Today’s challenge was to write a ruba’i. What’s that? Well, it’s a Persian form (multipe stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat), and basically, a ruba’i is a four-line stanza with a rhyme scheme of AABA.
I dedicate this poem to my dear friend, Ann who inspired me. We were discussing the Calvin Festival on Faith and Writing, and she said one of the common themes was marginalization. I thought about what can be done to change the way people so often feel marginalized (particularly by the church) and realized the only answer is in love. Jesus said it best: the most important thing is to love God with our whole selves and then to love others like we love ourselves. If we did this exactly as we should, marginalization would be nonexistent.
the great marginalization took
a form so subtle it forsook
all powers of reason and logic
and to the core, the foundations shook.
It happened one fall when days grew short;
the elect decided to purport
their few opinions on the many,
and in so doing, good will did thwart.
labels of marginalization
caused the autonomous privation
of those who were presumed different
resulting in alienation.
people lined up in perfect order
each assigned a specific border
lambs to slaughter they went unafraid
important to prevent disorder.
unquestioning obedience key
always implied the need to agree,
but those who refused the label
denied were they the great jubilee.
most followed the path dutifully
and lived in fear of the great bully
who would sweep down and belittle those
who chose to live their lives differently.
quietly and without making waves,
some wished to live free and not as slaves
without fear or labels or bondage
until they came to rest in their grave.
though they tried to avoid persecution,
there simply was not resolution
without taking up arms and fighting
resulting in great revolution.
most often such conflicts end in war
with wounds and casualties galore,
but this time the arms were not weapons.
instead they took up kindness and poured
a steady flow of goodness and grace
choosing abiding love to replace
the bigotry of their enemies–
thus labels were no longer embraced.
marginalization dwindled down
until the voice of all did resound
in one accord with one mind for all–
equality was the victor now.
the lesson seems to ring loud and clear
(even to those who are cavalier
toward those with disparate attractions):
hearts beat the same under one veneer.