The Unlimited Light Of Song
By Tony Brown

Waiting in fear
in this sudden,
moonless dark.

Lying alone all across
the country, some scattered
face down upon stone;

some of us clawing alone
at barn-board floors,
gasping for air;

others huddled
in city doorways,
watching our homes burn,

everything beloved

Tonight the fight
is at the door
and not of our making.

Tonight we fight back their way,
by the glowing rage
of uncounted flames.

But tomorrow?
Tomorrow, we fight our way,

by the unlimited
light of

Le Refus Absurde
By Tony Brown

While reading and fantasizing
about the French Resistance
before dawn,

I come across the term
le Refus Absurde,” used to describe
those actions early

in the Nazi occupation when,
even though it seemed certain that
the Reich would triumph and

last a thousand years, individuals
would begin to resist even though
they felt the effort was futile. They’d

slash a tire, cut a cable, write
a subversive poem, start
an underground newspaper. Armed

resistance only came later… Many
spoke of moments when le Refus Absurde
crystallized within them, climaxes

of incipient struggle; for some it was seeing friends
beaten or marched away, for others
the look of contempt on the faces

of German soldiers as they marched
into towns like a swarm
of sneering Twitter comments.

Tony Brown lives, writes and fronts the Duende Project in Worcester, Mass.