Poets’ Corner: Dark Continents


I hear the shuffle of muffled feet.

Sounds uncertain, lacks direction.

Something’s happening.

I hear the shuffle of feet,

But, quicker now and more.

The sounds louden.

I hear the noises of masses moving,

their energies growing.

Less rambling now, sensing, finding

direction; gaining strength, feeling

momentum, coining slogans. Growing,

hoping, at last, HOPING.

The smell of battle nears,

laughter mixes with fear.

Will WRONG amend  will they clash,

will they blend?

I hear the stamp of booted feet.

Shouted, guttural cadences,

Clipped, disciplined military beat.

Can accommodation be reached

to keep the peace?

I see the marchers in

torchlit night,

placards gleaming,

their cause is right.

They are moving and

marching on, chanting and  shouting out their slogans.

Chanting and chanting over

again, to their fellow man.

Seeking to advance what

they know is right.

Amend the wrongs

before the throngs.

The soldiers march

and obey their call;

they will enforce

the government’s will.

Will WRONG amend

when they meet in the street.

Will they clash or bend,

will they clash or blend?

Stuart H. Parker is a retired engineer living in Oak Bluffs. He has enjoyed living on the Vineyard since 1999 writing poetry, “some of it good, some of it bad,” by his own reckoning. He dedicated this poem to Bishop Tutu,  winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and Archbishop of the Church of South Africa.