Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.

The Silent Majority

When I was a child at school, I was bothered by bullies,
Bullies who used to threaten me, punch me, or simply tease.
I hated it — it made my life at school a misery,
But what was even harder, was the fact you didn’t help me.

I noticed you just stood there, watching what was going on,
And you never said a word, even after they had gone.
Actually, a few times you grinned at them, didn’t you,
Letting them think that you were on their side — isn’t that true?

And that was lest they picked on you, bullying you the same;
Say, did you find something about me on which to hang the blame?
After all, guilt doesn’t sit easy, 'cause you’re as culpable,
Given you didn’t do or say anything, thus aiding ill.

Well, time has passed, and things haven’t changed much, I’m sad to say,
As I’m still experiencing that indifference today.
You see, when I make a stand, I’m once again on my own,
And once again, your silence makes me feel very alone.

Oh, sorry, I do recall you saying something one day,
Yes, “Don’t rock the boat,” you said, “You’ll embarrass, annoy, dismay.”
And when I wrote something once, I can remember you said:
“Tone it down,” but because I felt otherwise, I went ahead.

Yes, I couldn’t do otherwise, as silence isn’t for me,
And as for toning it down, isn’t that just as cowardly?
Not only should we speak up, but sometimes very strongly,
For silence and apathy can make such necessary.

And the less voices speaking out, the more reason, I say,
To disturb that silence that wisdom knows will never pay.
Or to raise one’s voice above the protests of the cowardly,
Who’re saying, “Don’t rock the boat,” and sitting there quietly.

Thus because of the selfish silence of the majority,
Evil and error are rapidly gaining territory.
Yes, getting along by going along has never paid,
And is the hallmark of those who unpopularity evade.

In other words, the silent majority, who’re too afraid
To stand up and be counted, and who thereby, wrong things aid.
Thus, via their spineless silence, or even neutrality,
They also share in the guilt; have acted negligently.

Yes, I’ve noticed those times when you keep silent, go with the flow,
Those times when it feels like an arrow has flown from a bow.
But I have to say, that though such hurts, what really troubles me
Is that those who act the same, are, sadly, the majority.

By Lance Landall