Stick Your Neck Out ~ Philip Brent Harris
What’s a person to do,
When every day there’s something new?
War and violence, pandemic,
Unsanctioned, sanctioned murder, a nod, a wink.
Systemic racism, top to bottom, nation-wide,
Though you’ll say, don’t look at me.
If not you, who would you blame instead?
Do you, like me, have no safe place to stand,
Numbered among the frighten few?
So what’s a person supposed to do?
As our world crumbles, with we as witness,
Rich fools spout madness, seek top ratings.
Even though they control the queue,
Keep everything and everyone waiting
While they sniff each other’s pooh.
Is your brand of caviar what they expect
If not, you’ll never earn their respect,
Though you think guards and walls will save you.
Forget the people, bring the flames,
Let battles rage, blood flow like poison.
Abet and embolden braggarts and bullies.
Guns for all, or at least for them,
Full of intolerance, misogyny
Pain and hatred and fear, yet confident
They have the right shade of skin.
Because they descend from those cruel ancestors
Whose fortunes were founded on genocide and enslavement.
Despite your lack of fortune now, that’s best
You must see, all the love we have and hold
Feels meager set against this insanity
Hark, we face a critical divergence,
As we stand, rain-drenched, cold,
Warmed by insurrection’s flames.
Will we change the world, despite
Laughter and derision, as we try to choose
Our battles, courage our most potent weapon?
Courage born of the conviction
That we must convince people to take the road
Less traveled by, not continued savagery.
Do you mock me, chortle, hoot
What an ass, a fool to believe
It all so simple as in his head?
No dichotomy, though we have walked
Far upon a dark and dangerous road.
If we keep going as we are, we are as good as dead.
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
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