Choke On the Notion

Life, give me leave
from the madness of modern man
In many ways, he may as well
still be dragging his knuckles
For we have reasoned our way
beyond simple flames in the darkness,
yet a powerful minority among us
do but shut their eyes to avoid
that they don't wish to see

If I am to believe in the insistence of reality,
then it's the safest thing there is to say
that I've known billions of unconscious
years in this universal expanse
I've no wish to see my time now squandered;
fighting for some ability to enjoy the gift
which this life should rightfully be
Our society is overly sick;
sick with greed, and with fear,
and with ignorance (comfortably chosen)

Some who I knew in my youth
have grown into that frowned-upon fringe
Some died in the arms of basic nonsense
before they even had a chance to know
how much harder the road we travel becomes
There's a sex worker in my network
who lives in fear of imprisonment,
and an unattractive man with money
who has balance because of her profession
Do not pardon me for saying
that these are both beautiful creatures,
deserving of our compassion

I know women who are attracted to
other women, and women who identify as men
I've met people who feel very much
in the middle of every extreme,
and I see nothing wrong with any of them
When we speak of those who wish
to live a life with multiple partners,
I am continually left thinking that at least
these citizens want to love anyone at all
Why is it so difficult for most to imagine
affording everyone the same freedom to need?

Abortion and guns;
these are not critical issues
The political priority must become
that we take considerate care of one another,
for we are keepers of the conscious family
How weak my want to go on becomes
when considering that we allow
some among us to suffer so pointlessly
There are those who need not lift a finger
to enjoy their lives of luxury,
while the majority of us are left
to swim over each other for fresh air
There is nothing near equality in this society
where economic truths are concerned

Still, I believe we can do better than
the lesser forms we've taken till now
Yes, I believe in the ability to grow our approach
into that of a more realistic species
But I also recognize that we do not
have eternity to learn such a lesson
If we insist upon warring with this world,
we should not expect any victory
awaiting us in the end
The planet will simply wipe its hands
clean of us if we're unwilling
to respect the limits of its resources

And so I hope we begin embracing this place,
since it was kind enough to allow us at all
I also hope that we learn to co-exist
with ourselves, somewhere along the way
to wherever it is we're going

Poetry from A Bar in Brooklyn by Shane Windham
E-book and paperback coming spring of 2017

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