It’s Like Aesop Said (an Election Year Cautionary Tale) Poem by Marius

It’s Like Aesop Said (an Election Year Cautionary Tale)

Oh these silly frogs, all day long they cry

God tossed back His head, annoyed, with a sigh

They pray for a King and don’t want to be free

What shall I do for them, why can’t they see?

A King is a dangerous thing

To have or to be

An idea came to Him then, with a smile

Alright,alright, He shouted down to them, just wait a while

I’ll make you a ‘leader’, let this praying be shushed!

Now get out of the way, or else you’ll be crushed

From the high vaults of heaven, dropped the prodigious log

Crashing into the waters of the little frogs’ bog

It settled, all sturdy, a place in the sun

And the frogs all jumped up to sit, one by one

An evil-eyed pike cruised the shadows and pouted

I can’t get you up there, not at all, he shouted

With a flick of his tail, he swam away fast

The little frogs sighed, safe and happy at last

But quickly grew bored, as little frogs do

Oh this log is no King! It can’t say what to do!

Their cries rose to Heaven and managed to reach

God’s angry ears, and a lesson He’d teach

Oh very well, I will send you a King

One made in Hell, I guess that’s the thing!

Enough of your whining, your foolishness dooms you

Here comes your King, you deserve him to rule you!

A black silhouette blocks the sun and the glade

And the frogs all look up from their place in the shade

An imperious heron, a beak sharp as a blade

Feathered pompadour floating, with tons of pomade

Has come to be King of the frogs

Marius’ Statement for the DC Convergence!

DC convergence

Greetings to all the good folks who are coming together on this day to fight together against an important Environmental Justice issue. It inspires me to see that friends in the environmental movement and friends in the prison abolition movement are seeing some essential common ground, to join forces and visions in their work.

Many, many years ago in Detroit, I and a small group of neighbors got together to oppose a trash incinerator that was being built in the city, in our neighborhood. At one of the many public hearings, I accosted an EPA official who had signed off on a report that said that the fatalities due to the operation of this monstrosity would be about 40 people. His answer to me, was that was only if people were exposed to the toxins coming from the stack every day, all day. His assertion was that most people would go away from the area, either by moving or for vacation or for work…..but this was a false assumption. The poor people of my neighborhood were stuck there, many were house-bound elders or small children, and most of us who were able to work did so minutes away from the faculty. We were in essence a sacrifice community, deemed expendable because of our poverty or our race. We eventually lost our fight, for the most part. But were able to get them to put the state of the art capture technology on the Incinerator that would NOT have been put in place had it not been for our intense struggle. Direct action really does get the goods, but you have to be in it for the long haul.

No one is more locked into one spot for the long haul than are the prisoners incarcerated in the United States; so many for decades on end. Many are prohibited from transfer and would certainly be exposed relentlessly to any toxic source that was on the premises. And as recent litigation has proved..hardly anyone is less likely to be served as to their medical needs. So the curse of a toxic facility on a prison population is doubled by the lack of access to any monitoring or treatment. Given that the prison population is overwhelmingly people of color, trans and queer folks and poor people – the result is a great human rights tragedy as well as the thoughtless destruction of an environment that is literally coming apart, unable to withstand the damage that our society is inflicting on it.

As an environmental and animal rights activist, as a trans prisoner of conscience, as someone whose choice and whose voice are so often taken away by the system – I am infinitely grateful to all of you who are here today to insist that we want a world that cares and respects all beings and this Earth. Thank you for speaking for so many who cannot. I wish you strength and success in your campaign.

We are all in it for the long haul, love and solidarity,

Marius Mason

Bathroom Law- New Poetry by Marius

I am in the middle of a shit storm without a scrap of toilet paper
Trans and token and barely tolerated in Texas,
Though way past school-age
The news these past few days like a Jerry Springer marathon on one topic
Unhinged angry-faced bullies, Rainbow hearts and brave allies
Accusations and absurdities fly around the room like spitballs
All about who can do what where in the bathrooms at school
We all gotta pee, it’s a commonality
In history, predictably, there’s always the backlash
Every tortured step forward in civil rights progression towards equality, humanity
Is met with tragedy
From battered Medgar Evers’ body
And Billie Holiday’s strange hangin’ fruit
To secret sailors flung overboard at sea and
Harvey Milk gunned down for being gay
How many years of little white signs on Bathrooms, drinking fountains, busses
Throughout the taciturn South
That said that to share this American life as equal citizens
Was to be contaminated
Those thugs worried about safety, too
They were protecting Southern womanhood by killing four little girls at church
What a load of crap, a tsunami of filth
A backed-up toilet of ignorance, no less dangerous
For its lack of common sense
But here’s the clincher
We all have skin in this game
No matter what color you are
We all gotta pee, it’s a commonality
and just like those wily old Nazis
Who knew to go for the edges, then cut to the middle
If they can make laws shaming and blaming and curtailing the rights
Of people like me, now
Then they can make a law stick to your sore spot, too
It’s all about power and precedent,
And really, we all gotta pee
That’s just human.

Men and womens' bathrooms in an office complex
‘Bathroom bills’ are an attempt to eliminate transgender people from public space by Jane Fae

 

“The Masai Mara Dreams of Vultures”- Poetry by Marius

Dust rises like a silted fog between the Serengeti plains and the mighty Masai Mara
Wildebeests in mass migration, heavy-headed, spindly-legged
Improbable and plenty, walk the beaten path in jeopardy
Relentlessly, attended by the watchful lions, in turn followed
By the jackals, cheetah, wild dogs, and hysterical hyenas
All laughing, tongues lolling, calculating distances
And likely outcomes
Every summer half a million grunting ungulates will meet their fate
And fill the fastest hunter’s need
Bloody-faced and belly-full, they retire when sated, without greed
And the Dance’s second act begins with graceful and ascending arcs
Like dueling kites in wind, the wheeling vultures float above, begin
To fall like stones, to strike the dusty clay
Flexing feathers, hopping froggish trolls
And the bloated, blasted carcass falls to them,
The boisterous mob, full of happy mayhem
Rot and guts are stripped in minutes
A spectacle of ugliness, but life’s directive
Nonetheless – that everything has use
But the Serengeti janitors, Mut’s minions also signal an alarm in azure skies,
That Death is here
And stealth, the poacher’s cloak, is torn away
For more and more, the hungry ghosts of war, the ivory thieves
Kill the gray gargantuan as they move with the herds
And leave cryptic corpses, sad remains
These are dangerous men to inconvenience in their plans
Soldiers in a blighted cause, they spread their poison everywhere
For birds, for men, and the tainted bait they make means this:
No birds to tell a tale, so easy cash and secrets kept
A poacher heeds no law but appetite and market share
Still..empty skies and poisoned corpses
Are a warning in and of themselves
Things fall apart, as Chinua Achebe said
Just this easily
While the Masai Mara dreams of vultures
Gone from the grassy seas

nytimes.com: Vulture Populations Wane, Poisoned by Man