Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Packs & Prides

image from fineartamerica.com

Packs & Prides

“We have all known the long loneliness, & we have 
found that the answer is community.”--Dorothy Day.

As poets, many of us gravitate
toward one group, or one site--
or even a few, where brief forays
into fellowship validate our world view--
where friendship takes firm root and
poetics blossom like fruit trees in Spring;
         minds are being aligned,
        talents are being shared,
      lessons are being learned,
      & styles are being expanded.

There are no perfect solutions to complications
predicated by community & co-habitation. We 
have seen too often that the loners, outriders
and the isolated can become vulnerable.
                                               victimized &
so nomads created tribes,      then villages.       
                                               then towns,
                                               then cities, &
                                               then countries.

Yes, we have found that by huddling together
in urban nests there is a safety in numbers,
but there is also a reduction of liberty & privacy.

History is littered with man’s failure to sustain a
perfect community. After years of defeating Roman
legions, Spartacus took his army of gladiators and
slaves to the toe of Italy & he built the Sun City--
where all men were equal. Soon though, he realized
that a community of 80,000 souls needed some sort
of constabulary, justice system, governing body, public
works & sanitation procedures.

Within six months over half of his population defected,
and fled, returning to the less stressful arms of slavery;
refusing to step up & do their part. As a reward for
Spartacus, his grand vision of freedom & brotherhood 
crumbled into treachery and crucification. 

We run in packs like
wolves, hoping communities

are sanctuaries.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


brudberg said...

Alas deep within we are probably tribal clans... maybe we can try to still find and build communities to support each other... it seems to work in poetry :-)

Anonymous said...

I knew you would knock this one out of the park Glenn.I agree with Bjorn that we are tribal in our deepest selves but I think that there is something still to be said for coming together, be it as family or socially. There is a comfort in the pack. Professionally I organise an annual training week where all the lone wolves come together.It is always wild and always unforgettably deep.Thanks for your prompt contribution.

Kim Russell said...

Although my husband and I live quite a solitary life in our little cottage in an equally small village, we also gravitate toward communities - he to musicians and I to writers. You are quite right:
'There are no perfect solutions to complications
predicated by community & co-habitation'.
I think it's each to his own and when someone needs us, we try to be there for them and vice versa.

Jane Dougherty said...

The pack works as a team for the good of the pack. We don't do that, or rarely. I think of the siege of Leningrad or the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Desperate circumstances. The runaway slaves in the French colonies did much the same as Spartacus' gladiators, leaving women and children to the mercies of the French and British troops. People don't have the same selfless instincts as animals. We have other qualities, but that isn't one of them.

Frank Hubeny said...

I didn't know that story about Spartacus.

Timoteo said...

This is brimming with insight and truth. Safety in numbers, but a reduction in liberty and privacy. And therein lies the rub...the catch 22. Everything in life is a trade-off.

indybev said...

A philosophical study of community, Glenn, and well drawn. We do tend to run in packs. I have to say a couple of my communities ARE sanctuaries!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Much wisdom in your words Glenn and sad is the truth of them.
We are tribal yet our loyalties often waver...
Anna :o]

De said...

As an introvert, and I get this. Big time. And it makes me thankful for the communities I do have that are sanctuaries.

Grace said...

I appreciated the history about Spartacus ~ We all feel safe with communities but it has its limitations ~ For me the poetry communities have been the most welcoming, and nurturing of all communities ~ Thanks for being part of our D'verse community Glenn ~

Cedar Wind said...

Your historical perspectives and reflections are interesting Glenn. Humanity has much to learn about living well in community . We do hear of poets working in isolation and recently I heard of groups of poets who wrote 'manifestos' to govern their work...and others who decree 'official' definitions of poetic form. I thought of this when you referred to restrictions to liberty.

Kathy Reed said...

As an introvert, I too, get it, I think. Having been a part of various communities, I did find some to be too constricting. Frankly, one I had to leave for lack of hospitality and
inclusiveness....I feel they missed out on a good thing.