Leaderless

Everywhere is leaderless
unless you believe justice can be forged from violence.
Then there are leaders everywhere-
spewing offense and defense
Spending every last cent on campaigns
and tough talk: protection, detection,
aggression.

Everywhere is leaderless
unless you believe money makes the man
honest and wise. Then there are leaders everywhere-
buying TV time to flash you,
distract you, secure your vote will be cast
for the one who has the most money wins.

If you wonder why the trees had to go
and the road was widened
Why your house now sits by the side of a road
without shelter, shade or the song of birds
You are leaderless

If you don't see why you must be
either for or against nameless, faceless foes
You are leaderless

And if you can't buy it
breathable air - drinkable water,
the notion that violence
begets peace or for that matter
anything good at all
then you are among the leaderless, too

Despair is everywhere
for we leaderless few
and so, my friends, there's work to do.

Organize, galvanize, light a candle
in the square
Speak your truth without fear
to anyone who will hear.
Tolerate, refuse-to-hate
Forgive, forget, care.
Become the change we want to see
We brave new leaders, you and me.

Joan Newton of Wells, ME

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