the Rape of the Republic
by Joel A. Wendt

It began in the womb
for she was magnificent even then
a star brought to earth
to shine brightly into human hearts

but there were those
who could not bear this light
and had their own
darker visions

so that even before She was born
our Republic
she was plundered,

such that what was born
was born lamed
not whole, but
only a part of the original

Yet, She lived and began
her work of holding dear
on the earth
that version that could be seen
of truth, goodness and beauty
in answer to the question:
How shall human beings govern themselves?

before Her birth there were
Kings and Queens
tyrants mostly
abusers of human dignity
despisers of freedom

But human beings could not any longer
tolerate the disdain of aristocrats
and so through bloody revolution
deposed the arrogant and powerful

or so it seemed for a time

great words poured forth
from equally great minds
who held in their hearts
(at least most of them)
Her truth
our Republic

at conception these were the
words in which She first was
seen and felt

self evident truths
unalienable rights
just powers
consent of the governed

the tyranny of blood and inheritance
was pushed away
and human beings stood up and declared
their inviolate divinity

such power, such light
what could stand in the way
of such goodness and beauty
that holds each individual human
divine by self evident truths
unalienable rights
and declares that the only
just powers
come from the consent of the governed

but even there the rape began,
just a little pinch or two
in places sacred
in ideas sublime

a minor argument about
just what unalienable rights
would be enumerated
and while the ideal won
namely: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
another darker idea had been
urged, and thought by some
to be important
a right to property.

so even though the words were clear
and property not mentioned when
our ancestors declared our truth
in certain hearts this darkness lived,
festered and grew.

so that when
the birth came out of minds
holding to this ancient darkness,
the Republic was born
and our true divinity
not able to fully appear
for property was there
in that Constitution

how else could it be,
given that most of those who
wrote down the words
had property themselves
and owed to others , who likewise
owned property, allegiance

so She was given a fated body
lamed in nature, bound in spirit
and the truth of the Republic
its cosmic star-like presence
was not able to fully
shine forth in our lives

why was property a flaw
some will ask
and the answer is simple
for if we are, in the Republic,
declaiming rights unalienable for all
then property as an idea
means exclusion
some will have
and others will not
or property has no meaning

thus it came to be this
lamed and scarred Republic
laid open now to exclusive
rights of property
that only some would have
when the very idea of the Republic
was rights for all

What had in the declaration
been just a thought held back
was now embodied, fixed

so the Republic grew, and open now
to exclusive rights the power
of property and money grew, and
a new aristocracy of wealth
replaced the one of blood
and being more clever
than kings and queens
who flaunted their powers
the rich ones
and from behind the scenes
acquired their rule

and thus we find ourselves
in this time and place
looking upon a raped and bloody
our Republic,
held in chains,
unable to move anymore
unless in whipped obedience
to Party hacks
and their owners

so we suffer,
not quite knowing what went wrong
only seeing that when unalienable
rights include the right of exclusive
our Republic cannot work,
and so we too become owned
wage slaves
creating the wealth
but not owning the wealth
not even really owning ourselves
for even our education makes of
us good workers and consumers
servants at the table at which wealth eats
while we have scraps and sleep
with dogs

invisible our chains, for wealth is
clever beyond our senses
and has by granting credit
chained us with debt
binding us to jobs
and work
while it sits calmly
engorged on a feast we
are forced to provide

but clever is not wise
and even wealth and property
can error
and error they have,
slothful in their sated

they took and took and
took too much,
so that now we notice what
has been done
although we still are not quite
yet ready to see the full truth
and see Her chained there
raped and beaten our

She waits for us, for She is
something we drew down
from heaven, and heaven is
a part of Her

She waits for us to wake and
to wake and see
to wake and see Her
bloodied form
and see
the hidden light within
for waiting She has been
because not all those who wrote
Her words
not all those who were forced to give
way to property and exclusion
failed to leave a path
a hidden yet obvious path
for just our time
when wake we must
and see Her,
see Her truly

See She still has power
still has magic
still can be whole

If we just honor Her
and see Her
and set Her free.

Beaten, raped
She still is divine
and still wants to serve us
if we can but learn to know Her
in those most intimate ways
as did those who first wrote
Her words.

For the wisest ones, our Founders,
first speakers of Her words
kept Her true nature intact,
for Her words begin and end
with that which saves the day

We the People rings out the words,
do ordain and establish sings the chorus

We the People do ordain and establish
and there it is, what property couldn't hide forever,
that the Republic is what WE say it is, not
what they say it is.

Oh they tried.  They tired to bind us to their
lamed and broken version,
but their ambition and greed has
undone them

they have gone too far
taken too much
now they wake us up
and we see Her

not the lamed and broken Dame,
the chained and raped Woman
our dear Republic,
but we see Her true, as she was meant to be
and we also see that She has kept faith
with us, while we slept

for the very words with which Her broken form
began...we the people do ordain and establish
and the words with which She ended in that lamed version with
powers not delegated are reserved to the people.

that raped form those who loved their exclusive rights of
property gave to us, still was true,
for property was held in between our powers of ordination
and establishment
and that which is not delegated we retain.

Government still only has that which we consent for it to have
and if we choose to take from our legal framework that
diseased exclusive right of property,
then we are free to do so,
and nothing
can stop us.

So we can unchain Her
unbind Her
heal Her
and so unchained, unbound and healed,
She will give us all, as it was meant to be
when first She fell to earth.
in words written in blood
and carved from the stone of wisdom
She fell

and wants to fall again,
if we but wake up and see Her
chained there
waiting for us to make
new words

words unbloodied this time we hope
words free of exclusive rights
words now truly
self evident
rooted in the
power of our consent

so She calls to us
give me a new body now
free of chains and violation
free of exclusive rights
free of rights not for all

so She calls to us
seeking our new words
carved from a new stone of wisdom
a living stone
a philosophic stone
a heart stone.

so She calls

go to next poem in the Quartet: America Sings