Saturday, 2 June 2012

Rules of engagement

When the world says 'speak',
we have to speak;
when we are ordered, 'be silent',
we obey.
'Dance!' says the world,
we move;
'Enough! Stop!'
and we submit.
All this is 'art',
the Art of Living.
And when we want to sing,
when it is tragic not to dance,
when a child at a street-corner
a smile on the face of a vendor,
the collapse of all things but lung,
the silencing of all things but heartbeat
tell us, 'do this, not that',
the world objects: 'Not approved!'
That is also 'art',
the Art of Dying.

[from the collection 'Some texts are made of leaves,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize 2011]


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