Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

On Becoming A Human Being

by amanda milligan

A  flag of cloth, straggled through mud,
scorched by the sun, mocked by the stars,
catches in tree branches flutters in the wind licking shadows across
cracked vessels tipped on a beach dripping medicine into the sand.

The vessel of Humanity has broken again on the rock of confusion.
Guided by misinformation and is being washed apart
in the war on liberation and peace.

With best intention we came from all sides
a raggle taggle fleet of seekers we steered through ragin waters,
to uncover the source of a system
that uses conflict and friction to create consistent pressure
to crush resistance, extract the juice
to form an elixir to slake the unslakeable thirst
of absolute power, don't you remember?
We came to uncover the source of the system. And to shut it down.

The vessel of Humanity runs aground and breaks again,
on the rock of confusion. Guided by misinformation
Washed apart in the war on liberation and peace.

Hulls,  packed tight with sleeping minds
too filled with fear of finding their own kind
to push on, split open and litter the beach.

Survivors stumble on and emerge, spooked, from woods and forests
stand huddled at the city gateswaiting to throw rotten fruit
at the dignitaries and leaders like they wus the  oneswho coulda freed us.  But didn't.

They turn their fearful backs on hostile standard bearers rushing past
inciting Anti-war! Burn the rich! Kill the power! Smash the system!

In a violent war on war, casualities fall, not just the leaders but we all
are ambushed by false reveals, double deals, division, double vision
the desire to segregate.

We're all prone to be washed away, sucked in and seduced
by the thirst for war violence and hate. Only a few press on to the big reveal.
the exposing of the source of the system the uncovering of what's really real

and a burning handful siege the core move as if a triumphant horde
pause at a half open door, poised to engage the enemy
on behalf of us all. Stop dead in their tracks. 
Victory crawls down their backs. The source of it all is found
and fear retracts into a cold slash of terror.

The only things behind the door are a reflection of their Self  in a mirror
and an image on a silver screen, a flickering beach scene,  a lone figure

picking dying starchildren from the beach and throwing them back into the sea.
Only to be washed back up on the shore again and again
until we learn there's only eva been an I there neva wus a them and us,  a you and me.

Added: 02.04.2009