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Posts Tagged ‘conversation’

I’m so grateful to Braided Way for sharing this poem today …

 

In a time of national crisis, what our country really needs is a good poem.
—Herbert Hoover

This is the time when we must say to the stranger,
the other, sit here. Notice how difficult it can be
to even come to the same table, how hard
to look the other in the eye. Something in us screams,
“Right, I am right.” And it is hard to hear the voice
beneath that scream, a whisper of a gospel that says
nothing at all.

This is the time when we must say to ourselves,
I am also the stranger, when we must look
in the mirror and not know who it is we see—
someone capable of being more courageous,
more compassionate, more devoted, more
astonishingly vulnerable and connected
than we ever knew ourselves to be. Who
is that stranger in the mirror, we must ask,
and vow to never let her down.

This is the time when we must write the poems
our country needs, the poem that builds the bridge
from truth to truth and never touches the river
of lies. The poem that allows our country
to fall in love with itself again, the poem
with enough places set at its table
that everyone knows they have a place to sit
and the rest of us know when that person is missing
because their chair is empty.

This is the time for the beauty that passes
all understanding, a testament of goodness
that cannot be contained, a congress of delight.
This is the time to pick up your pen
and with your most tender, most beautiful,
most ferocious self,
fight.

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blurting out thorns

when for weeks I practiced

how to speak in rose

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no wine, so we toast

with our laughter—

our joy half full

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Because we are traveling,

I say, We’re on the plane.

I say, Just landed. I say, See you soon.

 

As always, my heart leans beyond

the transactional. Longs to say,

Tell me about the pain. Longs

 

to say, I feel lonely. Longs to ask,

What do I most need to know?

But it’s not easy to hear. And

 

there isn’t much time. Is that

just the same old excuse?

And so I say, I love you,

 

because it is true. Say,

Can’t wait to see you.

Say, Gotta go. All through

 

the flight, the heart keeps leaning,

rehearses the five

most important words:

 

tell me all about it.

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some flowers bloom

only at night,

 

so it is with certain conversations,

that open in the dark,

 

the whole room

blessed with sweetness

 

 

 

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A metal table in the sun. Beyond it, winter.

Two women sit, brought here by rambling.

 

One woman weeps, tears of mortality.

The other woman rhymes with her.

 

Everything rhymes eventually, though

neither of them know it yet. The grass.

 

The snow. The dirt. The way the two women lean

into shadows. It’s not that time makes demands,

 

it’s just that the women still see themselves

as separate. They grasp at the present,

 

thinking this makes them a part of it.

Meanwhile, the birds. Meanwhile,

 

the trees. Meanwhile, the cells, changing.

Meanwhile the sun slides down the sky.

 

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all day the upright

grand piano dreams of hands

that play sonatas

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—for Rachel

 

 

between the cactus,

we walk, our conversation

daring to step wherever it wants

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What if

we spoke

about how

we can’t

speak to

each other,

and by

other, I

mean other

versions of

our selves,

and what

if, as

the words

crashed on

our lips

like ocean

tides that

won’t be

held back,

what if

we realized

that our

speaking about

not speaking

is a

starting shore,

sea water

collecting on

our cheeks.

 

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midflight

the doves in my voice

become ravens

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