A part of something greater

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm

We’ve been silent and accepted
we’ve been patient and denied
what’s self-evident
that only some are created equal
and to be a part of something greater
means
to use our flesh and bones as stones and mortar
to stitch our sinews into ropes for hand restraints
to pay with blood for law and order
to raise your borders between slum and mansion.

We have never been accepted
we’ve been denied
we’re losing patience
we are tired being told to wait
to be as equal
to share a piece of dreams
to share the crops
before you send for cops

and you just tell us not
to scream our being loud, to even dream
when you will never even
listen.

Hands of Protest by Oswaldo Guayasamin

Today we are writing protest poetry at dVerse. with Grace

September 24, 2020

21 responses to “A part of something greater

  1. Powerful verses Bjorn in the light of what is happening around us. This hits so hard:

    we are tired being told to wait
    to be as equal
    to share a piece of dreams
    to share the crops
    before you send for cops

  2. I love how you took Orwell’s words from Animal Farm and extended them into am impressive protest poem, Björn, and the image you chose to illustrate it is fabulous too. Repetition is perfect for protest poetry as it is a rhetorical device, as is inclusion of the listener/reader in:
    ‘We’ve been silent and accepted
    we’ve been patient and denied’.
    My favourite lines are:
    ‘to use our flesh and bones as stones and mortar
    to stitch our sinews into ropes for hand restraints
    to pay with blood for law and order’.

  3. Wow, I was just blown away by “flesh and bones as stones and mortar” — an injustice that has been going on since the first ziggurat was built. We want justice for ourselves but not for others.

  4. This is incredibly potent and heartfelt, Bjorn! I especially like; “to stitch our sinews into ropes for hand restraints/to pay with blood for law and order.” The illustration works so well!

  5. Powerful, potent and timely, Bjorn! I hear you loud and clear in the last stanza. Trump has seemingly done away with democracy in the US, so why should he even dream of listening?

  6. What a powerful poem. Last night on the TV program America’s Got Talent, a poet was the winner….a young man who speaks his poetry so eloquently he persuaded the judges and America to vote him the winner. How I would love to hear him read your poem!

  7. Your Orwell quote sets the tone. I honestly think there is a fatal flaw in human beings. No matter who or where or how, when a group of them is put together a few leaders emerge and the rest follow. It might work for horses, elephants, wolves, and lions, but they don’t have a malicious bone in their bodies. Your poem is skillfully composed and speaks great truth to power.

  8. Outstanding, brother, powerful words. Your excellent word-weaving is sterling, as always. My favorite lines have been noted. As a student of history, I find it ironic that this poem applies to, and could have been written ten centuries ago–philosopher kings, greedy 1% who rule the planet, and the chasm between the haves and have nots; don’t get me started.

  9. Onya (trans: good on you😁) Bjorn – your last stanza really resonates – and reminds me of local politicians who whenever there’s a protest – global warming, black lives matter, reconciliation with our first nations people – trot out the line… “now is not the time” (but they’re really saying – be silent).

    • kaykuala
      The last stanza tells it all. Protest we do but the powers that be are not listening or not able to react at all on what is lacking. Too many woes that get things all topsy-turvy.

      Hank

  10. Hi Bjorn. Nice to read your writing again.
    You’ve expressed my sadness and fears so well here. You capture our unfortunate reality. May we all protest and bring about good change.

  11. ” To use our flesh and bones as stones and mortars” the sound in this takes me to the movies of racial and gender struggles in the past and then brings me back to reality around me. This is so powerful that it calls out to everyone and at the same time it vividly describes the fight it takes to prove oneself equal. This piece is anthem in itself.

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