I’ve never been good at writing political poetry
– words with the power to challenge the politics and pressures of the status quo
the fire to enkindle revolutions
the depth of thought to provoke debate
I have always considered myself too distant for the task
You see, I am, rather unfortunately, a man of heart;
The only battlefield I’ve known is my soul,
the people I know, soldiers on both sides,
The truest parts of my life
are shaped by the emotions of the moment –
anger, sorrow, joy, loss, hope,
all experienced in transcendent time,
all in shades of variant intensity
on the tapestry of the infinite space of that singular sentiment – love.
Yes, I’m one of those people
and this is a love poem.
But isn’t love, in its very existence, political?
For what part of our lives
isn’t touched by, affected by, changed by love?
What moment in history has not seen people fighting
for their right to be human – to love, and to be loved?
Look, at the refugee couple fleeing wartorn lands,
their clothes caked with dirt and the dust of the beloved they left behind,
huddling in the tent that was now their home.
A moment of intimacy passes between them, in the midst
of a new life they had not written into their vows –
but they swear now, to each other and to the world
that no weapon might tear asunder their love,
and in the midst of painfully hollow words uttered
by ‘leaders’ far away from their chaos, their kiss
Look, at the father, exhausted beyond belief,
carrying his young son, asleep in his arms,
wandering unknown streets, still not shirking
the dignity of money earned, but his eyes
betraying the anxiety of where his son’s next meal will come from.
Love may not be all we need –
But love does not exist in a vaccum, for the people
capable of such incredible acts of love will always
find their way out of strife,
for the love of strangers sees the love of the parent –
and there is no stronger unifying force.
Look, not just at a few, but at the millions of tales
of love that trump the tales of hate, in every corner of the world,
with no regard for borders or walls or parliaments or politicians
or right wing or left wing or Hindu or Christian or Muslim or young or old
or gay or straight.
Look, and tell me if love can be
anything but political