There are too many voices in my head.
Too many poems read,
too many flashes of light and anger,
There is noise and bluster,
artful (and otherwise) manipulation.
Shouts. So many shouts.
Facts that are, facts that aren’t, facts
craftily melded from thin air and stone.
Shouting. Did I mention shouting?
There are books and news and videos
of attractive people acting badly
as they trump their selective histories
with multiple choice futures.
No moment is safe,
The voices follow me like beggar children,
always about, always wanting,
focused on the next coin and the power to play God
without the restraints of love.
The voices follow me, even when I withdraw,
and mere moments are not enough to purge their cacophony
and find your own voice,
a thing too quiet for this world.
Ugly works. Meanness works. Threats and bluster and lies work,
until of course,
they don’t and the landscape is left barren of the very things
that held it all together,
and there, if you survive, you will stand
Wanting nothing more than safety, kindness, respect,
a flower in the desert,
assuming, of course,
Not a given, considering
the prison of noise that surrounds you
hoping to claim your soul by pure confusion.
And so, you fight.
Not against, but for
the peace that listens and looks less for the things of this world,
than the simple things that are truest.
Love. Connection. A simple kindness.
A single voice, that of your God,
almost, almost but not quite lost in the wall of noise
that wishes more than anything
to be your jailor.
About this poem
Can you tell I am frustrated with things right now?
The photograph is of graffiti in Richmond, Virginia. It is on a stone deep in the woods, where almost no one will see it, but a cry for help, none the less.