Poking with Sticks (A Poem for Charlie Hebdo)

(Photo Credit: Flickr / Albatross)

(Photo Credit: Flickr / Albatross)

As I read of your deaths
oceans apart
I haven’t poked the sleeping
giant in ages.
I’ve treaded softly
but have forgotten
the function
of the big stick:

not to steady the walk
but to shove others off theirs,
to knock their knees
out from under,
to steal the breaths
of their lungs
as their skin slaps
against hard ground.

The offended’s rules will never apply to us.
We’re here to push envelopes, not paper.
With every smile we crack
they crack
we make them crack
and the world releases
tension like knuckles –
loud, unrestrained, uncomfortable
in its pop and chemical pleasure.

Ours is a land without law,
and so our sticks must serve
a second purpose:
defend, parry, attack
like martial
arts like water
like rivers running
like oceans pooling
like tears falling.

May they be not of sadness,
but of joy,
for anything too true to be good.

[Original poem by Justin Barisich. More of his writing can be found on Little Writing Man.]

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2 responses to “Poking with Sticks (A Poem for Charlie Hebdo)

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