Monday, December 21, 2015

10)"A Baby Was Born in Bethlehem" James Metelak

A Baby Was Born in Bethlehem

Cardboard pop.

A baby was born today
A child was born in Bethlehem
His passport isn't recognized.
His home was bulldozed because his parents
Couldn't get a permit (systematic prejudice)
There was "no room at the inn"
Arabs didn't want him
Europe was afraid of him
Americans are arguing about who's the toughest on
So he was born in a tent
In a refugee camp

They came bearing gifts and
Me, well,
I've got a bullet for you for Christmas
Mom and Dad aren't talking
And the presidents are telling us
Who can and can't be friends
Santa's naughty list
Depends on the news channel
You're watching

There's a bright light on the road to Damascus
A Mirage on the horizon
I was going to send you chocolate and oranges
But the sanctions just kicked in
Come New Year's we're praying
Our money will still be worth something

Dear mom and dad, we need your
Son to try to put back together the world
And one wonders how much difference there is
Between a jacket of C4 and a gun.

They came bearing gifts:
M-16s, AK-47s, Gas, Bombs
The drones are always watching
And the NSA's tracking your calls
The Saudi government wants your head
Cuz they don't like what your blog says

The tree is lined with barbed wire,
A flare on top,
Grenades hung from the branches,
A line of golden bullets wind around the bannister
And there's a Stinger launcher hung over the hearth.
Obama, Putin, and Hollande are laying an arsenal
Before the bassinet
Assad's bombing the village in hopes the baby won't grow up
And Rouhani and Saud and Erdogan are supporting their pet
Freedom-Fighterish Mobs
Asses bray violence,
Sheep baa-ing nationalism and fear,
Border fences and anti-Islamic sentiments
Angels sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic

There are not enough graves in the world
To hold the hate
And there's not enough water in the oceans
To drown the fear
My eyes are open and the answers are easy
And easily impossible

Goodwill to men,
Jesus, there will be no crown of thorns or cross,
No whip-streaked back for you
You're not gonna make it that far
The baby lies in ribbons on the ground
Rearrange the body's wreckage to spell out
Peace on Earth

James Metelak is a poet, singer-songwriter, photographer, and the primary editor of Headpiece.   Check out his book, The Great Word G-d, his latest album, photos, or a little bit of everything at his website.  He currently lives and works in an orphanage in Central Asia.  If you like this poem, look for his upcoming book, Reasons for Cutting the Power to a Large Section of America, coming 2016.   

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