Merced 2019

I wrote my poem in the style of William Blake’s “London”.

I scroll through the headlines each morning

And my chest constricts with empathy

We should all heed the warning

The world is turning to one of apathy

 

Mothers holding their dead children

Countries going weak without water

There are more lives than 327 million

But most only care about a millionaire’s daughter

 

Conversations overheard hold no weight

Destruction and devastation happen everyday

Many it seems, have turned a blind eye to their fate

Soon, the repercussions will be at our doorway

 

The country is built on bureaucracy and hypocrisy

We hear the discontent; yet seem powerless

We have been reduced to Kakistocracy

People cry, people die, the world is not colorless

Sabrina Vazquez

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Redding 2019

I slowly walk through each old abandoned street

Near the banks where the Sacramento flows

Noticing in the faces of those I greet

Marks of tiredness, weariness grows

In the voice of the neighbor across the road,

In the voice of those both young and old

In the voice of everyone, hope has slowed

When will change come as we’ve been told

How the shopkeepers cry,

Closing their doors for the final time,

Once happy couples let out a sigh

Perhaps now is the chance to escape the crime,

Now through these streets late at night

All that can be heard are sirens and shouting

Enemies rushing by in a flash of light,

Any prospect of change leaves me doubting

-Ryan Bucher

San Fernando 2019

Lended through a municipality’s streets

Parallel to impoverished groans

Sun dried faces burnt and disheveled lead treats

Worn complexions, aching bones

In every hand a dried cement

In every house an apathy erect

In every voice; every individual lament

An entombment of unreleasable debt

Lessened patrons pry

As collapsing residences imply

And unfeasible mortgages rend dry

Flows downturned to an ashy sky

But a forsaken railway astray

A pittance of commerce

How graffiti would incur everything stray

And trapped in an economic hearse

-Kevin Martinez

SF 2019

(Parody of William Blake’s “London”)

San Francisco 2019

Through the narrow and hilly streets,

Near the coastline, near the bay

Every face that can be seen

Every face that I can see

Is marked with seriousness, marked with woe

In every cry of every person

In every child’s face there is grief,

In every voice, in every case of gentrification

The grief and sadness of a ever changing place can be heard

How small businesses owners cry,

Every new ‘hip’ establishment appalls

The sad sigh of San Francisco natives

Runs through every breezy overpopulated street

But most nights you can hear

How the youth proceed to continue to enjoy the city

Blast the child’s grief

And gentrification fills the city like a plague

  • Isabel P

Paradise

by ~ Amber Loper

I hike through trees as large as towers

Among the Sierra Nevada’s

And stop where there once were flowers

but now ashen scars divide us

~*~

In every howl made to the moon

In every bear cubs orphaned cry

In every squeak of lost racoon

I hear a truth that cannot lie

~*~

How the refugees must mourn

No politician takes a stand

And the wretched soldiers are torn

From home to unbreathable land

~*~

But some through science do I hear

How youthless men can still deny

True or false, we live in fear

Smoke and brimstone, the end is nigh

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San Francisco, 2019

San Francisco

Inspired by London by William Blake

 

I wander through the eclectic streets,

Where one can find a battle of wealth and poor.

Past the building that drives people to Tweet,

While dreams are abandoned on the floor.

 

In every cry of every local,

In every student’s plea for change,

All people need to come together and be vocal,

For the city’s becoming too strange.

 

How the faithful teachers cry,

Every bus driver’s wail,

While millionaire techies look up to the sky,

And the homeless are thrown into jail.

 

But the land maintains aesthetic appeal,

As shown by the rise in prices.

The neighbors are never given a good deal,

And no one will look up from their devices.

 

-Abe Alvarez

Merced

An edgy parody of William Blake’s London

I drive thro’ each charter’d street,

Near where the charter’d Creek does flow,

And mark in every face I meet,

Snapchat filters, hitting the Whoa

In every cry of every man

In every woman’s ear,

A tiny voice: a tattooed man,

No orchestral taste I hear

How the adolescents cry,

Attention not a dime,

And the hapless adults sigh,

Crocodile tears, on the timeline

But most thro’ midnight streams I hear

How the youthful dunces curse

Blasts the new-born viewer’s ear

Ignorance: with which the world bursts

-Shawn Pintor-Day

The Mass, 2019

Parody of London by William Blake

 

It stalks, festering in its streets,

Water boils, through gutters flow,

It marks those we will all soon meet,

Struck in weakness, men of woe.

 

The resonance, the cry of man,

A child’s laughter laced in fear,

Vocal stains of past, through each ban,

Cognition of the mass I hear.

 

The toiled ground echoes their cries,

The cross on my forehead appalls,

The mass ignores their lowly sighs,

A vein rooting up house walls.

 

In the witching hour I hear

A beast and a harlot’s faint curse

To bring my infant eye a tear

So all may come to the mass hearse.

 

-Daniel Rodriguez

90

 

Los Angeles, 2019.

Inspired by William Blake’s London.

He walked along the boulevard, eyes glued to his phone as he watched the world crumble beneath him
An elder man mourned the day people weren’t glued on their phones
forgetting that he too relied on them

At each passing step, the world continues to crumble
News filled with horrors and neverending stresses
They mourn the destruction of a church but turn their heads at the bombing of others
Kids out on the streets protesting for what’s right
Eat the rich! Save the earth! They chant

Mothers across the globe cry out as their children are torn from them
People scream pro life and turn their heads from those starving on the streets
The climate is changing, the president a fool

But when he looks up from his phone he’s met with the stresses of daily life
Rent, school, family issues, cloud his mind
but he continues walking.

– Lou Flores

London 2019 or “The London Eye”

attraction black and white black and white buildings

The London Eye

By Christopher Ingle

Inspired by William Blake’s “London”

I sat upon the river Thames,

A wondering tourist was I.

Though Frommers often does condemn,

I gazed upon the Wheel’s Eye.

 

This Eye I gazed was everywhere,

Its stare was cold and bleak.

Its watchful gaze was full aware,

To protect the helpless and weak.

 

“It brings us peace” said men in blue,

“a triumph of near perfection”.

Yet deep inside I knew it true,

That few had brought objection.

 

This watchful eye in London town,

Its gaze is long and broad.

For it sees the common and the crown,

To fight unjust and fraud.

 

Though the eye is always gazing,

as far is left as far is right,

I feel my mind slowly crazing,

As the eye watches into the night.

 

I know not who can see me now,

and yet upon the London sky,

hidden cannot be my face and brow,

from the ever watchful London Eye.