A lesser known landmark of the Chicago skyline is the Board of Trade Building downtown at Jackson and La Salle. The structure is crowned with a statue of Ceres, goddess of grain and the harvest. I wrote the reflection that follows on a day-off excursion to the financial district, one of the main sites of the OccupyChicago protests.
FROM THE CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE
THE RAPE OF CERES
Ceres stands atop –
first glance, aloof.
But closer – this Goddess
of Grain and Harvest –
Cornucopia, this Horn of Plenty,
a silver sliver on top of big shoulders,
a pin prick in the sky and
Death and Slaughter and Disease and Pestilence.
Four Horsemen riding
over the heirs of stockyards and steel mills,
plants and markets.
Armour and Morgan, McCormick and Field,
Starbucks and Nike, Abercrombie and Dole
rip off their pound of flesh and
blood still seeps from the Haymarket.
eviscerated with Her own sickle:
Caesar grabs the coin purse;
Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve,
wage slaves in their own Garden;
corpo-politics in the shopping mall of culture;
international trade conspiracies
dam the Rivers of Life.
Ogres of industry bartering and banking and heisting,
clenching prices and profits from Her Fruit;
Monstrous governments, Cyclopes of the World Order, claw and tear,
feigning production and distribution,
while Ethiopia starves again.
Ceres’ abundance is clotted:
Her breasts severed, Her fertility poisoned
through contraceptive trade.
Blood will flow again,
Her horn filled again,
cascading upon Her Children.