A Great Teacher

By Bill Hanna


Pete Seeger taught us

To say no to power

When it turns evil,

Whether by a Senator

From Wisconsin

Or today’s NSA

Looking for prey.


He taught us to question

What we’re told

By teachers

Or preachers

In too many schools:

That officials are right

Cause right’s based on might.


He taught us about

The horrors of war

In mud or desert,

And the fruits of victory,

So contradictory,

Are the scattered flowers

On dead soldiers’ graves.


He taught us to love

All of our neighbors

On freedom’s highway,

Black and white,

Rich and poor,

Because this America

Is mine and it’s yours.


He sang of equality

For those with crumbs

From a wealthy table

As food stamps vanish

Because some officials,

Those self-beneficials,

Only see self-reflections.


And he taught more:

How to dream

A rainbow quest,

Yet he knew reality.

When will we ever learn?

Oh when will we learn?

I miss Pete Seeger so.

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