now I know
how much of the holy I know
was made
by devils

feels like I’m supposed to
burn my church and
love the ash resulting
unconditionally without mourning

while I can light it all up 
I cannot smile while I do 
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

feels like
there’s nothing
shining now

under the sun

whatever I have known
and have loved
whatever made me
whatever I have made my own

is problematic
is wrong and
everyone has
made it so

my whole world’s
turned into

a forest full
of shock

felled trees
row upon row

without anyone knowing
or hearing a thing

I should have known
should have heard
should have been listening
all along

for the sound of clear cutting
Evil disguised itself
as birdsong and brook and 
hymns to the betrayed sun

it’s on my watch
it’s on my head that
all the holy I know is
devils’ work

is upon me now
falling with a roar
like a deadfall
a broken tree

I’m sorry to mourn it
as it falls upon me
I’m sorry I’m sorry
for mourning at all

but I do mourn even as I see
the need for this reckoning
even as I join in a call for it
I do still mourn

those problematic
once-honored voices
who failed so miserably
at being their professed truth

are part of what I am
and the dread of how I loved them
and that I may have become them
crushes me as I fall 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Problematic

  • Eileen

    Know the feelings……………..but know our expectations of ourselves were delusional from the beginning. While humbling, there’s freedom in that. Humanity doesn’t need heroes, it just needs a few more people inching toward grace each day.

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