Started April 29th. 1992; my birthday and the first day of the L.A. Rebellion.

 

This is a narrative-documentary derived by information gained from all media and personal experiences, relative to the L.A. riots and the police beating of Rodney King court verdict. Poets are privileged to obtain basic information from modern media sources. The days are gone when a king’s poet sat on a hill overlooking a battlefield to record events for him in verse.

 

Ben Dunk.

 

BURN BABY BURN – again !

 

“No Justice – no peace !”

One minute deadly quiets

Next minute dreadly crazies

Driven vehicles – smashing entries

through plate glass windows

Fire fighters feel the blazes

Sensing danger from bullets

 

“No justice-no peace !”

Malicious flash-point men

pranced their dreadful dances

at Florence-Normandie de Los Angeles

until disordered blood and puke ran

from weapons snatched near white fences

Smirching the street and pale-faces

 

“No justice – now peace !”

As the fires burn

“Enjoin our voices”

Pray the filled churches

“Use the ballot boxes!”

“To change every bad turn”

“And prove it IS possible”

 

“No justice-no peace !”

“Please everyone stay calm”

“We are still struggling”

“People do NOT lose controls”

“It cannot be defended”

“Why burn down our own?”

“It’s only hurting ourselves!”

 

“No justice – no peace !”

“Very disappointing –

scary and tragic times !”

The politician exclaims

Then, out come street gangs

To fire their own buildings

all over their own towns

 

“No justice – no peace!”

The emergency broadcast is:

“This message is not a test !”

A Sheriff’s fearful cry

Whilst Sear’s is looted

and the heart of Hollywood

is in a state of anarchy

 

“No justice – no peace!”

More looting on B.H’s boundaries

causes a convoy of vehicles

to emerge from Command-Centrals

carrying armed-late National Guards

connecting with armed Korean Vigilantes

while armed  police pray in halls

 

“No justice – no peace!”

On day two the battle raged

and who observed family trucks?

south on Hawthorne Boulevard

new furniture high piled

by opportunist’s disengaged

evading official rucks

 

“ No justice – no peace!”

Torcher’s in the confusion

driving around and around

did their bidden tasks

A final desecration

for a damage dealer’s fund

and persons behind their masks

 

“ No justice – no peace!”

This LA City civil war

is the first for modern media

Helicopter T.V. camera ships

gave more views than the Gulf War

Only our private telephone-chips

were turned off by Pac-Bel and G.T.E.

 

“ No justice – no peace!”

The crucible that over-boiled

The cultures diverge-effaced

The cruors of the people spilled

The cruives that were razed

The creators of city violence

All are to ashes defaced

 

“No justice – no peace!”

For four days city wide smokes

billowed, towered and air-spread

its black color free of controls

Only after this trash-time of croaks

did the city-scene-of-the-dead

change to hosed-white palls

 

“ No justice- no peace!”

The second King is wheeled forth

and orates from beaten-twisted mouth

“Can’t we all get along ?”

“We’ve got to quit!”

“It’s not right!”

“try and work it out!”

 

“No justice – no peace!”

Sadly the diffluent natures

speeded the unlikely amours

from the local cad’s statures

and no remorse gathers

in spirits of human kind

Where the need is greatest.

 

“No justice – no peace!”

Established order seemed impartial

squaring white judge and jury

But the Simi Sect adjudged partial

by the critics of the trial

unleashed public pent-up fury

until the conflict became martial

 

“No justice- no peace!”

The oblique sympathistic question

a subjectively proposed refrain

was how the City author’s chose

for the penultimate procuration

a dirty-dozen from the commuter train

of one hundred and fifty cars

 

“No justice – no peace!”

Ultimately when we saw

the injustice of it all

and the Feds were fed-up

with the California call

a primed twelve was set-up

to make the verdict a draw

 

“No justice – no peace!”

Half of the half-mad guys

Plus many more there looking

laughing then and now at the tries

see their incongruous deflections

in the gracious prison booking

incarcerated noble’s demise

 

“No justice – no peace!”

Patrolling freeways to search

for “Gorillas in the mist!”

the object of their ire

a drunk to chase and birch

Anticipation was their tryst

Video-log not their desire

 

“No justice- no peace!”

“We the people….” Paid very dear

for brash escapades of our forces

The ballot box failed to hire

persons of superior gear

to oversee our lawful resources

and made a felon a millionaire

 

On the first day of the riots, I was working in our antiques store and restoration workshop: which was part of Architect Beall’s building on the west side of Hawthorne Boulevard near the cross street of Skypark in The City of Torrance, Southern California, U.S.A.. I had a view to the North and North East. Listening to the radio I heard it announced, there were public disturbances going on in various areas, in the vicinity of down town and South Los Angeles. Around lunch time I started to see through our large windows, a number of separate black clouds of smoke billowing and rising up from the distant roof tops and skyline. A radio advisory said there would be a curfew imposed down as far as Sepulveda Boulevard in Torrance City. In the middle of the afternoon I saw trucks and cars passing southward on Hawthorne Blvd., they were loaded, for example, with new bicycles, baby strollers and boxes of unopened T.V.s and electronic goods. According to later information, I understood that the City of Hawthorne shopping center, several miles to the north, had been looted and all the stores emptied. This was the direction they were coming from. Torrance police were well prepared and organized and placed snipers on the top of Torrance Del Amo shopping center and this kept looters at bay. Later in the afternoon I went to my nearby home and continuously watched ongoing events on television. On the T.V. I saw the bloody confrontations at Florence and Normandie in South Los Angeles, the shoot outs between Korean shopkeepers and prospective looters; the arson activity and the other events referred to in the poem.