Daily Archives: August 14, 2017

Emigrant

Starting from the right side
of your continent, if you are looking at 
a map as drawn according to custom,
with North at the top, South at the bottom,
East to the right and West to the left;

starting from your side 
of the continent, if you are thinking of
the land you are on as your own, or at least
as a point of departure toward 
what is not yours, not home, not yet
familiar ground;

starting from the one thing you can trust,
then: start from here, start now. Whatever
direction you choose, now,
start from here and now. Drive or
walk, take a train; stay on land and
refuse flights.  If the way you go
crosses water, take to a boat or a ship,
or wade through if you can. Start

with memory and souvenirs
of this starting place
tucked away in a bag or pocket and
go in whatever direction calls you.

There has to be a better fit somewhere.
There has to be better north, south, 
east or west of here; up, down, right
or left of here.

Travel.  Burn your feet out. Strain your legs
to snapping. Fall down at the end of the day.

Put your ear on the stones underfoot every night
before you sleep and listen for them
to sing a welcome to a here and now
you haven’t felt for a while.  Hum along
until you know the words. Fake
your comfort until you feel it;

until starting from here,
starting now,
once again is something
at least a little like

being home.


Patreon Update

Just letting folks know that the Patreon site I set up to help fund some of my work has been growing quite steadily, and as a result I was able to pay for a host of Web-related fees for this and the band’s site at the beginning of the month.

I’ll be releasing a limited edition eBook of selected poems as a perk for higher-level patrons in September, which is exciting.

If you want to check out the site, it is at https://www.patreon.com/TonyBrown.  Always happy to have new patrons, btw…

And the band’s Website that I mentioned earlier?  That’s at http://theduendeproject.com .


I Did Not

I did not punch a Nazi today
and I am sorry
Instead I punched my keyboard
until I’d named them and shamed them
Forgive me for avoiding violence
I am not opposed
I am just too weak

I did not pepper spray a racist today 
and I am sorry
Instead I found their address on the Internet
and took their job
but they lived through that
Forgive me for not killing them
I am not opposed
It’s just not my place

I did not scalp a Klansman today
and I am sorry
Instead I learned where he lived
and shamed him to his parents
Forgive me for not letting his blood
I am not opposed
It’s just not within my strength

I did what I could today
and stood up to my father
My uncle
My brother and sister
when they spouted evil and sounded evil
I carved them from my life
and it hurt like a death though I survived
Forgive me for this weakness
I am not opposed
I am merely lonely enough without them
to have hesitated

Forgive me for the Nazis 
the Whitelords and the Proud Boys
I am not a steel enough wall to save us from them
or from their furious stymied anger
Instead I reflect on how I made them happen
by apologizing and doing little to stop them

I am game to admit they are my fault
and that I’m not enough to finish what I started