Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash


this is who we’ve always been

since the very first link
interlocked with the first shackle

since the first othering
stillbirthed dehumanization
clinical rationalizing
reducing lives to fractions

since the first dividing for dividends
simplifying sturdy ones kept
from weakened, diseased stock

since the first grim reapings
of distant kin, then called savages
fearful souls denied empathy
by economy of the soulless

since the first casual cruelties
live bodies tossed overboard
to certain death, preserving assets

since then, we’re now civilized
rulers of the photon, electron
and enlightened electoral process

since then, we’ve shackled technology
harnessed the atom, the fossil,
the solar, and the wind

since then, we’re repeatedly shocked
by recordings of otherings
state-sanctioned slayings of our kin
in our own neighborhoods
as if the chain can’t be seen
winding back through relics
of collective suffering

since then, we’re now stunned into
soul-searching and handwringing
after electing the toxin from our past
to lead us back into the dark dystopia
from which we had never escaped

having never acknowledged
the forging of the first link

none of this is surprising
this is who we’ve always been

3 thoughts on “interlocked

  1. The video gets the point across well. Your poem rings with truth. White men have been the bullies on the playground for a very very long time. Too bad the playground is now a crumbling diseased toxic wasteland 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, humanity’s “othering” of our own kind is a singular sad trait of our own intelligence, harming all, even the perpetrators, and yet, it’s who we’ve always been.

      Thank you for visiting and reading me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, Barry, and you are so right, cutting off our noses to spite our faces. In the Tao Te Ching there is a verse that speaks against “being the hand of the executioner”, which I interpret as trying to judge and punish as it isn’t our place to do that to each other (“othering” as you call it) as our own hands will be hurt. Your comment reminded me of it.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s