Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Mindweeds"

This is the freebie for the April 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "cannon fodder" square in my 1-4-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest.

Warning:  This poem is all about oppression and resistance.  It includes graphic violence and other uncomfortable imagery.  But on the whole it is very, very subversive.  Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether it's something you want to read.


"Mindweeds"


A man may die,
nations may rise and fall,
but an idea lives on.
Ideas have endurance without death
.

Every oppressive regime
must find a way to suppress
the ideas that challenge it.

They are creative;
they always find ways.

Those ways never work for long.

Ideas are weeds,
clinging to people
like cockleburrs,
floating on the wind
like dandelion fluff.

They sprout everywhere
that they touch down.
Their roots dig into crevices,
and pry apart the pavement.
Their stubborn leaves and
blossoms jut up in mockery
of the boots raised above them.

They tried to bury us.
They didn't know we were seeds.


The oppressors mistake people
for cannon fodder and
march them to war.

The oppressors fling books
into fires, and the ideas released
from mortal paper float away
to find new minds.

Even the ashes
are so much fertilizer.

The activists laugh
and are thought mad
and are flung onto pyres
atop piles of their beloved books.

They die laughing,
their bodies becoming
blood meal and bone dust
to nourish the seeds.

The oppressors tear their hair
and stamp their feet and
wonder why they cannot
put down the rebellion,
why the mad ideas

sprout from every crack.

One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
an trample an empire down
.

* * *

Notes:

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death."
John F. Kennedy

Oppression has appeared throughout history and in current events. People always protest. Learn how to fight oppression.

They tried to bury us.
They didn't know we were seeds.
-- variously attributed

Fertilizers include ash, blood meal, and bone meal.

One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.
-- Arthur O'Shaughnessy, "Ode"
Tags: activism, creative jam, cyberfunded creativity, poem, poetry, politics, reading, weblit, writing
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