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Rick Rozoff: A Protest


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war


Rick Rozoff
From Impromptus (2001)

A Protest

This world
My world
You trifle with it
Plot, divide, bomb
As though it were your personal preserve
Your backyard
A house you can rehab, tear down, demolish
Others so many red ants
Or squirrels
That are surgically killed
When they cause damage or displeasure
Cut down a shrub, cut down a nation
Uproot a tree stump, displace a people
Cast off anyone not of use
Pile their bodies up on the curbside
On Monday mornings
To be compacted and dumped
Who authorized you to play at
Secular Shiva?
Who ceded you domain over my world?
What right divine or demonic allows you
To destroy it, partition, bleed, amputate it?


After having watched boys playing military video games

Mechanical soldiers
And Nintendo joysticks to dismember refugees
And incinerate children cowering in bomb shelters
Street thugs with Hun topknots
And South Sea headhunter skin writing
Adeptly fingering Play Stations
Macho grunting on a cell phone
‘Bout pickin’ up a hot DVD player
Inner urban verbless consumeroids
Rattling up a storm about hard drives
And total watt output
Cybernauts threading golden fleeces
On the loom of infantile nostalgia
With boombastic sonic tropes

Technology leads, civilization follows?
Here come the homicidal anthropoids
Just plug them in


Don Quixote among the goatherds

To the melody of the Elizabethan madrigal I Live Not Where I Love

All the world shall be one religion
Living things shall cease to die

Singing sweetly and completely
I will tell of golden times
All transactions handled neatly
Man resorted not to crimes
Speech was gentle, manners lofty
Common land and common bread
Each to each would murmur softly
Brother, Sister, see you’re fed
Happy age of happy persons
Sharing freely field and vine
Gold obtained without exertions
Knowing naught of mine and thine

All was peace and all was concord
Friendship sealed what love had made
Tree and stream and hive to all poured
Fish, fruit, honey, drink and shade
Virtue reigned proud, uncontested
Innocence and beauty fond
Free from fear and rarely tested
Modesty the garb all donned
Tainted not by modern pretense
Slaves of neither flesh nor gold
Lived they only ruled by good sense
Blessed men of times of old

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