[caption id="attachment_2256" align="aligncenter" width="525"] (c) 2012 Laura Riggs[/caption] The author’s new poem addresses the hatred currently plaguing the United States. "But I do know this: I will resist hate. I will resist. I will stand and sing my love. I will use my fist To drum and drum my love. I will write and read poems That offer the warmth and shelter of any good home. I will sing for people who might not sing for me. I will sing for people who are not my family. I will sing honor songs for the unfamilar and new. I will visit a different church and pray in a different pew. I will silently sit and carefully listen to new stories About other people’s tragedies and glories. I will not assume my pain and joy are better. I will not claim my people invented gravity or weather. And, oh, I know I will still feel my rage and rage and rage But I won’t act like I’m the only person onstage. I am one more citizen marching against hatred. Alone, we are defenseless. Collected, we are sacred. We will march by the millions. We will tremble and grieve. We will praise and weep and laugh. We will believe. We will be courageous with our love. We will risk danger As we sing and sing and sing to welcome strangers."
©2017, Sherman Alexie
Ran across this poem again today. I remember holding onto it with dear life a few years ago, hanging on each word, after my world came crashing down. When a friend shared it with me back then, this poem was my rock - I read it everyday to remind me that life was still worth living and that life wouldn't end just because I had failed. Today, I read it with the gratitude that I failed because I learned so much from those failures and disappointments. I learned about the suffering caused by attachments and aversions, and about how resilient I truly was, in the face of adversity. And I am so utterly grateful that, through all of it, I learned to decorate my soul.
After a While.....by Veronica Shoffstall
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, you really are strong, you really do have worth, and you learn and you learn. With every goodbye, you learn.
When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, […]More
Listen carefully. Look for the Light. Al, you are a truth telling genius.This, The Dark City.This,The dark city,Unheard ofUnknown.Lost.We speak in whispersHold our head downMumble when spoken to.And just keep breathing.Slow. When they speak of fire,It is a distant memory of a lightening strike.Something that never happens here.This,the dark cityUnassumingUnimportantUnimaginativeDark.OrSo we have heardSo we have told […]More
Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and […]More
DAREST thou now O soul, Walk out with me toward the unknown region, Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow? No map there, nor guide, Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand, Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land. I know it not […]More
Every time he read or wrote or heard or spoke the word suffering, he paused. It wasn’t the solemn way some people pause to give thanks before a meal, nor the sudden mid-sentence pause after the name of someone you loved so much you lose your breath every time— Nor was it the ceremonious moment […]More
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and […]More