Featured Writer: Igor Goldkind

Dry Stone Walls

 

You can’t build a wall round a village.

You can try.

You can stack honeyed stone upon stone, fashion judgement upon judgement,

Into a long pretty barrier of decorative limestone,

To keep the outsiders out and the insiders in.

But you can’t build a wall round a village.

The sun and the wind will always find their way in.

 

You can’t build a wall round a village.

You can try.

You can hoist one po-faced block upon another, fit propriety to propriety;

Smooth over the sides to hide irregular shapes and push the pale, jagged ones in.

You can round your vowels and cluck your tongues,

You can suck your teeth and  roll your plums,

You  can forget where your grandparents come from or where your children are now loitering.

But you can’t build a wall round a village.

The sun and the wind will always find their way in.

 

You can’t build a wall round a village and pray the invaders go around.

Because they won’t.

They’ll be curious in their strange, slippery tongues

Which they’ll cheerfully slip between the slits in your stones.

Leaving the wet marks of our accents and the smells of strange foods behind.

While still wondering, what was your wall hiding all this time?

No, you can’t build a wall round a village.

The sun and the wind will always find their way in.

 

You can’t build a wall round a village.

You can try.

And when the quarries are all emptied of the stones you have taken,

You can always bake cakes to raise a few more.

Until the wall nearly buckles under its own sanctimony,

Stretched all the way from the private ground to the guarded gates of heaven,

Leaving only a slash of blue sky between the shadows of avarice and suspicion that darken your green.

You can worship the past as a paradise lost and dread the future:  an uncertain hell,

But you can’t build a wall round a village.

No, you can’t:

The sun and the wind will always find their way in.

 

You can’t build a wall round a village.

You can try.

You can bury your heroes under shovelfuls of piety while deporting the victims of wars;

Hide their sad faces behind the polite smiles you’ve carved into your church doors.

You can  turn and press your face to the wall and call it Tolerance, if you choose

But it’s Jericho not Jerusalem you’ve built on this mud,

And it’s acceptance not tolerance, the lamb cries out for now.

 

No, you can’t build a wall round a village.

But you can try.

Until your children and theirs grow as tall as the wall that surrounds them.

Their hands grown long and sharp enough, to claw at the stones of  their prison.

From the inside out, they will tear your wall down;

To the let the sun and the wind and the outside, in,

They will tear it down.

While your bones of contention lie long crumbled and buried in the graveyard by the woollen church door.

 

You can’t build a wall round a village.

The sun and the wind will always find their way in.

 

And sometimes the river will too.

 

© Igor Goldkind


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About the Author

San Diego native Igor Goldkind is an author, educator and producer of advanced media technology innovations. At the age of 14, he served as a volunteer Science Fiction Coordinator for the now wildly popular San Diego Comic Con. It was in this capacity that he met Ray Bradbury, whom he asked for advice about becoming a writer. In 2015, his project published by Chameleon Publishing in multiple ebook editions (and a hard cover book), IS SHE AVAILABLE?, broke ground in combining Poetry, Comics, Jazz and Animation and set a new bar in electronic publishing. Previous to his work in the digital industries, he worked in the comic publishing industry promoting science fiction, fantasy and comics to the mainstream audience. He is best known for having promoted and established the Graphic Novel genre as a global publishing phenomenon. Igor is currently preparing a short story collection THE VILLAGE OF LIGHT based in the genre of Speculative Realism as well as his first novel entitled PLAGUE.

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