Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunday morning poetry and music

As I sit to try and write something for this morning, I realize that rather than having anything meaningful to share, I'm needing some nourishment myself. I've spent alot of time this week watching the convention and thinking about electoral politics. And as Nightprowlkitty and Jay Elias so beautifully captured - some of us have experienced a journey between head and heart...and it has been draining for me.

In addition to that, we know that Gustav is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. That not only brings concerns about the welfare of people who are most vulnerable in that region, it rekindles memories of all the horrors of Katrina.

Finally, I am deeply disappointed already in the gestapo-like tactics my city seems to be employing to deal with potential protesters at the RNC. Due to the nature of my work over the last 20 years, many of the people involved in the city, law enforcement, and courts are friends of mine. I had hoped that they and my home town would rise above what we have seen from other cities in the past. I know its happened before, but this time its personal for me.

All these things combine to leave me feeling a bit empty this morning. So I thought that perhaps the best thing I could do is to try to fill myself up with music and poetry. While I'm at it - I'll share it with you.

Here's one from Marge Piercy.

A just anger

Anger shines through me.
Anger shines through me.
I am a burning bush.
My rage is a cloud of flame.
My rage is a cloud of flame
in which I walk
seeking justice
like a precipice.
How the streets
of the iron city
flicker, flicker,
and the dirty air
Anger storms
between me and things,
A good anger acted upon
is beautiful as lightning
and swift with power.
A good anger swallowed,
a good anger swallowed
clots the blood
to slime.

And here's David Whyte.

Imagine My Surprise

Imagine my surprise;
sitting a full hour
in silent and irremediable
fear of the world,

to find the body
its own fear the instant
it opened and placed
those unassuming hands
on life's enduring pain,

and the world for one
closed its terrifying eyes
in gratitude.

"This is my body, I am found."

And finally, one from Mary Oliver.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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