Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Climate of Fear

I apologize for not posting recently. The only excuse I can give is that I had a test on Monday, and a football game on Saturday, so my mind was all awhirl and awry. Anyway, now that the test is over -- and I think I did pretty well on it -- I thought I would post this poem that I wrote over the weekend. I hope it makes some sense.

Fear of Freedom

A kernel, a core, a seed
has long ago infiltrated,
overthrown and occupied her system,
blood, bone, sinew, and muscle.
Placed there by --
Institutions, perhaps.
Schools and churches.
Families, yes,
our mothers and fathers,
brothers and sisters;
our pastors and teachers
with loving care
imparted to us the offshoots of suckers
emplaced in their guts
by others.

In the gut, this tiny crumb
occupies space and
makes brittle and thin and rigid
what should flow and pulse and beat.

Movement slows, fluids dry,
Dust collects in the veins and organs,
lithifies into a clastic sediment of
blockages and boundary lines.

And the breaking begins.

Dear one, I recognize in you
the endstage symptoms
of my own disease.

My dust calls to your dust;
my brittle breaking bones
sound an echo to yours.

Let us seek a greenhouse, a waterfall,
that oasis of health where
rules should be broken,
good sense need not apply,
and our boundaries

Yesterday evening I was privileged to be part of the crowd listening to Wole Soyinka, Nigerian Nobel-Prize winner, speak about the politics of art. Quite impressive, thoughtful, and funny at times. It was actually reading his book, Climate of Fear that gave me the beginning image for this poem.

Today I'm off to Center City to visit with some high school English teachers. Should be interesting!

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