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Archive for October, 2009

Political Poetry-The Lecture. Part III

News Headlines

It is the weekend, away from my questioning students,

Sitting at Hemingway’s

At Kent Island, Maryland

Browsing through the headlines,

This day, in Chicago a porch has collapsed,

In Iraq, a U.S. military convoy was attacked

And the U.S. military just instituted “operation sidewinder”

A new twist?  I wonder.

So many operations, new designations,

May be like in Vietnam, Afghanistan,

But I am straying, again

Let’s continue with the news,

I need a break, a vacation,

Not from teaching, sharing, and fostering

Mental growth,

But from those particular, insensitive students,

Who ask pertinent questions,

That are meant to seek the truth.

So last night strolling in the night

The night was unusually bright,

Walking under the moonlight,

The deserted street,

I must admit,

I was afraid a bit,

And yet the feeling was great,

The timing was perfect,

To gather up my thought,

But, things were different,

Without seeing daylight,

One can easily concentrate,

See situations from another viewpoint,

When it is that quiet,

Nature is at its best.

The mind expands,

It philosophizes,

It reaches new heights,

It clearly thinks,

There are no noises,

No hindrances,

No limitations,

Only you and the moonlight,

The feeling is great.

As it is my routine before class,

I am drinking coffee from star bucks,

In my hands I have a book written by

Greg Palast

Whom some consider as the best

Investigative journalist

Something caught my attention

He is writing about Milton Friedman.

“Professor Friedman opined

Why are people attacking Rhodesia,

The only democracy in Africa?”

As a person who despises the oppression of people

I called the professor, an imbecile,

A dimwit, a blockhead and a zombie

Finished the star bucks Double Latte

Entered my class.

Professor Mekonen Haddis

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Political Poetry- The Lecture Part II

When companies spend millions,

In lobbying expenditures,

What are their expected returns?

Who was it with a deranged mind,

That called our esteemed congressmen,

The representatives of the people,

“The best, money can buy”?

Investment, equals opportunity.

The more the merrier.

Then, one early morning

I was at a teachers’ seminar

One of the participants

Said, “when we train our students”

I thought we were supposed to educate

Not train them like monkeys.

Maybe, the idea is to produce “trained students”

Who will be good workers for the corporations.

Suppose, the state is in the business

Of manufacturing students to the tastes

Sensibilities and docility that is needed

To fit the mold of the” true workers”

In a world controlled by the multi-nationals.


( in an afternoon World history class)

(For adults only).

In 1868 the Brits,

Looted from Ethiopia, Royal treasures,

Religious artifacts, and valuable manuscripts

And kept them in their fine museums

For the whole world to appreciate their prowess,

And the Ethiopians are begging Great Britain

To return their treasures.

Not to be outdone,

The Italian Fascists,

Hitler’s Junior partners

Stole an obelisk.  An obelisk?  Yes an obelisk

From Ethiopia, put it in the center of town

For the whole world to pay respect and admiration

Of their illegal possession,

Thievery, stealing and appropriation

Is a sign of might, ingenuity, and civilization

Even though, it is only Orwellian.

Again, the Ethiopians are begging the Italians

To return what is only rightfully theirs

And the humor continues.

Oh, finally it has been returned

To the appropriate owners

axumobelisk_zoom

( the Obelisk is finally home where it belongs)

Professor Mekonen Haddis

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Political Poetry- The Lecture Part I

Political Poetry-The Lecture Part I

Who was it that said?

“Every country has a government that it deserves”

Or something to that effect.

Especially, if we have elected the people that ran it.

I must add.

Bear with me.

Did God create man, or money did?

Who is God?  A Multinational Corporation?

Or is it a CEO, that gets paid a thousand times,

More than his employees: the workers,

That actually produce,

Everything that is of any consequence,

Or may be, it is a superpower,

Armed with missiles and nuclear,

Armaments, that are precision laser guided,

Of course, with some collateral damage.

Professor, could you please define collateral?

It is like, Concomitant, accompaniment, enhancement,

And also enrichment.

Is that like being enriched by experience?

Reading Twain, or Doestoevsky,

Will give us the same type of enrichment, I suppose.

I hate sarcastic students,

It is a blessing sometimes,

To have the unquestioning minds,

Like the majority in our society,

That is cowed from questioning why?

Whose duty has become, to jump at the whims,

Of the master’s orders, to catchy phrases,

But, I am not blessed by such a fortune,

I am asked to discuss the constitution,

The founding fathers and their contribution,

To the creation of such an envied,

Democratic system.

Alas!  Negroes are three-fifths human,

Oh!  No voting rights for women,

Even  white men must own properties,

That was the predetermination,

To cast their votes,

To elect their representatives,

So was written in the constitution.

In the year two thousand and six

How do we fare?

Affirmative action is upheld,

By the Supreme Court, which stated,

That it is o.k. to enroll women, Latinos,

African and Native Americans,

In our universities,

A law that should remain in the books,

For the next twenty-five years,

When the law, presumably,

Becomes totally unnecessary,

Because, the U.S. will become a color-blind society.

Who are strict constructionist?

Those who

Believe the constitution to be dead, lifeless.

Those who believe the constitution,

To be a living document,

Accept it to be good, but not perfect,

So, needed adjustments here and there, won’t hurt.

For the strict constructionists,

It is like the song “how low can you go”?

How far back do you want to go?

That is the central question.

Let’s move forward.

This smart-alec student of mine,

Whose mission in life,

Is not to challenge, but to upset me,

Asks, what is the difference between,

Underdeveloped and developing nations?

Even though, I hate digression,

I shall rise to the occasion,

And reply in the same vain.

It is like saying Negro, black or African American.

Time is of the essence, Let’s move on.

Hey, Prof.  Are we being sarcastic, again?

Oh.  No!  I am neither sarcastic nor cynical,

Only a realist.

But Bukowski was all three.

Professor Mekonen Haddis

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