Monday, September 14, 2020

First Prize Winner Robert Milby!


Robert Milby of Florida, NY is a freelance writer who has been reading his poetry in the Hudson Valley, NYC, Long Island, NJ, PA, and New England since March, 1995. He’s given over 450 featured readings and has been onstage in front of poetry crowds over 1,500 times, including: featured readings, open mics, workshops, lectures, presentations, radio commentary, indoor & outdoor festivals, independent tv shows, etc. See more at


I Was Never Under Quarantine

In the haze of selling their future, several generations have forgotten
the bankers’ caste system.
I neither bowed to worship money, nor sang in corporate cages.
I was not sick, beyond disgust with modern sages;
psychic jails, and lockdowns— screwing planks in stages.
There were times that I was knocked down, but I was never under quarantine. 
State by state the white-out scent of cooking books,
without burning in a bonfire.
A source of bankers’ lies, on tiny screens and glowing monitors.
I never dressed in surgeon’s drag, walking through the streets,
where people clapped for nurses’ burkas or stared like dolts and preached.
There are times when I’m knocked down, but I am never under quarantine.
Without modesty, states stand in as teacher, mother, and father; techno gods of a new order.
I wandered field and forest; drove a city lane;
not once did cries of misery cause me bare-faced shame.
I never paid a jailer—I never bought the myths,
concocted by a dark regime, in estates of cards and sticks.
There were times when they knocked me down, but I was never under quarantine.
Entire countries are not hospitals, nor landscapers’ motor pools!
Fearful counties darkened churches; ignored the children, and locked their schools.
Lectured in public, by strangers, whose intents remain the same,
as past regimes’ deceptions in themes of costumed dramas.
We were never under quarantine, unless we gave consent:
Masked and gloved, cold penitents, or domestic spies, and dissidents.

No comments: