Be Change—3 Sonnets | Peter Lilly


Men will clutch at illusions when
they have nothing else to hold onto.
—Czeslaw Milosz
Presuppositions, carrots, sticks and stones.
Break my bones. Re-mortgage my fractured home.
A system built on never ending loans
Will divide against itself and implode.
It’s hard to kick against the fiscal goads, 
But people remain people, even so.
There comes a time when they will seek themselves
And find their shelves of purchases to be
Their allocated eternal dwelling,
As decided by the salesmen who delve
Into new definitions of this free
Doom. Despite the great reckoning welling
In the hearts of the masses, wound up tight,
The violence sparked will not be the good fight.

The Good Fight

I’ll fight your rope, your rules, your hope
As your sparrow does under your supervision!
—Jack Mapanje
The good fight is not in the violence
But the grueling daily grind of being
Fully present. Movable in silence
And in shouting. Invisibly seeing 
The power behind the play, and playing.
But taking the game from the arena
And into the sand-pit where it belongs.
Noticing the blood, tending the lesions,
Both broken nose and cut knuckle. Weighing
Not the trifling arrest and subpoena
But the breath, every note of tragic songs,
And every synthesized social adhesion.
Bandwagons of revolution comply.
If your hope is in them, it’s already died.


There is one thing, and only one thing,
in which it is granted to you to be free
in life, all else is beyond your power:
that is to recognize and profess the truth.
—Leo Tolstoy
To be a revolutionary is to 
Let your living make the mightiest noise,
Not to write a message of peace in blood,
Or let a movement’s leader dictate to you.
It’s not to find the tribe that fits your voice
But to reject tribalism for good,
As a concept and as a condition.
You don’t prove you’re not a pig by grunting
In protest against the proposition.
You must be changed to be change to see change,
And know the bed-rock of what you’re wanting
Beneath the gargantuan mountain range 
Of rough rubble reasons rabble rousing,
To the meat of the hope you’re espousing.

Poems ©2022 Peter Lilly
All rights reserved

Peace #17
Digital Art
Dean Pasch ©2022

Peter Lilly…

…is a British Poet who grew up in Gloucester before spending eight years in London studying theology and working with the homeless. He now lives in the South of France with his wife and son, where he concentrates on writing, teaching English, and community building. His recent and forthcoming publications include Dreich Broad 3, Paddler Press Issue 4, Archetype Issue 1, Radix Magazine, Spillwords and Lothlorien Poetry Issue 7.