My friend and fellow blogger, Colleen Redman, of "Woof!Woof!" fame, recently sent me the following poem, which as she explains in the opening paragraph, was written shortly before we invaded Iraq. The poem blew me away when I read it, as if it had been composed just yesterday, and so I asked her permission to post it here. This week our president is on tour "waging peace" in the Middle East. It seems that the Arab press is having a hard time taking taking Bush's peace overtures seriously, something about the joke having gone wrong and his inability to grasp the basic hydraulics of Islam; but, they are noticing the way he repeats the same phrases over and over again, completely unaware of the world that he drags along in his slipstream. As for the poem, the strongest praise I can offer is that I wish I had written it.
Dream for President Bush
The following was written as a spoken word poem in November, 2002, before the US invaded Iraq. It was an emotional and cathartic outpouring of expression which took place over course of a three day solo retreat in a cabin at Fairystone Park in Stuart, Virginia. Later, it was read at several Peace Rallies, open mic poetry readings, and for a cable show in Hull, Massachusetts, where I grew up. It was also passed out at the October 2002 and January 2003 Peace Marches on Washington, and was handed directly to Representative Cynthia Mckinney and actress Jessica Lange. It’s being reprinted at the request of readers who encouraged me to after I posted a few excerpts in an entry about a recent Spoken Word event in which it was read. Colleen Redman
I want President Bush to have a dream
like the one that Ebenezer Scrooge had
I want him to be visited by the ghosts of Iraqi children
who cry out, "But mankind was your business"
I want all the Tiny Tims of the world
to get their 401k money back
from the white collar criminals who stole it
I want them to not go to war for oil,
good ratings, or weapon sale quotas
because this white collar mafia is in power
I wish President Bush would have an affair
I wish he'd take off his black pointed cowboy boots
and look at the moon more often
And then I wish he'd wake up
and be inflicted with what Jim Carey had
in the movie "Liar Liar"
I wish all the billboards across the country read:
"Give back the votes your brother stole"
and the poets would shout from every street corner,
"The emperor wears no clothes"
I want his mouth washed out with soap
every time he says "weapons of mass destruction"
and for him to wear a Darth Vader helmet
if he ever says "the axis of evil" again
I hope President Bush looks out his White House window
when we descend on Washington marching for peace
like hordes of starlings who know their way home
because it is in their nature
I want President Bush to have a dream
like the one that Martin Luther King had
I want him to be visited by the ghosts of King,
John Lennon, Paul Wellstone, and the Kennedys
I want the New York Times to cover the story
when his mother scolds him for being a bully
I hope he gets some Gi Joes for Christmas
and starts to play with real toys
and not with real people
I think President Bush should go back to school
and look up some words in the dictionary
or study history - like the Roman Empire
I'd like him to write on the blackboard 100 times,
"I will not promote propaganda - or the far right agenda"
" I will not join gangs"
I want President Bush to be haunted
by the ghosts of our Founding Fathers
until he learns this lesson:
that killing civilians is a terrorist act
and pre-emptive strike is invasion
I want him to break out in song
at his next Address to the Nation
singing "Give Peace a Chance" is all we are saying
and "We Shall Overcome"
I want President Bush to have an epiphany
or else I want him gone
I want Americans to say "yes" when the polls ask,
"Should regime change begin at home?"
And I want him to stop shouting "Fire!" in the theater
when he is the one with the matches
I want him to care about children
more than slogans and re-elections
If President Bush doesn't have a real dream soon
he should step aside for those who do
He should impeach himself
and ask for forgiveness
for imposing his nightmare on the world