“We Must Overcome” by Jonathon Penny

"We Must Overcome"

our ignorance of otherness;
our cocksure, credulous belief
that what we know is true,
though what we know is marginal
and stranger to the truth;
our inbred heritage of hate;
our ingrown condescension of
a pale, performing love;
privilege, that makes us weak
and willing masters of the world,
and which we grip both-handed
while we censure or deny it with
a cock-crow vehemence and
without shame;
              our blame;
parrying of blame;
                  our sheep
and common shame;
tendency to shun the same;
our difference, left lovely on
display but given no more heft
than iris-colour or a taste for
salt or other spice;
                     our Christ-
kill terror of our sibling souls.

We must overcome (we must!)
the farthing fear in all of us.

6 thoughts on ““We Must Overcome” by Jonathon Penny”

  1. This was so powerful, but those who need to examine their bias and their fear of”the others” won’t read it, nor would they recognize themselves if they did read it.

    1. I’m inclined to agree with James, Babs. There’s a little of all of us in it, and if we forget that, we may become part of the problem.

      But thank you, as always, for reading and responding.

  2. I think we can find each of us in these lines. Thus all those that read it need it. I will seek to overcome and by God’s grace there is hope even for me. Thank you Jonathon for your well honed talents.

    1. Cheers and thank you, James. Where I am these days, I’d argue that the cultivation of grace within ourselves is the wellspring of hope.

  3. Beautiful, powerful, and deeply profound. It seems both a confession as well as a call to repentance, poetic prophecy, a searing, but sensuously pleasing, jeremiad.

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