Poetry by Alice Connally Fisk

The Old Guard is Dying - 2015, Part 1 of 3

An authentic revolutionary movement now shakes our great nation.
Our middle-class unites in excited anticipation.
Rejecting top Republi-crats, long considered a joke
in an old two-party system with its mirrors and smoke.
Top Democrats and Republicans now one and the same.
Joined at the hip as they play the same game.
Longing for a past when trusted and bold
but now known as untrustworthy, spineless and cold.
Now there's TrillionairesUnited, SuperPacs in high-gear.
Propaganda by sound-bite powered by the top-tier.
Wooing, then buying, top politicos-for-hire
to do whatever agenda puppeteers may desire.
Now ruling our country, well-heeled marionettes.
There's not a damn doubt about it, it's as bad as it gets.
Then there's career politicos promising marvels if elected
after which middle-class issues are tabled, rejected.
This scary Old Guard reeking of the dynastic
is now viewed as passé on a platform of plastic.
High-class privilege long ran a pompous old show
with Republicrats ingeniously creating middle-class woe.
Stuck in a rut for decades on end
our rank and file watched our great country descend.
The world laughed at our complaints of a do-nothing Congress
and hooted even harder as voters allowed it digress.
Stuck in the muck, the people knelt down to whine --
then thought hard, and rose up with a fresh paradigm.
To take back our country from rich lobbying groups --
those for whom top-end pols jump through infinite hoops.
Now wide awake and discarding a two-faced hierarchy,
the electorate craves common good, not malarkey.
A true leader with expertise is now to be sought.
A leader whom by bigwigs can never be bought.
A great leader that's a rebel, smart and informative
down-to-earth realistic, fearless, transformative.
A resolute electorate is now determined to seek
a leader who is genuinely and completely unique.
New-found transparency leaves the Old Guard embattled
and Republicrat campaigners and handlers all rattled.
Pointing fingers all over as to whom they now damn
as our great middle-class junks an epoch old sham.
Now purging top pols with their scandals galore
as they resign in disgrace and do jail time and more.
Blistering hot exposés of fraudulent doings,
denials, indictments, insatiable screwings.
Yes, top Dems and Republicans are one and the same.
Joined at the hip as they play the same game.
Longing for a past when trusted and bold.
Leaving a legacy twisted and cold.

Next: Part 2 of 3
The Old Guard is Dead (2015 - 2016)

Next: Part 3 of 3:
Transformation - (2016)

Copyright 2015 Alice Connally Fisk
77-year-old great-grandmother, Melrose, NY 12121


My hometown in upstate New York bursts forth in glorious hue.
Hudson River Valley children yell spring welcome with "Yahoo!"
All up and down the valley's found harsh winters farewell sign --
washed blankets waving briskly on some strung-up piece of line.
All banners gay, they whip the wind -- the buntings swirl and tilt --
the coverlet, the comforter, the eiderdown, the quilt;
like battleflags they pulsate, they plummet then they soar
these bright and jaunty covers how they haunt me to the core.
For far across the ocean my ancestral homeland nods
whilst bare patriots -- on blankets -- are debased by British gods.
And though tis o'er ten decades since my kin left Ireland's shore
my marrow marches Long Kesh midst the stench and filth and gore.
It stalks the pit named Cell Block "P", past "C" and "H" it wends,
down foreign-made Abyss of Hell my Spirit-Fire descends.
It kneels beside the staring, chilblain, Prisoner-of-War
huddled 'neath some rancid rag upon the concrete floor.
Because he shuns the prison garb of criminals so base
staunch Volunteers squat starving out of Irish time and space.
My Spirit-Fire indwelling now discerns an ancient blaze --
the Phoenix Flame engulfs that concrete tomb they call The Maze.
As successive generations fought, the present proud one too
vows its innate love for freedom no sham Empire can subdue.
And eight centuries wide of Irishmen gone martyred to the sod
attests with moral certitude their Cause is just with God.
And all the propaganda of the Anglo gazetteer
cannot one whit e'er change that fact though criminalized through smear
are heroic men and women that concessions will n'er buy,
who e'er strive for Peace, with Justice, and so oft times lonely die.
And the Occupied Six Counties must e'er veil unvarnished Truth
whilst its cages hold as hostage valiant veterans and youth.
..My Spirit-Fire indwelling now observes the scene again
in Cell Blocks where the English punish Ireland's righteous men
who are held in isolation, are forlorn till break of doom
with but neon ever-glaring, concrete table, slab and tomb.
Where hopelessness is total, the helplessness entire
and frustration ever endless in this solitary mire.
Yea, tabloids say the Crown will leave in twenty years or ten
but in the heinous meantime Brits must brutalize true men
who are kept in human bondage, suffer broken bones and jeers,
where each and every moment's as a hundred billion years.
..The Spirit-Fire indwelling yet bears witness o'er again
to Ireland's proud, defiant, starving, freedom-fighting men.
It sees them choking down the swill that's only fit for larvae
raw throats gagging grayish mass while punished comrades starve.
It sees the putrid chamber pots overflowing 'pon the floor
and boots brim high with urine from barred windowslots to pour.
It sees the fetid excrement in corners of the cell
and Ireland's fierce Resistance cornered face to face with Hell.
The inner-eye observes it all, each curse the Brit conceives
'pon faithful, wasting Volunteers, and fitfully it grieves.
..Courageous Irish patriots so far and yet so near
your image seared upon my soul is manifested clear...
The sunken eyes and swollen lips. The guts that ever gnaw.
The long, translucent, bony hands 'pon frames that never thaw.
The dandruff like white caps of snow upon the trembling head.
The reeking, filthy, trunk and limbs of Ireland's living dead.
The crusted gore 'pon festered sores in welts so dark and deep
forged by baton-wielding sots while saintly Bishops sleep
oblivious of barbarians perpetrating vile,
ugly "intimate exams" designed to well defile.
Held down, bent over, strip-searched o'er and o'er again.
proud Irishmen degraded yet by England's manic men.
Eight hundred years of frenzied screws e'er high on power, rum.
Eight hundred years of Irish, violated, beaten numb.
...My hometown in upstate New York bursts forth in glorious hue.
Hudson River Valley children yell spring welcome with "Yahoo!"
But it's youth along the Liffey, in the Nore and Shannon noon
that my thoughts each night return to by the rising of the moon.
Youth of Ireland pray that God restore your fiery ancient pride!
Let not tyranny and apathy march ever side by side.
Transgressions of omission may you never, ever know
as your elders with their bellies full who keep the status-quo.
Each Irishman degraded, he is me and he is you.
Lift on high that torch of freedom for one Ireland proud and New.
Demand political status. Keep that Phoenix Fire e'er bright.
Pledge steadfast solidarity with Freedom's Sons -- Unite!

Copyright August 1978, Alice Connally Fisk
Published in AN PHOBLACHT/REPUBLICAN NEWS Saturday August 12, 1978
(Official organ of the Belfast Brigade, Provisional Irish Republican Army)

Re: Arrest Without Warrant; Internment Without Trial
Special Powers Act (North); Offenses Against the State Act (South)


Twixt the Adirondack Mountains with its violet lakes and vales
and the legendary Catskills with its Sleepy Hollow tales
rests an unobtrusive hamlet where rushed time's been taught to wait
and 'tis here I've raised my family in the upper Empire State.
And tho 'tis o'er three generations since God's Emerald Isle was trod
by my kin there's yet strong filament e'er binds me to 'the Sod'
for how oft whilst daily typing for attorneys down in Troy --
where their tomes of law surround me, dark injustice to destroy --
working midst this jurisprudence, world-respected, few its flaws
do my thoughts rush where my roots are -- to that Isle of Special Laws.
Special Courts and Special Powers, Special Centres, Special Acts,
Special Rules of (so-called) Evidence -- the unsupported 'facts'.
Special Sentences and Cell Blocks sating England's special yen --
Special Torturing of rebels by especially savage men.
Black thoughts rushing where a thousand Irish sons and daughters bold
are politically imprisoned as they'll n'er be Brit controlled
nor will they e'er be mastered, managed, subject, led nor bought
as grim cages will attest to, where grave lessons are e'er taught
by an elite English faculty of vile, demented screws
with "Lie down, croppy" still the truncheon these base educators use
as they try imbue the Gallant Few that all Irish must lie prone
to honor Empire, Lords, and hoards of simps upon a throne.
And tho 'tis near a thousand years now Eire's been in shackles and
the world strongly roots for Ireland to wake up and finally stand --
still the Brits e'er stay, as their gombeens lay within their ancient rut
and there's not one t'would make a pimple on a freedom-fighter's butt.
Sure, as most Irish nod upon the sod, Brit terror rages on
as the 'peace-keepers' in Ireland keep the peace in Long Kesh Con
with its naked isolations, vicious beatings, hunger, germs,
vile probings, freezing darkness, broken bones and gore and worms.
Great bloated flies in rubbish multiplying in the heat,
four inches of excreta in the corridor's concrete.
The stench and filth and maggots are as in some jungle swamp
a realm removed from Bluebloods, the splendor and the pomp.
As are toxic disinfectants with deck-scrubbers forced 'pon men
to leave them blinded temporarily or else puking in their pen
for high-powered hoses then to spray them down in crusted stalls
as their weak and wasting forms are pinioned fast against the walls.
Yes, this old-time Brit barbarity goes on with n'er a peep
from the Irish throngs unconscious in a thousand-year-old sleep.
A sleep that knows not frenzy, as the living nightmares grow
from H-Blocks to America, pitched madly to and fro:
Four savage screws, a naked youth who dared defy the Crown
emaciated, feeble, -- the lad's held upside down
spread-eagled 'cross a table where crazed sots have forced him perch
then with screwdrivers and forceps, they commence an anal search.
The ensuing glee of the Crown's debris floats to my Empire State
to defile, demean, degrade me. For 'tis I they've penetrate.
And as Brits continue raping with impunity and zeal
most Irish band, too weak to stand . .or see . .or think . .or feel.
Oh! magic island of my ancestors beneath your tourist gloss
our brave and suffering Blanket-men stay nailed 'pon Englands' cross
whilst tyrants serve up bitter gall and weave up crowns-of-thorn
Eires' own draconian laws cause true democracy to mourn.
Youth of Ireland, chart your future! Drift ne'er more neath foreign force!
Let Erie Nua proud and strong be now your fervent course!
'Tis fire and spirit God once fused into the Gaelic grain
and ferocious love of country to secure that freedom reign.
Choose not the lot reclining clones mold to some British form
manipulated, buffeted 'pon England's endless storm.
Tear asunder foreign thunder with our surging, purging rain --
Faithful Oglaigh na hEireann. Ourselves Alone. Sinn Fein.

Copyright January 1979, Alice Connally Fisk
Published in The Irish Voice newspaper - New York City and in January/February 1980 issue of P.O.W. - Bulletin of the Irish Political Prisoners in Britain


All around our Third Wave globe, on campuses galore,
on streets outside world capitals, upon our Senate floor
the rally-cry's "Apartheid, -- Let's end it here and now!"
Divest! Embargo! Boycott! rights' activists avow.
..Now, justice for South Africa is quite the trendy rage
but Ulster's rank apartheid rates the tabloids' fourteenth page.
Eight centuries of debasement's hardly news that's steamin' hot
and Brit discrimination's known to be our blood-soaked lot.
So Botha gets a stream of wrath, whilst Thatcher but a sigh.
Johannesburg's worth freeing, but Derry is to die.
Irish nationals stay beaten says a double-standard world:
in Orange supremist Belfast keep that Irish flag e'er furled.
Let torture of the Irish keep on making London's day --
Long Kesh Concentration Camp; the brutal Castlereagh.
In racist northeast Ireland let vile despots do their gig --
keep Irish people tyrannized. Who gives a flying fig?
Ireland's Bishops?? That's a belly-laugh. Come hear the Empire hoot.
She knows they are not fit to lick the fightin' Tutu's boot.
The Irish in America? Our forty million strong?
The apathetic twits afraid to right the ancient wrong?
..Are we Irish to forever let oppression run amuck
whenst few -- besides the IRA -- e'er give a flying fuck.
Well, the time has come my sisters, and all my brothers, too,
to teach the Brits our world has changed since last they pillaged through.
Apartheid's base -- a world-class wrong -- stark evil to the core.
Minorities -- aligned as one must form as ne'er before
highly novel, swirling patterns of a universal bent --
surprising, innovative, symbiotic armament.
And united shall the stage be set, race-hatred for to die,
not here and there, but everywhere -- our unrelenting cry.
The time has come for hatred sown, the hater now to reap --
as haughty racists all are thrown 'pon history's rubbish heap.
By pulling all together let us free our chained, at last.
All power to the people. The bigot's day...is past.

Copyright 1986, Alice Connally Fisk
Published in The Irish American Voice magazine, July/August 1986 edition
(The poet requests that readers send copies of this poem to their nearest anti-South African Apartheid organizations requesting that they join with us in common cause in any anti-Irish Apartheid demonstrations we may have -- as we will join in common cause with them in theirs).


From a pulpit in Derry a bishop full-steam
lets loose fierce invective in one steady stream
directed at that most defiant array --
the 'criminal men' of the 'mad' IRA.
For the war of attrition that's waged 'gainst the Brit's
the most wicked transgression a croppy commits.
Irish 'outlaws' are all the most hell-bound of men
in their failure to yield to oppression, but then ...
the lot of them always were loaded with sin
as they spat on the tyrant and never gave in.
Yes, Brit-pressured bishops ever on the attack --
just short of returning the gibbet and rack --
find one thing most vile neath that north Irish sun:
the struggle for freedom by men on-the-run.
...Now political 'shepherds' in Ireland aren't new
who serve British interests -- devotedly, too --
and high-ride all over the Irish roughshod
and preach subjugation off altars of God.
But one thing most certain 'bout bishops that rant
and condemn with their anti-Republican cant
is from this hierarchy will never be heard
one anti-Brit Army -- nor RUC -- word.
Not one single peep nor wee tiny bit
against the tormenting, base, murdering Brit
who can fire plastic bullets for a child's bloody-bath
quite exempt from all manner of bishoply wrath.
Who can persecute, torture and slaughter with zeal
and when Irish fight back know some 'dumb Micks' may squeal
on behalf of the Crown, so these troops laugh with zest
watching 'fool Taigs' inform -- at their bishops' behest.
...Watching bishop behave like a jolly good sport
'bout the beatings in Strabane his flock shan't report
in order to show the world Hillsborough works.
(And secure for high clergy some neat British perks).
...Watching bishop now want fallen rebels be banned
from a Requiem Mass in the Church 'tho his stand --
holding dead lads in scorn, though an "empire" in awe --
simply prostitutes Catholic theology raw.
...So the same sad old story spins on evermore --
spineless prelates perpetuate Ireland-at-War
as the army that occupies north Irish soil --
elite foreign thugs keeping bedlam aboil --
is precluded by custom from pastoral ire
keeping England contented, and Ireland afire.

Copyright 1988, Alice Connally Fisk
Published in "32 FOR JOE DOC" - 1988, a fund raising booklet for Irish Political Prisoner Joseph Doherty's Legal Defense ("32" in the title signifying the 32 counties of a free and united Ireland and the 32 poems submitted by Doherty supporters contained within the booklet)


"A Man Gotta Do What a Man Gotta Do!"
says "the Duke", the Saddam, and the Bush. Whack-a-doo.
So rattle the sabers and trot out the flag
and swagger and strut till a maggot would gag.
Then fire off big rockets and missiles, en masse ~
arousing worn phallic-fixated Top Brass.
For REAL MEN KICK ASS is the cardinal rule
as grieved women e'er bury their warriors, cool.
So...as Earth bears the brunt of these bomb-frenzied times
and our nation leads worldwide in violent crimes --
it's trillions for weapons, a trickle for schools --
crates of 'smart bombs' for a classroom of fools.
So fly high on hubris. An Emir's been freed.
And who really cares whether Johnny can read.
For Johnny can wield a slick rifle in hate
from the slums of LA, to the sands of Kuwait.
From the burning south Bronx to the skies of Iraq --
it's shoot 'em up Johnny and mow 'em down Jack.
He can slaughter his brothers and rape Mother Earth...
A Man Gotta Do It. To prove what he's worth.
Genocide. Ecocide. Biocide. Hate.
A man's gotta do it?? That's quite out-of-date.
Now our new cosmic worldview proves Johnny's true worth --
our interconnectedness. People and Earth.
Where justice, compassion and healing are taught,
and the wonder and beauty of nature are sought.
Where we guide one another to love, and not hate --
learning new ways to think, and to do, ... and create.
Ancient awe of our universe then sparkles anew.
And that's what each one of us, All...Gotta Do!

Copyright 1991, Alice Connally Fisk
This poem was written in 1991 at the height of the Persian Gulf War, leafleted throughout the Capital District, and appeared as part of Readings Against the End of the World, Albany, NY


Actresses and actors once were simply known as stars.
Designers had their models strutting fancy duds from Mars
and plain old jocks played sports galore in every sort of game..
in the good old days when simple words described a person's fame.
Those simple days and simple words are now far in the past
and the 'super' word's now coupled to the famous, gaunt, or fast.
Today a star's a 'superstar' known ever far and wide
and models are quite super too with their sleek and jaded stride.
Even jocks are now all super ..on their antics fans well-feed
Superstars & Supermodels, Superjocks so rich, indeed
..then there's Superwealthy CEO's who downsize working folk
so super-rich get super-richer while the rank and file go broke.

Once 'union' was a simple word proclaiming labors Cause
before corruption became widespread, and union-busting laws.
Yes union, once a simple word was labor's highest goal
'til fat cat union bosses lined their pockets with its soul.
So the unions once so strong and fierce in fighting corporate greed
sank far into oblivion.. its Spirit left to bleed.
Losing all their old-time hunger for the just and right and true
union members quit in droves and left behind a dismal few.
No more steadfast solidarity -- brothers, sisters wielding clout.
Paltry wages, temps and part-time soon were what 'twas all about.

Well it's time to take our unions back and haul them up to date.
New millenniums dare us barge right in, not mill around the gate.
Forge a super union global. A super-workingperson's kind.
The umbrella of all umbrellas. Freeze the world if of one mind.
Make Superunion Global! the rally cry today
fight for global living wages, whack poverty-level pay.
Demand universal health care for ALL who toil on Earth.
Super CEO's have health care. Is labor's child of lesser worth?
Superworkers be justice-driven all around our toiling globe -
fired-up labor burn to ashes the evil gnomes-of-Zurich robe.
Create Superunion Global a super workingperson's shield.
Downsize multinational fiends and all the havoc that they wield.
To Superunion Global let every workingperson bind ~
the umbrella of all umbrella's. Shut down our planet if of one mind!

Copyright 1997, Alice Connally Fisk
A revolution will only be achieved when the ordinary people of the world, us, the working class, get up off our knees and take back what is rightfully ours. ~ James Connolly, Irish patriot, martyr, working class hero.


Freedom-fighters sound the call --
MAKE justice for Abu-Jamal.
State forces eager, anxious all
to slay the framed Abu-Jamal.
Free Mumia

Free Mumia, the rally call
to free the framed Abu-Jamal.
State forces itching hard to haul
the dead ass of Abu-Jamal.
Free Mumia

Expose, depose each racist small.
Stay global with Abu-Jamal.
Stare down the tyrant, stand up tall
with passion, power, guts and gall --
Free Mumia

State killers praise the racist call
to execute Abu-Jamal
heeding not the people's call
to murder not Abu-Jamal.
Free Mumia

Free political prisoners all.
Express defiant wherewithal
to mobilize and stand, not crawl --
unleashing power in us all.
Free Mumia

NOW leaflet near each teeming Mall.
Petition in your streets and Hall.
Tack posters on each empty wall --
Freedom for Abu-Jamal.
Free Mumia

Galvanize the people all
assemble for Abu-Jamal.
Let loose a fierce relentless squall.
The raised-fist symbol still says all.
Free Mumia

Cause justice-system overhaul,
police repression downward fall.
Off Our Knees, the Movement's call
in struggle for our captives all.
Free Mumia

Muster militant the call --
Oppressors, up against the wall.
Legalize Freedom be the scrawl,
new generations to enthrall.
Free Mumia

Bend back the bars on prison's wall
MAKE justice for Abu-Jamal.
The Freedom-fighter's warning call --
Murder NOT Abu-Jamal.
Free Mumia!

Copyright 1999, Alice Connally Fisk
This poem is dedicated to the memory of my warrior friend, esteemed pen-pal, and kindred radical poet, William Moses Kunstler, who collaborated with me fully from the other side in this cosmic battle cry. Free Mumia!
Support the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice
"No social or economic change was ever achieved without anarchy or the threat of anarchy."
- James Connolly
"The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise."
- Connolly

(to get the hell out of Iraq)

The bagpipes play Amazing Grace
the church bells softly chime
more flag-draped coffins, gun salutes.
a stirring, now. It's Time

Stepping out a bugler sounds
those haunting notes sublime
TAPS breaks apart the grief-filled heart
and the soul decides... It's Time

But higher still the tallies go
the death and gore and grime
Bold heroes whisper from their graves
just bring them back... It's Time.

Let no more lives be sacrificed -
brave troops smack in their prime -
send them home to family, friends

The signs appear now one by one -
their numbers swiftly climb -
seen all across America
the Wisdom Words "IT'S TIME"

Beneath those words our flag is seen
it joins the nation's chime
the season for to heal is NOW
it's more than clear, ...It's TIME.

Copyright 2005, by Alice Connally Fisk
Published on Portside website and U.S. Labor Against the War website
Permissions will be granted for kindred spirits to place this work on their websites.
Afisk10302 at aol dot com

Links to more poems by Alice Connally Fisk