The Back Page


by Bruce Knapp

Our names are those in glory writ
Upon yon cenotaph
The young ones and once-happy ones,
Today an epitaph.
The heroes that our leaders all
For one whole day adore,
When, sombre for a photograph,
They orate on our war.
They talk of our young bravery
In noble terms, and nice.
They praise our young ambitions and
They laud our sacrifice.
They make such great orations;
They weep a manly tear;
Then, duty thus accomplished, they
Ignore us for a year.
Ignore our aspirations which
Compelled us go and fight,
Our hatred for the vile idea
That might equates with right.
Selling off the waters and
Selling every tree;
Grinding sons and daughters whom
We died to render free.
Truckling to men of means
And ostentatious wealth;
Helping all those kings and queens
Of industry -- by stealth.
For this we gave our our future?
For this we fought a war?
For God's sake, politicians:
Go. Eulogise no more.


The Lord's Prayer for Students

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule,
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And any time my head I bow
Becomes a federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise:
Prayers spoke aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but first the Bible;
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen
And the "unwed daddy" our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong;
We're taught such "judgements" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here, I must confess,
When chaos reigns, the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot, my soul please take!


Canada Then and Now

By Horst Zimmerman

What a difference it was in 1953
Canada still identified with the monarchy,
Law and order were part of normal identity,
But time has changed drastically, as you'll see.

Immigrants came only the legal way,
Contributed to productivity, had pride, so to say.
Every citizen moved freely around, even at night;
No alarm systems, doors unlocked, what a normal sight.
Breadwinners were not circumcised with taxes. In addition,
Inflation gradually adjusted, adhering to tradition.

Now we have traces of "organized confusion"
Like a very dark tunnel -- no light, no junction
Which could eventually steer to appropriate pasture;
Identical with the 21st century, with self-confidence and promising future,
Without domination of earthlings, possessed with megalomania,
But only contribute to appreciate human existence,
As it was 1953 in Canada.