Don’t Be Afraid
“Don’t be afraid, Love stronger, mine…”
Those words flowed freely in my mind
As I awoke this third day since
That bomb in art-class made me wince.
Four pre-note-concept pages flowed
Twix first and second written poem.
They left my head of thoughts more clear
Than when first visited with fear.
Those page-associations are
Like Freud’s free-flowing talk, bizarre.
I’m sure I’ll visit parts of them
For years to come, and say ‘a-hem’.
But first two poems opened up
For me this subject’s piece of muck.
And pricked, the blister’s angry puss
Flowed out – to ease the clean of muss.
I slept much better after this
Had swept away – left greater bliss.
Our anniversary gift received
Both she and I so greatly pleased.
Sometimes it’s best to silence keep
And only private tear let weep,
Because external threats could come
And raise the cost to family some.
I took that path except two times
When I could no more tow the line.
I blurted out what happened there
And paid a price – but not compared –
To what I’d pay if freely spoke
Of what they did beneath the cloak
Of Silence they imposed on me;
So, power wrought complicity.
And they, for their part nobly hid
Behind the ‘personnel file’ lid
Of confidentiality’s rule
And let me look to all the fool.
Twelve years ago right now – that day
When I invited them to ‘tae’
To find out what the bother was
Behind their absurd silent cause.
They’d written back accepting same
Gave time and place to play their game
And game it was apparently –
They said, ‘Show up – or penalty!’
‘Say what?!’ thought I, ‘I asked you to
Come sit with me, to talk with you
Now, threatening to my ticket take
If I not show up at your gate?!’
But they before had been bizarre
I’d seen that when my friend – sent far
Down East to psychiatric place
To dig some poop to him disgrace.
They tried that tune on me – with speed
I sent air-ticket back indeed.
Said ‘I’m not nuts, this silly is,
Like out of Russia’s Goulag is.’
‘Course that against me they brought out
Said I an unrepentant lout.
To that agreed I with a grin
Much better lout than all their sin.
Tea party was, of course not tea
“Deposing witness” – (that was me) –
They needed words to twist as lie
So they could hang me out to dry.
I had a blast, two hours there
To speak my piece – some time on air
They had some ‘ref’, one of their men
I went alone in twelve of them.
At last I had a chance to share
My insights, to that point, out there
Where agriculture’s crisis was
The overwhelming focal cause.
But that was ‘by-the-by’ to them
‘Tis Stu we seek to get, just when’s
The issue now because for we
They somehow saw me ‘anti-gay’
And pounced upon me, pulled my pay
Then skulked around like silly kids
To find some way to of me rid.
Quite frankly I for that don’t care
But that’s not what they want to hear.
‘It’s us and them once war’s declared;
Be one of us – or not be spared.’
Of course they called court (Kangaroo),
Forbade me take part in their zoo
I laughed and showed up – quiet sat
As they droned on ’bout this and that.
The night before a dream I had
I stood ’fore God – ‘Been good or bad?’
Christ advocate for me said, ‘Bad’;
God said, ‘To Hell, I don’t feel sad’.
Then Christ spoke up, like in ‘The Book’:
‘I died for him, his hit I took –
He’s one of mine, though guilty be’,
‘Then go’, said God, ‘You’ve been set free’.
I knew ‘God’s here’ in court that day –
At start I heard the lady say,
In Bible-words straight from my dream,
‘Upon what Advocate you lean?’
I said, ‘Yes, Advocate have I’
‘His Name?’, she asked me with a sigh
(For no one sat alongside me)
‘Why, Christ’, I said , with inner glee.
That’s all I said the whole long day –
I sat and watched the children play
‘They don’t know half the ugly stuff
For which Christ died, God said, ‘enough!’
I found it strange, to me it seemed
That my one line they might have deemed
Significant enough to put into
Their court-report – ah me – the fool!
The final joke I found quite rife
They sent the bill for court and strife
I sent it back, funds garnisheed
Then tax sent in as if received!
When income tax time then rolled round
My T4 slip that action found
So I suggested they address
That action so not public mess.
Said ‘no’, so I refused to sign
Tax documents as if were fine
Tax people were aghast, but said,
Take them to court, or take as read.
I said to court I’d not proceed
But long as government agreed
That I at least the truth had said;
I’d let Church eat my daily bread.
All this and more from view Church hides
And struts in sanctimonious pride.
It’s like the Prophet said of such
‘They’ve quite forgotten how to blush.’
A colligue once for guidance asked
If Church should clergy gay folk ask.
I said it’s not the issue gay
But bigotry, mean, rude, as way –
To live our lives in our short time;
To freely speak or tow the line.
Those folks are full of pompus air
And for that lifestylke I don’t care.
The Pope one day said something right –
‘My job – it has its moments bright –
Goes dark two hundred cyclic years
Right now it’s dark and no one cheers –
‘But it’s not fixed just on its own,
But when each time in people’s home
We each clean up our part of dirt
So church then more folks helps than hurt.
I don’t regret my silence past
Which now is broken here at last.
It minimized the family price
To bide my time and act so nice.
But now it seems what’s pushed within,
Of others mean ,outrageous sin,
Has now at last quite broken out
As stress-released through cancer's route.
Enough! I got the point in life:
‘Third Culture Kid" stuff and its strife,
Is my releasing insight – here
Enough to work on – that part’s clear.
For that, I paid a price most dear;
He bids me end my days – no fear.
Since cancer came and death I faced
This precious life I’ll try not waste.