Unshackled

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.

‘Sweet Darkness’

A most amazing poem by David Whyte.

David Whyte

From Wikipedia.

Words for the Year

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
tonight.

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
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

– “Sweet Darkness” byDavid Whyte,House of Belonging

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I dig

Photo: Microgen/Shutterstock

I dig

I am an archeologist excavating

Brushing away what isn’t

To expose what is

Discovery:

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’

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Pullman Philip 2

Wise words from Philip Pullman, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005:

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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There in the asylum, he forgot

For my dad.

Chipping Sparrow

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

To love.

And hate.

He lived for this moment.

Only.

Not by choice.

By chance.

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.