A BLOG BY SHANNON FISHER
I was asked by an editor to read my lyrical piece “Common Ground” aloud so it could be enjoyed as intended: in Spoken Word. Click to listen to the audio recording.
“No common ground,” the prejudiced say.
“The American people cannot find a way to come together as one.”
But they must be mistaken. America is a perpetual haven
For freedom and opportunity to become a maven
Of whatever we desire – and it fuels the fire
That pulls us from the mire
Of poverty and oppression.
People are stockpiling guns, gas masks and survival gear.
What once seemed ridiculous is now very real.
It isn’t our “enemies” from foreign soil that they fear;
It is the ranks within our own that threaten and sneer
The fabric of our Nation that must be sewn so tightly together
That the only matter able to reach us is the warmth of the sun
Or the kiss of the rain to nurture our bodies and replenish the plains.
Enough of fighting tyranny, only to become an enemy
Of others who would also fight for similar rights
And the freedom to choose whatever they’d like.
Harness the power of the collective to elect and reject.
Our votes and our letters will help to correct
The damage being done to rights and liberty
And keep our society on the right side of history.
Regardless of station, do we not all love our nation?
We cannot wear blinders and talk about “binders
Of women” while their rights are being attacked.
The time is now to open our eyes and see what lies ahead
And what we lack. Life as we know it is not so different.
Every Dick, Jane and Barry – none of us is ignorant.
Right and left together; we must not be belligerent.
With signs we march, and we make the cry,
As we try to correct what we fear might reject
The soul of this Nation so dear to our hearts.
Protestors are beaten and detained by the finest,
Who have sworn to protect us, respect us with kindness.
By ejecting the people with force and might,
They deny our free speech and assembly rights.
Where are these “protectors” when groups of hate
Gather in anger to put up a gate
Between men, women, blacks, whites, gays and straights?
We must uncover the sacred ground of agreement.
Cultivate it, debate it, discuss it and feed it.
Tear down the fences that elevate defenses.
If we must fight, let us fight to reunite.
But, as we try to become a nation of one,
Some feel the rules of a holy Son,
Whose ancient laws were written in sand,
Should be the practice of our precious land.
For freedom of religion, our founders fiercely fought – not for naught.
We must separate absolutely our Church and State
In order to maintain our Nation’s great.
While we fear it might be impossible or senseless,
We must do our damnedest to reach a grand consensus,
Without resorting to legal or violent offenses, and
Understanding that we are all in the trenches,
That, under absolutely no pretenses, all of the people
Polled in our census love our dear homeland
And are willing to say while extending their hands,
“We are in this together, and we are committed to weather
Any storm comes our way, in the USA. Tomorrow and today,
Our brothers and sisters, we will not betray.
We will put aside this power play that leads us astray
And pulls us away from one another and a better day,
When civil liberties were promised to stay
And ‘Freedom in America’ was not a cliché.”
We must erase laws and ideas that make our future hazy.
Stand up for something, stand up with your neighbor.
Gather your siblings, friends, father and mother.
Meet on your sofas, be sisters and brothers.
Meet to discuss in what ways we are able
To form bonds together. And then pledge that we
Will never again a civil war see.