Friday, July 18, 2014

In The Name Of...

If you can no longer cry for the fallen,
and yet,
turn a tragedy into a punchline;
if you are able to look into the face of a child,
and only see
an enemy to your privacy
and complacency;
if your ego has become such,
that you'd rather spend all your waking hours,
fighting those who are trying to do good,
as opposed to,
working together for the common good;
if the suffering of the least of these,
has become a burden you no longer wish to bear
or,
have never ever borne;
then speak to me not,
of your humanity,
or of the God you say you believe in,
who, being merciful,
gives no credence
to your claim;
you, sir or madam,
have lost the privilege
to speak,
of what is good and right;
you have become
as sounding brass,
or,
a tinkling cymbal.

I have chosen to deafen my ears
to you,
as I open my eyes,
wider,
to the plight of those
who are my brothers,
who are my sisters,
whether young or old,
whether near or far;
of whom,
I am their keeper,
as are those,
who do have eyes,
that are willing to see,
what needs to be seen;
and do
what needs to,
and must be,
done,
in the name
of all that is holy,
in the name
of all that is human.

© 2014 Joseph Powell

Friday, July 11, 2014

the brave woman at the open mic I saw the other night...

She stands behind the mike,
vulnerable,
looking a little battle-weary,
painfully,
hysterically naked,
clothed in floral summer dress;
she's never done this before,
she tells us,
as we sit in rapt apprehension,
for what is to come,
from her voluptuous mouth.

But then she recites,
not from printed page,
but from memory,
as if she's been doing this
for awhile,
and her voice,
which, at the start,
seemed slightly timid,
bursts forth
in a full-on,
almost deeply musical blast,
regaling us
with verses,
that,
alternately,
make us laugh,
make us cry;
resonate,
powerfully,
with our shared
humanness
and vulnerability
she has now
left us with,
breathless,
in standing ovation
and appreciation,
as she,
now confidently,
thanks us,
and leaves the stage.

© 2014 Joseph Powell


Friday, June 27, 2014

If These Walls...--A New Poem



I am standing in history,
where mere mortals
dared to dream;
stood their ground,
when that actually meant something
worth dying for;
images are all around me,
voices speaking their truths to me--
daring me,
pleading me,
not to forget,
not to ignore;
I can’t help
but acknowledge
that I am
because
they were,
they did,
they bled,
they died.
And I can’t help,
as I leave this room,
to promise them,
in my mind
and
in my heart,
to the best
of all that is within me,
that I will remember
this time,
their time
is now
my time
to be,
to do,
to live,
and,
if need be,
die
for something
worth dying for.


© 2014 Joseph Powell