Sunday, 20 November 2016

Hating what's Right: a poetry post

Oh there has been so much happening in 2016 that I'm not a fan of. Death's guest list has got way out of hand, and then Brexit and now Trump, not to mention the terrible situations that lots of people around the world have found themselves in.

Things are changing, and not in the way I had hoped for, but that said, we have made remarkable progress in the last century. I'm hoping that we're like the frog jumping out of the well. For every three feet higher she jumps, she slides back down two feet. It's dispiriting, nobody wants to slide in that nasty goo, but it is still progress.

Not long ago I went to a writing workshop in Glasgow where we were asked to write a long list of five things we loved, five things we hated, five things we believed etc. All these things, we were told, could be written about.

So today I'm writing about one of the things I hate. The thing I wrote was: "I hate Tories." But that's not fair. It's not just Tories. It's all the right wing parties (and the Tories are certainly not the worst of them), that hold to hateful views of people, dressing it up in 'how it's always been' and 'what god wants'. The parties that give tax breaks to the rich while taking the poor's benefits away for not being able to work the rigged system. I hate that stuff. I am horrified that Britain keeps giving the Tories power (and while I have a lot of respect for Ruth Davidson, I'm horrified that Labour have eroded themselves to the extent that she's now the leader of the Scottish opposition), and keeps buying into the lies that are put out to divide us, blaming the refugees for making the most of their scant opportunities, and the poor for being workless. I am horrified that Britain voted for Brexit because while I believe in having small nation states I want to be part of a big group working together. I am horrified that America voted for Donald Trump, because Donald Trump.

So I've been hiding my head in the sand and looking away. I know that terrible things are happening. I don't need the details.

But the details find a way, don't they? And it doesn't matter what I wanted, because this is what we've got. And I've been reading some really interesting blog posts lately, like this one from Chuck Wendig and this (and so much more) from Jena Schwarz and more that I've lost track of, saying that we can't give up, just because things have gone the wrong way for us. We must be kind and we must engage.

And that's what's inspired me to write this poem, which is still more negative than I had intended it to be, but it's true for a' that.

Hating what's Right

It's the hatred that's not helping
if I name you 'evil Empire'
and remove myself from all that you stand for.
But I didn't choose this party
and this doesn't seem my country
and the things I hear don't fit what's in my heart.
So I have to accept others
though of different mind and colours
for refusing to makes me as bad as you.
Though I still hate your ideas
and your nasty bigot fears,
and your stinking faux paternal attitude.

And you should not line your pockets
with the money the poor don't get
and you should not blame them for their poverty.
And you shouldn't blame the desperate
or the sick ones for their sickness.
But I'll show you that I will not turn away.
For these people are my people,
for this country is my country,
and whate'er my vote, this is my Government.
And I will do all that I can
and together we'll get through this,
these times of darkness brought by fear and hate.

© Cara L McKee 20/11/16

I'm not doing well at moving past the hatred am I? I'm determined to get there, to listen and learn, and to hope that even the choices I despair at come from a place of hope.

How are you getting on with it all?

Prose for Thought

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