Two Poems on the Alternative

Sam Friedman

Summary: Two poems on possible futures and the alternative to capitalism — Editors

Actuality, 2023

Marxists dream of a Final Crisis,

class clashing against class,

a final victory,

and the rebuilding of a wilting world.

But now, as the final crisis nears yearly, clearly,

fascists arm and march for power

through streets that cross the globe.

Climate catastrophes and pandemics


first one, then two, then

a festival of horrors

where even the apocalyptic Four Horsemen

seem a truly lesser evil,

while our forces wander and bicker,

Don Quixotes tilting at each other

even more than windmills,

at sixes and sevens, behind eightballs about

race, gender, and class

knowing only that the threats are


with no shared ideas of what the enemy is,

or if there even is an enemy,

much less how to win

or, God help us, what if somehow we blunder to victory,

what to build or what to dream?




advice to future tribes, if anyone survives

Once you have invented wheels and writing,

honor your farmer poets

who sing of soil and tell tales of


tunneling in darkness

to intubate the thirsty roots.

Write how trowels nurture earthworms

even if they slice them,

but that chemicals and tractors

kill worms and roots and crush the soil.

And what if some among you

build walls of stone or iron,

swords of power

to rule your tribes,

to hoard oxen to roast so their salty aroma

lures children to lust for wealth?

What advice could I give,

myself a child of a suiciding civilization?

Perhaps, to sing that earthworms

nurture organization at the roots,

and that the rich too can be eaten

since we are many,

and they are few.


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1 Comment

  1. Nick Elvidge

    Aye – and what if we win? Love the ending of advice to future tribes xx