Sonnet VIII: The Craven and the Valiant

I’ve been ashamed I have not held the line
Myself. Nor shown respect for those who did
Nor ever thought I could, a thought kept hidden
On a shelf of false disdain, maligning

Those who would; and pained to think my spine
Was weak. At least, until that day undid
My cravenness. That day I knew, amid
My web of lies, that woven not of mine–

No, tangled from another’s twine, a slack
And mangled maven–much more meek, supine,
More cowardly as then I was.  No black
Nor white existed, why the fuss? he late
Insisted, only grey: The grey of hate
Of they who save the day, and hold the line.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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Intro 8: This was the Moment

The moment that I knew
That I spoke of long ago
Was in the summer.

In a stadium,
For the first time I heard it
We pledged allegiance

Many times I’d heard
Many times I’d said the words
This time, I listened.

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Sonnet VII: Satan’s Silence

Could God’s devout assail with flame a room
Of helpless innocents whose only crime:
Descent from their inferno without time
To don a hooded veil, so to their doom

Were sent? What god commands her to a tomb
Half sunk in earth, and rent with stone by grime
Stained hands, a helpless girl? What paradigm–
That knew the violation of her womb,

Then learnt this travesty her god offends!?
Whose crime could be the punishment of rape?
What god is this?  What votary attends?
While gawkers ’round the world in silence gape?

If God gives love, redemption, hope, and breath,
I name him Satan, feignèd god of death.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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Sonnet VI: The Peace Prayer

She sang her hymn before her eyes had seen
The glory of the coming of the Lord,
The blood and death of mortar, gun, and sword,
And brother killing brother long had been.

Then callow-sang of peace, with freedom won,
To eager faces, white and brown… and black,
Whose liberty had just been gifted back
Still soaked with blood by mortar, sword, and gun.

Imagine men had heard that hymn four score
And seven years of blood and death before,
Heard next her callow, pacifist’s decree,
Laid down their arms to study war no more:

With shackled peace from sea to shining sea,
What hue would now such eager faces be?

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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Intro 6: At Any Cost

Peace at any cost?
When you pay with a blank check
the price is too high.

Your blank check never seems
to buy you very much.
Best you shop around.

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Sonnet V: By Their Fruits

I saw and I believed and then I knew;
As brick and mortar fell, and glass and steel;
And blood and flesh and fire, mien, and weal,
And hope, and dream, and aspiration slew;

And friendship, love and heart, and sky once blue
Now green with envy, angry red with zeal
Of hate, of lie, of wound no lie can heal,
And speculation knowingly untrue.

I heard, I disbelieved and then I thought:
How typical that supposition grew
So cravenly away from where it ought
To rest; from certainty that, shining through
This calumny, these wailing filth have wrought
This death–these filth who hide from what is true.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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