I watch the protests on T.V., from the comfort of my living room, and I ponder life, history and point of view.

One man’s riot is another man’s insurrection,
and I listen to the wise pundits and stupid presidents,
they insist that the legitimate protestors are peaceful, and the
violent ones are outside agitators, provocateurs, extremists from the
Left and Right
who are indifferent to an unarmed, handcuffed Black man’s lynching- a white cop’s knee in lieu of a noose
outside agitators, they say, whose agendas are anarchy and
nihilism, unconcerned with notions such as justice.

Since when must good people be passive, their battle cry like the bleating of sheep? Were the Roman slaves, rebelling against their masters, outside agitators, trouble makers imported from distant lands?

Nat Turner was a good man until the fateful turn
Nat Turner was a bad man, killing indiscriminately
What was Nat Turner, when his hands were awash in
Slave masters’ blood?

Life is tragedy. I take no joy, only sorrow, as buildings, businesses, peoples’ dreams burn in the night.

The tragic truth is, when violence speaks, violence is heard.

I think of our history, our checkered past- I hear a man’s dying words, pleading for his mother, now part of the archives of endless, pleading dying words,

and I watch the young people, the good people among the bad, lay their cities to waste,

and I see within the burning chaos
the flames of inevitability.

5 thoughts on “Outside Agitators (A Prose Poem Lament)

  1. Life is a tuff place if U R a feeling person. And U R right,violence does get heard first.
    The tragedy of life is not death,but what dies inside of us while we’re alive ( not me,my hearts like stone ) 👽


    1. Like wise, Noreen. Maybe we can work in tandem in expressing our rage and horror. We writers have a formidable quiver when filled with words of passion and conscience.


  2. True observations, Ron. The price of change seems never to be paid in full, so perfectly evil were the origins.
    I wish your “Poem Lament” could be appended to every news article covering the confrontations, injuries, and damage.


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