AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

My name is Jesse James

and I’m an outlaw seeking refuge.

That’s why my ghost came to these shores

well before, seeking stories that would help me find

my forever, and never look back.

You listen to me

and you listen to me well

this country is a messed up place,

but it’s also a beautiful place in many ways.

Its foundation as a take over of space

is an inexcusable disgrace.

But, there are so many stories to tell;

and truths we need to face.

At a recent point in time

one could find, at least one of mankind

from every single country the worldwide

currently living and able to reside

in the city that never sleeps,

the Big Apple of my eye.

Over on the left coast, a bereft host of, to some,

the theft that matters most, California,

actively burning, is still home

to the tallest, the oldest, and the biggest trees

left in the entire world.

These divided states of hysteria,

Home to the Golden Gate Bridge

and the Space Needle,

The Statue of Liberty and the St. Louis Arch,

Home to the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk

and the nationwide Women’s March.

Home to the Grand Canyon, The Redwoods, The Bayou,

and the Great Plains,

Birthplace of histories’ greatest athletes,

and a dwelling place of some of its greatest brains,

and most of its deepest pains.

Home to a diversity of language, customs,

religions, apparel, geography, and skin tones

unparalleled in the world.

Home to some of the most far fetched aspirations

from its little boys and its little girls.

Home to the first to walk on the moon,

and the first to drop the bomb,

Home to the Las Vegas Strip, Disney Pixar Cartoons,

and the team that hunted Osama.

Home of the brave, land of the free,

home of those descended from slaves,

still trying to join the we, in the ‘we the people’,

seemingly reserved for a select few,

still upping the annual budget for the military

sworn to protect you.

Home to purple mountains majesty across our skies,

which I’ve seen in the ‘Land of Enchantment’ with my own two eyes,

Home to boys will be boys, last ditch efforts, and the old college tries.

Home to Mammoth Caves, the World Series, and the Super Bowl,

Home to EDM raves, ‘Can you hear me now?’, and the ever rising

gun death toll.

We are a nation of extremes, superlatives, big dreams,

and well documented conquests,

A nation with shame in its eyes, but somehow courage

in its breast.

A country always in a developing stage,

A country where we’re still free to express our rage,

still free enough to put down doubt and disdain to page,

A country whose prominence will decrease and perhaps

cease with the coming age.

A country continuing to lock its brown in cages,

with a broken moral compass unable to gauge

which direction it’s headed, and how soon

it will have met itself in the mirror, or even care,

a country, when it lays its head down to bed,

to let it rest, it can forget how it was able to get there.

A country with states’ rights, and women’s rights,

civil rights and somber nights,

gun rights and victim’s rights,

A nation of a few have a lots, and many not quites,

a country which used to call itself under God,

now it’s just under investigation,

trying to manage this well contested land plot,

still going through the birth of a nation.

The stars and the stripes, all night bars

and online gripes, leaking oil pipes,

and this next generation poised and ripe

to make a difference before it’s their turn

to call it a night.

We have blood on our hands and stains on our teeth,

gunshot residue on the souls carried beneath.

We can dip our toes quickly in the mighty Mississippi or

act like faded hippies at Coachella doing a candy flip.

We use opiates to get a grip,

then turn to burn and rip the ‘swoosh’

calling Collin Kaep a dipstick douche

for having slapped the nation in the face, by peacefully

protesting the issue of race in relation to violence, which oddly

enough proves his point, which his detractors won’t admit,

though they are anything but silent.

So we are disjointed, throwing fits,

in the form of venomous spit, online vomit,

threatened face-to-face hits, get backs,

and more gets.

A land where Jason Momoa is Aquaman,

and he saves his nation with tridents,

Though last time that I checked

there is no White House within the confines of Atlantis,

not that it would seek its sustainable flow or its guidance.

This country exports stories, imports dreams,

and makes arms along the way.

We’ve redefined patriot, grown our own terrorism,

and we’ve flipped the definition of great.

We’ve allowed young children to die in our schools,

while pouring oil and bitcoins into our drinking cup.

We celebrate our independence by over eating, acting like fools,

over drinking and blowing things up.

We show we’re thankful by celebrating genocide,

with ever expanding self help sections

dictating that we face our fears.

Some of those publishing and printing books

haven’t eradicated white pride,

weren’t wishing to, aren’t hinting looks,

but they have managed to erase the ‘Trail of Tears’.

We are everything and nothing,

we are promises kept and unkept,

rest met and unslept,

and perhaps the vision from the future

which crept up and leapt

into the head of Jesus

before he wept.

We are dreams attained and shattered,

we are an empire in dire need,

trying to burn with fire where we bleed,

and New York City is Rome.

We are all, Black and Blue from our history of pain,

broadcast across these lives which matter,

And, at the end of the day, we are all

just trying to find our way home.

About SIDEWAYS EIGHT

Being heard, stirred, and perhaps cured by life's many hidden images and the written-spoken word.
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