What I Wanted To Say Was

6 billion people counting down
while dead zones grow in the oceans
while people wrap Christmas presents
while people plant car bombs
while children learn to be good citizens
while some parents choose which child dies
while Bob Dylan writes ads for Victoria’s Secrets
while Madonna adopts a child from Africa
while HIV spreads like an ink stain on a paper towel
while children play video games shooting gray heads
while bees, hummingbirds, and bat populations decline
while bees, hummingbirds, and bats pollinate plants
while the oceans are fished out by factory ships
while Halloween disappears
while some countries train children to kill
while some countries train children to kill
while some countries train children to kill
while my hair turns gray as I heal
while my refrigerator is humming
while somone is hunting for a scrap of food
while I lay warm in my bed
while my friends die in the shelters
while the president of the United States makes decisions
while the vice-president accidentally shoots his friend
while Donald Rumsfeld sends our soldiers to die in Iraq
while I remember he sent soldiers to die in Viet Nam
while I sit at my computer to write poetry
while my wife is hard at work
while 56% of state prisoners show symptoms of mental illness
while we spend so much more money to kill
while we spend so little to heal
while I wonder why China’s Yellow River turned red
while I notice that so many factories are on river banks
while I go to the bank to get money to buy comic books
while 24% of jail inmates are psychotic
while my motorcycle sits in a shed surrounded by dead leaves
I think about all the plans I had when I was young
they were good plans and I had high hopes
well I am registered to vote and I do that
I read quite a bit and write a little more
I love my wife and say my prayers
sometimes I just sit and think
sometimes I try to sit and not think
why do we always have enough money to kill people
why is there never enough money to feed everyone
as I read this poem there are machines running all over the world
once upon a time there was a man who became a poet
words are powerful things
a bullet or a bomb can only explode one time
it’s true that many will die
but words can be used over and over
maybe one day we will stop killing each other
because of something someone said
I would like to be the person who says the magic words
but if it’s you who have the magic words
that will stop all the killing and the cruelty
I hope you say them soon
words are powerful things
say them already say them say them say them
I’ve got my ear to the ground
and the way the ground is humming
it feels like we’re running out of time.