a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
City of Tents
A city of tents occupies a park.
Sleeping bags clouds deliver accusations about unfairness.
This happened without notice.
Like many things, it had no beginning.
They could be any of us, rubbing our hands for warmth.
Someone deliver apples in a cooler,
knowing winter survival is harsh as a police baton.
The air has pepper spray.
Without notice, they could be forced out.
A bulldozer could level the playing field,
taking tents and people with equal abandon.
What could we bring them that will not be taken away?
There is no negotiation with forced removal.
A city of tents occupies the mind.
The park is off-limits. Apple streetlights protest.
A bulldozer warns through a bullhorn, then charges.
I bring sleeping bags like confessions.
The winter is a part of crowd control.
What can we sacrifice to the unfairness?
What will the smoke grenades listen to?
In a tent, we talk about passive resistance
like some people discuss commodities futures.
Tomorrow someone will try to break the limits.
We will warm our hands before being gassed.
Somewhere, a person is wondering what happened,
when did the world grow tents?
Judgment is a swat team of words.
Words can also be an unlit match.
(Published in: Liberty’s Vigil: The Occupy Anthology)
(This poem will appear in a poetry chapbook, City Of Tents, Crisis Chronicles, 2012)
Martin Willitts Jr is a retired senior librarian living in Syracuse, NY. His books include The Secret Language of the Universe (March Street Press, 2006), and The Hummingbird (March Street Press, 2009), and The Heart Knows, Simply, What It Needs: Poems based on Emily Dickinson, her life and poetry (Aldrich Press, 2012). Forthcoming publications include Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings (UNBOUND Content, 2013), Art Is the Impression of an Artist (Edgar and Lenore’s Publishing House, 2013), City Of Tents (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), A Is For Aorta (Seven Circles Press, e-book, 2013), and Swimming In the Ladle of Stars (Kattywompus Press, 2013).