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Poetry: Word Atlas

Where is reason on a map?

Is it south of God?

Do conjunctions bridge the gaps

Between normal and odd?

 

Is there a what embedded

Somewhere on the western front?

why inside a dragon’s lair,

Lost in a treasure hunt?

 

How about the term equality

Crushed under storming feet

During a painted-sign riot

Screaming in defeat?

 

What are these antecedents

That have burned themselves to skin,

That have covered mouths and faces

That dared to question sin?

 

Is courage but a sunken ship,

Bombed to deeps by lies?

Have we stripped significance

From the ties that bind?

 

In all the places of the world

Does anyone have voice?

Or have the liberated few

Stripped us of our choice?

 

Are we not free to question wrong?

Not fight for what is right?

Do the statements of one man

Blind our oversight?

 

Have we all forgotten

Exclamations of the soul?

The yearnings that long took us

Around the world as whole?

 

The memories of tomorrow,

Are they burned from our dull minds?

Did the murmurs of the past

Hang us all in kind?

 

When we crossed the desert

In our forty days of might,

Did solidarity mean nothing

In the context of the plight?

 

When that comma was inserted

To change a solemn fact

Into a wayward fantasy,

Did that then break our pact?

 

Or was it marching on the sand

By a bloodied Nile

And crossing out the histories

Of those chosen, defiled?

 

What use is a Word Atlas

That maps the ways of man

If one simply strikes out his,

Writes mine because he can?

 

If we can burn libraries

To the ground in rage

What stops us from rewriting life,

Claiming stolen made?

 

Is an Atlas but a piece

Of plaster on the floor

Of a gutted bomb shelter

We now have no use for?

 

Or will it be a bible

That our children use to guide

Themselves as a generation

Far too bold to hide?

 

Will they step up and realize

That they can trace their lives,

Their histories through uttered words

Otherwise lost to time?

 

A dictionary tells the truth,

Maps read the universe,

They collect the pieces

And assemble them as Earth

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