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Friday, August 30, 2013

The Hope of Sometime

In four parts


-- silence is not a stopped clock
in which we can reset time;
it is a delicate stay of wishing
for a new start to living;
         for in
that silence there is a charge
of a light that pushes us on -- where we will no longer turn
life into a rhyme for war,
and if only we would listen more
we believe we could still be
a voice that softens the call
of every faltering elegy on a memorial wall;
or find words that weave a cradle
to lull the cries of war to cease

for there is nothing so anxious or terrible
as the cry of a newborn child,
woken in nights conjured cold in the fall
of human hands more brutal
than any biting wind in the wild;
how hope stings the eyes
and the skin flares
with the mood of the world;
         with a touch
that rubs the salt of longing
over the wound of peace;

where helplessness seems the only thing
that shows any common decency and understanding,
as the violence
singles you out
in a moment of close quarters
to call you to account;


-- but to die well, you must have lived well,
and so we shout
at a life crying out to be lived;
where we dip out of sight
in a haze of dust;
         ghosts unseen
moaning on deaf ears
how the years have gone by, the seconds
         as cloud trails
brushing the sky come the rain;
its gold reaching out
to some important terrain
that we somehow missed, because we forgot
         how to
look up and wonder
why no day is ever like another;
and where every colour
is a separate sky
that goes on forever;

but only as far as the eye can see,
and if it refuses to,
then nothing is endless
except for the lie
it keeps telling you;


-- and in the end unhappiness
is the simplifier, areas of strife
that you no longer have any power over;
like having the wrong tie for dinner,
or having no money for supper,
         or a mother
who's lost a child to war
and becomes a house of absence,
and the prayers and fears
come to settle
         like pestilence
inside a body emptied of life;

it is she who knows
happiness should not be carried irreverently,
nor allowed to go too slowly
or reined in, but allowed its complexity
of freedoms; to fly;
         to stamp
its tiny dreams courageously at giants,
as a child might laugh
at the sky;

babes who will somehow
         grow up
to give up the world, or sell it any price,
with cheap jibes and the calumny of vice;
to make evil out of beauty
or evil seem beautiful,
to take a side for gain,
but never to be responsible;
         to be
or not to be
a lover, or partner or enemy,
but never as merciful
as to the one
in the mirror;


-- in a world where such things we have in common
are death and the fertility of invention;
we lock ourselves in between
a philosophic mind intemperate in amity
         and enmity,
and passionate self-admiration,
where we let people see too much,
         or never
allow them to know enough
to discover their own wisdom;

and yet -- for there is always a yet
as long as we take breath
and something inside remembers
         there is
the promise of joy
that stirs unbidden in the depths
of these embers; for the stillness
and the silence that cannot reset
or draw back the line,
         is filled
with the hope of sometime,
where forgiveness will rescue us
like a mother's hands clasped
to warm the cold
of frozen sorrow,

when tomorrow glory
         will come
not in devotion to one's country,
or through the sacrifice of life,
but to the saving of its sanctity
as one body and nation,
         under only
the name of dignity;
where the price of peace,
no longer devalued by the horror of war
or valued according to its sum,
will need no human commemoration;
         for we
will be its living victories;
         life in celebration
rather than life in memoriam.

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