I am Creation, and how I wish
These days that once, I hadn’t
Overturned the puzzle of humanity
I’d been making on my bed when
I took a moment of rest, to stretch,
Which was when my hands tipped
That puzzle right over the edge,
Where it began to recreate
Itself on the earth, from scratch.
The picture was harmony all round,
But the way it fell kept just one corner
By sheer luck intact, while everything
Else with a bounce, scattered — the
Image of white mountains showered
With the wealth of a golden sun
Remained, and though some pieces
Wiggled their way towards the base
Of that scene, the tops and heads
Of bristling green trees, what a
surprise it was to see when one piece
Hung to the portrait, the rest of
The puzzle wiggled free — the
Top right corner of the scene,
Wintery white peaks sitting like kings,
Turned up their outstretched tabs,
Retracted their outstretched hands,
And declared itself already… complete.
And I who had seen the original image
Checked the box top to see again
How undulating rivers of blue slipped
In play beside stalwart copses of trees,
How fields of grain with swamps and
Marshes stamped the world with a glossy
Slap of freshness and how elsewhere, seasons
Coming and going completed the scene
Of complexity thriving in peace —
Yet I watched as most kings clutched
To their thinking that their reign
Would be for an eternity, even as
The picture of harmony sat incomplete,
Turned mouldy, and slowly, though it was little,
(But not too late), the walls began to fall;
Slots and tabs began to welcome those
Cast outside into the halo of warmth
That was originally meant for all.
I watched as the puzzle recreated
Its shape, but the stains were there
To stay — the treetops drooped,
And the blue river was grey, the grains
Were spears and the birds knew only
To bray. The gleaming mountains now,
Melting, had some thin streams leading
The way, and so they trickled, as there
Were scars to heal, and a history to repay.
So sits the landscape of the puzzle,
Sitting on the Earth below — and
Though the old mountains are
Beginning to crumble, resistance
Is sure to follow. Humanity sure is
A puzzle you see, since originally
The picture was one of harmony —
Yet as we progress back, scars and all,
That’s still what it can return to be.
I usually don’t write hopeful poems or poems with good endings, typically because I don’t believe that hopefulness reflects the state of the world, and more importantly, a hopeful sounding poem simply ‘ends’ there — a message of hope, with no work done.
This is not a poem intending to do that. I want to be clear that this poem is a reflection of the time, a reflection of the time of protest and screaming for racial equality, and that in order to get there, work needs to be done. I am also going to try to extend this poem into another medium. I am hoping to read this poem out loud and commission a POC illustrator/animator to make this poem come to life.
It is also a poem I wrote in reaction to the belief that harmony is a natural state that is being disrupted by protests. Harmony must not be taken for granted. It has not come without a cost, and to ignore this fact at this point is harmful and wilful ignorance.
This must change, even if the change seems at the moment, to be unsightly and ugly.