poised, walking the ragged edges of the world
like a man standing in the bow of a ship
riding into a stormbrewed night.
calamity's hand strokes my forehead damply, feverishly;
dangers amply apply their pressure.
ever-present, the desire--like Simon Peter--
to boldly stride across the waters;
like him, my steps falter
when i look at the storm
and lose sight of my Father.
i could cry myself to sleep at night,
curled in my curdled blankets,
huddled against the haunted dawnlight
afraid to walk the streets in the face
of what's hunting me, terrified
of hurling feeble words in the face
of what's haunting me, unable
to describe in plain language the face
of what's hurting me . . . .
what use am i to God, to humanity,
scared to death in my tattered jeans,
clutching with desperation to ragged dreams,
ribbed as sails to tug my boat
from the grip of the undertow?
around me, jackals bow to a sacred cow,
a bull they both worship and hope to feast on,
the ancient golden calf given a different cast . . .
though scores of them have been torn
on the horns of their Master Dilemma,
the sight of blood only excites them,
delights them, whets their appetites, and
ushers in the next atrocity.
the towers i wander among are already doomed,
ever civilization ultimately ends up in ruins--
but that's a poor excuse for speeding up the process
and it may look like they're building an empire
but it will only amount to a funeral pyre . . .
aspirations and transitory glories lined up for their graves
followed shortly by fools who were their slaves . . .
we've plundered the Heavens, sundered the Earth,
measuring down to the molecules for material worth.
and, confronted by this,
i'm expected to speak the oracular in the vernacular,
to engrave the turbid air with measured beauty,
to blow away the smong, even briefly,
long enough to provide a glimpse of the Divine
that works often behind the scenes,
beyond the screens of tawdry mortal schemes--
put this into words? better words?
these thoughts, translated, would
tear the air itself to shreds,
and though i maintain it's a necessary art,
a survival skill,
i can make a map of my scars and show you
where words kill!
pray to God every drop of blood i spill
will be to deface the iconic mortal dreads
that the Master Manipulators maneuver like chesspieces
to keep their pawns in line.
swords of Spoken Word, warriors of the Last Frontier,
ragged kings in rugged garb
carrying white fire in Numenorean hearts,
we bear the brunt
of contemptuous tongues
who would silence us while we breathe,
and only speak well of us when we're gone,
safely in our graves, our words enslaved
in backwards-masking to sell blue jeans
and tennis shoes.
the gifts we carry are perilous fire,
tools to dismantle the status quo:
neglect them, and they become lead weights,
deadwood, hindering our steps,
dragging us down to the depths.
don't let your minds lie fallow.
don't quench the white flame.
not with fists thrust into the air,
not with guns, bullets, that are ignorant
of causes or purpose . . .
linked arm in arm, forge an unbreakable bond,
unshakeable faith, and march . . .
march . . .
march . . .
towards the dawn.
the breaking day will show clearly
which side we're standing on.
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