Thursday, August 11, 2011

Civilized Discourse

                        Voice to Voice
                                     By Jim Rapp

I’m not afraid to hear what you have to say,
I need to hear it if I’m to understand you.
Why do you resist my thoughts and turn away?
Do my words have less right than your words do?

Do you really see “evil” in the things I espouse?
Tell me, with specificity, what it is you see,
And why it is so wicked as to arouse
A fear in you; a desire to do away with me?

In a fallen world, fear is the armor every creature wears.
It isn’t the sole reserve of humans;
The fiercest beast is fiercest when he fears,
The meekest hare turns tail in fear and runs.

What is it from which fear runs?
What, that fear fears most?
The unknown, of course, some blinding sun,
Some uncharted, darkly wooded coast.

An eclipse, a strange and sudden sound,
A language never heard before,
A face that’s strangely long, not round,
A moving shadow that you can’t ignore.

But fear can be contained, controlled,
Even abolished, by perception.
Shadows lose their fearsome hold,
When light dispels our apprehension.

So why not let some “light” into our conversation?
Words, speech, explanation, are the lights
That illuminate the path of civil-ization,
Voice to voice, and giving every voice its rights.

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