Daily Archives: June 18, 2005

From The Trial of Nesorna

CHORUS:

If far too often fate seems to be fixed
and all for nought, pray you remember this:
of our own choosing are these states of life,
both law and ruler from among us rise.

‘Tis in our hands, that much of being free
oft comes to nil, and so our apathy
determines how our democratic state
enslaves us with its silent, civil chains.

So, those who would be wise kings, please take note:
the clever word defeats the sharpest sword;
for those who rule the soul confine the mind,
and conquer silently the heart and hand.

Democracy holds promise great, if freed,
where liberty and justice count for all;
and though expressive right may tax the taste,
the alternate means none may choose their fate:

To choose the gods that suit one’s path and place,
may in the so-called pious cause alarm,
but free will gives this choice to each alone;
to interfere is to deny a right.

So tenuous is our hold on the truth,
that some may seek to have their will imposed,
and quench the fire in those who disagree,
while wand’ring lost themselves in faithless doubts.

Let not this trembling thought of fate unknown
breed trust in leaders boasting “sacred right”,
or you may silence longing in the heart
for principle, and thus destroy the state.

So stories go, and mine presents a time,
not past, not present, but of both constructs;
A fictioned tale, perhaps, but warning, too,
that our existence faces likewise tests.

For words divine, when jumbled, may distort,
and so confuse the heart and harm the mind;
converting honest fears and hopeful dreams
to damning, pure and simple ignorance.

Maybe a lesson is here to be taught –
that facts can quickly be repressed and scorned,
and that which passes for blessed and devout
may be manipulated and ill-used.

Without a warning, liberties we love
that thrive on the most tenuous of threads
may be no longer granted us from birth,
but lost to mem’ry in chasms of time.

A time when reason, logic and defense,
along with independence and free will,
may lose their place in definition books,
and be unknown to us who live in chains.

from The Trial of Nesorna, Act I, Prologue: Chorus Monologue

1990, 2004

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The Neighborhood from Otherhood

NEIGHBORHOOD:

Lissen up, lissen up, I got a story to tell
It might sell, it might not; if it don’t, then oh well
but I’ll get right to it, make it understood:
I’m your low-down, funky home neighborhood.

Think somethin’s goin’ on? Hell, I’ve been thinkin’ for years,
and I’ll be sittin’ right here when the last smoke clears.
Get the point? I know every inch of this joint,
and every king of the hill you’ve ever tried to annoint.

You end up disappointed and ya’ll come back here,
thinkin’ you got the only definition of fear
but I was right here waiting, anticipating your hatin’,
race-baitin’, matin’, creatin’ and disintegratin’.

Lissen up, lissen up, now I’ll say it again:
close up your mind against change, and you ain’t got no friends.
Push comes to shove, and you know how the story ends
somebody dies; and it starts all over again.

So here’s the story of a brother and an other:
two boys growin’ up thinkin’ they hated each other.
Who is the pusher, and who is the shover?
Just sit back and listen, and you might discover

somethin’ real, somethin’ to make you feel,
somethin’ as hard as steel; but hold out ’til the final reel
before makin’ your judgments about right or wrong
and judge the singers by the words of the songs;

because who is the weak, and who is the strong
when the river’s still flowing, but the mountain is gone?

1992

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I closed my eyes just for a wink

I closed my eyes for just a wink,
it seemed, to find two hours past;
and in the space of that mere blink,
the sky, dull grey and overcast

had cleared into an inky blue.
The tepid post-rain afternoon
had settled, like the evening dew
that lurks beyond each near monsoon.

The stars were ringed with sweaty haze,
like Van Gogh bulbs against a cloth;
the cloying, heavy jasmine sweetness
filled the air like honeyed broth

and made the air so treacle thick
that it was hard to breathe it in,
while dirt and stone and grass and brick
were glazed with sweat, like my rough skin.

18 JUN 2005

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