Used To Be

Posted: May 6, 2010 in Poetry
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CONTEXT: January, 2010

The first poem I wrote during this calender year.

The poem started, conceptually, with the segment about pacifism. The way I explain it in the poem is exactly how it happened. I had considered myself a pacifist for years and the day I sat and watched the World Trade Center fall, I said that the perpetrators needed to die for their actions.

Of course since then I have broadened my view on it quite a bit, however my WILLINGNESS to entertain such thoughts makes me feel like I no longer have a right to call myself a pacifist. I consider this a huge backslide, because pacifism is one those things that I consider an ideal that we should all strive for.

I also think it is funny that I get people who ‘take offense’ at my views on anarchism, but have had zero feedback on my thoughts on theism.

    Used To Be

I used to be a theist
Taking faith on faith
Never questioning or concerning
Myself with any aspect of it.
My church was a social event
Couching teachings as advice
With no mention of damnation
Or salvation.
When the questions started
And finished, my theism
Didn’t become atheism
As my doubts were more philisophical
Than canonical.
I starting calling myself
A PRACTICING AGNOSTIC
As my designs on wit
Meant more to me than
The existence of Yggdrasil,
Heaven or Nirvana.
I see the peace in belief
And comfort in understanding –
Or at least the illusion of it –
But I can’t force a reconciliation
Between my heart and head,
Even as they both ache.

I used to be an anarchist
But I wised up.
I’m not talking about a Mad Max,
Every man for himself,
Survival of the fittest –
Which is good because the fittest
Never equalled me.
More like scramble of the witless
As I was convinced that the
Natural evolution of humankind
Would lead to a time
When governments were no longer necessary.
As Tinkerbell and the Tooth Fairy
Fought it out,
I claimed that people were
Fundamentally good
And that if you eliminated poverty
You would eliminate crime
As if the real criminals
Were those with the least
Instead of those with the most.
This so called rational anrachy
Was free-market capitalism
At its blindest.
Calls for revolution
Turned to calls for evolution
But it didn’t matter
Since neither call was answered.

I used to be a pacifist
And my fall from that grace
Is one of my greatest failings.
As I saw two towers tumble
I swore through my tears
That this tragedy would be repaid
in blood.
We followed the path of blame
Back to an endpoint more
Convenient than arbitrary
As it allowed us to define our enemies.
I watched this cry for vengeance
Turn some to racism,
Military colonialism or Xenophobia,
Or at least give acceptance
To those feelings already there.
My demand for blood ceased
When I saw where it would lead
But my values were still shattered
By my willingness to cast
Them aside.

I used to be an optimist,
Then I became a realist,
Which is what a pessimist
Calls himself so as not to seem
So negative.
But when I saw some dismiss
Hope as unrealistic
I knew I had travelled
To lands that I could never call home.
I traded the myth of reason
For a path artisitc.
I became a poet
And sought truth
Wherever I could get it.

Searching for Rusty
In the faces of the saved
And the lost
And those indifferent to the cause
I find no universal truth,
Just my truth
As I search within
To discover I already know it.
It is me
And Rusty is all I really want to be.

““““““““`

Next is a team piece with some not-yet-famous poets! 🙂

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