Chant For Hard Times

Originally published on 11/14/2009. Original title, “Mantra For The Hard Times.”

It’s easy to weep, to be sad — 
praise, instead.

Find a purpose to the day.
Praise, instead.

Raise your dead upon your shoulders.
Praise, instead.

If you are cut, paint the gray trees with your blood.
Praise, instead.

If the crow slips into your veins, cackles, and you die a little —
praise, instead.

Flight into the desert, no water, no sign of shade?
Praise, instead.

Open a moth-haven billfold in the presence of a feast.
Praise, instead.

Love splits and draws away from your hard skin.
Praise, instead.

Praise, instead,
the levers that move you,
the gears of your throbbing head,
the dinky children born from your fears,
the light of fires burning the spars of pirates,
the hats of soldiers riddled with flowers in the long battlefield grasses,
the red charlatan’s grin as he slops his hogs with your fortune,
the skulls of ancestors empty of expectations,
the diversion of hunger,
the urging and prodding of want — 

all this is brought to you by the machine of living,
you are taut and combat tested,
you are honed to contest and create.

You can lament or

praise, instead,
the pain of painful life.
Lamentation is 
the snuffing of 
a lone candle —

praise is a fire set 
to feed on the joy of 

Praise, instead,
this work called life;
chant for it, burn with it
light the way.



About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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