Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Murfin Verse Reflections on A Bitter Day and an Inspiring One

Protests in Washington on the day of the Inauguration in 2017.  Some thought it was rude.  It was.  Good for rudeness.
Yesterday was the bitter third anniversary of the Trump inauguration.  No matter how bad we imagined it would be, it has been worse—a catastrophe picking up victims like mud on a rolling boulder.  I won’t go into the litany of abuses, outrages, and insults.  But you already know them by heart, don’t you.
The day after the Electoral College certified the disaster I wrote:

Electoral College/Solstice
December 2016

What if this time the fading Sun
            does not heed the beacon fires,
            the prayer pyres,
            the incantations,
            the invocations? 

What if a conclave of warlocks
            and necromancers
            have found a new God
            and armies
            more powerful 
            than the Light?

What if day by day the new God
            consumes the Sun
            and all upon it shines
            until Darkness is total?

Then, my friends,
            we take up our yew bows
            and from the fastness
            of the deepest, darkest forests,
            light the eternal night 
            with our flaming arrows.

We gather kindling and fuel
            far and wide,
            haul it stealthily
            to the foremost alp
            and bide our time.

We seek out the allies
            from the corners
            of the gloom shrouded earth,
            learn alien tongues,
            make brothers and sisters
            of strangers,
            build leagues of comrades.

We find new prayers,
            we fashion with our own hands
            new amulets, totems, and fetishes,
            forge new singing swords,
            invent our own magic.

We carry in our hearts
            the sure knowledge 
            that no darkness
            can ever be truly eternal,
            no god or demon can survive
            if we no longer give him 
            power over our imagination.

Now has come the time, my friends,
            to set out in our own
            epic saga.

Take heart and make it so.

—Patrick Murfin

From Resistance Verse, a homemade chapbook, 2017.

We did take heart from the very beginning, greeting his residency on the first day with the largest inaugural protests in the street of Washington, D.C. in history.  Then we followed it up with the massive Women’s March on Washington and scores of record breaking Sister Marches, including one in Chicago I was privileged to participate in.  But many thought we would get bored, discouraged, or intimidated and would give it up after a tantrum or two.  
But we persisted.  There were giant marches all over the country to defend reproductive rights and health care; to protest the Muslim ban, deportations, and to defend Dreamers; a March for Science; actions to protect voting rights and ballot access; to demand sane gun policy and an end to senseless domestic carnage; we marched because Black Lives Matter and White Nationalism and its symbols suck.  
We marched on Earth Day, May Day, and any damned day we pleased.
And we invaded the Halls of Congress in wheelchairs and with prayers; stormed state capitols and city halls; hunted and haunted the Republican Congressional fronts for the oligarchy who try to hide from the Voice of the People.  And were have been ready for thousands of local actions organized in rapid response to any outrage by ordinary citizens many of whom had never before organized anything more dramatic than a bake sale or spaghetti dinner.
And more.  We have registered, walked precincts, circulated petitions, and run for office.  Tens of Thousands of women, Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, Gays, Transgender and non-conforming, the disabled, progressives of every sort—even White men and—gasp! Atheists.  And we have won!  Race after race, state after state even in the deepest red bastions.
The Resistance grows stronger day by day.
And it was evident in the Women’s Marches held Saturday. 

In the 2018 Chicago Women's March with Tree of Life UUs Terry Kappel and Judy Stettner.  The experience inspired a poem.
In 2018 I marched in Chicago with 300,000 of my closest friends.  The next morning, after recovering from the beating on my old body and with a few moments to reflect after an overnight shift at a gas station and brief nap before church I scribbled this on a scrap of paper:

Today, I Am a Woman
After the Chicago Women’s March
January 20, 2018

Today, I am a woman—
            a put-a-bag-on-her-head-woman,
            a never hit on by Cosby, Weinstein, or Trump woman,
            a lumbering lummox of a lady,
            a barren womb non-breeder,
            a hairy-legged horror,
            a gawky, graceless girl,
            a disappointment all around.

But Sisters, today, I am a woman—
            if you will have me.

Tomorrow I will be just another prick.
            —Patrick Murfin

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