03 April 2017
Songs of my country:
There is the unmissable martial song of sturm und drang. Inherited, it stretches back through time like a column -- infantry batteries, cavalry, supply train. Loud and grand and simple. The words, matching beats, do not change: Patriot! Gallantry! Mother-Father-Homeland! Bravery!
Try and be the brave one who stands stoic, sober, calm and quiet within this eager violent cavalcade.
But behind that -- listen slight -- is a chorus wise with injury and pain. The women's song, masked and robed praising Fates of irony and folly, tragedy and dark humor strained. Singing songs of every privation, rape and pillage, and every wounded soldier's fist-transferred pain. The chorus is a windy chant of natural force as ever present as the air, but rises sometime banshee-like to gale, to tempest, to typhoon -- madness of despair
But of despair there is a song we must listen low to hear. True, it is easy to ignore, but once heard it is there and there and there. It is the dirge of black mothers left with only broken sons. The rhythm is the slow trampling of hoses, clubs, and dogs, and guns. The rhythm is the blood tamped dirt, the swaying of young tree-hung bodies in the breeze.
There is the song of un-earned power, that fears the limits of its guns, that fears and sings more loudly still...but then there is the song of slow power justly earned and won. The songs that percolate in well graced anger, in wombs and blood rich soil. Where fear is wrung out and all but gone.