When They Come for Us, Who Will Protest?

Against such foes as ignorance and greed
what good are merely human flesh and bone?
In which fierce battles waged to rule the soul
of a proud nation shall the victor be
its best and brightest minds, its stoutest hearts,
when fear and rank injustice swell the rolls
of those conscripted soldiers armed and aimed
by puppetmasters who would work unseen?

If in such times as these, the few who sense
a wrongness in the aims of governance,
instead of crying out are meek and mute,
what hope have those blind masses, huddled there
for warmth in the great blanket of deceit?
If those with minds still clear give little thought
save for their small domains and precious selves,
what hope have they when their turn comes to pass?

When poison finds the bloodstream, all is lost;
there is no purpose then to treat the wound.
Once tainted, can a cause that once was pure
be ever cleaned again of evil stains?
The names of gods, if used to claim the world,
unless they touch more than the tongues they loose,
become pale, haggard shadows of what truth
they may have once possessed, and are no more.

If what we do not exercise, we lose,
reduced to merely wisps of once brave words,
then what good are proud speeches or parades
except to eulogize the selves we’ve lost?
What point in our lamenting the forged chains
that by our apathy we choose to wear,
and through our lack of action help to build
a prison we were told was not for us?

How loud do we protest the slightest thing
that limits our convenience and our ease,
yet quietly accept far greater ills
that jeopardize our prized integrity?
We guard against the slow, menacing creep
of some imagined danger with such pomp,
yet when the wolf, well-dressed, knocks at the door.
we smile and offer him our favorite seat.

What hypocrites we are; what grand buffoons!
To think we find ourselves somehow evolved,
and self-possessed with intellect and poise
equipped to teach the other fellow truth.
No wonder half the world begins to laugh
when as the grand messiah we approach;
while huddled in our shadow, the rest wait
for hubris to collect its karmic toll.

07 MAR 2005

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