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poetry UnAmerican Activities

Arkansas poet Gerry Sloan speaks to global absurdity (think Ukraine) “weapons of mass destruction place…victory out of reach…”

UnAmerican Activities

By Gerry Sloan 

 The chances of writing a successful

political poem are slim to non-existent,

but we keep rolling the boulder uphill

while the raven perched on our shoulder

keeps croaking like Bertolt Brecht:

"Why were their poets silent?"


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Because we're the Forlorn Hope,

idealistic volunteers to be first

through the thermo-nuclear breach

since weapons of mass destruction

place notions of victory out of reach,

our leaders playing high-stakes chicken,

the absurdity of their rhetoric

enough to make a maggot sicken.

Gerry Sloan is a retired music professor living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His poetry collections are Paper Lanterns (2011) and CrossingsA Memoir in Verse (2017) plus six chapbooks, the latest included in Wild MuseOzarks Nature Poetry (2022).