I Will Not Be Quieted
When I grow up
When I have no need to dream
When time is all past tense
Blossoms no longer excite the heart
And the smell of a baby no longer catches the breath
When puppies are nothing but a nuisance
And the Sun’s rays bring fear instead of joy.
When a country drive is about watching the road and not the fields
When thunder brings only thoughts of shelter
And the magnificence of a Sunrise, only indifference
When passing the homeless is an inconvenience on the way to a destination
And a child’s cries of fear and pain are an uneasy annoyance
When “I” is more important than any other word
When compassion takes a backseat to self-interest
And self- righteousness replaces righteous indignation
When killing is a game and guns are a Christmas toy
And home means bigger and newer, not cozier and warmer
When I grow up
And all these things have come to pass
That I will not be quieted
That WE will not be quieted
We will seek the higher ground
And not the higher wall
We will stretch a hand in welcome
Not curl a fist in fear
Our voices echo across the land
And not fall on fallow fields
Dik Hatchell September 15, 2015
JUDGEMENT OF LONG WINDS
Before the long winds blew
Trees stood straight.
Fence posts aligned to the North Star,
And waist deep fields of shimmering wheat
brushed back on the edges,
When rust bucket pickups rumbled on old farm roads,
And the children chased dreams
In worn leather boots made heavy with the red mud of the road,
Believing the sweet night air
Would carry them to their dreams
If only they worked hard enough.
The days before long winds blew
Before mud became dust.
Before death stood vulture like
Ready to pick bone.
You know when I'm talking about.
We all know.
We did this.
Looking the other way
We did this.
Thinking it someone else's problem to fix
We did this.
Inaction did this.
And inaction will do it again.
In many different ways.
Fix it together,
Own it together.
We have a future to answer to.
And Mercy may not be its judgement.
In The Twilight Before My Dreams Begin
In the twilight before my dreams begin,
I often see images.
Sepia in color, I’d say,
Blurry on the edges like an old newsreel come to life.
Images of people.
Ten Thousand score
If I had to guess.
In a drift to slumber
My mind’s eye gathers the faint light for one more look.
Like a far-flung wheat field they stood.
A winter wheat.
A field so vast that not even my imagination can see the other side.
Undulating under a gray canopy, racing forward, a harbinger of storms.
They moved with a sea’s rhythm
Waves in sync
A perfecting of orderly chaos,
Moving ever forward
And always moving my way.
I see them
In the twight before my dreams
Not the well to do,
But the disenfranchised.
Not just youth,
But the aged and ill.
These are not people of the self-assured and privileged,
But the meek and needy.
They did not come with overflowing pockets and visions of grandeur,
But pockets thread bare and worn and empty.
They have given everything asked of them,
And they have received nothing in return.
Night after night in the twilight before my dreams begin,
Grasping for sleep,
Catching only rest in fits and bits,
I grow closer to the masses.
I see faces:
Mothers holding babies
Loved ones pushing wheelchairs
The strong helping the weak
Young men, locked arms, in the defiance of righteousness
I see the hollow stare of their eyes.
I hear voices
Of anguish and anger
Of discourse and denunciation
Of defiance and dread
And I feel the rage beneath the towering thunderheads
Of their righteous indignations.
I smell the crowd
The smell of humanity.
I shake their sweaty palms
Great two-handed pumping shakes
Kisses on my cheeks welcoming me
Reverent nodding of old men’s approval
Bringing me into the fold.
I am lost in a dizzying circle of faces,
And I am absorbed into the masses like an ant back into the nest,
My arms locked with their arms, and I realize:
We are not single grains but a field to nourish the future.
All the same.
Independently united to stand
Sometimes in silence
Sometimes with a deafening roar that rattles bones and changes minds and has every man seeking his own redemption
All future saints, every one.
Damn the cursed twilight that allows me no peace!
That vision of truth that lands like a sledge
Bringing me back to center!
When next the twilight falls before my dreams
I am no longer the watchman
But the watched.
Whose mind wanders at the edge of sleep.
I am the crowd.
I rub shoulders
Call out orders driving them down the street of Titans
Home to those little people of great greed
To whom we made everything possible
And in turn ignore us in our needs.
We move up the stairways of the modern Parthenon
Where a tiny few dressed in black
Cast down their decisions upon us, without really knowing us,
As though we have no voices of our own.
In an instant they are humbled by their lack of omnipotence.
We are the storm that has been gathering in plain sight,
To be reckoned with,
Escape and appeasement no longer options!
We will cross the land,
A great wind of our time,
An unholy alliance of the masses,
Gathering the fury of others like ourselves as we go.
In my twilight
We move in sync
A rhythm of sight and sound
Placing fear in those who need to fear us.
A grand dance of defiance
A right foot stomp with a gut level grunt
A bellow from the hungry bellies of two million voices saying:
WE ARE COMING!!
A left foot drag with
A right foot stomp
A grunt from our hungry gut!
Step by dragging step,
Stomp then grunt,
Drag then groan,
Stomp then grunt,
Drag then groan.
We may fall
But we move forward
Mandelas among us!
Sister Theresas in linked arms!
Free men and women,
Each knowing the possibilities of their stars.
Each step girding their loins for a battle of self-sacrifice!
And in the twilight, I see a Dawn.
Is it real?
Will it last?
Can it spread to shine on all?
I do not know.
But I do know this:
There will always be watchmen
Who in the twilight before they dream
See an image.
They are in it
And they can only go forward.
Mandelas among them
Sister Theresas in linked arm.
THE BONE THROWERS
We are cold,
For endless hours of an endless dark
We sit on our haunches by the edge of their fires.
Nipping and growling at one another
So as not to lose our place,
Waiting for the Bone Throwers to finish
What meager pickings will be ours.
There it is!
A hard scramble fight among ourselves,
Tearing each other apart, dividing the pack,
For a pittance of sustenance!
And the Bone Throwers just laugh!
And throw even more our way!
Corpulence of unimaginable girth
Whose very breath
Reeks of the actions of their lives.
Controlling the packs
That live at the edge of the fires.
Their very presence screams
Of the derision they carry for us!
“Stay your distance Mongrels!! Know your place!!
Come closer and there will be no more bones! Stay your distance!
You want more?? Find your own!!”
How do find your own,
In a never-ending Forest of plenty
That they own?
And when your whelp looks to you
“Why do you cower so?”
How do you say,
“Because we have no courage. That fear and hunger makes us willing to settle for the trash of others. That the Bone Throwers are the new gods, judging whether, when and how we live or die.”
How do you say that??
Without crushing the spirit just born.
For too long,
We have found a way.
But we have a chance!
We are not dogs!
We are individuals!
We can make them change!!
We have a choice!
Better to die in defiance of the immoral
Than be complicit in its longevity!
Better to struggle on two feet
Than exist in subservience on all four!
Better to end this now
Than watch the light of hope
Go out in the eyes of our children!
If you find yourself
Sitting on your haunches by the edge of the fires,
It is not the roll of thunder coming your way
But the thunderous crushing of our footsteps
Coming to end the reign of the Bone Throwers!
We are getting louder!
We are getting stronger!
We are getting closer!
And we will be there soon!!
DH February 12, 2016
WELCOME TO THE WAR
(The Beginning of the Trump Era)
It has begun.
That which we have known about,
Whispered about in silent preparation
Of the nightmares to come,
Yet hoped against
For countless generations.
A brooding beast awakening,
Casting a black stench across the land
Blocking the light of reason.
How better it would have been
To die a filth laden pauper in utter despair
Among the lowliest
Than to face hell’s minions
That lie just beyond the horizon.
Waiting to unleash the unholy upon the innocent.
To turn back time.
Wise men to fools.
Man to beast.
Women to property.
Children to laborers.
Civilization, to mere brute survival.
Disease will be your bedmate
And fear your constant state.
It has begun
It came cloaked as royalty
To hide its pustulates of hatred.
Some saw the stains
Others had their own
And chose not to see.
Lies, are its history
More lies, its promises.
Its corpulent body covered in the leaches
That grow stronger
From feeding on the black puss
That rages in its veins.
And those who needed hate to justify their own existence?
Walked lockstep blindly following.
And the beast’s mark fell upon them.
A white hood.
A gun in every pocket.
A knife in every boot.
A bourbon bomb to throw.
A child to frighten.
A woman to abuse.
A shouted slur that gurgled
From their phlegm filled throats,
A croaking of hatred
Better suited for a mirror’s reflection
Than those to which they were aimed.
For the twisted minds and lazy among them:
So much easier to hate
Than to understand.
Heedless of the consequences.
Welcome to the war.
It’s time to rise.
One more chance to stand in the company of humanity.
To push back against the red eyed evil
That wants to consume us all.
One last chance to take yet another step to the future,
Not a tumble into the dark ages.
One more chance to give voice to defiance.
Once more to strike a blow.
Once more to bury the evil
That wants to smother the steps we have taken
In the name of Liberty for ALL.
PLOWS INTO SWORDS
There are people
We have never met
We have never been to
Who want only
What is not theirs
They do not care
They do not care
They do not care about the future
Only the Now
The tale has come full circle
Are to survive
We must reverse the tale
And turn plows
And our words
There is no other way
No other avenue
With the unreasonable
What belongs to the future.