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Lying, or: Lessons and Assertions About the Past and Future of an Unwanted Inheritance

from Interim in Terra by Nivi



hey, XI, come up the wall
i need you to see this

see what, X?

look at this

what's that?

the fighting on the other side is in its two-hundredth year
it's happening everywhere on earth that isn't here
we are a island, a holdout, a bastion in the fear
a bastion whose oversight by you is drawing near
but i can't just let you take it
there are things you have to know
there are mistakes that we have made
and there are places you can't go
and i know that you are eager
so i'll try do this fast
but please believe me
it's important that you understand our past

so there was one who brought us fame and passion
two who flew the flag
number three survived the outset and
disgusted, let it sag
when she returned, the show was different
a nomadic tinge ingrained
but through it all, the music
the humanity remained
number four was never jealous of the way that three would roam
and so he settled in the bunker which today we call our home
but there was subterfuge and conflict
and four was not a strategist, per-se
and so he perished
in an attack by [faction a]

and five was angry
so angry that she left to join the war
but after seven years of fighting couldn't take it any more
so she came back with guns and pacifism
fortified the bunker with her men
and started broadcasting again
six took the cause one big step forward and began to build the wall
but seven tried too hard to politic and for it, took a fall
instead of eight, we had the morrins for a time, and that was fine
but we came back when we were due, and then i took over from nine

so this is it? this is what you leave for me?
a people too afraid to climb a wall?
an idle people free of all ambition
in a world that has been
waiting for so many years
for anyone but these
these people who don't realise they could
end the war tomorrow if they pleased?

i could tell you i'd defend them
i'd be lying
i could tell you i would die for them
but i'd be lying

the weaponry we're sitting on does not give us the right
to interfere with what is ultimately someone else's fight
it's not our duty or our aim to be concerned with matters outside of the wall
we've built utopia, to fight would be to fall
and while yes, it is a fact that we could end the war today
we would be throwing several hundred thousand lives — and our innocence — away
for such a sacrifice to ever be considered as defensible
the state of play would be incomprehensible

every day that we do nothing there's a thousand in the grave
is acting like there's anything to save

you sound like doctor morrin
implying we should be the world's police
assuming genocide would bring the world at last to some kind of peace
extrapolating from the fact that we've done nothing and the current trend is down
that we must thrash our little knives outside our town

but you are wrong
we have remained inert these last three hundred years
and there were times when things were perfect
and there were times when we had tears
but we held on
to our sanity, our empathy, our innocence, our trust
no debt is due, no intervention would be just

who would you nominate, but us, to be the arbiter
who's in a better place to know what's best for everyone involved
it's down to us, there's no-one else, we have to halt this world's decline
and if these people are opposed or simply ignorant, that's fine

i could tell you; lying; etc... (x2)

i can't just sit and listen to you promising neglect
because these people are still people; they deserve at least an inkling of respect
they are the last remaining pacifists, their qualities are rare
and their innocence is worthy of your care
it's not their politics that anger you
it's that they sit in silence
while the world that they inhabit hosts another year of violence
if they knew we had the power
they would end it i am sure
but it would tear them all to pieces if they knew what we were for


from Interim in Terra, released December 21, 2014
slam poetry reading provided by Peter Shillito (twitter.com/theshillito)



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