Historical and Political Poems

These three poems all came to me fairly unexpectedly. The first, and I think the best, “Justice from Inanna” was written in December 2018 in response to reading a book about the deep history of humanity and thinking about the fact that there’s strong evidence that the first centuries or millennia of agricultural societies—perhaps even until the Nineteenth Century—left most of their inhabitants worse-off than hunter-gatherers had been. A year later, in December 2019, I wrote a second, perhaps more bitter, poem to Inanna, in response to the continued rise of fascism and far-right movements: “Inanna and the Tories.”

“Justice from Inanna”

“Inanna and the Tories”

In contrast to the Inanna poems, which are cries for justice from the Sumarian goddess of cities and civilization, “The Generation of Tezcatlipoca” is addressed to the Aztec god of strife, rulership, and the “near and nigh,” and has a tone of acceptance of the loss of a mirage of happiness and justice.

“The Generation of Tezcatlipoca”