Monday, January 3, 2022

Tad Tuleja


I had not thought I’d see the country that
I loved with blind delight become a mob
In dizzy fealty to a feral brat
Whose every weave and pounce aspires to rob
Them of their birthright. What’s to be done? Half
The land that claims it’s free burns incense now
On altars of autocracy. First laugh
Then wince to see a wolf command a cow
As buzzing cadres of indignant drones
Are jostling for attention at the feet
Of our new Duce. Hear the undertones?
That’s fear behind the military bleat.
What’s to be done? When shepherds are exiled
Ravenous mouths exult, “It will be wild.”

Tad reads "Epiphany 2021":

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Tad confesses: " I wrote this sonnet toward the end of 2021, as we were approaching the first anniversary of that year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. It had happened on January 6, a date that the Christian calendar calls the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. The irony of that conjunction inspired the poem."

TAD TULEJA is a Texas-based folklorist and songwriter with interests in the Hollywood Western, honor cultures, and the mythology of violence. He has written or edited thirty books, including novels and nonfiction works on language, history, popular culture, and military traditions. His thoughts on nationalism inform his weekly podcast Skirmishes with Patriotism. The recipient of a Puffin Foundation grant for his song cycle Skein of Arms, he performs his songs on YouTube under the name Skip Yarrow.

1 comment:

Elizabeth, Browning said...

Great poem and reading, Tad. Love the contextual intro in your reading as well.