Keep On Rockin In The Free World

In clouds of flak, blind ambushes, orders to attack
impenetrable bases, in blazes of glory unreported
in stories of Greek hotel resorts being bombed and

military drafts, laser guided missiles, stealth
aircraft and tossed Red Cross life rafts under stormy skies . . .

In condemned international spies, every serial
promiser's lies, covered back-shelf magazines and
unzipped flies, televised handshakes, deals and

makes and breaks, stock market bells and eighty
millimeter shells I recognize . . .

In melting glaciers and climbers falling off of
mountain sides, burnt bridges, wisdom lost inside
a rising tide of assumption and fears . . .

In costly campaigns devoted to character smears

broadcast into broken homes, smashed in windows,

late-night informercials selling junk too useless
to be sold in stores, shady dives in shady

places, disposable lives and lonely faces, u.s. currency
in cuban hands and travel embargos, vetoed
weapons bans, revolving doors and credit cards . . .

In ATM machines, dirt shacks in Tennessee, secrets
revealed on daytime talk shows, designer clothes
stitched by kids in third world countries, shrines

and monestaries, on pliers pulling nails off toes,
I've read of how the story goes . . .

In one-sided federal policies, police lines, corporate
crimes and imbellished stock predictions, hurricanes,

religous benedictions, strikes and scabs and picket signs,
airplanes falling from the skies, capitol executions,
moltov cocktails and bloody cultural revolutions,

logging mills on national reserves, the whooping crane
and silver backs, the last dodo bird, the navajo and
cherokee, dammed canyons, canals and droughts,

flood plains, mass migrations, and breeding grounds,
I've stood in them and seen the signs . . .

In rifled barrels, relief ships, warlords and torn up shores,
dying coal miners unpaid in scores, and foreign sails,
behind Arabian women's veils, in newsreels in movie

halls, Pall Malls and canned goods, torn hoods and
surplus captains ties, Kennedy's speeches and
Robin Leach and tabloids too false to rationalize,

in blue roses and students and tanks, in Tibetan frozen
frostbit noses, gulags, yellow stars, sickles and lederhosen,

the Berlin Wall and basic human rights for all,
Woodstock in '69 and yuppies, condoms and cheap wine,

patriotic ads for war bonds, burned bras, reformed
ex cons and rehabilitation, hope and reclaimation
and cute and catchy political rhyme

I recognize them every time and something dies;
I see children's eyes.