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Friday, August 29, 2014

Seasons: (poetry video and photography)


This evening blue skies and white clouds
are gradually replaced with misty gray gauze
that softly drapes itself over the nearby foothills
as the temperature falls.

It’s September and September is flirting with autumn
behaving like a wanton lover plucking leaves
and frivolously scattering them.

Tomorrow summer will return hot and humid
erasing the premonition of the howling bitch of winter
who approaches mercilessly
keeping herself hidden in the mist.

Poetry and photography by David H. Roche (C) 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nothing Lasts (poetry and art)

Last night I listened to what is perhaps the finest poem written in the 20th century "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg.  After listening to the poem I was inspired to write the poem below which I titled "Nothing Lasts."  I also made a reading of the poem and put it together with art and photography on YouTube. You can find that video below the body of the poem.

Nothing lasts

Love and lovers become ghosts,
families become memories becoming
merely tales repeated with no meaning to those who hear them told.

A hopeful future is unattainable...
the fate of all is in the hands of false Gods with names like
Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank
whose sustenance is bankruptcies, repossessions and despair
leaving the hopeless and the homeless as proof of their presence.

They too will fail becoming a desolation covered with the slag piles
left behind from profits mined from a once green lush earth
whose skeleton is now the ultimate truth of this failed age
swallowing them as it swallows all.

Nothing lasts.  

Poetry and art by David H. Roche (C) 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Turquoise (poetry)


In the pond ducks are splashing
splattering droplets suspended in air
sparkling briefly in sunlight before falling back.
A summer breeze moves over me.

In the sky above
a chicken hawk dips its wings
surfing turquoise waves,
below in another turquoise
a bull frog bellows.

Sirens in the distance approach,
growing louder before fading into another distance.
Highway noises cease,
replaced with eerie silence.

Between the turquoise boundaries 
everything but the traffic continues.
I wonder…who died on the highway today
under the pale blue sky
while the bull frog bellowed,
the ducks splashed,
the summer breeze blew
and the chicken hawk surfed on turquoise waves.

I put the poem into a video

A poem  and photography by David H. Roche
(C) 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

America I have Some Questions (poetry)

Below is a video including a reading of the poem with artwork.

I wrote this poem while thinking about the shooting death of Mike Brown in Ferguson Missouri on August 9, 2014.  

America I Have Some Questions

Okay America which is it?
Is there liberty and justice for all?
Or just liberty for cops?

America this thing you did in Ferguson...
that was bad.

Why is it you don't know it was bad?
Why is it some say Mike had it coming?
Really America.  Is death the penalty for jaywalking?

And if it is...
why didn't Mike have a trial before his execution? 
You know America, a trial with a jury
and a judge and a lawyer?


America it seems to me
you have a hard time living up to what you believe.

Do you remember what you did to the natives?
Do you remember what you did to the Scottsboro boys?
Do you remember what you did to women?
Do you remember what you did to the Jews?
Do you remember what you did to the Catholics?
Do you remember what you did to the Irish?
Do you remember Colored Only,White Only?

America do you remember who you are?
America it seems to me you have Alzheimers
and have forgotten.

Poetry, video, reading and art by David H. Roche
(C) 2014

Postscript this news just in from Ferguson Missouri.  A cop has been removed from duty for threatening to kill a protester.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Three Minutes In Ferguson Missouri (socially conscious poetry)

The entire world is now aware that Darren Wilson a white law enforcement officer in Ferguson Missouri shot and killed 18 year old Mike Brown a black youth. Mike had his hands over his head surrendering when he was killed.

It remains to be seen if Darren Wilson will suffer any legal consequences for his decision to take Mike's life. His actions angered a lot of people in the community he was charged with protecting and serving.

I was angered when I read the reports.  There is far to much blue on black killing in this nation.  I am able to remember how black people had to fight for their right to be accorded even the most common civil privileges such as eating in a public restaurant, voting, getting a drink of water or even using the restroom. The police were dead set against allowing that to happen and there were laws made to ensure that these most basic of civil liberties were disallowed for people of color.

In 1964 a federal law was passed which supposedly put an end to this kind of uncivil behavior. But anyone with sound judgment knows that was a fantasy.

Well as I said I was angered while watching the news reports of this so far unpunished activity by Darren Wilson. I was prompted to write a poem about the event. The poem is titled "Three Minutes In Ferguson Missouri". The poem got it's title because it took only three minutes from the time Darren Wilson told Mike to get out of the street to the time he killed him.  

No emergency vehicles were called to administer medical aid for Mike and his lifeless body was left in the street where he was slain for several hours before the police department allowed it to be removed.  

I made a video with a reading of the poem.

Three Minutes In Ferguson Missouri

Mike was shot in Ferguson
on a sunny day,
he was shot for being in the street
for being in the way.

He was big and strong
but what went down that day
was just plain wrong.

Mike and Dorian had been walking
‘Get out of the street’
a cop named Darren pulled up and said.
We’re almost there replied one of the pair
three minutes later Mike was dead.

Mike was black and Darren white,
the cop reported there had been a fight.
Mike held his hands up to the sky
that’s when Darren shot him
and that’s when Mike Brown died.

It happens a lot in the U.S. of A
a cop kills a black man
and gets time off with pay.

The killer let Mike lay in the street for hours
No ambulance came.
Was it called?

It was not!
Mike bled and he died that day in Ferguson
and was left in the street to rot.

You might be selling cigarettes
or walking in the street.
but if you’re black talking back   
changes the fate you meet.

Three minutes in Ferguson
were all that it took
for cops in Missouri
to put Mikes death
in their book.

Poetry, video and art (C) 2014 by David H. Roche

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Serving Of Dreams

Over the last couple of months I made a fairly large amount of pictures.  Some of them I set aside into a collection I decided to name "A Serving Of Dreams"

I chose the name because of the surreal nature of many of the images.  A good number of them are inspired by the New Testament book of Revelation. 

The book of Revelation itself is filled with fantastic imagery including dragons, angels, mysterious beasts, ecological collapse, economic collapse, warfare and wanton women. So it is a good place to be stimulated and get ideas for some very unusual pictures. The  two pictures below were inspired by Revelation 19:17

"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;"

The pictures below are titled "Angel In The Sun" and "Hell's Kitchen".

I included my original "Fire People" characters Jack and Qkjea in some and added some new figures.  

All my work begins with photography.  Then it is transformed using which is a free and excellent photo editing software program.  My pictures are taken either with a Canon Rebel or earlier model Canon powershot or my Samsung telephone.  

Enjoy the video.

Art by David H. Roche

(C) 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Justice In Ferguson Missouri

Justice in Ferguson Missouri.  

In memory of Mike Brown shot to death while going to visit his grandmother. Mike was shot in public with his hands raised over his head.  Mike was shot by an unnamed person in the law enforcement business in broad daylight, in plain sight of passersby and multiple witnesses. The police officer responsible for Mikes death has been given time off with pay and has, up to now, not been charged. His identity has been hidden from the public.

You can find some news accounts of the event and subsequent events that have been allowed to be reported. On the scene the police are interfering with news coverage of the shooting and community response by arresting and detaining reporters. 

Claims have been made by reporters that they have been arrested, detained and assaulted by the police while going about their lawful business of reporting the news. The streets and neighborhoods of Ferguson now resemble an occupied war zone. Up until this point in time there has been no arrest made in the shooting death of Mike Brown.

I'm old enough to remember Bull Connor and his dogs and four little girls blown up while in church.  I'm old enough to have been told "That is all in the past" by well meaning, never rock the boat white folks.  

Apparently the people who told me that were wrong. You can't ask Mike Brown if the people who told me about this behavior in the past were wrong.  But you can ask his parents and his grandmother and the residents of Ferguson Missouri. They can tell you.

If you don't know what happened here's a report in The Christian Science Monitor about what went down and here's how the city of Ferguson Missouri and its police are responding to the shooting death of Mike Brown. 

The next time you hear some blowhard talking about freedom, equality and justice for all tell them about Ferguson Missouri. Tell them about how Mike Brown was killed while going to visit his grandmother. Tell them freedom, equality and justice along with Mike Brown are the latest victims to meet their fate on the streets of America.
Down memory lane I go.  In 1968 there was a police riot in the city of Chicago.  It seems to me this is what happened in August of 2014 in Ferguson Missouri.  As my memory drifts back to the days of rage and sees in 2014 more days of rage the album titled "Volunteers" by the Jefferson Airplane naturally comes to mind. The album was released in 1969 after the events at the Chicago Democratic Convention had become history and before the Kent State Massacre on May 4 of 1970

The Kent State killings became the catalyst which turned the tide of the anti-war protest in favor of peace. The middle class lost it's taste for killing Vietnamese when it was obvious their kids were fair game for U.S. fire power in the homeland. The song "Ohio" by CSN&Y was on the airwaves within two weeks of the killing spree by the Ohio National Guard and it played all summer.  The radio could not be turned on without hearing the song being played.

Back to the present. has begun a petition for justice.  You can sign it here.

1.  While looking up the history of race relations in Missouri I came across this piece.  The Social Construction Of Whitenesss: Racism by Intent, Racism by Consequence by Teresa J. Guess* (University of Missouri-St. Louis)  It's not a long piece and it's worth reading to get a grip on what's motivating the social activity in the streets of Ferguson and for that matter most cities in the U.S. today.

2.  The shooting death of Mike Brown was accompanied by a show of force that terrorized and angered the residents of Ferguson.  Not only was the message sent that walking the streets was something residents were forbidden to do this notion was reinforced with a police response resembling a military invasion.  

The SWAT team is another feature that reinforced the violence created by the police presence.  Matthew Harwood writes about this in an article titled, "One Nation Under SWAT" at .

Harwood explains the militarization of American cities, towns and streets with the use of Pentagon supplied firepower.  If anything good is to come of this it may be that American communities give back the weapons of war foisted upon them by those for whom making war is a way of life. War in American streets is not a community building tactic.

3.The police officer who killed Mike Brown in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses has been named. He is Darren Wilson.  Wilson has been a police officer for six years, four of those years in Ferguson.  

4.  Almost a week after the slaying of Mike Brown Ferguson police are revealing that Brown was a suspect in a robbery.  If this is correct then it is clear that officer Wilson violated his civil rights by killing him.  As a suspect Brown was entitled to be arrested, charged with a crime, provided a lawyer and given a trial.  

By killing the youngster officer Wilson took away everyone of these unalienable rights that Brown as a U.S. citizen possessed.  Up to this point in time no stolen property has been reported having been recovered.  You can read a Los Angeles Times report on the alleged involvement of Mike Brown in this shoplifting caper in the link above.

One interesting feature in this shooting and now robbery case is the comparison of news reports.  Take a look at this report by FOX NEWS  and compare it with the report released by the Los Angeles Times. Which report do you feel is the more well rounded, less biased report?  

Below is an image with Jack and Qkjea exemplifying civil protest. It is titled "Civil Rights": use'em while you got'em. The image was published in the aaduna Winter / Spring issue of 2014.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

When Death Comes Knocking At Your Window

When Death Comes Knocking At Your Window


Poetry and Art by David H. Roche

"Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" was first published under the title of "Torture" in the Winter / Spring 2014 issue of aaduna along with other works by the author.  You can view it and my other work at aaduna by clicking here.

Monday, August 04, 2014



The laughter of a thousand lovers
is worth less than the voice of a friend
who holds your hand, shares your sorrow
and cries with you.

Poetry and art by David H. Roche
(C) 2014

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Shutting Off The Lights (poetry and video by David H. Roche)

The last 3 and a half years of my father's life were a living hell for him.  He had always been an active independent man.  He worked up until his 80's and when he felt it was time to stop working he just stopped.

His independence came to an end one cold winter night when he had a major stroke.  From then on his best days were spent in a wheel chair.  His worst days were spent in hospital beds with tubes sticking into him and hooked to machines.

My brother and I shared the duties of caring for dad at home as much as we could.  Home health aids picked up the slack as did mom. The indignity of a nursing home would not be dad's lot.

Toward the end of his life mom died and then he began to have a series of 'mini' strokes.  Finally his time was up.  I said good-bye to him one night before leaving to go to work knowing I would never see him again.  

I wrote the poem below titled "Shutting Off The Lights" several years ago and finished it up today and put it into a video. The video was an idea I had long held as a way to illustrate the poem.  I think it works.

Shutting Off The Lights

I think of my father almost every day.
Yesterday a light was on
and I got up to turn it off
remembering how he would go
from room to room turning off the lights.

As he lay dying
I whispered in his ear:
“It’s alright to go dad”,
knowing I would never see him again.

With wide open eyes he gazed at me and sighed
and as I watched
he began to go from room to room
shutting off the lights one last time.

Poetry, photography and video
by David H. Roche

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.