The Occupy Poetry Project

The Occupy Poetry Project

Monday, January 2, 2012

Three poems.

America is at War by Shirani Rajapakse

America is at War
America is at war with
Itself. Street upon
Street they protest and
How. Living in tents off the
Food others give, sleeping
Like beggars they band
Together to fight injustice.
America is at war with
Itself. The people line
The streets leading to the
Corrupt offices of the bankers
That looted its coffers for
Sport. The world’s coffers
Too. While the masses stand
Up to right the wrong.
American marches
Through the streets in peace.
While authority takes over
In crash gear to save a few
Decrepit misers sitting in high
Office. Money rules.
But there’s not much left
After they stole it all for
Themselves.
America is at war in
Peaceful protest. Yet not to
Those in higher office that
Want the status quo to prevail.
Money for the rich
Dirt off the street for the people.
America is at war with
Itself. And the soul of the
Nation bleeds on the streets.

Two Cities Two Protests by Shirani Rajapakse

Two Cities Two Protests
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
The police have taken over, a law unto
themselves while sanity flies out to
be trampled in the dust of protest
worldwide. Across cultures and fault lines.
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
The people want more. The freedom to
live the life they choose. Jobs and money.
Freedom from servitude to the few. They rise
up as one, the time has come.
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
The students protest in line. Sitting silently
with heads bowed low as the symbol of law
stands before them spraying pepper in their
faces. Laughing silently at their discomfort.
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
The people clash with black-clad police.
The dreaded symbol of Mubarak’s regime that
remains to protect another regime. The Generals
who now rule. What was won in February?
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
The media clicks for posterity while the
students remain silent watching, waiting
for the law to do their deed as the men
in high towers look the other way.
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
They shoot at their heads. A bullet
enters his eye. That’s the last he will
see. They pull him away bleeding and
the police move in for the kill.
Pepper spray for Wall Street
Rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
When will the madness end? Freedom
to protest in peace is no longer guaranteed
anywhere. The constitution is laughed at,
trampled upon by those elected to save it.
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.
The police rule. The politicians rule, hunger
for power rises. More power. But at what cost?
The masses stand up but are beaten down.
Democracy died this weekend.
Pepper spray for Wall Street,
rubber bullets for Tahrir Square.

Hands in Protest by Shirani Rajapakse

Hands in Protest
Hands across the world we are
the masses. We protest injustice
that those in high office calls
justice. We weather the spray,
the gas, the beatings by the cops.
We will survive no doubt. Even
The freezing cold that beckons day
By day. We will survive like we
have always done while the corrupt
Will surely fade.

Shirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet, playwright and fiction writer. She is the author of Breaking News, a collection of short stories published by Vijitha Yapa Publications. Shirani’s poetry and short stories have appeared in the Smoking Poet, New Verse News and World Poetry Movement and has been featured on the radio program Verses in Motion.

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