Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

Poem - Bended Knee

A friend posted an excerpt from a 1911 book about the virtues to strive in traditional manhood. Included in these were truth, faithfulness, reputation, and steadfastness. My friend was digging the message stated in the language of the time. I brought the message to the present, considering how the same message is presented by some societal groups. Concerns came to mind. Do men have the corner on integrity? Also, it is very difficult to always be in perfect integrity with all of society when you're a member of alternative gender identity / sexual preference / romantic relationship groups. In that space a person can have perfect integrity unto themselves and still an abomination to society as a whole. Ah…. the poem “Bended Knee” follows these thoughts.

Bended Knee

I consider on bended knee
the task how to be worthy
true to the highest goals
put forth by best intents
with integrity as the mark
faithfulness to contracts
reputation prominent
truthfulness targeted

no accuser may confront
a person with honor so defined
this is the theory put to test
yet I wonder where it may rest
when society is split in half
and then again by detail's weight
opinions differ as groups debate
infinium from mobs to self

what is felt as honor is besmirched
by the holiest and most devout
in iron beds all must rest
Procrustes would be made so proud
when the self is stretched to fit
or lopped off to meet the mold
piety will have its say
sanctity all must convey

then there is the greatest sin
that principles are the property
of only those within a group
with all others held in disgrace
be this measured by gender's gauge
religion made to show the way
social class demarcating
or color of skin the measuring stick

be error sourced from standards
or put to groups by prejudice
humanity is too quick to state
which is them and which is they
this is enough to cast to doubt
what it means to be worthy
when paradox is the rule
with equal measure of Catch-22

do not lose hope gentle reader
vaunted beliefs still have a merit
when integrity is held to breast
don't be concerned by detractors
some will turn their eyes away
spit to show their full dismay
just know that the fall occurs
in these critics so self assured

my knee is bent by humility
my knowledge that I can only strive
to be my best, to hold the line
to keep my soul when I’m tried
by a world that holds all others
to higher measures than those leveled
against themselves, the lost ones
I bend my knee and cry for them.

© 2017, Sean Green. All Rights Reserved. 20170210.
Tags: integrity, poem

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