I found this in my drafts, and have idea whether I shared it before. I couldn’t locate it so what the heck, I’ll post it, maybe again.
When the lilac dawn crawls up blood-red brick over white painted steel like a bruise,
its silver shadows fall first on the tall broad-faced sunflowers.
Even in prison,
yards of helianthus annuus bloom
And call to eager brown house sparrows,
sleek raucous crows
who feed undisturbed on the seeds
anchored at the sunflowers’ hearts.
As morning climbs the wide-open sky,
sunlight falls on beefsteak tomatoes and
green bell peppers, on the wispy tops of carrots buried in the dirt
Fragrant from yesterday’s rain,
on sweet watermelon and exquisite broccoli.
So much grows free behind 12-foot fences trussed with coils of shiny concertina wire.
Soon the gardeners will rise,
To pull weeds and harvest the small plots they’ve paid for the privilege to tend.
In rows, between daily counts and lockdown nights, the men raise their faces
toward the sun and for a few moments
Their unshackled minds flutter and soar.
Your desires are not random. They are the map your feet should follow. ~ Andrea Balt
A most amazing poem by David Whyte.
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
– “Sweet Darkness” byDavid Whyte,House of Belonging
I am an archeologist excavating
Brushing away what isn’t
To expose what is
Metaphorical bricks and mortar
The foundation laid by
My mother and father
Their mothers and fathers
And so on
White middle class siding, black
Rooftop shingles above
Contain what is below
A water table of war, famine, alcohol
When trauma rains
The waters rise
Flood the tidy basement red
Shag carpet, tasteful wood paneling
Pretty gas fireplace
Just enough to mildew
There’s mold in the air
The house is boxed tight
Windows closed against
Outsiders looking in
It takes my breath away.
Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.
But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.
It’s true that some people grow up never encountering…
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For my dad.
There, in the asylum of dementia, he forgot.
The meaning of suffering.
The toll his life had taken on him.
And on everyone he once professed
He lived for this moment.
Not by choice.
That’s all he had left.
The disease had swept clean the cupboard.
Of minutes, hours he had saved and savored.
Over months, years.
Now there was only this one beautiful second.
This whiff of lilac; gone.
This light spreading golden across the Oriental rug; lost.
This chirping sparrow’s trill; fluttered away.
What came before and after; extinct.