A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Sometimes the bright sophistry of earnest souls
of unlearned but much practiced minds
shines its own light on the tangled feet of those
so eager for the lie, the one that promises a job a meal
a summer tan in every garage and two shiny objects
for the elderly I’m sure, if there is something to spare.
And oh the child lying dead on the beach can be avenged
by launching mighty Moab at children hiding somewhere
close to evil in war torn lands. It is easy for the topsy man
to wave his hand and scoop up tired minds
and implicate those who will not praise his contraventions,
easier than stringing history together, easier
than viewing claim and motivation in the same frame
but not as easy as inventing a dandy slander. We elevate sophistry
with our own hands when it slips through our fingers.
They shout that deception pervades the land except
in their own home where they do not dream of our success;
we who make them sacrifice their hard earned rewards
with our expectations, and we who challenge their disbelief
in complexities, and we who pretend (they say we lie) to know.
What we call the truth is not pretty and doesn’t flatter
and they would rather see the raging accuser who points
away from them than their own faces yawning at tired attempts
to make them see their fate in this ingenious
deconstruction, this alpha-wild huffing that promises
no limits for them if we will just give earnest souls a chance
to prove that what worked in grade school will save the world.
Copyright 2017 Claudia Nolan
fish/baby: Image copyright 2017 by Claudia Nolan. Artist’s statement: “Here’s a detail of a bronze from my 2008 Masters’ Exhibit, called Changing Table, that deals with hubris, schadenfreude and self-deception. The surface was the first time I tried 4 different patinas in distinct areas on a small sculpture (13”h x 9” x 9.5”).”