Oracle of Confederate Statues by J.P. Dancing Bear

Oracle of Confederate Statues

To see the future the eye must burn
must experience its mass in two places
must cross dimensions

must love the flame

No one chooses to see
but not see

no one looks fondly upon the future

What’s the use in such knowledge

we have a firm grasp
on myths like old blankets
we wrap ourselves in comfort

let’s not read inscriptions
not tonight by the fires
you’ve carelessly lit

here are the great surrenderers
mounted and pointing stoically
into a battle centuries gone

here once were cannons
and you may still hear the echoes
of the thread-bare and torn dead

and where it should have ended
it did not

These monuments
buried in Ozymandian sand
inscriptions worn
the tired faces warn
men from their hatreds

leave them earthed
and forgotten

now that the world is a better place

you come to me not to see
that which is to come

but here you are
waxing nostalgic over the past

not even your own
but people who died
so long ago their very definition
of human (all humans) should be so different

from your own

Now you fight to continue
to ignore the future
of sand slipping through

whispering truth
does not require your belief
to exist

still, I must open my eyes to this future

whenever yours are closed



J. P. Dancing Bear is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.



From the Editor: Welcome to Califragile‘s Featured Poet for October, J.P. Dancing Bear! Watch for poems from his Oracle series on Mondays and visit Verse Daily!

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