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Tag: #Economy

What’s Playing Now

It’s like that moment in the film
when the main characters

are looking out the window—
they can hear the thunder

and the rain, but the wind is still
just rustling the branches

and bushes in their small,
close-knit community,

and it would look so peaceful,
except for the soundtrack,

and the fact that you know
that they know

there is a mighty storm on the way,
and the only question

is whether it will be their home,
or one of their neighbor’s,

that will be left standing
after it passes.

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Scientists say that every so often
something tips,

and savannah turns to desert,
or forest to tundra,

in the space of a decade or less.
Our own short history’s littered

with drought, plague, famine,
war and tyranny.

What’s one more bank collapse,
one more novel virus?

The moon is just past full,
the March wind is wet

and warm. There’s no line
at the ATM,

but the dogs seem
restless tonight.

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Beyond the Horizon

In UP last year,
93,000 people applied
for 62 government jobs—

jobs that required
a Class 5 education
and bicycle riding skills;

of the applicants, 3,700
held PhD’s, and 20,000
held post graduate degrees.

You have read many stories
like this and on some level
you understand it’s likely

the current system
is running into limitations
that education and growth

will be unable to overcome.
Western environmentalists
call it a climate crisis

and offer a Green New Deal;
new communists call it
a secular crisis of capitalism

and say it is hopeless to try
to see beyond the horizon
of a system that conditions

even the way we make love.
We’re all looking for a way
through: you, me,

the Chief Minister of UP,
and the crores who may
or may not have documents,

but who nonetheless haul
our trash, sweep our roads
and build our tall towers each day.

Some choose suicide or struggle,
some put their faith in fascism;
and some keep their heads

down and patiently wait
for some kind of a new
day to dawn.

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You tell me that you’re always sad;
you want to run away, but ask,
How can I run from myself?

I want to say you’re not alone;
lakhs, no crores are asking
questions just like this—

all over the world
rich and poor are asking them,
the children of refugees

and rulers are asking them,
academics and experts
are publishing reports about them,

pharmaceutical representatives,
psychiatrists, and self-help gurus
are making their living off of them.

This is not new, but it is urgent

and growing; and the darknessthat has fallen around us now

is just one sign of a larger,
grinding thing: we all sense
we’re approaching a rupture

that the old tricks of war,
debt and growth may finally
fail to delay—

and none of us can imagine
what lies beyond that horizon.
Friend, I can offer no clear

answer to your question,
but it has something to do
with solidarity and love,

how we’ll all have to
cross over together.

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