Weekly Write: “Carrion Are We” by James Redfern

Carrion Are We

a hostile takeover broke
egg all upon the faces
of the fucks
standing with their limp handles
bent down over their useless hands

a harsh wind blew rain
up underneath the flashing,
and all the fiery steeds
went unfed for yet another night

foreign soldiers ran the borders,
all the senators were set awash
in blood and excrement,
and then the hammer came down
as spotlights were drawn
upon the intersections of the Interstates
all across this mighty and curséd continent

a thousand heads must fall
and then a thousand more
again and again
until the end of the day
on into the darkness of night
and on into the bleeding
of a new morning
and around and back again
and again
until the long count is filled up
one more time with emptiness

when rabid dogs run the monkeys
even the most noble lion
must stand alone
against the frothing jaws
in order to survive
the geared teeth of the meated machine

clinical sociopaths
back-alley thugs
and broken malcontents
enlisted and elevated by corporations
to worship profit above all else
to run the world
to plant false flags
to make immoral boasts
and spread the truth so thin
it slices through synapses
and breaks the yoked backs
of all the rest
somehow still remaining halfway sane

angry belief and lustful faith
turn preachers and pimps
into pry bars straining
to tear freedom down
and topple all the best of us
into the pool of shit they call the status quo

crucified butchers run the highway lines,
evangelists keep raping children,
heads is tails, tails is heads,
and peace officers keep squeezing
the life out of the lungs
of citizens without power
or caught alone in the dead of night
or in the light of day

nailed to both my hands
are wounds of justice
left to kill
until this here body dies
in the shadows of greater
men and women
who came and went before
and hereafter

hands for nails
nails for hands
the rabid jaws always
tear the wings
from the ribs
and the first meat had
is always the heart
thereby lost
forever in the feast
of carrion

James Redfern was born and raised in Long Beach, California. Redfern is a graduate of Grinnell College. His work has been published by Whizdome Press, Great Lakes Poetry Press, Transcend, Fear and Loathing in Long Beach, and elsewhere. He is the author of several novels (most recently HECATOMB) and several volumes of poetry (most recently Catfish in a Bowl Redux).




“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Write: “Carrion Are We” by James Redfern

  1. B.J. Murphy

    I nominate “Carrion Are We” by James Redfern to be published in the Swimming With Elephants 2020 Anthology. This is — an amazing work! Such insight! Such talent! Brilliant!

  2. Jill Haney

    James Redfern’s “Carrion Are We” is a powerful description of what is happening to our country and our humanity. I nominate it for inclusion in Swimming with Elephants’ 2020 Anthology. It is a remarkable poem.

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