Surly Snobby

Friday, November 12, 2004

But One Last Thing Before I Go

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI couldn’t leave without saying one last thing - I never know when to shut up. My good friend of many years, poet and novelist, Chandra Mayor, sent me this poem. She wrote it about a recent election in a country many of you may have heard of. I place it here in a different context.

The ability to connect with people from all over the world can be a powerful thing for good; and an equally powerful thing for evil. The amount of hate-filled rhetoric I have exposed myself to while reading the blogs and while writing my own is heartbreaking. Humans, despite our greatness, seem to content ourselves with self-righteousness disguised as opinion, with pettiness and hatred, with conceit and fury.

Please let me whisper in your ears for a second, using Chandra’s words.

The dog paces the kitchen, her nails clicking
on the linoleum. Morning sun seeps through
the bamboo slats on the door. The radio is already
full of noise and prophecy. Desperation curls
the edges of all the voices. The balance of the world
teeters and trembles. The cat licks his toes. All
over America people stand in lines at polling
stations, while others go about their lives as if they hold
nothing cupped in the small of their hands. Today
is a good day to chant or pray. I do neither of these.
I drink coffee. I chew last night’s lipstick off my lips.
I put on a sweater as pink and tight as an eardrum. Time
is stretched taut. My fingers pull at threads. The dog
barks out the window. I wish for the power to whisper
in a nation’s ears: Do not choose hate. Do not choose fear.
Cup your hands. Open your ears. Feel the surge of billions
of voices seeping through your borders.

We are waiting. We are counting. Our open arms tremble.


- Chandra Mayor, November 2, 2004

Thank you all for the encouragement. This has been a life-changing experience.

Peace.

Nathaniel



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