Awakening

To awaken oneself, as the French would say;
a reflexive looking inside.

To awaken oneself.

To bring oneself out of a state of sleep or rest;
to dust off the cobwebs; to destroy the rust
that has settled in from decades of monotony or sloth,
slowly creeping up one branch
to reach the ripest fruit
but at what cost?

What is the price of being awake?

Of seeing the world through a philosopher’s lens
or a politician’s skeptical pocket book?

Why study the chambers and valves of the pump
that sloshes around a life-giving liquid,
when it seems to do just fine on its own
without the help of man
or woman, a soft creature by nature,
or so we assume that which we have been told
in our sleep
by our parents
who read us bedtime stories
told by their parents
and theirs before,
whose source of fact comes from a paper or radio show,
or the neighbor next door,
who last time I checked has been camping for years
on the bale of hay so perfectly propped on their porch
where they spy like crows
seeking the next empty headed scarecrow to feed on,
to pluck out their button eyes and deafen their cornfed ears
so he may lie asleep for years and years,
because who needs change anyway?

Our books are comfortable collecting dust and mites
on the shelves and side tables
perched neatly next to a memory foam throne
that has more skills for retention than the current generation
who have lost the knack for memorization.

Who needs facts when Siri is your best friend,
cousin to your second aunt twice removed, Google,
who is happy to do all the heavy lifting for you
because we have grown weary,
atrophied,
complacent.
Our fingers more skilled at swiping right
than turning a page,
or cracking a spine,
taking a whiff of the history in fine cursive lines.
We squint to read because our eyes our heavy
from dreaming of princes and fairies,
education, libraries,
equality, justice,
and so many other tales we’ve heard in the folklore of future generations,
sent in a tiny capsule from those with 20/20, without correction,
or the need to sit in the front section of a lecture
to see in the reflection of the screens
projecting images back of ourselves
walking around like zombies,
eyes glazed over with the film of deception
or better yet closed,
shut tight,
locked,
with no way in from the outside,
stuck in our own prison
pondering what the cost would be to

w a k e   o n e s e l f   u p  ,

to run full force out of this dream,
or nightmare,
where opinion holds court over truth as a monarch who awaits a curtsy,
because that is what we are expected to do.

To bend the knee, to bow the head,
submit,
stay quiet and underfed,
malnourished of facts,
science,
history,
biology;
an autobiography writing its own ending
if the puppet master continues to get his way
and his every move we complicity obey,
if we don’t break free from the strings
tying us to the Bastille’s floor of stony concrete,
we’ll be running madly
through bloody streets
and severed heads
to defeat forces believed to be beyond our control
but what David has set his mind to
no Goliath can put asunder
so we must awaken ourselves from this slumber
and Stay Woke.

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