Barking War Dogs– a poem of protest by Kip Cox

Poster calling for the stop of racial persecution

Poster calling for the stop of racial persecution

Slingshots and shotguns

tickle paper giants

that lumber though a quaking earth

As top hats with sparkles

trick our eyes

and paper magicians wag the dogs of war

Mapuche fighters grasp sap-stained sling shots

to hurl yet another river rock at a paper Goliath

And birds sing for the water spirit

But she doesn’t hear

And Mapuche medicine women chant for the water spirit

But she doesn’t hear

And little children cry out for the water spirit

But she cannot hear

She is deafened by the howl of war

Note:  The Mapuche Indians of Central Chili struggled against big business, the lumber business, that was invading their lands and really did use sling shots and shotguns to protect their trees.  An article about this in the LA Times motivated me to write the poem sometime around the early 90s.

Demanding freedom and equality

Demanding freedom and equality

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Dog Watch Soul Mate

A lonely sailor on watch late at night missing his girl.

A lonely sailor on watch late at night missing his girl.

You realize, of course,

that there is less of you now.

Some of you has crept inside of me

and there you remain:

Guiding

Chiding

Loving

You are my compass on starless nights,

Leading me through straits

Sometimes narrow and rocky.

You are my conscience on mischievous nights,

Prodding me along with the gentle push

Of a smile or a frown.

You are my soul’s keeper on lonely nights,

Offering me a warm bunk

To stave off the cold.