brother rat, sister vole
gather your congregation
of vermin souls
lead them in
their songs of greed
teach them to steal
and sniff and feel
their way to
the top or as far
as their short furred
bodies and feet
wriggle and scurry
to gain a seat
in board rooms
and legislative halls
where thy can create
and live their ratty
and court their furry
and breed and feed
and shit all over
so the people are covered
in feces up to
with eyes closed
in daydreams I exist
the rest is clearly false
and if forever is a myth
I have still tasted heaven
if only in small sips
still in the queue
if my eyes roll up into my head
do not fear the worst
i'm only checking in at home
to see if they've called my name
the light was green so you kept going
driving through city streets
farmer's fields, forests,
from sea to gulf to lake to ocean
you have been on the road
so long now
if someone were to holler “stop”
My home is a state of the middle way
slow to change, but not far behind.
We are rich in demagogues and always have been,
manipulators of words and finances.
A spine of mountains divides us in two
but the real divide is Philadelphia and what is beyond.
No one loves the city, even the people who live there.
What we have of value is taken for granted,
rivers and forests, lakes and hidden valleys.
There history and politics are forgotten
and we catch a glimpse of what was before
Penn's woods were cut down for farms
and pre-fabricated housing developments.
Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books include Suckers, For the Birds, and Longing For The Mother Tongue.