I never mind being demonized. Accuse
me of the worst, and I'll know which side
- and I'll know you are on it, and I'll know
The people who refuse to accuse aren't right.
When they know what's wrong: when they hear it
proclaimed, by a person in the room -
and they let it stand. They stand to the side,
saying "who am I to blame? To accuse, to
cry out, to challenge, to name?"
You're the bystander, that's who. Get in the game.
Quit folding your hands as the stakes rise high.
This isn't a table you can walk away from.
We are all all-in by the time we die, so
Take a hand: and call it, when you see foul play.
When everybody sees, and when no one will say,
that's how the damn devil wins the day. And the devil
is us, all day, everyday that we won't stand up.
You have got to accuse, when you see the dirty dealing
that would see us all lose. When you see it proclaimed,
right there in the flesh, right there in the room
you're in - and you let it stand. And you sit. They win.
Meanwhile, if you could only speak out, just for one,
just for you - wouldn't half the people squirming
in the room feel relief? Chime in, throw their hand
in with you, rise to their feet?
You are not the only one there who knows what's true!
And everybody there has the problem you do. You've been
taught to be polite, is the problem with you. Who taught you?
Can you guess, mister politesse? Mister status quo
- or excuse me, is it little miss?
Silence is consent. As the world spins on, and you sit
and you see, and do not speak out: you consent
to wrong. In every single room where you let it stand,
you are the one who throws up your hand.
If you call me a racist, I know two things:
you hate racism, and you've got the gall
to call it where you see it. And that is all.
If you're on the right side, I can take the fall
I don't mind. I get up! Those falls don't hurt.
When a shot goes wide, it does not break skin
so no matter how thin someone's skin can be -
how can you be offended by an on-target shot
at the enemy, when it misses you wide?
When you know you're not the mark? Aren't you on
some side? Don't you know right from wrong?
Big deal. Who cares. Can you TELL
right from wrong?
That's how deals get squared.
And if you stand accused of being the worst,
you know just two things: that person is, first,
someone who hates the worst. Secondly, they are someone
who'll engage with the enemy. Whose side
are you on? If you don't pick one,
you consent and support every wrong
So accused, demonized, I don't flinch. Just rise,
spread my hands out wide, with my demon eyes bright,
and greet this cool fool who'll engage with my foes.
Who speaks out, who - so much better than knows! -
who can tell right from wrong. A courageous sight.
Pardon me, can I help you to set me right?
They narrow their eyes, of course. They get suspicious.
Between two people who can both tell right,
agreement-reaching's easier than doing the dishes.
As long as you never mind being called wrong,
you will find so many people whose side you're on.
A Pocketful of Poesy was and is again a Poem-a-Day(-on-Average) Blog! For 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and now for 2017 and going forward, you may expect to see 365 poems every year, 366 for leap years.
Try the RANDOM button, to sample the sometimes surprising breadth of quality (and in several Novembers, breathtaking quantity as well), or click the "ANY GOOD" label* for those poems labeled with it. On any poem, old or new, feel free to offer your remarkable insight or critical acumen.
*I haven't yet revisited many pockets and stretches of time to appraise and label the "any goods," so some are missing. Please feel free to point out omissions, or - especially - erroneous inclusions, in comments.