by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor
Ceaseless onslaughts mounted against the ramparts of democracy characterizing factions of the body politic, and a significant portion of American society, will undoubtedly have existential implications for global democracy.
The normally placid and unflappable U.S. Attorney-General Merrick Garland, has publicly rang the alarm bell about the current perilous, slippery slope of American democracy.
“In The Republic, Plato imagines human beings chained for the duration of their lives in an underground cave, knowing nothing but darkness. Their gaze is confined to the cave wall, upon which shadows of the world are thrown. They believe these flickering shadows are reality. If, Plato writes, one of these prisoners is freed and brought into the sunlight, he will suffer great pain. Blinded by the glare, he is unable to see anything and longs for the familiar darkness. But eventually his eyes adjust to the light. The illusion of the tiny shadows is obliterated. He confronts the immensity, chaos, and confusion of reality. The world is no longer drawn in simple silhouettes. But he is despised when he returns to the cave. He is unable to see in the dark as he used to. Those who never left the cave ridicule him and swear never to go into the light lest they be blinded as well.”
Chris Hedges – Empire of Illusion
To read Irene’s new poem “America The Great” click:
AMERICA THE GREAT
by Irene Fowler
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of us all?
Tis an exceedingly high perch, from which to fall
Intriguing, nay, gripping, to Plato, Hobbes and Descartes
America; the greatest of all nations, falls apart
Celebrating myriad festivals and cherished summer cookouts
Steaks, chops, ribs, hot dogs, bbq wings
On the grill; spit, sizzle and zing
Society’s high and mighty fir trees and oaks
Along with lowly, down-trodden, grassroots common folks
Vie for measly, miserly crumbs and giant, hefty slices
Of the national cake, baked, sliced, and diced
A nation teetering on polar opposites and cruel extremes
A nightmare for too many; mocked, scorned by the American dream
As blind justice tips its scales, in favour of the powerful and rich
And Lady Liberty’s torch, dimmed, doused, nigh – ditched.
Perennial hometown games play to packed stadia
Venerated sports venues, all hallowed, sacred palladia
Touchdowns, home runs, soccer goals, baskets
Golden teams showcase exalted players, treasured logos, and prized mascots
Sports-mad minds arrested, eyeballs glued, in thrall
To the almighty spinning, dizzying, flying ball
Rapturous cheers ring out from worshipping fans
Every event a cathedral to an idolized American team, jock and sports man
Players, fans and teams, all, dollar signs for corporations
Business behemoths, blind to the state of the nation
BLM takes a stand, hand to heart, on bended knee
Before the star-spangled banner, yearning, willing to be free
From sea to shining sea: Say, can you see?
America the beautiful, the powerful, the great
A house divided by ‘the big lie,’ greed, bigotry, violence and hate
Right-wing iron embrace of anarchy, a present threat and danger
The nations’ global stage role; uncertain, grows stranger
Brutal , ungainly, aggressive, steps towards autocracy
Brings fascism ever closer to obscuring equitable democracy
No longer a beacon, lodestar or shining city on a hill
The world watching and waiting, as American voices grow more sinister and shrill
Aberrant, dangerous, election audits and voter suppression, fail to fit the bill
International consternation rises with every act of active, rolling insurrection
Global democracy on life support, hangs by a thread: Desperate, for divine resurrection.
© 2022 by Irene Fowler