Serve and Protect

Posted: November 15, 2010 in Poetry

CONTEXT: September, 2010

This poem grew out of my reaction to the disgusting actions of the authorities around the G20 in Toronto.

The poem really sums up my feelings so I am not going to ramble on here.

I WILL say that I am not really happy with the poem in the end. It gets my thoughts across but it is stylistically rough. I have never performed it.


When I was a boy
I was taught the police
Are our friends.
They deserve our respect
As they serve and protect
All that we hold dear.
They keep the streets
From becoming a
Wretched hive of
Scum and villainy. They keep
The wolves from the door
And make sure our cozy lives
Remain so.
They deserve respect
As they serve and protect
Each of us.
That made sense, when I was a boy.
But then I saw the police
Arrest someone for growing
Plants that made them feel good.
I saw them arrest someone
For having no home
And another for
Wearing only skin.
Do I need protecting from them?
Now the police weren’t
About protecting me
But about vague
Standards of the community.
So we can determine
Our definition of
What it means to be free
So the police deserve our respect
As they serve and protect
Our community, and I suppose
By extension me,
As my mind is connected,
Borg-like, into the will of the WE.

But then I saw the police
Try to be sneaky and incite
Thier fellows
Protesting in Montebello,
Trying to find an excuse
To cut them short.
Protestors who only wished to exhort
Citizens into speaking
Thier mind.
So what did I find?
If a community wished to speak
Neither thier standards
Or safety threats were peaked
So where is the respect
And who do they
Serve and protect?
It is the interest of the
Government who are threatened
By dissidents and
Questioning of power.
So the police guard the tower
For the Lords who sit on high
Counting the ballots.
Ah… ballots.
So the police deserve our respect
As they serve and protect
The government
Who represent each of us
As an embodiment of our will.
So if they work for those
Who represent the people
Are they not serving me,
By extension?
But I am not a boy
And lets not be coy
About whose interests
Are represented when the
G20 gather.
They do not discuss Social Justice
Or human rights, rather
It is the economy
That sits #1 on the agenda.
They work out new ways
Of protecting the assets
Of the upper classes
And hiding behind talk
Of employment and
Standards of living.
And when the hidden talks
Are exposed, the police
Jump to the rescue
And work hand in hand with
The media world
To turn peaceful protests
Into a circus of flames,
Lies and violence.
So where is the respect
For those who thought
Themselves served?
As the veil falls away
And I can surely say
That who is served is Mammon
And what is protected
Is the bottom line
And community be damned,
And by extension, me.


The next piece I wrote is about memory and my fears surrounding it.

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