Saturday, June 04, 2005

An Injury So Silent

Underneath all the spent
casings of all our difficult
words, hidden in these piles
of forgotten antecedents and
consequences, we dig slowly
at the scabs of those wounds
made grievous not by placement
or depth, but the hands who
delivered them.

Unearthed in the shallow
light of days without the
fortitude to fully develop,
we examine the remnants
of hard hurts given by the
loved and respected, left
spinning slow in the
vortexian aftermath of
disagreeing so absolutely
with those who've spoken
good wisdom in the past,
wondering who's blind
between the us and them
of it, wondering if there
still are those rights and
wrongs we learned of in
the lower grades and upon
the knees of our ancestors.

Elbow deep in the unreasoning
dirt, we call out as the branded
beast does as hot iron draws
the mark upon its hide, here
transfigured into abstraction
and an injury so silent and
stealthy upon the flesh, how
we are betrayed to doubt of
absolutes, fact sliding like
watercolors moving with the
gutter's flow in the direction
of the storm drain, belief
lost like athletic highs when
the sweat has faded, wisdom
dethroned in a wash of angry,
contradictory words, some of
which must needs be lies,
but whose collective rumor
builds a poison tree that
bears only bitter, unbelieving
fruit.

5 comments:

swiftboat said...

Wow! This one is very strong:

"wounds
made grievous not by placement
or depth, but the hands who
delivered them"

This could apply at so many levels, from the personal to the political, and all points between. The injury of betrayal is vivid in every line.

Stranger Ken said...

Swiftboat says it all. This a grim poem full of concentrated hurt. What comes next? How does one off-load all of this, or does the writing provide its own catharsis?

Firehawk said...

Thanks to both of you. I always value your insightful comments. I feel like I'm having a bit of a dip in readership at this moment, so it's nice of you to say hello and make me feel worthwhile.

Swiftboat,

This one is a reaction to an article I read that deeply angered me. The person writing has been someone I value as a thinker and a fair person for a long time. Don't always agree, but usually see where he's coming from (no, I won't say who).

Anyway, this article was so partisan and mean spirited in regards to liberal thinkers, going so far as to indicate that they were incapable of patriotism and kindness to others, that I was deeply upset. The worst part of it was that the author of the article made some good points (unrelated to the first and completely unfair premises) later in the piece.

Anyway, it really got under my skin, and this poem was the result. Of course, the same sentiments apply to a loved one's betrayal, or a variety of other circumstances.

Ken,

I try to expell the vitriol and hurt with the poem. These feelings are important to understand and express, but holding onto them isn't healthy. I try not to be a "heavy" person in my daily life. Usually, I'm someone who's ready to laugh, but I suppose I need a release mechanism for my concerns. Writing has been the most theraputic and rewarding of all of these relief valves.

Again, thanks for your time and well-considered words.

erin said...

I'm sorry.. I frequently lurk rather than speak. I often don't feel qualified to comment on the poetry of others.. Suffice it to say that I believe you have a gift...

Firehawk said...

Erin,

Don't worry. I'm just goal-directed. If I have fewer comments than some previous day, I start to feel as if I'm backsliding. Thanks for "coming out of the woodwork" to make a comment, though.

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