Saturday, September 03, 2005

World Change

I performed this piece a few years ago when Montgomery College put on a show of The Vagina Monologues. I surprised most of my classmates with my opinion; apparently I'm perceived as a chauvanistic bigot by most people when they meet me face-to-face.

A world without violence: An essay in light and dark

When I was a kid,
all the scary stuff
happened in the dark

Bogeymen
Hunchbacks in the belfry
long leggedy beasties
and things that go bump in the night

in the light
we see ourselves
for what we are:

honest,
benevolent,
charitable,
basically out for others

or

lying
cheating
bellicose
basically out for ourselves

But there is still darkness
in the hearts of men
no matter what we know of ourselves

and this is the issue at hand

whether dark

or light

Nothing can tell me
what a world without violence could be

Where a wife-beater is a coward
and a brute
the worst sort of petty thug

who attacks the weakest
that are unable,
or worse,
unwilling
to fight back

We hide it in the dark:

our shame

to hit a woman is shame
to strike is never to love

I know the pain
to be the target
without the will
or means
to retaliate

I thought I deserved it
I thought “that’s what I’m for”
the shame swelled

In this night veil I concealed
my anguish
my pain
my weakness
my doubts
and crumbling will

The ways to end my world
Were always my companions:
A gun
A car wreck
the bottle
the pills

or maybe
just maybe

To throw off the veil of the night

point the finger where it belongs

At the violators
the thugs
the simple purveyors of violence

start it young
and never stop

Every bully in the school yard
who thinks his size demands fear
pointed out

every self-styled macho-man
who thinks his high school sweetheart
as his property
pointed out

every wife-beating failure
who thinks his frustrations in life
merit power in pain
over those he claims to cherish
pointed out

as life gets longer,
the excuses always complicate
these quite simple truths:

Abuse is cowardice
it’s not about the pain
it’s about the power

The night should be a comfort
Where we sleep, rest, and love
the one beside us

We shouldn’t have to see love
To know it’s always there
In a world without violence

3 comments:

Laurel Makepeace O'Keefe said...

Thank you Thomas...

Patmos said...

yes, yes, yes!!! I think man has looked at you at times past and seen a deep well, yet my eyes have been opened and I not see you as a well, but as the spring that feeds it.

I think of how many would be more so blessed to call you friend and yet even more so a Brother! I do hope for the latter.

Patmos

Laurel Makepeace O'Keefe said...

You do have a lot to give this world Thomas!