions, the blogs I’ve found perpetuate and amplify my concerns. Both blogs say that things are bad and getting worse. Staring at unhappy and unfixable truths each night before bed leaves me feeling afraid and angry. I’ve been taken over by a sense of stymied urgency and hopeless wanting.

When I’m stuck in anger and fear, urgency and wanting, I lose my clarity of thought. I begin to imagine that I might welcome the respite of blindness. And, at the same time, my fear, anger, urgency and wanting makes me more gullible and vulnerable to those who sell promises of relief.

Back in 2002, I discovered this media/marketing equation was at work:

(watch T.V.) = (increased fear and anger) = (desire for relief) = (the wants)

My realization of this equation was behind GLUED TO THE TUBE (wikimedia commons)the “no television” regime I began that year. I felt relief after I unplugged television from my head. Then I noticed that every exposure to media ultimately left me anxious, irritated and wanting. So I expanded my “no television” rule to include “no broadcast media”. This meant no magazines, no newspapers, no movies and no radio. Not even public stations. Not even local papers. Not even a weather report.

After I unhooked my brain from the incessant spectacles and repetitive yammering of media marketing, I regained (or perhaps gained) my senses. Once I got beyond most of the withdrawal symptoms, I felt calmer and better. I thought more clearly. I felt less restless. I had fewer wants. I shopped less and bought less. I gradually paid off debt. I decluttered my mind and my life. I gave things away.

I realized that the desire to own a jumbo-sized house with a jumbo-sized mortgage is a jumbo-sized case of artificially-generated jumbo-sized WANT rather than any inherent NEED. I felt freer to down-size. So I did.

James_Dean_in_East_of_Eden_trailer_2Earlier this year, I began reading these two (supposedly) non-mainstream blogs. But I’ve found that reading these rebel blogs gives me the same old effects as mainstream media. And, even though they are outwardly dissenting voices, they effectively tie me into mainstream media messages. Rebels like James Dean and Easy Rider are as deeply ingrained in the American psyche as June Cleaver and Martha Stewart. Non-mainstream rebels are an essential programmed-in aspect of the American mainstream persona.

I noticed that my internet use was making me feel scared and angry. I felt an increasing sense of urgency. I began to want more. But I rationalized my continued looking and reading. Since this wasn’t television, it wasn’t so bad. Since I choose what I read, it’s okay. Since I have ad-blockers, I’m not being effected by marketing. Right?

The marketing of beliefs, emotions and desires is inextricably woven into the fabric of all writing. I know this. I do this every day when I write even the smallest haiku. Writing is communication. There’s no reason write if there are no messages to transmit. All messages are not overt. Pictures speak louder. Moving pictures with sound speak loudest.

The media/marketing equation works via the internet just as well as television, newspapers, magazines, radio and movies. They are all grand pumps pushing generic wants into an already over-inflated population.

(view media) = (increased fear and anger) = (desire for relief) = (the wants)

I view media. I feel scared and angry. These feelings interfere with clear thought as I seek relief from uncomfortable feelings. In our individualized and materialistic society, relief is sought from chemicals, objects and objectified relationships. Most seeming choices shown us are for titillation only. They are unavailable.

Since I can’t have what I want, I go after what I can get.

These artificially inspired wants, desires and cravings are transferable. This human truth is core to all sales and marketing tactics. National marketing campaigns inflame desires. Desires inflamed are hollow cravings to be filled. Once there is craving, it’s easier to sell what’s available.

If one can get folks hankering after a high-end model, they can be sold some lesser model or even a plastic replica with a similar decal on the hood. If the person with the wants can’t afford the luxury model, he may buy a t-shirt with the name brand on the front.


This is one way to know the difference between wants and needs. While wants, desires and cravings can be transferred to replacement objects, needs cannot. You can’t, for example, replace clean air with pleasantly scented aerosol toxins. You cannot replace water with sand.

But you can sell the promise of freedom from fear, anger, wants, desires and cravings with a slogan emblazoned on the front of a ball cap.

* * * * * * *

Thanks for reading.



GLITTER (wikimedia commons)perky glitter farts
pink-snugged gold lycra
there’s no one like them

price seems no object
thought tides float their boats
they can see water
where there’s only sand

attitude tells all
snapping white teeth flash
speak unhappy truths
forbidden by law

* * * * * * *

Thanks for reading.



GOLD (wikimedia commons)too much of nothing
for so many years
left gray bathtub ring
round forests of fears

long ago and far
from this desert place
lightning bugs in jar
stars in outer space

corn grew in straight rows
crows called down from trees
weeded with our hoes
prayed on bended knees

days filled with working
wash and dry and fold
no place for shirking
winters were so cold

summers steamed with heat
days seemed without end
pigs made into meat
give and help and lend

promises of more
stole away from old
ancient hidden core
now worth more than gold

* * * * * * *

Thanks for reading.



1 JIM COULDN'T MAKE UP HIS MINDnothing like waiting
answers are hating
to come when I want
hints circle and taunt

more questions arrive
bees buzz in their hive
some sting and some don’t
we will or we won’t

there’s bad and there’s good
in each neighborhood
we choose and we pick
while time acts like tick

and sucks out life blood
leaves behind black crud
rather than next year
which never gets here

what we must carry
how long to tarry
before it’s too late
and fate locks the gate

* * * * * * *

Thanks for waiting.