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Poems On / About CHICAGO  5/26/2015 6:33:41 AM
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Are not to be captured
In a net or in a poem.
Hovering in the air
Or in the paths of memory,
They dream
To be watched
To be loved
Only from afar.

(To: Corina Genunea Iordache, Romania)

(Chicago, USA,18 March 1994)
Muhammad Hesham

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Bears In North America

No, not the hulking linebackers from Chicago
but the grizzly wandering its range in Alaska
meeting with a band of brother bears
and traveling to a campground
on the Yellowstone for a confabulation
on the best writers of the century!

They tore up the trees discussing the merits
of Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald
leaving piles of scat in the meadows
when the subject of James Joyce
and stream of consciousness came up!
Michael Pruchnicki

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The Great Chicago Fire

The great Chicago Fire, friends,
Will never be forgot;
In the history of Chicago
It will remain a darken spot.
It was a dreadful horrid sight
To see that City in flames;
But no human aid could save it,
For all skill was tried in vain.

In the year of 1871,
In October on the 8th,
The people in that City, then
Was full of life, and great.
Less than four days it lay in ruins,
That garden City, so great
Lay smouldering in ashes,
In a sad and pitiful state.

It was a sad, sad scene indeed,
To see the fire arise,
And hear the crackling of the flames
As it almost reached the skies,
And sadder still, to hear the moans,
Of people in the flames
Cry for help, and none could get,
Ah, die where they remained.

To see the people run for life;
Up and down the blazing streets,
To find then, their escape cut off
By the fiery flaming sheets,
And others hunting for some friend
That perhaps they never found,
Such weeping, wailing, never was known,
For a thousands miles around.

Some people were very wealthy
On the morning of the 10th.
But at the close of the evening,
Was poor, but felt content,
Glad to escape from harm with life
With friends they loved so well,
Some will try to gain more wisdom,
By the sad sight they beheld.

Five thousand people were homeless,
Sad wanderers in the streets,
With no shelter to cover them,
And no food had they to eat.
They wandered down by the lake side,
Lay down on the cold damp ground,
So tired and weary and homeless,
So the rich, the poor, was found.

Mothers with dear little infants,
Some clinging to the breast.
People of every description
All laid down there to rest,
With the sky as their covering,
Ah, pillows they had none.
Sad, oh sad, it must have been,
For those poor homeless ones.

Neighboring Cities sent comfort,
To the poor lone helpless ones,
And God will not forget them
In all the years to come.
Now the City of Chicago
Is built up anew once more,
And may it never be visited
With such a great fire no more.
Julia Ann Moore

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Read more: sad poems, city poems, people poems, october poems, hunting poems, fire poems, history poems, food poems, friend poems, sky poems, life poems, god poems, running poems



A Writing About Obama- Sixth Day Installment

I am in the middle of this book about President Obama.
I am from Chicago, He is from Chicago.
He did his community work in the neighborhood where I grew up.
He was a senator from my old neighborhood of Hyde Park.
He currently lives in Hyde Park.
I went to school at Hyde Park High
My dad still likes in Barack' s old senate district 13th.
Barack's family is mixed. My family is mixed
His great grand mother on his mother's side was part Cherokee
My great grand mother on my mother's side was part Cherokee.
Barack Obama stole my job and is currently impersonating me.. (smile)
The book is about half way done and describes the Chicago
Obama moved to, the Chicago he learned his politics from, the Chicago
of my child hood.
I concentrate on the values, the Chicago values he learned there and the mid-west values of Kansas which his mother taught him.
He organized his campaign based on those values and won, I think the presidency because of those values.
I spell them out.
Every person from the mid-west knows what they are:
They are not like NY, or California, or the South, they are mid-west.
Let's have a look at Chicago and Barack Obama and those mid-west values I make such a big deal over.
This is about the heart-aches of trying to write a book.

Well what do you say about Obama?
He is the conjuring image, the prototype, the summation of all of the American dilemmas.
Is he Black, is he white, why is race so important in America?
Where are your racial papers? Obama has none.
Is he for equality or is he the one saying you can make it in America if you work hard. Don't you or do you need affirmative action?
Why bother with civil rights marches when you can be President and
write the civil rights laws?
He is the new generation that says the old hatreds are over.
We don't know and don't care about who is already dead and buried
in the cemetery.
He says he is against corruption and the corrupt politics in Washington, but he did come from Chicago. Did any of that rub off on him?
He is for peace and getting rid of Cowboy violence.
He embraces his former enemies and gives them jobs.
He reads to the children at night.
He writes home every night via the internet to millions of people who supported him.
He is the father for all the single women who now have a new man in the house that they can tell their children to look up to.
He is quiet, no drama Obama.
How do you write about a person that looks like that?
We Americans don't care.
Obama greatest strength it seems is that if we are going to have have
to stare at someone on TV for 4 or 8 years we chose him for all the reasons above.
He is slowly moving from the rank of politician to family member-guess whose photo is in the homes of millions of Americans, hanging up beside the photos of family members-Barack Obama.
Obama get internalized, becomes family, The young boy who made his grandma proud.
How do you write about that?

Day Three:
The magnitude of the issues facing the new President are so large. The solutions now being discussed are not going to make a dent. The new President has to tell the American people what is not going to be good news.
The summary of which is a follows:
1-The American life style will have to be downsized. The consumption society is no longer sustainable. This means small houses, group living, exburgs, technological enclaves. green zones, young people pressed into national service, fewer college bound folks, young people leaving the country to take jobs in other countries-where the jobs will be; changing demographics-Americans are not replicating themselves- too few babies and that means other groups will gradually become the new Americans, ditto in all of Europe and Russia. They too are having declining populations and will see demographic changes in 50 years.
Technological village life is coming, (no commutes needed here, less energy needed and cheaper, with college kids and young people providing much of the labor to a greying America whose age and life expectancies continue to increase-taxing the health care system for the next 30 years.
More tomorrow.
Fourth Installment:
Well what are to be the solutions?
Financial system- Devolve to local and regional banking structures. They still exist and pre-date the concentration of the last 30 years.
Political System: Devolve to more local control with technological innovations with labor being a combination of national service- youth and immigrants. Everyone wins.
Energy System: No real good solutions. So many polluting sources. Best bet is to get rid of the cars, downscale dirty industries, reduce population-reduce the polluting population segments: drivers. Replace with green drivers.
Political System:
More of less constant mobilization around the projects above-via the internet
Group housing for middle class kids. Poor families already do it.

Fifth day Installment:
Obama in St. Louis-recounting the first 100 days. Well what has happened is that people are content with the fact that he seems to be trying. His approval ratings up to 63%; first time more people saying the country on the right track and the economy is tanking slower than expected.
Well, good, but not good enough.
But the point is that Obama gets credit for trying. The man works hard. On TV tonite undoubtedly to remind people what he has gotten done. A billizard of trillion dollar bills is coming as far a the eye can see.
Well that might help but that is not his message overall. He knows none of this will work without the mobilization of the American people, especially the young and the college-educated.
They are the key to America's future.
What has to be done-and he won't say it but you heard it here first:
1- The fifty percent of college graduates who can't get a job and have returned home to live in the basement have to be mobilized. They have to be given training, money to go to the small towns of America and help in the greening and revitalization of those small towns. That is the key to America's future.
Why? Young people have or can get the technological skills to help those towns.
They have the time if we pay them to do it.
They can create the green jobs we need to revitalize small towns and then they will live there. Impossible? No. The fact is that this model already exists all over the world.
Most of the worlds innovation is done in enclaves (Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Singapore, France.) The 'innovation centers' attract the bright and the entrepreneurial and in fact drive the worlds economies, . These folks like to be close to one another. Make the small towns attractive-example the NC Charlotte-Greensboro area, the San Francisco area- all attract these individuals and their counterparts drive the world economy.
What is the ultimate driver in all this in also in places like China- is cheap educated labor- ditto India.
So what are the pillars of both prosperity and economic recovery world-wide?

What they have always been; cheap labor, cheap energy, cheap food.
That was the United States 40 years ago. Not now. No cheap energy, no cheap labor, and rising costs for food diverted to ethanol use to save Iowa farms.
But who has cheap food (self-sustaining small farms)
China does, India does.
Who has cheap energy? China does, India does partially because they use old technology and cheap labor. So here they come. Western societies are expensive, don't produce anything any more and are graying.
Devolution to simpler technologies are inevitable because our windmills and water power and computer power will be cheaper every 18 months.
And finally we will have to lose our dependency on currency:
More likely have to depend upon neighbor barter systems to some extent.
You help me harvest my crop and I will help you. Or we loan the harvester out as the community harvester.
Far-Fetched? Just you wait and see. People do this in small towns already and with young people back in the small towns to help many small towns could be placed back on an economically sound footing.
If we do not, then things can get rough.
In the United States there is only five days worth of food on the shelves. If that supply is disrupted people will spontaneously leave the cities and head for rural areas anyway. That is devolution of the disorderly type, and we don't want that.
Tomorrow: We need some more detail and what is to be done with those greedy wall street moguls?
Obama and the Media: His Future May Depend Upon the Media-True or False?

Selling the idea of Hope, and even Democracy, propounded by a black politician from corrupt Chicago was more than much of the media could stomach.

Media Storms and False Bluster:

For young people who paid attention to the press and media coverage of the election, the contentiousness, seemed at times overwhelming. The adult world appeared scary to some of them who were unsteadied by the vitriol which came pouring into living rooms across the nation. They watched the Daily Show where the political news came with a bit of humor instead.

But make no mistake this election was a media event-a media bonanza.
“The right could raise hundreds millions pitching “Obama is coming with his terrorists friends and he is not one of us pitch; ” the left had “lets take the country back and elect a black man—wouldn’t that be special? ” message.
Commentators and pundits whip-lashed listeners and watchers with daily atrocity stories to pump up ratings and to get candidate A to spend money in the media to counter the overnight claims of candidate B.

Conservative media operations condemned Obama while making millions off politicians-democrats and republicans-who bought air time, off drug and conservative groups who bought politicians to defend the status quote. The politicians had it easy: whip up the constituency and tell them to donate to your campaign, whip up the right or the left special interests and tell them to donate to your campaign, go on TV and help with their ratings—so they make more money, some of which you expect to get back in donations.
It’s all about money.. for everyone involved. There are no virgins here. Obama raised more money but who got that money—the same conservative special interest media conglomerates he condemned. He tried to raise money from small donations but it was not enough. Everyone got money from wall street and what a coincidence Wall Street got billions in bail out money.
Its all about money. Is that too cynical?

The tabloidization of media in the United States is rampant driven in part by shrinking revenues in print media especially newspapers, TV, Radio, even the internet are all in cut back mode. A presidential election can represent 25% of the entire revenue for the year for some media outlets. Presidential campaigns are crucial to the bottom line.
There is, however, less news, rather we get phony atrocity scare stories and gossip; we get reporters interviewing reporters both getting pay checks from the same boss conglomerate; we get distractions, reality shows, Jerry Springer-like amusements, so we don’t interfere with the folks really running the important things which effect our lives.

Think: where were the media in examining the Iraq war, in examing the Bush torture sessions, civil liberties erosions, the environment?
They were all feeding from the Washington money trough while the middle class in the United States was being sold out, jobs sent overseas, while whole industries were being abandoned and being told all of this was good for America.
But it wasn’t. Wall street collapses, life savings disappear and
the plan is keep it going after modest reforms.
The old Whoopi Goldberg quote is a good one—paraphrasing.

“You don’t mind getting mugged in a bad neighborhood, all they get in your wallet; but don’t go anywhere near Wall Street—they rob you of your life-savings and your future”
All of this is ongoing in the context of increasing tabloidization of media and segmentation into markets, conservative radio stations, liberal radio stations, print media, broadcast media all fragmented and segmented’ all commanding audiences which never have to hear a dissenting view-audiences which can be prompted to send money and support to
candidates after their segment has been hyped by the fragmented media.

Cross over media-that is media which talks to a wide audience-is becoming more and more rare. More and more Americans are listening to fewer and fewer media and only to those individuals and media that agree with their political and social points of view. This is not compatible with Democracy which assumes a free press, that free speech results is exposure to a wide variety of points of view—an informed public.
Lonnie Hicks

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