Protest song

The fat god squats
in the market-place
shitting out lies

and we feed him

more he says,
more

and we feed him

we feed him our hours

more he says
more

we feed him our sleep
we feed him our dreams
we feed him the swift-footed moments
of our children’s games

we feed him our children

more

we feed him meadows
bright with flowers
we feed him mountains
we feed him the river
shimmering with life
we feed him the sky

more

we feed him our souls
we feed him the elephant
the tiger the rhino
we feed him the eagle
the butterfly the bee
we feed him the sweet time
of holding a new-born
we feed him scurrying mice
we feed him the great singing whale
we feed him the ocean
we feed him the scent of bluebells
we feed him the taste of apples
tart in the mouth
we feed him our old ones

more

we feed
we feed

and the lie he tells us
is that he is real
and we swallow it
in our hunger
to feed

but we are still empty

more we say

more.

 

Sherry is manning (womanning?) the barricades at Earthweal this week, and asking for our poems of protest. I’m not even sure what I’m protesting against here – it’s too big. I started off with small specifics, but at the end of the day it’s the way the economy trumps people in too many western societies, and the way we have got caught up in this endless treadmill of consumerist crap to feed that economy. Covid-19 has thrown a lot of things into  very sharp relief for me. I won’t go into it here, but I’m interested to see what’s bubbling under.

 

17 thoughts on “Protest song

  1. YES!!! I echo Suzanne, a poem to change consciousness. My friend and mentor, now in the spirit world, long talked about the Myth of More. We got sucked into the maw of capitalism, at a cost we are beginning to comprehend. This is one of my favourite poems EVER, and it deserves a wide audience. It is brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, you nail it with a very big hammer here. The fat god in the marketplace feeds on desire, yearning, greed — a canker of the Western soul which found such fatty fuel when he started burning coal … Sorry for the belabored comment last time, great job here. – Brendan

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  3. I love the shape of this poem, Sarah, and the opening lines that set the tone – honest and bullshit-free! These lines touched me deeply:
    ‘we feed him our sleep
    we feed him our dreams
    we feed him the swift-footed moments
    of our children’s games

    we feed him our children’,

    and
    ‘we feed him the scent of bluebells
    we feed him the taste of apples
    tart in the mouth
    we feed him our old ones’
    and the way the isolated lines and repetition emphasise the central message.

    Like

  4. Wow! You’ve written something so powerful here. You’ve located the enemy. Is the enemy us? We feed and feed and the fat god stays hungry.
    Well done!!

    Like

  5. This is a great piece. I have an Instagram account dedicated to environmental activism that i post writing on every Friday and i was wondering if i could have your permission to share this. I think its a powerful comment on consumerism.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really enjoyed this, Sarah, there is such ease to the poem. Once the initial theme or premise is established, the rest just flows, It must have been a pleasure to write. It makes its point but never strays into prose or diatribe. Well done!

    Like

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