(Originally posted 3/20/2012.)
In the full history of governments
it has never mattered how they start;
they’ve always ended the same way.
The venal game their way to power
and stay there regardless
of the label they choose to wear.
In the full history of nations
it has never mattered how you love them;
they’ve only liked you back, only at certain times.
In the full history of history
what happens has never mattered;
all that ever matters is what is said
about what happened
or did not happen, or is said
to have not happened.
I tell you these things
not to make you despair
or get you angry.
I tell you this not to make you
shrug away the urge to justice
or fall into dumb acceptance;
nor do I do it
to delight in your
I tell you this to say
battles are never won; instead
they become games to be replayed.
You will lose, and you will win;
some will die playing,
killed by others who are also playing.
There are no nations but two:
the strugglers and the lords.
Both are everywhere, speak all languages.
If you want to pursue happiness,
pursue happiness too —
they do it, always,
by hunting you.
In the history of humans
there’s dancing and loving,
making of art and music,
and lots of laughter.
Those lift us into being human,
keep us hoping,
make us happy
beyond the vagaries of
what the lords desire.
It’s our story
to hold, not theirs to hand us.
Do not forget that
when you tell it to your children.