Paper Men To Air Hopes And Fears

The first speaker said
Fear fire. Fear furnaces
Incinerators, the city dump
The faint scratch of a match.

The second speaker said
Fear water. Fear drenching rain
Drizzle, oceans, puddles, a damp
Day and the flush toilet.

The third speaker said
Fear wind. And it needn't be
A hurricane. Drafts, open
Windows, electric fans.

The fourth speaker said
Fear knives. Fear any sharp
Thing, machine, shears
Scissors, lawnmowers.

The fifth speaker said
Hope. Hope for the best
A smooth folder in a steel file.

by Robert Francis

Comments (8)

Good poem on 'Hope......10
A poem of hope and optimism
Amazing and interesting to read this poem... Thanks for sharing.....
To hope for the best. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
I will take my chances any day, everyday, in the face of fire, water, wind and, yes, knives. These are forces against which a person may act, may persevere, may yet find hope of survival and even, yes, turn them to ones own advantage. In the face of these forces I will retain my sense of hope. But a paper man (or a poet) has no hope if the best that may be offered is a smooth folder in a steel file. At that point I throw up my hands and surrender. Despair, not hope. This is the world of bureaucracy and death by a thousand cuts. Tortuous, insidious, the world turned upside down. I love writing that turns perspective inside out such that the dullards that follow the perverse truths handed down by powerful politicians and bureaucrats find only optimism and the sunny days to come in their words. Fools. Live fully. Read carefully. Think critically.
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