Libby Loses Liberty
Another man is destined to lose his freedom, the same water that feeds our wellspring, and we celebrate with the wingless corpse of justice that dots the landscape we move upon searching for an identity. There is no celebration in such loss.
This land lays down its lambs for the blade, the blood, awash over our two-headed righteousness, stooped and bleeding, holding tight the country’s sword in one hand and with the other lobs the sinless stone.
So, I weep at our oceans of loss. I cry for the world’s demise. Justice is swift- and blind- and stumbling over errant stones. O! There is no delight in our living if we will not see our way!
Had we ended this folly long ago our joy might have seemed fitting in this; our fleshy requiem.
O! The path needs our joy and it must also have our light!
Death. O! Death he does not celebrate without first crushing something!
And life. O Life! She does not celebrate living that lunges back again and again and again!
Rifles remain slung over our children’s shoulders
On the stone strewn streets of Mesopotamia!
Bombs are still dropping and igniting on Baghdad!
Death’s hands are bulging with stolen lives
And oil runs out the clenched fist...without merriment.
© 2007 mrp/thepoetryman
The Loss of Liberty inspired by Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" (Chapter 12 in part)
Then one of the judges of the city stood forth and said, "Speak to us of Crime and Punishment."
And he answered saying:
It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged.
Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self does not dwell alone in your being.
Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pygmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pygmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
And this also, though the word lie heavy upon your hearts:
The murdered is not unaccountable for his own murder,
And the robbed is not blameless in being robbed.
The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked,
And the white-handed is not clean in the doings of the felon.
Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured,
And still more often the condemned is the burden-bearer for the guiltless and unblamed.
You cannot separate the just from the unjust and the good from the wicked;
For they stand together before the face of the sun even as the black thread and the white are woven together.
And when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look into the whole cloth, and he shall examine the loom also.