• Daniel Elder

Empty Pages

The fertile fields of artistic expression are parched. There is no vision; only voice. There is no soul; only skin.

Because of this, I don't pick up my pen.

All is upside-down. Those who decry hate are themselves the fullest of hate. Those who laud tolerance are themselves the least tolerant. Those who are the most afraid can't see that they're the very source of their own fear. Prompts of peace are too often deeds of destruction.

Because of this, I don't pick up my pen.

All is inside-out. Those who claim to be anti-fascists foster oppression. Those who claim to be anti-racists resurrect prejudice. Those with love on their lips spread hate in their hearts. Messages in music can't—and shouldn't—be trusted.

Because of this, I don't pick up my pen.

The truth is gone. All that is left are fractured souls in scattered realities. Each hears his own gospel, each ignores his own lies. No single message will reach them.

Because of this, I don't pick up my pen.

Age-old liberties now gasp their last breaths. The sky darkens even as our figureheads herald the dawn. Huddled in the waning privacy of our lives we beat our plowshares back into swords. Now is not the time for song.

Because of this, I don't pick up my pen.

These acrid acres of ours that once bloomed with a million melodies lay waiting. One day, Pen, I promise.

Keep the music alive,


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