“Flashlights Over America!” by edenbray.

Horizontal, these electric-karma streaks flashing
the jagged teeth of a leviathan smiling
across the nighttime line running low, above
the clouded blue-black ink of deepest sea
where fish swarm blind and creatures lived as
street bums with bottles of darkened spirits
methylated and rolled up in cardboard, newsprint
they were there all the time on the sea bed
they still are, in doorways to plush accommodations
but not to welcome warmly anyone to America

Mammy, pappy, imagined the lifelong day
to live in a hovel in westerland on a spot o’land
they climbed aboard a schooner bound for Nova Scotia
the yellow sun fell on their valley creating an aura
civilisation moves a pace, mid the gleans and beinns
oblivious to the march of time and arctic peoples
across the seas or in grand towns, histories form medieval
not London nor Constantinople but where the buffalo roam
American Indians, tribes, bands, first nation colonials
they never planned to invite visitors from overseas

Columbus found convolvulus wrapped around its spine
a nation dressed in morning glory at its premiere
gypsy peoples beyond the origins of time knew horror
before the massacre at high-school Columbine
primitive arrows quivered, the north plateau it shivered
in windy wastes, moccasined feet, keyholes in the snow
no wild west show or signs given for the way they should go
Japethites, their journey through time, a peaceful people
indigenous, native, holy, disrespected by their invaders
characterised by Hickok showmen with tales phoney

Gunshots in Chi-ca-goo, her baby in a papoose
stay my child before the bluecoats come to plunder
is it any wonder I lay my head down on this land
separate thought in consideration, thoughts be damned
we carry in our holster recollections of our fathers lands
the tyranny of the masses bad as conscience sags
at the corral of any nation be it India, Australasia or Siam
it is a conundrum how any nation may be formed
except we must question how the death of small children
could be grounds accepted for ought but revolution

How fast they grew, children of our loins, this pioneer land
its laws, customs, towns and states, America the brave
raped the sea of whales, fought within itself, retired its braves
who tried to make amends so meekly for the use of slaves
yet when was their freedom considered, torn from other lands
the mighty dream rolled on, America the free it binds
black man’s wrists with practises, beatings, murders so unkind
yes cities grew, the dream it never died while the worst bits
America you intended to hide, come clean thou huge imposter
you were leviathan smiling at the gates with blood in your eyes

America, your searchlights blazing (might) winkle out the lies
midst global darkness, eliminating treatise you despise
your articles of freedom state reasons to build such beacons
yet your suburban cops are still an alarming sight to see
within your new, fragile, national identity, incapable of apology
Maddison’s constitution is creaking at the knees yet
intellects for democracy still agree there is no other banner
whether star-spangled or plastered with new-left lather
you would rather take a cut-throat to the neck in secret than
join a private war, your efforts to police the world dying on the floor

Flashlights shine above New York, sirens sound in Connecticut
waters rise in New Orleans, a teeming monster has evolved
who stepped from out bleach-ed sea to tame the blistered land
learned to build a concrete utopia in a desert made with sand
walk around on Michigan glass where bottles they are made
swim in Californ-i-a with silver fish, ride technologies wave
Pittsburgh’s steel is hard as hell, who rang the Philadelphia bell
on a visit to sweet Virginia, we call on Washington for justice
consecrate the constitution to absolve the terror from your past
prove your repentance of misdeeds that held the world aghast

When John the Baptist met Salomi no one called him for his role
in adolescent atrophy, he recognised his time to step aside
ever the black sun falls smoothly from out of western skies
my alma-mater sings so holy the purple clouds of morning
we see shepherds blush-red warning, stand in a lightening storm
kiss the clouds of our pollution as they fold us in their arms
America you might still fulfil your mighty dreams of youth
anoint the crumbling heads of Rushmore’s four to resurrect
begin again to find solutions, your people wait on line
we still hear your eagle cry, see your flashlight in our sky


For further work, visit edenbray—a BEAT POET.

7 thoughts on ““Flashlights Over America!” by edenbray.”

  1. Very complex issues, identity, repercussions, responsibilities, genocide. Each held a note of clarity, jarring and forthright, then swept away as the rose to take its turn 🧐

    Liked by 1 person

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