Monday, October 10, 2005

A History of History, By Robert Maguire

Covering the frontier
With pretty straight lines
Splitting open the terrain
With a fence and “no crossing” signs
Color inside the box
And give your people a name
Tell them your color’s fair
And your purpose the same

Old helmets
Propped in painted flower pots
Like lines from a prayer
Sewn into rope and tied into knots
The people sat quiet
Under the gallows at noon
The past swayed calm in the breeze
Singing, “see ya’ soon”

Promises from a souk
With its fingers crossed
Built a kingdom
Every day that it lost
An empire
Of swallowed motivation
For the listless and quiet,
One beautiful nation

A foreign addiction
Is a heroine for all
She feeds the poor
On the floor of a Berlin bathroom stall
Peddler and addict meet
On Dublin’s O’Connell St.
To feed the children
In Mazar-e Sharif

Liberty Enlightening the World
Took a new name
She realized the danger
Of Lady Lazarus’ claims
If the Colossus were to stand
For any certainty
A less proactive tag fits
Like the Statue of Liberty

Give her your tired
And your poor
For we the people
Haven’t the time anymore
And as for huddled masses’
Will to breath free
Give a man the breath
And he’ll stick his chest out for all to see

Times have changed
The winds have turned against US here
Now the tempest-tossed
Press their gale of inalienable fear
There’s smoke on the horizon
Of the dawn’s early light
From sea to shining sea
In the home of the brave, they’re ready to fight

This land is our land
Standing with clinched fists
We the people
Hold our breath for the next hit and miss
We’ve painted the Blue Ridge And the amber ways of grain
We’ve told them what’s fair
And expect the others not to do the same

A nation of refugees
Closed the door behind them
And colored in the frontier
Red, white and blue, with a solid black trim
Gave themselves a name
Called themselves “The Free”
And drew pretty straight lines
As far as the eye can see


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