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Saturday, 30 April 2011




I am the spirit of the wall,
I set the bounds beyond which none may pass.
My mission is to keep you separate, divide
by colour, race or creed,
by politics or class.
(I have no preference
as long as there is schism.)

I stand between you, sisters;
brothers; husbands; wives.
It is my shadow falls across your lives.
Believe me, I was there
through all those Berlin years
and still am at my damnedest
in the Arab / Jew divide.

I am the spirit that immured the Saint, the priest,
the awkward customer, so cannot bleat
if people hate me so, and scribble their abusive
words on me. I try to make amends:
I shelter their secluded gardens -
"walled" they call them - and their plants from winds
that otherwise would lay them low.

And so it is that ultimately I
am the divided one, who can be evil, harmless or
a force for good, a thing that children build in fun,
sometimes to dam a river with the likes of me.
And so my motives can be impish,
childish in the worst extreme or practical.
None of which excuses any wrong.

This is my contribution for today to Writers Island's NATIONAL POETRY's Free Writing Month.

16 comments:

anthonynorth said...

Excellent words. There is certainly an imp in our collective selves.

Isabel Doyle said...

interesting that so many works of amn can be for good or evil ...thought-provoking poem

Isabel Doyle said...

I think that was works of man, but amn may be guilty too ...

Stan Ski said...

The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from outer space... I wonder what sort of message that sends out...

Ron. said...

Solid exposition here. well done.

DUTA said...

Walls are man-made; can be built and also destroyed.
The real separator is God (the supernatural power). HE has created a separatistic world giving each race and ethnic group a territory.

Man has violated this universal order by migration, war conquests, slavery, colonialism etc..
The problems created by all this mingling and 'globalization' seem to be unsolvable; so we may be approaching the end - and then there could be a Reset of the universe.

imnotaverse said...

An excellent poem. Loved it.

Elisabeth said...

Fantastic poem, Dave, the spirit in the wall reminds me both of the need for frameworks that can help keep us appropriately separate and yet as you say that can also dangerously divide us. Thanks.

lucychili said...

some things are groups with walls dividing
cells, ventricles, companies, nations
somethings are networks interwoven
ecologies, capillaries, ideas, water

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Excellent write!

Anna :o]

Mary said...

Dave, I enjoyed your thoughtful personification of 'the wall.' So many shades of meaning shared. Journey on!

Mr. Walker said...

A thoughtful and thorough exploration of walls. I like how you invoked the spirit of the wall to think and explore, evil, good, and harmless.

flaubert said...

And the walls continue to divide, Dave. Excellent and strong piece of writing. A wonderful ending to an enlightening month. Nice to have met you and journeyed together through this month. I hope to continue to see you and your writing.

Pamela

Windsmoke. said...

Flowed along nicely once again very enjoyable :-).

Liz said...

This is potent and revealing.

Dave King said...

anthonynorth
I believe so, yes. I recognise it in myself.

Isabel
Yes, most of them I suppose, when you come to think of it.

Stan
I did think about that, but couldn't decide what message it would send!!

Ron
Thanks. Good to have your comment.

DUTA
Hi and welcome to my blog. Many thanks for your response, though I struggle to find any evidence for God (if he, she or it exists) being the separator. If God is/was, I guess "he" is/ was in some sense part of the spirit of the wall. But then I was always the heretic.

imnotaverse
Hi and welcome to you. Thanks for the support.

Elisabeth
Yes, I go along with both propositions. Thanks for that.

lucychili
Absolutely. Good point.

HyperCRYPTICal
Much thanks. Greatly appreciated.

Mary
Thanks for that encouragement.

Mr Walker
Thanks for that. A valuable comment. I had thought that my poem might be too weighted towards the evil that they do.

Pamela
I too hope that very much. Thanks for your encouragement.

Windsmoke
Thanks for that.

Liz
Much appreciated.