Rising/Falling – a protest poem

In honor of a much more concerted effort by the government to de-fund Planned Parenthood I present the second poem I wrote and recited for the book release event of BATTLE FLAG, the book two friends and I wrote as a response to the incoming administration. ALL proceeds from that book go to Planned Parenthood in a hope that some small way we can push back against the ignorance and fear being peddled.
To distill what Planned Parenthood does and offers to ‘abortion services’ is like saying the government is solely about war. And to pretend that there are cases when abortion isn’t a necessary procedure, not a casual choice, is naive and frankly anti-woman. I have known several women who have had abortions and not one went into it with anything but heartbreak and agony and anyone who doesn’t have that in their heart that goes through the procedure is the aberration, not the norm.
In this time of fear I offer you a poem.
Take it as you will.
If you like it, consider purchasing Battle Flag.


And dawn will come with the sun cresting the wall and it will be a new day.

A new America.

A new world.

Our Great Wall.

Our Wonder of the Free World.

And the bill for that wall will be passed onward, hand to hand to hand until the

circle-jerk is complete and the bill returns to where it started.

And the concern will be

Who Pays?

Knowing full well we may never meet the people who pay, the children of our

children’s children who will be born into a world of walls and debts and camps

and threats.

What we need’s a good wall is what they’ll say with a dismissive wave.

Smiling at you because this is what so many have dreamt of –

This wall.

This ban.

This removal.

And maybe it’s not that bad.

Maybe we just keep the bad ones out.

The dangerous ones.

The foreign ones.

The colored ones.

The gay ones.

The Thems, not Us.

Not everyone.

Just the ones that don’t deserve to be here.

The different ones.

Just them.

They can go back to where they came from.




That’s what makes us great.

Because we’re the same.

But different.

If that means being the same.

We just need to be sold something the right way and anything can become


We are a nation desperate to be pitched a product, even if it’s fake.

We are




We are in the new-new, the real-new, the real-real.

The world carved by the haves, for the haves, and the rest of you can get on or

get over, but just get the hell out of the way.

Because –

We will lead.

By thunder.

By lightning.

By blood, by god.

We will carry the largest stick.

The biggest gun.

The loudest bomb.

We will bluster and boil and laugh behind our fists because it’s all just


We’re all just friends making a show of it.

Pushing each other clumsily as we toast one another’s health and ask after one

another’s family.

But the brink inches towards us and the clocks ticks closer to midnight and we

laugh and laugh and laugh until someone doesn’t think the joke’s so funny


But it is a joke, isn’t it?

This us versus them versus them versus us?

This enemy of my enemy of my enemy bullshit we play at.

Calling one another naïve and stupid and not seeing that that circle also comes

back around because there’s a point where we’re all the same, whether we

want to see it or not.

Beyond the race and sex and religion and wealth and all the other things we get

caught up on

We’re the same.

We just won’t admit it.

We can’t.

Because if we’re really all the same, beneath it all, if we all want are security and

happiness and opportunity then why are we told we’re so different?

Because we don’t shit the same or fuck the same or pray the same that this skin,

this blood, this heart is different?

Because we think differently?

Act differently?

Are different?

But yet the same.

Unable to process that we can be both at once, damned and divine, beautiful and

ugly, Republicrat and Demoblican.

Because walls are all we’ve ever known.

Because walls keep us safe.

No one is our brother.

We are no one’s keeper.

We are a nation of strangers screaming through our phones and computers to

ghosts of people we hate without ever knowing.

We have become the walls we hide behind.

Closed and cold and crumbling.

Fearful of a world filled with the boogeymen we made.

Fearful they’ll get in.

But they’re already here.

Our walls will fail


Nothing lasts forever.

And Nature hates a wall.

And what will our future be in this glorious new America that is great once more?

What becomes of this great new America in four, in eight, in twelve, in a hundred


Time washes clean the blood, the ruin, and the rust and in our wake Nature will

breed beauty and hope in abundance.

Like it or not

Believe it or don’t

With our permission or against it –

All walls fall.

All walls fail.

And hope will rise again.

With or without us.

– chris arrr



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