Relics of Last Week’s Civilization: Is the US Losing Its Way?

Human civilizations have evolved as humans have, culminating in advanced societies of social and cultural organization. Despite humanity’s success on a grand scale, do the current protests, threats to peace, and societal discontent foreshadow the demise of one of the world’s leading hegemonies? Is it human nature to incite violence and encourage chaos, destroying what we’d once created? How can we utilize the relics of last week’s civilization to rebuild?

Off the Path in Owen Park

A sea of green amidst an ocean of glass transformed into a roiling conflagration. The agents of peace, resplendent in gunmetal blue, struggled to keep order as the free-for-all heated up. The smells of cooking meat filled the city’s oasis, as everywhere coals burned, a thousand crimson eyes in the darkness. No fireflies gleamed, instead matches fluttered and caught. Bombs burst in the air, planes soared overhead, hardened pilots looked down at the bedlam with wistful eyes.

On the Fourth, freedom is a burned hot dog, potato salad warming on the side, washed down by an ocean of hot spilt blood.

Photo by Life Matters from Pexels

Black Waves At The Blue Line

Voices cry, loud, true,
at the line, black, blue; kneel if
not the enemy.

Lost Summer

Sand kicked on picnics,
Beach forbidden, embers fanned,
our hopes burned to ash.
I remember when summers
were for parties, not protests.

Three Days in July

Blue world turns as shade
falls, but still do embers fly,
our hopes set aflame.
Law’s hand will be corrected.
Freedom—some flags wave, some burn.

San Francisco 2020, after the labor day fires. Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash.

California Marching

A world set ablaze,
clashing faults and roaring tides,
red on blue on black,
endless struggle, for a true
peace, is it justice for all?

Seattle: When The Walls Fell and Rose

A needle stands silent against the ever-grey sky. The streets seethe, red ribbons of rage, but this is not an AIDS walk. Furious clashes between the uniformed and the irregular, authority corralling anarchy. A bottle flares. A bullet flies. Store-front barricades are ravaged, new bastions rise. Sandbag, concrete, steel, junk. Relics of last week’s civilization, ancient history. Guitars in the park, no one strums Kumbaya. At the barriers, radio static is the only blues. Police horses whinny, waiting the charge. In the wind, protest signs whisper and snap. When the pot boils over, who’ll be left in the kitchen?


tain leonard-peck

Tain Leonard-Peck is a high school student. He writes, paints, and composes music, and is a competitive sailor, skier, and fencer. He is an actor and model, and had a play produced that he starred in and wrote. His plays, poems, paintings, and short stories have been published in literary reviews, and he is also a short story and a poetry judge for several journals. He won Honorable Mention in the Creators of Literary Justice Award, by IHRAF, the largest human rights arts festival in the world. He currently lives on a family farm on Martha’s Vineyard, but has lived all over the world as well. He has cave-dwelled, shark-dived, and not been defenestrated by a temperamental donkey named William Shakespeare. He thinks the world is a place of wonders. He’s frequently bitten by geese.

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