Sandy Fulton

Sandy Fulton Poems

'I can't breathe! '
Black men strangled for presumed inferiority by cops with power, manage one last anguished cry before dying of someone else's crime.

'I can't breathe! '

When I was a young esquire, O God,
as battle raged on every side of me,
I stood upon a hill of heads and limbs
and stared to see you grinning in the clouds,


New news of a new group
Always a new group, promising faster response,
more action than the old group,
pleading for a further subdivision

I was an old, tired tree:
married late,
childless a while,
always occupied, every moment busy.

I never want it to stop, nursing my newborn.
It is the most beautiful time
when my breasts engorge and tingle
and warmth spreads through my body,

Little naked child, my little love,
Running in the grass,
chasing the cat,
playing in the dappled sun.

I wonder why your ships are painted green
While ours are gray? I've heard some sailors say
That swift ships, camouflaged, can move unseen

She had a piano teacher who'd fled
The Nazis, and school teachers who led
This redhead till they filled her head.

The Sixties arrived at midnight.
We started at the Officers' Club
but the Big Band beat chased away

Year of spacemen: Yuri Gagarin, Alan Shepherd.
The Russkis beat us again,
but all I really wanted was for someone with a poet's soul,

Hawaii was easy to endure,
bronzed people under a sun never too hot.
As in Camelot, rain fell only during convenient hours.

This was the year I first concerned myself
with a far-off land called Vietnam.
Even went there for four days temporary duty

Folk Festival came to Newport like the circus!
The town's avenues swarmed with tourists;
penniless kids slept on beaches

That winter the ancient coal furnace
beneath my Newport apartment
shuddered to death.

The Navy sent me to New York City
to prowl the colleges
and recruit young naval officers.

Eleven years in the Navy, nearly twelve.
The ideal life for me:
new jobs, new scenery,

Sixty-four dollars,
that was all our May wedding and reception cost:
a hippie wedding, deliberate and in-your-face.

Many years have come and gone.
Phony patriots still sell out America,
chop at the Constitution with Dark Age axes,

The universe is a mosaic, changing, evolving.
All we know comes out of
a barrel of tiles randomly assorted.
We dip deep into the tiles.

To Dunsford in Dartmoor.
A dirt road through empty wilderness,
a long drive from Exeter, and I am late.
Night descends rapidly

Sandy Fulton Biography

Born 1936, still alive and kickin'

The Best Poem Of Sandy Fulton

I Can't Breathe (2020)

'I can't breathe! '
Black men strangled for presumed inferiority by cops with power, manage one last anguished cry before dying of someone else's crime.

'I can't breathe! '
Children and old folks wheezing the air of inner cities, dump sites and toxic paint on interior walls, croak in weak voices barely heard over gasps of asthma.

'I can't breathe! '
Aborigines of all continents, stolen by conquest from their beloved forests and settled on deserts, work in fields sprayed daily with poison, or give up their lungs a few years later to dustbowl death.

'I can't breathe! '
Courageous volunteers of all colors, many of them prisoners, gag it out when the wildfire winds turn and choke them to death or into a lifetime of suffering.

'I can't breathe! '
Cup an ear to hear the faint murmur of today's Asian worker, or the sweat-shop laborer from any time or place, inhaling stinking street smog and epidemic air in a cramped room.

'I can't breathe! '
Words of wise folk muffle through masks, while greedy politicians, and fools who trade truth for myth, cough at each other and spread killer disease everywhere they go.

'I can't breathe! '
Dying soldiers, torn apart, try to force guts and lungs back inside, while their sacrifice fills the offshore bank accounts of the merchants of death.

'I can't breathe! '
Those were the last words of my coal-miner uncle before cancer got him and thousands of others, so why does this generation vote for the emperors of death who carelessly kill the pawns, in a world that cries

'I can't breathe! '

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