Political Poems

Merry Christmas
by Langston Hughes

Merry Christmas, China,
From the gun-boats in the river,
Ten-inch shells for Christmas gifts,
And peace on earth forever.

Merry Christmas, India,
To Gandhi in his cell,
From righteous Christian England,
Ring out, bright Christmas bell!

Ring Merry Christmas, Africa,
From Cairo to the Cape!
Ring Hallehuiah! Praise the Lord!
(For murder and for rape.)

Ring Merry Christmas, Haiti!
(And drown the voodoo drums--
We'll rob you to the Christian hymns
Until the next Christ comes.)

Ring Merry Christmas, Cuba!
(While Yankee domination
Keeps a nice fat president
In a little half-starved nation.)

And to you down-and-outers,
("Due to economic laws")
Oh, eat, drink, and be merry
With a bread-line Santa Claus--

While all the world hails Christmas,
While all the church bells sway!
While, better still, the Christian guns
Proclaim this joyous day!

While holy steel that makes us strong
Spits forth a mighty Yuletide song:
SHOOT Merry Christmas everywhere!
Let Merry Christmas GAS the air!
In Cold Blood.

Too much suffering going on,
At someone else's hands,
The anger's been there, too long,
And no one understands,
There's too much, give and take,
So many people with guns,
Far too many mistakes,
And far too many lost ones.

The politician, he ain't wrong,
But it's the people that count,
The politician, he is strong,
But the people are crying out,
To stop the bloody war!
To stop the power games,
What are we fighting for,
Is it oil, or is it grain?

You know, you want to do what's right,
You know, you want to do your best,
You don't want the world to fight,
See your brothers lay to rest,
In cold blood!
In cold blood!

Too much suffering, too much pain,
Not enough food to go around,
Someone else's child is slain,
Left lying on the ground,
His mother left to cry,
Yet, another unmarked grave,
And still, the bullets fly,
And lives, they can't be saved.

And you know, you want to do what's right,
You want to do the best you can,
You don't want the world to fight,
Man killing, another man,
In cold blood!
In cold blood!

The politician leads the war,
He calls all the shots,
Can he tell you, what we're fighting for?
What's behind his plot,
Is it the colour of your skin,
Or the way you pray to G-d,
The method of your teaching,
You have something, he has not.

Because you know, you want to do what's right,
You try to do the best you can,
You don't want the world to fight,
Man killing, another man,
You want to stop the bloodshed,
And the bombs that hit the ground,
You want to stop the fear, the dread!
When the gunman shoots you down,
In cold blood!
In cold blood!

Stupid America
by Abelardo “Lalo” Berrientos Delgado, 1969

stupid america, see that chicano
with a big knife
in his steady hand
he doesn’t want to knife you
he wants to sit on a bench
and carve christfigures
but you won’t let him.

stupid america, see that chicano
shouting curses on the street
he is a poet
without paper and pencil
and since he cannot write
he will explode.

stupid america, remember that chicanito
flunking math and english
he is the picasso
of your western states
but he will die
with one thousand masterpieces
hanging only from his mind.
Theme for English B
Langston Hughes

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.
I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white--
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me--
although you're older--and white--
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.
This is a political song, more than a poem, but I suppose poems are songs and songs are poems, eh?

Do the Evolution
song lyrics by Eddie Vedder


I'm ahead, I'm a man
I'm the first mammal to wear pants, yeah
I'm at peace with my lust
I can kill cause in God I trust, yeah
Its evolution, baby

I'm at peace, I'm the man
Buying stocks on the day of the crash
On the loose, I'm a truck
All the rolling hills, I'll flatten em out, yeah
It's herd behavior, uh huh
It's evolution, baby

Admire me, admire my home
Admire my song, heres my coat
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
This land is mine, this land is free
I'll do what I want but irresponsibly
It's evolution, baby

I'm a thief, I'm a liar
There's my church, I sing in the choir:
hallelujah hallelujah

Admire me, admire my home
Admire my song, admire my clothes
cause we know, appetite for a nightly feast
Those ignorant Indians got nothin' on me
Nothin'!! Why?
Because it's evolution, baby!

I am ahead, I am advanced
I am the first mammal to make plans, yeah
I crawled the earth, but now I'm higher
Twenty-ten, watch it go to fire
It's evolution, baby
It's evolution, baby
Do the evolution
Come on, come on, come on
above the sickle,
below the hammer,
this is the sign on our Soviet banner
whatever in life u choose to do
its all the same
u still get screwed
Here's one I wrote.

Angry Poem #195!!

MTV assaults in cheap flesh. Sterile lights, vampiric,
cannibalize progress for stupid festering trifles.
Overcome by the desire to flip off the TV screen,
I peddle faster on this little machine with a sticker telling me to clean off my filthy sweat
when I'm done and I turn up Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians'
Picture Perfect Morning, close my eyes and breathe. Active exercise Buddhism.
Let it all in and I feel like punching someone in the face.

Let stupid distractions die. Full of hate for close-eyed ignorance,
greed. Blind in the soup of America, a billion unthinking idiots
consume this. This is my inner critic.
This is a huge __ you laid out against fake-ass capitlists.
I'm too angry to be clever. And I don't want to sell my time to you.
by Allen Ginsberg

[SIZE=-1]America I've given you all and now I'm nothing. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I can't stand my own mind. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America when will we end the human war? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Go **** yourself with your atom bomb [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I don't feel good don't bother me. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America when will you be angelic? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]When will you take off your clothes? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]When will you look at yourself through the grave? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America why are your libraries full of tears? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America when will you send your eggs to India? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I'm sick of your insane demands. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Your machinery is too much for me. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]You made me want to be a saint. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]There must be some other way to settle this argument. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I'm trying to come to the point. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I refuse to give up my obsession. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America stop pushing I know what I'm doing. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America the plum blossoms are falling. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]murder. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I smoke marijuana every chance I get. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]My mind is made up there's going to be trouble. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]You should have seen me reading Marx. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I won't say the Lord's Prayer. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]from Russia.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]I'm addressing you. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I'm obsessed by Time Magazine. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I read it every week. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]It occurs to me that I am America. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I am talking to myself again.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Asia is rising against me. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I haven't got a chinaman's chance. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I'd better consider my national resources. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]twentyfivethousand mental institutions. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]automobiles more so they're all different sexes [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America free Tom Mooney [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America save the Spanish Loyalists [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America Sacco Vanzetti must not die [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America I am the Scottsboro boys. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]been a spy. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America you don're really want to go to war. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America it's them bad Russians. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]our cars from out our garages. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America this is quite serious. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America is this correct? [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]I'd better get right down to the job. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.[/SIZE]