"Batons Passing In The Night"

by John Patrick Liteky

“Batons Passing In The Night”

As the hours dwindle down here in Crisp County jail
And the end of this particular voyage draws near –
As I read daily reports from and about friends
In far places – whether demonstrating in many
Streets in cities around the world, and from
And about friends directly in harm’s way in
Baghdad, Limerick, San Francisco, New York,
My thoughts are kaleidoscopic. I listen/watch,
Or not, both tv news and NPR news knowing
The information is censored to favor the
National $ecurity interests and Geo. W’s agenda.
My heart soared for a moment when unexpectedly,
Michael Moore’s marvelous statements at the
Annual ‘Glitz and Narcissism” blowout (otherwise
Known as the Academy Awards Ceremony)
Came billowing into our jail cell, as well as
Into the homes of probably a billion other
World citizens. Geo. W. must be wondering
How come both the Pope and the Dixie Chicks
Are giving him the finger. (he’s just one more of the
“stupid white” men trying, with some temporal success,
To steal everyone else’s marbles, lunch money, and mortgages,
Geo. W., that is.)
I’m leaving jail in good hands, as I was so
Privileged to meet William Slattery and Jason Lydon,
Who breezed through here for two weeks –
I only saw them for an hour a day on only
Two days when we inmates were let out,
Due to no rain, on the “yard.” These young lads
Have more that enough of the “right stuff” when
It comes to prison witness. Telling truth to
The seats of power, and bearing the
Consequences for exercising that human right.
I call it “Jesus Walking” as opposed to
“jay walking” or “criminal trespass.”
Judges think they’re sending messages
By doling out long stretches behind bars
To people young and old and in-between for
Convictions of conscience, saying no to war,
No to torture, no to intimidation, no to
“American style democracy” (which, at the
Point of a gun is nothing more
Than onerous colonialism all over again.)
So I can hit the streets knowing
Our jails and prisons are being replenished
With new witnesses, scores more
Of the faithful S.O.A. watchers and Plowshares
People around the world.
Peace is on the rise, on the march,
Is alive and well in the hearts and minds
Of millions; You can see it in the smiles
Of Iraqi children, who comfort those
Who come to comfort them.

John Patrick Liteky, #83275-020, Cell C-9
Crisp Co. Jail - 197 Hwy 300 S - Cordele, GA 31015
27 March 03


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