Golden we were in the Moment of Conception


Title is from American Poet Deborah Landau, from “Soft Targets”


A Republic, madam”, he said, “If you can keep it . . .

And America sang with open mouths

Their chordant melodies of varied carols

An anthem harmony transcending all details

Forging a nation of ideals.


A Grand Republic of common humanity 

Bound only by shared goals: 

Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness

Imagined it would be free, virtuous

Reach across the divide

Compete to perfection 

in brotherly affection 

foreswear all distinctions of past

Treasure, blood, skin, thought or faith.


When nothing is meaningful

Everything, Everyone, is meaningless

A price too dear to bear

The fear of which impelled some urgencies

Defines an other to find value in ourselves

Licences us to vilify as anchor to our signalled virtue

Seduces us to hostility as proof to our being, human.

A nation, once defined and bound 

only by ideals

now unbinds, divided only by ideals.

 © Philip Knight 2018