celebratoria labor us (Celebrating Labor Day)

A Song that says
It’s Naughty
To Magnify the Small

Seeking an authoritive morality
To lead our landsmen to the vision,
To guarantee living less fallibly,
To assure no failure’s incision,
Has become our repetitive dream
Lying just beneath the known,
Stitched into each day like a seam
That binds us to the hope we’re shown.

For we all know of our yearning
And the imperative of our need.
We all see in reality’s turning,
Love in the face of greed.

Yet the horror of what isn’t said,
The blame that’s never fair,
The agonies that fuel our dread,
Encumber our want to care.

So we seek to leave what’s worst alone.
We delegate the truth of our shores:
We join with what may still entone
The dream of goodness, as if we’re whores
Who curb the passing rhythm of life
In safe contention with our threats.
For most believe, reviewing strife,
We’ll know the instant if the nets
Will tighten to disrupt our plan.
Do we judge us wicked in our subjective?
Our inner judge, half woman, half of man,
Risks much divine in our rejective.

Our dream is not assured nor alien.
Not all see life as too much to know.
Not all aspiring ends Pygmalion.
There is much in life that tempts to show
That what’s our worst is much the same;
Is all within this time and space;
That both the passionate and the tame
Are part and parcel of our animate race.

We have a duty that drives the whole
From which a few prognosticate.
We have a path from mountain to shoal
Whereupon too few will legislate
Our vision, goals and leaning to need.
And here where souls have surety,
Governance written by the freed
To carry our will in purity,
It must, it seems, be still recalled
That each of us has no place to hide,
Nor can deny our work when called
To explore this liberty never denied
Or lost in conformity, hidden in nerves,
Or given to cult or loosely tied
In a populist slogan that swerves
And sways through our dangerous day.
When trouble cloaks, becomes persistent;
When fears annoy, won’t go away;
When emptiness becomes consistent;
When hopes are lost in perplexities
Or controlled by causes remote,
Some of the curious seek the complexities
While others entrench in the rote.

Yes, so many seek comforting diversion,
Ostensibly relaxed and secured
In what’s claimed a wise reversion
To simpler things, like what’s inured
To saving the self, distinct from the rest:
Pursuit of demands to maintain and keep
The preservative forces surrounding the best,
‘Til those invoking growth are forced to leap
Away from the place that could heal.
And this is the price denial must keep.
This our tired protectors ache and feel.

Confrontation of fear and of threat,
Explored in the forum of civic concern,
Too impotent sketches of defeat, and yet
Is there no other way for people to learn
That when most of the world is worried
And millions of agony’s quests are alert
To changes dramatic and flurried,
To futures either gentle or curt;
When teams of ambitious roam in and through,
As detente seems still rough and tumble;
When tomorrow is squeezed on me or on you
With no practical plan in case of a rumble,
Whether naturally cosmic or desert-imperial;
When so caustic an option is revealed,
Is this the time to retreat to the ethereal?

Instead like a forger who hammers a shield,
Each blow is a victory long before battle!
Our gifts of futurity are compassion curled
As we improve our goals, real and chattel,
In the strength we have found here together.
Not hidden in towers of rare and inspired,
Not magic or stroked with mystic feather,
Not delivered by experts endorsed when hired
To mimic our hope until we’ve agreed
We’re no more than tokens, opinions in court,
Gleaned in response to polled queries of need:
How wise is this answer? “Sell it out short:
Our safest response is what keeps us invisible
And hope no one wants what we’ve gained.”
Our union is glaring: Is best rare, indivisible?
Or is union the safest, in truth or if feigned?

Is our aggregate hiding in our cranky abstract,
Accepting pronouncements that little is great;
That daily cash is our only pertinent fact,
Ignoring our views of conspiring fate?

Intending to use us?
“All right. Abuse us,
But as long as the pay is on time.”
There’s living from here, from the worst.
We’ll comply to the game, call it sublime,
And concur that those lessor are cursed.”

But notice that what was once paying the bill
Is annoyingly drawing us to face it.
It’s here and now our lives are able to fill
Our needs –and our dream– if we’ll chase it.

The world is huge in our aim,
Despite the smaller some claim.
We can seek and we’ll find cooperative deals,
Create partners in growth with small and the great;
Crack languish and threat and join in repeals
Of all but continued good fate.

Unhook from the habits that lock us to loss.
Unhook from the stories invented for wars.
Participate with all the ideas we toss
To each other to pry open the doors
To industry, commerce and governing fair,
With leadership trusted to meter our plans
And bring us the tools, not threats and high tare.
Not unlike ancients or families and clans
That clock blood for days we think hard to endure,
No progress is made by holding to patter
Or running from probes into trouble or cur.
Why insist that the trivial should matter?

Why stay in a group for only approval?
Each of us have concerns deeper than that.
Why seek to justify only removal,
Instead of solution, fair and democrat?

Why prop our goals in mutual rigidity
That leaves us detached and too static
To clear life’s constant turbidity,
To clear the gates of strife’s erratic?

Why sell our dreams for a myth or a song
Delivered in automat lyric airwaves?
Why tune our minds to the hawking of wrong,
Or tied to a drama of political close shaves?

When as clear as the sky that’s curving the light
Is a beckoning insistence in us all,
That annoys as deep as the worst that we see:
It’s our promise shadowed on history’s wall:
The past we’re from and the hope we are free.

It’s initiative growing in faith’s provocation
That diverting suggestions can’t bury.
We have no reason to leave the care of this nation
To any sponsoring agent of hustle and hurry,
Or to any sly maker of meme hid in the back
Propelling our grief into taking much less
Than we know we could do if we’d work on our lack,
And enjoin with the vision and plans of the best
That comes to our lives every day.
Choose the moral, the true.
Let each of our lives find this way.

Let all of our forums see the eagle flew
And has never left grace to defeat;
Has never been blind in bright sun
Or singed with the cataclyst’s heat,
And always carries the best we’ve done.

It nests in the innocent roots of our life,
And soars in the queries of truth.
It links to the stillness above all the strife,
And signals bright justice since youth.

It maintains, it lingers, but huddles no part
And never disrupts the contentment of peace,
But brings noblesse to the gates of our heart,
Where this symbol of strength is part of our fleece
That’s soft in the depth of this land,
And strong in the breadth of our plan

No empire dreamer or keeper of keys
Has known better than each, we all, and any,
How each finds a motive in greater liberties,
Through the insistent calls from the many,

And handles our way
Bringing each: our best to the day.

1985 Brian Hayes