Poems by Usha

Rewrite the Truth

By Usha Nellore

It is Coretta Scott King they fear

her voice from her grave

about the knave

who will now lead the law of the land,

the law that permitted

the institutionalization of slavery,

the law that let the killers go free

who viciously attacked and brutalized

Emmett Till-a child, merely 14,

in Money, Mississippi,

his open casket funeral in Chicago

that showed him beaten

and bloated with the hate

that brought him death,

the bravery of his mother

by his corpse as she stood

and showed the world

the dangers of being black

in the USA,

and now they are up again,

beset by feelings of inferiority

leading to behaviors of supremacy,

the snakes rear from their pits

their hisses sibilant

in the land

their fangs itching for strikes,

they say,

“We have power now

and we will show

we haven’t changed,

We will flaunt our new theories

of persecution–

We will say

we are the ones under the boot,

We will play

the identity politics you play,

We will make golden hay

rewriting history,

We will assert

all of slavery is a myth–

The shackles,

the Middle Passage,

the sales,

the rapes,

the whips,

the lashes,

we will change the way

it has played!

Enough guilt for the white man,

we will cram the world

with propaganda

and we will whitewash

our sins

pinned on us

as though we’re donkeys,

we will bray

we didn’t invent slavery,

we ENDED it

because we are great!”

And everything that went in between,

Giving the Black man the vote

but not letting him vote,

penning him in inner cities

and telling him that’s where he stays,

giving him separate but unequal

and telling him he’s equal,

bombing out his businesses,

attacking him with dogs

and hoses

and guns

between his eyes

in his brain


that he is subhuman,

washed by new theories,

that past

can be erased,

especially when the ancestors are distant

who outraged and raged,

all of their deeds can be


“Not me,

Not me


I didn’t rape your mother

or your sister,

no blame on me,

enough done already,

no more to give,

No more of that guilt!

No more setting the past right,

If you say,

“Black lives matter!”

I’ll say,

“All lives matter!

White lives matter!

Blue lives matter!”

I’ll say you have no right

to put yourself front and center,

I’ll say no more the shame,

I’ll say I am dying fast,

I won’t last

at the rate I am going,

with drugs and suicide,

I’ll say I will rise

against the race baiters

and the traitors

to America,

they don’t have to come or stay,

I’ll say it is ME first,


I will rewrite history,

in sessions

in the senate

I will clean up Sessions

and insist he’s a civil rights champ,

he’s a lamp

that lit the darkness

in Alabama

he fought the KKK,

I’ll say

he’s a bastion of the law,

he has no flaw

I will rewrite history

because I feel wronged,

by the white man’s burden,

I feel burdened by the sudden change

in my fate,

the loss of prestige,

the challenges to my privilege,

Not me,

Not me mister,

Not me for the blame

Not me for the shame!”

Carolyn Bryant whispered,

“What’s the use?

They’re all dead anyway!”

Emmett Till never assaulted her

but times were different then

he was already dead

and she was too afraid,

to say,

that the boy was innocent,

it was too late

to articulate

the truth then,

and by her sin

she’s been flayed,

all these years

she’s been flayed–

so she related

in whispers–

They’re all dead anyway,

what’s the use,

Perjury doesn’t matter,

murder doesn’t matter,










don’t matter


“They’re all dead anyway!

And Sessions is not to blame

Can’t impugn him because

for civil rights

he’s been a champ,

for voting rights

he’s been the same,

a lamp in the darkness

of Alabama!

That’s why we won’t let

Coretta Scott King

speak from the grave,

that’s why Elizabeth must behave!”

Usha Nellore


They’re Here

They’re here because of your war–
that war you forgot,
that war your soldiers fight
away from your sight,
a war that is neither for peace
nor for a righteous cause,
a war without end
a war whose beginning is buried
in time,
a war fomented by leaders
who escaped war
by dodging their draft,
a jingoistic war,
a war exacerbated by the meddling
of global power brokers,

a war not of their making,
a war slaking
the thirst of the global war industry,
they lost everything
in your war,
and now you say
when they come to you for refuge–
“My land–
not yours.

You–the terror in their land,
say you don’t want them–
a terror in yours.

Usha Nellore

Poem: Arms

This right here is the problem,
The US as arms merchant,
we armed the mujahideen,
they drove the Russians
out of Afghanistan,
then split across that land
into factions–al Qaeda,
the Northern alliance,
and the Taliban,
now we have the ones we armed–
against us in Afghanistan.

we armed Pakistan,
we gave them fighter jets
and radars and missiles
and bullets and bombs,
now we have the Pakistani Taliban
attacking us in Karachi and Islamabad.

We armed Saddam Hussein
to fight Iran,
then we armed the govt. that followed him
with elan,
weapons of mass destruction
we gave them to keep order in Iraq,
and now we have ISIS
with those weapons in their hands
roving the world in savage bands.

arms our biggest export,
arms our magnificent sport,
arms on which our leaders dote,
arms brutal and close,
arms by remote control,
arms that unexpectedly explode
in fields and forests and hosts
of other places booby trapped–

America booby trapped in wars,
Hoisted by its own petard,
our empire a fading star
our society full of scars,
This an image stark
our leaders say is too dark–
hope is what they want us
to flaunt–
and yet–they are the sharks
who sell the arms that bring us
our harms.

Usha Nellore


Poem: The Republican National Convention–Plagiarism

It was a white supremacist fest,
A jest,
an anti Hillary screed,
A Rudy Giuliani primal scream,
it was vitriol so foul it carried miles
like effluent from a leaky sewage pipe–

it was senescence
and obsolescence
it was a prop for the idiocracy,
a show so meretricious,
gaudy and cheap
as to make the sane weep,

plagiarism was the icing
on the rancid cake
for the creeps to steal
and shine in borrowed feathers–
a routine–
don’t make an unnecessary scene
keep your eyes on ISIS,
“Be Afraid” that’s the theme–

For this is a paean to Michelle Obama,
Don’t you know imitation is flattery
and in plagiarism there is no ignominy,
or two people can have parallel thoughts
apart and be exactly alike in experience
and sensibility,
or what’s the fuss
two paragraphs taken or used is not felony–

Keep your eyes on ISIS
“Be Afraid”
That’s the theme,
of what importance a few words lifted,
when your whole life could be blasted
to smoke and steam?

That’s the theme.

Usha Nellore


Poem: The Revenge of the Know Nothings

Trump is winning because
Trump is like a lump of lard
bad for your brain and heart
but tasty until swallowed–

Swallowed whole,
Trump’s hyperbole
like a malignant mole
will eat you.

Trump is winning because
his nostrums soothe,
his shouts though crude,
and his insults lewd,
they exude,
“Vote for me because I’m no fool,
although for that I’ve no proof,
Trust me– I’ll know what to do,
for every neck I have a noose,
for every border I have a wall,
I’m the owner of buildings tall,
No woman can resist my mating call,
your phobias I voice and amplify,
complex problems I simplify,
My magic wand is extra long,
I’m a sorcerer with a siren song,
I’m a leader like a lump of lard!”

Trump is winning because he’s cross, he’s slippery as moss, he’s a leader like a Caesar on the verge of a seizure, Trump is winning because he knows not why he’s winning and they know not why he’s winning except it’s sweet to make him win against each kingpin and it’s sweet to vote him in against an anti Trump din.

Usha Nellore


The Ugly American on Steroids!

Trump is a chump,
He is one more useless hump
on the back of the overloaded
Republican elephant,
He confronts,
he’s strident,
he’s belligerent
and abhorrent,
he’s pompous
thinks he’s splendid,
he’s raucous,
and disgruntled.

He says he loves Mexico,
even as he rants with his hash tags,
that Mexicans are the problem–
weighted down by his bigot bag–
he has a long line up
of places that give him ulcers–
It flames his propaganda–

He could easily loathe its panda,
He promises confrontation,
For the sins of the communist nation,
He promises trade imbalances will be gone
in the relation,
If he were president,
If he were president,
All will be right with the USA,
Number one will be USA,
Proud will be USA,
Back to its glory days,
Ruler of the Earth,
a new and shiny birth,
Iran on the hook,
A noose for every crook,
If he were president…

BUT the backlash O the backlash,

he’s drowning in the backlash,
NOW–watch him slowly backtrack–
Mexican food is to die for,
Mexican girls are curvaceous,
Mexican bulls are bodacious,
Mexican beaches are delicious
and Mexican writers are audacious–

Trump is a chump,
overplaying his favorite cards
he’ll be hoisted by his own petard.

By Usha Srinivasan

If you’ve watched or read anything about the hoard of candidates scrambling for the Republican Presidential nomination you may have noticed a particularly obnoxious, egocentric bully elbowing fellow running-mates off center stage. With nothing more than a big mouth, a bizarre comb-over and a monstrous accumulation of wealth, the man has catapulted himself into the limelight. The Donald, as he likes to be called, overflows with unsubstantiated, extremist opinions and an exceptionally nasty, no-holds barred assortment of pejorative, combative, denigrating statements he uses to punish anyone who questions his superiority and dares not to bow down before his supreme ‘majestic-ness. With inflammatory rhetoric designed to instigate red-state riots, this narcissist substitutes knee-jerk reactions for informed resolutions and hot air for reasonable solutions.