November 20, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Hugh Giblin




Civil Disobedience



The minister worked the crowd,

as he laid down the injustices,

rhythmic rhetoric in the church

the cadence rocking the mind


The crowd warmed to the pitch

fists started waving in the air,

a black man played counterpoint

“Amen”, “Yeah” “That’s right”


Filled with self-righteous zeal,

we moved to the waiting cars,

we were making a difference

if for nothing else than ourselves.


Hundreds were at the rally,

smiling, chanting, waving signs,

they flooded us with support,

we were their day’s martyrs.


We went quietly into the building,

the police watching us expectantly,

they knew the routine,

all in a day’s work.


We lined the legislative balcony,

the clergy threw up some prayers,

then we started to chant,

suddenly a sense of power


which dissipated quickly,

when the police chief

told us we had five minutes

to disperse or be arrested


We knew where the power was then,

but stood our ground, let the clock run out,

like participants in a sports event,

knowing it was a losing game.


The chief was quiet, almost gentle,

whispered to each we were being arrested

as if it were some sort of initiation,

while a Capital cop put ziplock cuffs on us.


We talked about the injustices,

everybody in righteous agreement,

we were all fellow inmates

in our ideals and ideology.


They cheered us as we went to the wagon,

as if we were going on vacation,

we basked in their kindness,

it was suddenly all worthwhile.


A long stuffy wait in the wagon,

then an escorted drive to the jail

we watched our freedom pass by

we were now in another world.


Most were religious types,

sure of their faith and action,

they would walk to the lions

as they did in Colosseum.


They separated us by gender,

as if fraternization was also a crime,

we were “booked” by the clerk,

the pages of our lives changing.


We were printed

our circular swirls inked,

our photos taken,

there were few smiles.


We now had “records”

something to remember us by,

we would be in THE database,

for all the world to see.


Finally we saw the magistrate

ensconced behind a glass

asking the same banal questions

expecting the same answers.


They gave us back our stuff

our reminders of our life

the doors opened

and we walk out


to food and supporters

who waiting to early morning

to welcome us back to freedom

a reminder of its wonder.






The Invisible Hand



belongs to that invisible “person”,

alive only on the ink of paper,

and in the minds of those

who corruptly created it.


Those plagiarist writers that

created a fictional character,

who has many great powers,

but like a mythical God, never seen.


This God simply waves its invisible hand

to create and destroy people and places,

and all those others that it can touch,

with the immunity of the divine.


It has millions of believers

who have shares in its self,

its disciple directors,

its ministers of trade.


It makes or breaks the market,

buys banks and corporations,

its sinister symbol is the dollar sign,

financial blood is on its hands.


The hand reaches into the pockets of the poor

stealthily steals, exploits, deprives

all in the name of its bogus “person-hood”

and its cruel self-serving, inane ideology.


This “person” has its hand in politics,

shaking hands with the courts,

who believe fiction is fact,

and won’t bite the hand that feeds it.


But truth is stronger than fiction,

someday the “person” will die,

the dirty hand will get washed

and truly become invisible.






Hugh Giblin

I am from Chicago, did consulting with non-profits there. Did some work for In These Times.

Worked in the labor movement, found myself in an international union controlled by Mafia, published an account, The Whistleblower’s Tune in a national magazine in 2004.  Still somewhat active, got arrested in Moral Monday Movement here in NC in 2013, will do it again. 

As far as writing goes, have had poetry published locally in literary journals and online, have had two plays produced locally, and received an “honorable mention” in a Duke literary competition.

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