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Sullivan the Poet


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Posted Fri May 30th, 2008 6:03pm Post subject: One of my own...
‘Bring Me Your Tired..’

I lit a single flame to guide them in the blackness, and stood open my doors,
crying out into the night… “Bring me your tired…
Bring them to me, your worn and your spent and your weary;
Give them to me and I will give them rest.”
And they came,
in their thousands and in their tens of thousands they came.
And with them;
They brought their idle and their indolent, their work shy and their feckless,
lie-abeds and layabouts of every hue and race.
To hang, sink stone, about the throat of my people;
Deadweight, limp and languorous; Drawing their spirit down.
Thus have you punished me for my charity.

Yet still I oiled that flame and forced it bright, a beacon, and threw open its lantern,
calling into the darkness… “Bring me your poor…
Bring them to me your ragged and your hungry and your pitiful;
Give them to me and I will grant them succour.”
And they came,
a rolling human tide, surging and heaving and eddying, they came.
And with them:
They brought their mendicant and their sponging, their grasping and their greedy,
scroungers and freeloaders of every creed and colour.
To cling, parasitic, infesting the skin of a noble and generous land;
Leeching, sucking and gorging; Bleeding it of its tender will.
Thus have you punished me for my benevolence.

But higher still I turned that wick, casting open its sheltering window,
loud, out, into the gloom I cried… “Bring me your stateless…
Bring them to me; your scarred and your oppressed and your dissident;
Give them to me and I will give them freedom of speech.”
And they came,
limping and broken, legion and hopeless and debased, they came.
And with them;
They brought their criminal and their fugitive, their murderous and their sociopathic,
gangsters and warmongers of every colour and nation.
To prey, insatiable, a cancer consuming the very heart of my people;
Whoring, child mongering and dope dealing; Sapping them of their strength.
Thus have you punished me for my humanity.

Still brighter yet I strained that flame, fanning it ever higher with my best intentions,
strident into the murk I pleaded… “Bring me your persecuted…
Bring them to me; your faithful and your defiled and your denied;
Give them to me and I will give them freedom of faith.”
And they came,
debased and defamed, clinging to their holy books and their broken gods, they came.
And with them;
They brought their fundamentalists and their zealots, their fanatics and their pedants,
bigots and blasphemers of every faith and fashion.
To terrorise, ostracise, debase and threaten the very soul of my people;
Bombing, murdering and mutilating; Sickening them in their fragile faith.
Thus have you punished me for my tolerance.

Tomorrow and tomorrow that single flame will burn no more in my open window,
and no voice will cry then out into the darkness…
The doors hang loose on their hinges now: But no one passes through;
For I have nothing left to give.
And they come no more,
not the tired or the poor, the stateless or the persecuted; no one comes.
For when they came;
Like tics on cattle they brought their fanatics and their miscreants and their dogmas,
journeying with them, on scar crazed backs, those very things they had sought to flee.
Brought them to tire, impoverish, oppress and persecute this gentle and humane host,
to bleed it of its charity, its benevolence, its humanity and its tolerance...
Thus will we be punished all. For our cowardice…

© Sullivan The Poet 2008

From 'In A Mirror Darkly...'

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PamJH


Member

Posted Sat Feb 7th, 2009 5:44am Post subject: One of my own...
That's lovely. Each stanza flows well into the next and the imagery is, well, quite perfect.

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obsidio


Member

Posted Sat Feb 7th, 2009 11:47am Post subject: One of my own...
This is brilliant! I do think it is miserable although I guess thats what you set out to achieve and you did that but then where is the hope that is so characteristic of human endeavour? all dead and gone, really? Since the title reminded me of the Statue of Liberty quote I read it in terms of hordes of people travelling to America to settle . . . including people who contributed to the structuring of democracy, emancipation, progress. Just my interpretation!

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PamJH


Member

Posted Sat Feb 7th, 2009 4:34pm Post subject: One of my own...
I read it the same way you did and thought it was about the United States. But the author appears to be from England so could it be about England? I hope the author lets us know.

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