Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Hands

The real power is at the bottom not at the top. It is in the legs and not in the head, in the South of Egypt and not in the North. It is in the hands of those that pick the cotton and not in the hand that wields the whip. That hand learned to hit because it couldn’t do the work for itself. It was soft and white and weak. It wanted snuff and lace and iced tea. The hand with power wanted song and sex and to nuzzle up to the earth and sigh. That’s where it found its power, pouring out of the black teat of the earth itself, nurturing them and calling them back for more. The hand with the whip is too afraid to go near that teat gushing with the terrible flood of life and death. If it could, it would whip the earth too, and make her bottle the stuff of life and have it pasteurized and sent to them on a conveyor belt. They want to live like pasty white vampires taking by force and making fierce faces like wounded bears. The people who are friends with the dark rich soil and deep wild places don’t have to make faces. They don’t feel afraid. They just accept the elixir of life and drink until they are intoxicated by it and dance with the knowledge of it coursing through their golden veins and finally lie down to sleep without fear of what further dreams may come. Let them come, when they do, the party will begin again, the same party in a new guise. Life and death dancing round and round and taking turns like kind children sharing the swing under the old willow. My turn, now yours, my turn, now yours, my turn, and now yours, that’s what life and death do. The people with the power are the people that live close to this rhythm. They know how to do. They do and the others take. And even this they understand. But when will it be their turn? The white hand would be a day with no end, the abolishment of night and earth and legs for the continued rule of light and sky and head. They don’t want to take turns. They don’t want to share. They don’t want to do. They will whip so that the others do and spend their days in a haze of righteousness. They clutch the whip tight as they rule from above, because even they know: the real power is at the bottom.

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