Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Monday, March 19, 2007

Waking up: A poem of grief

My walls are drenched in blood.
You cannot see, perhaps -
I did not see it either.
The blood appeared one day,
And now I cannot turn away.
I wonder - has it always been
Here? Dripping, pooling,
Stinking… all around me?

A mother weeps
Over a lifeless, torn - beloved child;
While far away and not so far,
A shriek of anguish carries
On a wisp of smoke;
A small, still body in a burned out house.
Who paid; and what exactly was this price
To keep my backyard 'safe?'

I was a fool; and surely I
Was raised on lies -
But that is no excuse.
I had a mind, but never asked;
Who really built these walls?
How many children’s bodies lie
Crushed and broken -
Buried under my foundation?

Who really paid the price tag
On my chair, this bed, this lamp?
Who really bled to make me free?
I drank the corporate Kool-aid
Every day; drank every drop.
“Land of the free, home of the brave;”
But no one ever said
That we were good.

My walls are drenched in blood.
My food is black with ash.
My water, thick with oil.
And I - just waking up,
Can finally see, and smell and touch…
And cry, at last, for what I am;
For what my country
Has become.


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