Absence in the Aftermath


Like the mummified relics
Offered to some patron saints
Of the lost artists whose words
Led many hands out of temptation
Before the absence of the gods
In the aftermath of our evolution
Being without our God
Made us practically powerless
Something defenseless arises
Giving us freedom of speech
To forgive us our freedom to preach
What we cannot defend
Is the freedom of self
To defend what one still thinks
And not be thought of as a jerk
Or to be held completely responsible
And there is an important distinction
To be made here
Yet to be eternally understood
That lies between defending someone
And their right to say something aloud
And defending that person
For what they have said
But in defending
Our freedom to speak
Are we left out
As somehow still we are
Left to remain defending the indefensible?
Are we defending the incomprehensible?
Forget to what we have said
For in a minute we will
But it is important to point out the fact
That free speech is an ancient tradition
Something that was once highly valued
In elder days turned to dust
Of the polytheistic world
Before Greece and Rome
Gave way to the new world
Before the times of prophecy came
Until all paganism was outlawed
And the voices of the pagans
We banned from their own government
And free speech forgotten
Was freedom to speak devalued so
It is strange this once we valued most
In the so-called new world
Surely the Jews saw its value
As surely did the Christians too
Yet the true religious world
Has come to forget
It has come to function on lists
Of do this and do not do this
In the idea of freedom to speak
Instead of the ideology of freedom itself
It was not until the new age came to be
Europe seeking an age of enlightenment
That freedom of speech again
Began to see-saw into the light of day
But this time championed by the secularists
In the aftermath so many died in its name
After being held down for so long
And so many had been victims
Held down and beaten so bloody
Been arrested with torture and bonfires
For nothing
Without being criminals
Without having committed a crime
For the better part of fourteen centuries.
And to put it so bluntly
Is it not evident
That free speech is not a liberal concept
And not a conservative ideal unnaturally
If anyone is going to value
The freedom to speak without
Our freedom of speech
It should be both those who are liberals
And those who hold conservative views
Because without free speech
Changes would never take place
And progress would never have been made
Things will simply have remained the same
And to remain the same
Is not ideal for the status quo
But yet we forget to look back
To those whose words made it so
That fell like statues during their decline
To return during more enlightened times
Let it be so inclined
So that we do not die
Having not lived
Only to die meaningless deaths
But rather let us live and be truly alive
So that when we decline
We shall delight in the face of their absence
Of these ancient ones we called gods
We shall look in the fiery face
In the rapture of one false or true God
Are we to be free to speak of it
Forever and ever as we dance
To the song that we hear from within us
For our freedom comes from that place
We all are one in this holy embrace
Where all are one in this holy grace
Although no flowers were placed around the grave
The floral fragrance could be smelled for days
And miracles occurred to their surprise
All were inspired by their strangeness
Their holy presence and their decay
Was so golden and glimmering
And light is all that remains
To this very day
Amen

© 2014 Blake Ford Hall

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