Jonestown Wipeout

by Jim Boone

When I read about and watched the news reports on this tragic happening, I recalled how throughout my life I had refused to let any person, notion or substance take charge of my life and cause me to give up outcome for the path I had been given to travel at birth.

The first time I read it in public, two people wept and told me that they had had nightmares about this for years. They also hoped that my poem would give them some release from the horror of such mindless turnover of so many lives to some mindless fool like this “Hitler-type messiah with no place to go but down into the depths of human weakness.”

Jonestown Wipeout

Buy-off on the message and the messenger
Cultivate this “900 followers plus five”
DeaD  ………………………………  DeaD
Druged/Dead
Led/Dead
Follow/Death
Crazy/Poison
Seek/Find/Kill
Deaf
Dumb
Blind
Dead

There’s always a “Jim Jones” lurking
Waiting to rape your senses with (what(?)
A need for power?  A power for seducing sheep?

I’ve been led down many a path
But I always had an eye on the gate
Know that the love of the sound of
One’s own voice is a cause for alarm.

What those sad 900 souls wanted
Or never knew, could not be
Found or learned on a farm of isolation
“The senator and his staff are dead
Others will come to take us away
We must take this poison now and quick
Men, women, children – all  – now  – quick”.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saves a wretched soul like mine
I am lost, will not be found, am blind
So you can see – can you see?
Can you see?
1978

(This poem originally appeared on PoemHunter.com. More information about Mr. Boone can be found on his page on that website.)

Last modified on November 14th, 2013.
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