THE GHOST OF PHIL OCHS

When you see homeless people on the street,
When you see people, with no food to eat,
You can thank your lucky stars, it’s not you.
The luck of the draw, it has pulled you through.
There but for fortune, go you or go I,
As the ghost of Phil Ochs goes walking by.

Whenever you see the floodwaters come,
The tsunami beats down, just like a drum,
Upon a house made of sticks and not bricks,
At the mercy of the wild waters’ tricks.
There but for fortune, go you or go I,
As the ghost of Phil Ochs goes floating by.

Whenever a drone attacks a brother,
Fast asleep in the arms of his mother,
While the sister hides, deep inside a hole,
Death wreaks havoc upon her very soul.
There but for fortune, go you or go I,
As the ghost of Phil Ochs goes flying by.

Whenever you see a child getting beat,
He cries and he hangs his head in defeat.
Whenever you see an old man abused,
Or an innocent man, falsely accused.
There but for fortune, go you or go I,
As the ghost of Phil Ochs goes limping by.

When you see the massive poverty,
Without much hope for owning property;
The tragedies of the hungry and poor,
The refugees of genocide and war,
There but for fortune, go you or go I,
As the ghost of Phil Ochs goes drifting by.

When you watch, as the starving baby dies,
His stomach is swollen, his mother cries,
Too weak to swat all the flies from his eyes,
While the rich man turns away and he sighs,
There but for fortune, go you or go I,
As ghost of Phil Ochs goes crawling by.

So when you see the homeless on the street,
When you see people, with no food to eat,
You can thank your lucky stars, it’s not you.
The luck of the draw, it has pulled you through.
There but for fortune, go you or go I,
As the ghost of Phil Ochs goes walking by.

(Published by The Society of Classical Poets Literary Journal Aug. 19, 2018)