This is the poem Glenn North wrote for the opening of the Monticello Library opening. Check Glenn out at http://www.glennnorthpoetry.com/
A Psalm For The Word Warriors
By Glenn North
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives. – Toni Morrison
Will you come wonder with me, Beloved?
Behold, the majesty of the universe
the uniquely positioned revolving earth
in the center of a perpetually moving solar system
with a perpetually moving Milky Way
that resides in an ever-expanding galaxy
amidst a cluster of billions of other galaxies
that are also in perpetual motion. Yes, behold
this awesome universe, which some say, eons ago,
began with the utterance of a word.
Thus, revealing the power of language.
Will you, Fellow Traveler, consider the time
when ageless stars spoke to us in the voices
of Pleaides & Orion to guide our wandering ships
to shore? The most courageous ones, we are told,
sacrificially imploded, burned themselves out
in the ancient millennia so that future generations
could inherit their shimmering light.
Divinely demonstrating that all language
should be an expression of love.
Pause to ponder with me, Fellow Inquisitor,
the mysterious nature of language
how it shapes thought, creates culture,
clothes itself in flesh & governs civilizations –
how the unwise use of it begets bigotry,
cultivates calamity, lets loose the winds of war.
So then, Comrades, our linguistic mission is clear:
When political power corrupts absolutely
our collective voices must ring resolutely.
When bullets break our children’s bodies.
our calls to action must blare more loudly.
When immigrant infants are snatched from their parent’s arms.
our rally cry must sound the alarm.
When the illusion of race threatens to divide
our clarion song must rise – high as the listening skies.
Beyond the threshold of this athenaeum lies all the bounty we will ever need – pillaging
the pages of books & leveraging our literacy will forever secure the victory. HEAR ME every
we have only this
place in time
but our words will
resound verbally, eternally…
Yes, we must die, but if language is the measure of our lives
may we wield it only as it is seasoned with empathy
may we use it only in the pursuit of righteousness
& may we learn to love as selflessly as the stars.