Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Internally Displaced

Internally displaced is a phrase I find myself drawn to
This modern traveler bears the deadweight of an exiled soul
The phrase carries with it a burden of dislocation
The succinct expression of the taint of alienation

Conventionally, it's the removal from one's home and native land
That is, a physical distancing, that can leave one unmanned
But there's also the worrying spectre of a psychic affliction
Unbalanced, the separation can present as a mental eviction

A matter of scale, it belies an embedded contradiction
For how can displacement be internal after all?
Perhaps it is a matter of perspective, this reduction
With the narrowing of horizons, the sufferer's prospects appall

Tantalus must be the patron saint of the internally displaced
Always on the verge, so close as they are to a comfort suite
Their song: the nearness of you, an ode to their erstwhile paradise replaced
A life of the unfamiliar, and the attendant sense of wist

Presumably the internally displaced haven't crossed any external borders
That are seen to matter in the eyes of international lawyers
Yet the clear implication is that boundaries have been transgressed
However, by being personal, not legal, these last count for less

In this reckoning, the internally displaced
At first glance, must still be within the vicinity
Of their former homes and abodes they left in haste
A surely maddening circumstance, this notional proximity

This points to the distinction that ostensibly exists
Albeit the same deprivation persists
Between the internally displaced and the refugee
Still, you can't say that either cohort have it easy

Mankind, when they departed Eden, were seen as refugees - up to no good
Thus it was written in those early chapters of what we know as the good book
But their postmodern predicament, call it their bereft outlook
Is that of the internally displaced, forever off the hook

The immediate problem is a practical one when rendered homeless
Previous certainties are upended, the essence of being dispossessed
Even if it's merely psychological, the trauma affects one's identity
The internally displaced quickly become aficionados of precarity

Unwillingly itinerant, internal displacement is forced movement
The road of distressed fellow travelers in a season of discontent
Fundamental freedoms denied to those now subject to the great longing
An intimation of futility and the sense that no one is coming

Uneasy lies the head that wears the frayed hat of the internally displaced
Resigned in contemplation, each meal unsatisfactory with that sour aftertaste
Holding fast to mementos grasped in a rush in the instants before leaving
The few trinkets, the salvaged memories, those prized belongings

From your own nest, you find yourself summarily chased
A stillness is time amid fevered attempts to locate a new home base
Off kilter, the internally displaced are favored scions of unease
They roam maladjusted, as if infected with a deficiency disease

Repatriation is not an option, not with your personal history
As the days progress you realize that this state is not temporary
You collected your bags and stamps - sadly the latter were revoked abruptly
Thus you joined the ranks of the sans papier, branded as men of no country

Many in America bear the trait as an underlying condition
The balm the internally displaced seek is leave for homesteading
Pride of place in this endeavor goes to those of my skintone
Our migration was to a perpetual life in the torrid zone

masks of civility

Home, a playlist


A soundtrack for the great longing
The sense of wist can be all consuming
Music therefore to settle the soul
Aural pointers to the comforts of home
Timing is everything
Observers are worried

This internal displacement is part of a series: In a covidious time.


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Writing log: December 2, 2017, March 24, 2021

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