Poem – Song of America (By Gil Hoy)
Song of America
I see you, Walt Whitman, an American
Rough, a cosmos! I see you face to face!
I see you and the nameless faceless
Faces in America’s ageless crowds of men
and women who you saw in your mind’s eye.
I see you crossing the river on your ferry.
I see you walking down America’s public roads
Where everyone is worthy. Neither time,
Place nor distance separates.
You once saw the corrupt currents,
Fast flowing into the land that you loved.
You once saw that which had departed
With the setting sun, half an hour high,
For when another is degraded,
so are you and I.
You once saw what had flowed in with the
Rising flood-tides feverishly pounding,
Sea water soaked—saturated,
With exploitation, bribery,
Falsehood and maladministration.
When you saw the motionless wings of
Twelfth-month sea-gulls, When you walked
On Manhattan Island, When you watched the
Great ships of Manhattan, north and west—
Did you see Wall Street banks seizing the
Homes of your beloved countrymen,
Crossing in their fragile ferryboats?
The carpenters, the Quakers, the scientists,
The opium eaters—the immigrants, the squaws,
The boatmen, the blacksmiths—the farmers,
The Mechanics, the sailors, the priests?
Did you see monstrous megaton
Corporations feasting on America’s flesh and
Blood, nameless faceless parasites sucking the
Marrow from the bones of your dear land,
Like a malevolent disease?
For you saw very clearly the political and economic
Malfunctioning mutant ties that connect us.
Neither time, place nor distance separates.
And you saw quite clearly the sickly green sludge
Secreted by lobbyists to their bought and sold
Henchmen soldier baby-kissers—Slowing,
Stopping the flow of nourishing rushing sea
Tides into your revered democracy.
You saw dark evil patches—the clinging selfish
Pernicious grasp of the flourishing one per cent
Oligarchs, who lusted, grubbed, lied, stole—
Were greedy, shallow, sly, angry, vain, cowardly,
malignant—Seeking only to hold on to their
Spoils and preserve the status quo.
Each still furnishes its part towards the death of
America’s democracy, Each still furnishes its part
Towards destroying her soul. The mocking bird still
Chants his tearful musical shuttle to the barefooted
Bareheaded boy, and the final word superior for
America may still be her death, death, death
Death. And you, lonely father, graybeard more
Beloved—the generous sea, she’s whisper’d me, too.
Gil Hoy is a Boston trial lawyer and is currently studying poetry at Boston University, through its Evergreen program, where he previously received a BA in Philosophy and Political Science. Hoy received an MA in Government from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy started writing poetry two years ago. Since then, his work has appeared in Third Wednesday, The Write Room, The Eclectic Muse, Clark Street Review, The New Verse News, Harbinger Asylum, Soul Fountain, The Story Teller Magazine, Eye on Life Magazine, Stepping Stones Magazine, The Penmen Review, To Hold A Moment Still (Harbinger Asylum’s 2014 Holidays Anthology), The Zodiac Review, Earl of Plaid Literary Journal, The Potomac, Antarctica Journal, The Montucky Review and elsewhere.