Smile And Say NO!

espanta sueno

We stifle our laughter and stifle our sighs.
Flutter our palms to dry out our eyes.
All of these feelings caught up inside,
go back inside us to fester and hide.
What if we simply allowed them to flow
wherever emotions wanted to go?
Let out our laughter whenever it wanted–
in church or in meetings—released it undaunted.

Wherever stupid men try to persuade,
why not use laughter to try to dissuade?
Use it instead of whip, grenades, rifle.
Simply  refuse to stuff down or stifle
our true response to those situations
where stupid men face us with their machinations
for combat and sorties and bombings and war.
What if we simply asked what is this for

really and truly and laughed when they said
it’s to save democracy? What if instead
we faced up to their lies that further their aims
at moving their toys around in their games.
Their tin soldiers turned real and their weapons much bigger,
their fingers are itching to get on the trigger.
How loud the bang, boys? How many lives lost
so all of you big boys can prove you are boss?

It’s laughable, really—your struts and your strides,
your uniforms stiff around empty insides.
Your cronies sell armaments and hire out
to run your war games. That’s what it’s about.
You have your fun and your pockets are padded
once all the kickbacks are sorted and added.
Our founding fathers would pillory you
if they could see what you’ve sunken to.

And since nothing has worked—not writing or talking,
marching or picketing, sitting-in, walking.
Since petitions and phone calls have done not a thing
to put our bald eagle back on the wing,
why not pursue the sane thought we are after
by pure sense of humor? By facing with laughter
this ridiculous posturing new status quo
and, then when we vote, firmly stating NO!!!!!

Within the tribe, much of the censure and punishment in the Native American culture was done via joking and humor. It was a way to censure. Even their war methods included “counting coup” by touching the enemy and riding away in glory, having won points by bravely going into combat without a weapon and without taking out the enemy. This poem is of course hyperbole, but I do think that humor is certainly a weapon we already use. Would that more of our leaders would use it when meeting their illogical porkbarrel comrades face-to-face. No doubt it would lead to the reinstitution of duels, and they could shoot at each other instead of recruiting young men to play their war games for them.

April 2022 Issue

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Judy Dykstra-Brown
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