the shackles of the past

the shackles of the past

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

the shackles of the past

 

 

 

city slickers look out from 100th floor windows

cotton pickers wipe the sweat from brows

 

the glass is clear from both ends

decades pass in parallel stretches

 

Whitney invents,

stocks indent

paragraphs of wealth

thesis statements blow away in a southern town

 

an essay on field trips--

dark victories on Wall Street

eclipsed by relevant poverty

as far as the eye can see

 

no matter what floor---the perspective---

 

 

ground level is a face to face look

at how far we've not come

since the North and South seceded from sense

and brothers quit staying at the same Inns

 

life is green now,

no blue and gray

or confederate flags,

but in old hearts

the material is ripped and torn

 

the country so worn

downtrodden people

still picking thorns from hands

still bleeding from the transgressions

 

no one owns me,

and i own no one else

my sanity and peace of mind

mine to keep

 

and the chains are optional

even if it still feels like 

they are there.

 

 

erin-cilberto

3/11/17

© 2017 jacob erin-cilberto


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Whitney invented the cotton gin over 200 years ago, but have things really changed so much since then? No more blue and grey, but still we have divisions between races and divisions between ideologies. We are not literally owned by anyone, but then again....a powerful political piece, Jacob. Lydi**

Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

thank you for your kind review, Lydi...
j.
Wow. One of the best political and historical poems from you Jacob. Many layers of truth. No more ideals, morals or values to define the nation but all other wicked things in the book. Amazing your voice...;)...................

Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

thank you for your kind words, Sami.

j.
Sami Khalil

2 Years Ago

You are welcome...:)................
that landscape changed in America, but did it really? certainly not in many parts of the world. the big money of capitalism still controls. things usually boil down to money. i read exploitation then liberation at the cost of a civil war pitting brother against brother. an ugly era. that liberation was achieved but the scars remain. the chains are always there but now more have a choice about whether or not to wear them. evolution at a cost. always difficult when ideals clash. great thought-provoking piece.

'The more things change, the more they stay the same.' - Karr 1849

Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

thank you for your very kind review, Pete.
j.
More stories in those 100-floor buildings than any architect ever envisioned.
One of the "North's" cleverly calculated and begrudgingly proclaimed reasons for our first Civil War was black slavery; the only reason for our current civil upheaval is national slavery. Both instances involve an overreaching, brazenly tyrannical federal government.
As in that first bloody circus, the present, brutal, behind-the-scenes (likely) winners will eventually compose a convenient history.
Black slavery continues by merely changing form.
The chains, Jacob, are, unquestionably, still there--having now been forged for all of us.
"the shackles of the past" is truly exceptional work.


Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

yes, this is a war that is more behind-the-scenes, yet just as dangerous in many ways...

read more
jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

i hate when comments get cut off here...thank you for your kind review, Jimmy,

j.
Your writing speaks of the same sins of the past dressed in a different style. Too many hearts holding on to the shallow beliefs of materialism. Your poem speaks the truth of the 1860's or the present day.
Richie b.

Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

thank you for your words, richieb,

j.
while technology advances we leave the vulnerable behind but the view from skyscrapers never lie. i think its a permanent fixture in our society, a continual great depression.

Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

i think it is too, andrew,

j.
21st century. Has the world moved on.
The suits on the 100th floor. They'll tell you it's a different poverty now. You don't die from it in the western world. Your aspirations are rock bottom mind you, but you were probably aiming to high in the first place. If all fails. A good war always unites the people. Though maybe that card has been played to many times now.

Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

i think it has been played, way too many times...
thank you, Paul

j.
As always you treat us to words as images that bring life and meaning to your writings. The opening lines are a draw as the juxtaposition is painted in stark video images. A nation torn by guilt and by the scars that repeat in all the injustices; and we can chose to ignore it all, or not. This is a haunting piece from my standpoint Jacob.

Posted 2 Years Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

2 Years Ago

thank you for your words, John...
this one didn't come easy...years and years of what could n.. read more
John Alexander McFadyen

2 Years Ago

One small comfort Jacob is that 'politics' injustice, manipulation and greed have fuelled the fates .. read more

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Added on March 12, 2017
Last Updated on March 12, 2017

Author

jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL



About
Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..

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