In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Monday, 27 February 2017

THE FREEDOM TO DO SOMETHING AND THE FREEDOM TO DO NOTHING

And what did you do to act when those times came,
When it was your turn to do something positive for the final appraisal,
The spreadsheet tally of your votes, no votes, spoiled votes
In a lifetime of alternating apathy and activity?
How much was done by leaders in your name,
Transients at large wielding power for a few years,
Permitted to swagger and preach well-spun scripts,
Following hidden agendas without conscience or pity?

How often did you abstain, hold your tongue and allow
Injustice, privilege, snobbery and smug officialdom a free rein
To ride roughshod over the powerless and desperate,
Innocent souls who just wanted a simple life to live?
How much satisfaction did you get with your high-brow
Friends who had all the answers and dug-in heels,
The cruel-to-be-kind set that ignored the sound of weeping
And the sight of red eyes on faces with nothing left to give?

How many outstretched bony hands did you ignore
While you engaged in dinner-party chatter about equality,
About the unfairness of a world of haves and have-nots,
About the new conservatory and latest sports car?
How many times did you feign frustration and angrily roar
At talking heads on television saying a lot of nothing,
The vacuous, the liars the wily and articulate, the sleazy,
Manifesto pitchers, bandwagon hitchers to an unreachable star?

How much did you cram into your life’s baggage
That you are willing to declare as the truth, the whole truth,
That you are willing to admit to under a sacred oath,
Imperfections that you are ready to confess, revealing the real you?
How can you sum it all up, the experience, the knowledge,
The value of your life and what you added to the world,
From the rocking of your cradle to the lowering of your coffin,
With all the chances you had, what did you actually do?

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