Social Justice Poetry

Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Spirit | A Social Justice Poem by Buff Whitman-Bradley

“Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will . . .” Antonio
Gramsci

At the strategy meeting to invert
The established order
Coffee and cookies are served
In attendance are a dozen or so persons
Who do not need a weatherman
To tell us that something
Is horribly wrong
After much discussion
We fashion an excellent plan
For an action of virtually no significance
That will likely go completely unnoticed
By the general public
And have no effect
On the powers and principalities
We will sit blocking the entrances
To some ponderous edifice
Until after a couple of hours
The police cart us away
We may spend a little time in jail
But probably not
And all will return to
What has come to be called normal
However

There is method in our insignificance
Because we know deep in the origami folds
Of our ancient memory
That for thousands of years
Ordinary people whose identities have evaporated
Like dew from early morning grasses
Have been committing acts of resistance
That are now unremembered
And we know that those seemingly ephemeral actions
Do not vanish
But accumulate in a growing mass
Each fraction of a gram
Added to the bulk of all the others
Until the day finally comes
When the weight is great enough
To flip the world
And none of us can say for certain
Tomorrow will not be that day


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