No – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

For Them That Be Wild Things – Cafe Philos Poetry Prompt

This prompt began recently at Cafe Philos – Paul Sunstone’s Blog, have a look please.


The defiance of August Landmesser who refused to give the salute at a Nazi rally at his work place.

“Civil disobedience is not the problem, our problem is obedience.”  Howard Zinn



The dogmatics
that straight lines are the only way
is mere moralism
that suffocates
a humanity
content to be obedient
to the subjectivity
of those who laugh over us
in waves of contempt,
marching under the flag
devoid of anything
other than self-indulgence
and the murder of minds
for better worlds
that are still-born
of wombs imprisoned
inside tiny thoughts.
But to stand,
to stick it to the dogma man
is to
walk to Dandi for a lick of salt,
be chained to railings for a vote,
to ride a bus and insult,
march the mall,
go to prison,
burn a flag
and bare the breast,
equality, liberty, community,
the tripartite
way to say no.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Free Verse, life, philosophy, poem, politics

44 responses to “No – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Awesome poem.Thanks a lot Sir.


  2. The courage to stand up what you believe in. Wonderful poem, Paul.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Was he the Kaepernick of his day? Standing up to Hitler–hurray, standing up to Trump depends upon your politics. Refusing to stand up for the flag–generally unacceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Powerful and beautifully written, Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful poem, Paul! Brilliant!👏👏


  6. Such a strong poem. Braving the naysayers have never been easy and standing up for your beliefs is what makes you a real person.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wonderful poem Paul. One needs to take stand.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. extremely well written … when is the revolution starting?


  9. great rhythm and pace. congrats Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Some amazing lines, “and the murder of minds
    for better worlds
    that are still-born
    of wombs imprisoned
    inside tiny thoughts. Powerful message! We can certainly do better, at no!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Powerful write, Paul and such apt historical references.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Applause! We must ask questions, dare to challenge…not just conform from complacency.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ennle Madresan

    Sheer power…and this is my favorite part: the murder of minds
    for better worlds
    that are still-born
    of wombs imprisoned
    inside tiny thoughts

    The thought occurs to me just now: what if poets ran the world?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, such a narrow world some live in, sad. If poets ran the world we would be expansive, which reminds me of John 12.1 – 8


      • Ennle Madresan

        “Expansive” is such a wonderful word! I read it and immediately the visual of open arms comes to me–what a blessing this is to my day, thank you!! And thanks for the passage in John–blessings to you, dear poet friend ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  14. This is very powerful and a great message against the brainwashing and the blind beliefs! Thank you so much for sharing!
    “Equality, liberty, community,
    the tripartite
    way to say no.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You make my heart sing, Paul. Now August Landmesser was brave. I think often of the bravery of those people who seek to draw attention to human rights abuses within their own countries, only to have moralistic outsiders tar everyone from those countries with the same brush.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great poem, Paul! Very motivating, even if in the past only a few german people had the courage standing up. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I never heard of August Landmesser. Now I know.
    At those times it was extremely difficult to take stand. You could get into prison for some wrong words. The pressure was terribly strong, I think.
    I remember: In Schwerin a young woman said: “Thank god, the war is over!” and was hanged immediately ba SS-men.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. lync56

    Wow great powerful poem


    Liked by 1 person

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