Saturday, February 26, 2011

Patriots on the March

They wave the flag of the old king and the old country,
his despotism mild now, a fading memory
compared to the brutality of the Colonel, forty years in
power, forty years of misery, fear, death.

This month, it is Libya
in months past, in years past, and now
it is all of us, marching
across time, across the generations.

From the whispered conversations in their kitchens,
growing to a word, a nod, in the dark alley, and then,
emboldened, sparks spreading on the winds--
coffee shops, the bazaar, and now, the streets--
waving the old flag, chanting the age old chant
Freedom, Liberty, Dignity
for All.

The rich getting richer, stuffing the profits from
the backs of the workers, taking the black gold from the sands
and stealing it away, leaving most in misery, hungry
for food,
for dignity,
for liberty--
for all.

Age old, the chants echo off the streets, against the ruins left by
the Pharaohs, the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Romans,
even Hitler’s armies gone now, from here, their blood left
in the desert sands, like every army marching through here
on the way to somewhere else.

Freedom, Liberty, Dignity
they cry the words of all mankind
in every age, in every time,
leaving their blood staining the
cobblestones of time.

Neal Lemery 2/2011

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