Poetry Report 10/27/18

By Mike Sylvester

So they’ve taken the White House, the Congress, the Courts

So what the hell are we gonna do now?

There isn’t a magic bean stalk in sight

No golden goose, no milking cow.


There is no handy axe

That lets us climb down off this limb

You may have hoped for Pixar

But this suckers penned by the Brothers Grimm.


All the streets of justice have signs that say STOP

There be monsters, there be sharks.

But comrades, when I see a STOP sign

I instinctively add a question mark.


Who wants us to stop? What is their goal?

Why are they afraid of GO?

Why wouldn’t we march to the place we are dreaming

Just because someone said no?


They (that’s the “royal” they) thinks power

Be paved with the money spent

But I promise you that every cobblestone Is laid with our consent.


How do we consent? How do we empower the politicians

To lie and steal and cheat?

It starts when we trust in folks bought and sold

And hope that the buyers have lost the receipt.


When we make our calls to people whose number

The Corporations own

And then shake our heads when they let us down

Mutter “oh dear, if we’d only known.”


Well, we know now. The lines are drawn

The flags have been unfurled

There is no more time to equivocate

To wring our hands or clutch at pearls


There is no better time

No “if only they, or they, or they.”

We are the ones who must save,

Who must do, must make, the ones who must say.


It is hard. We may lose things

Things we like, things we love and worse

They will tighten the strings on the already tattered

Cloth of our money purse.


They may have us fired or voted out

We may hear hard words from the people we know.

We can’t guess the lengths they’ll travel

So that we nod yes and stop shouting our NO!


So we have to ask ourselves, what will we risk?

If not us who? If not now when?

If they are going to take it all anyway

What good will our comforts do us all then?


We are hanging on by a finger and it looks

Like leaping is all we can do.

Can we hold hands and jump off together, compadres

Because if you can, if we can, then me too.

Press Release: Southern Maine DSA Endorses Yes on Portland Question 2: 42-day Pre-Election Report

Southern Maine DSA Endorses Yes on Portland Question 2: 42 Pre-Election Day Report

PORTLAND, ME – On Monday, October 15, at their general membership meeting, the Southern Maine chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (SMDSA) voted to endorse a charter amendment requiring all Portland municipal candidates to file a 42-day pre-election report disclosing their campaign donors. The referendum, conceived by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections and the League of Women Voters was introduced by Councilor Belinda Ray and passed by the Council on August 13, with only Councilor Kim Cook voting in opposition. A charter amendment requires citizen approval, and will appear to voters as Portland ballot Question 2 on the November 6th ballot.

Municipal candidates are currently required to disclose their donors 11 days before the election. However, by that time many voters have already cast early absentee ballots without the benefit of this information. Question 2 aims to fill this gap by mandating that candidates also disclose their sources of funding 42 days before the election. This additional report would match reporting requirements for state-level candidates.

“An informed electorate is foundational to a functioning democracy. Often it’s not the candidate’s agenda we need to understand, but that of their donors. Lack of transparency at the municipal level in Portland disenfranchises voters from the truth behind councilor votes,” said Kate Sykes, chapter secretary. “It’s time to open the blinds. Passing Question 2 is the first step toward a government that answers to the people of Portland.”

The DSA supports issues that align with its mission of organizing and empowering working class people in Southern Maine to stand together to improve our material and social conditions.

The DSA is the largest socialist organization in the United States. Its membership includes 35 elected officials around the country. Southern Maine DSA is endorsing six democratic socialists and one ballot question in the upcoming election.

For more information about the Southern Maine DSA, this press release, or its endorsement process, contact DSA.SouthernMaine@Gmail.com.