Life grabs you by the heart
Come play, my friend.
Come dance to the music
Ecstasy in love,
Yet even as its thorns prick the toes
Laugh and revel.
Even as a teardrop of pain builds,
Creasing the corner of a shining eye
Falling into the oblivion at the countless beauties at your feet.
I came across the piece below on a discussion board (HERE), I could not track down the source. I know little about Mr. White except that he is a priest in Baghdad. Human suffering is all one and the same no matter who you are and no matter what you do. The same fears, hopes, worries, and pains afflict us all equally.
Prayer for a person with MS
by Canon Andrew White
Lord they tell me I have MS and at times I am afraid;
my future, my family, my ambitions are all full of uncertainties,
my body will not function as it used to and I no longer feel in control;
at times, though surrounded by masses, I feel so alone.
In my fear will you enable me to trust you,
in my vulnerability may I know your power
and in my loneliness will you assure me of your presence.
Learning Not To Cry
Serb soldiers terrorize a family by dropping their three-year-old
down a well. Hours later, she’s rescued from a ledge. But after months,
the child won’t stop her day-long wails.
From a review of a book on tears,
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, October 1999
Smart tears, fleeing down her cheeks’
soft slope, the nursery’s vintage terror hides
inside the skull you leave, its darkness riddled
with secret holes where drops fall
like palpitations, plinking far below, openings
the leering faces can slither through.
The ledge was smaller than her body
so even a puff of air trembles with
disaster. No wonder, tiny refugees,
such a constant stream of you rolls down.
In time, in the forest, power shifts and the witch
dies in an oven so hot metal sags. Gretel
saw her hair go up, black locks
above the straight orange screams.
And yet, they say, the crone survives.
At last the child sleeps, years going by
before she wakes to a kiss, or
to a foul breath — They say the way
to cease to cry is to feel something
else. So, savage tears, you shrink
back into her skull to become
the yellowed lens she sees through,
biding her time in the blue flicker
of nightly news, clicking
the channels — click click —
the chamber mapped and loaded.
Volume CLXXX, Number 6
For my friend S.K. (if she’s reading), who is leaving me soon for new places and people, the following:
by Marge Piercy
Being together is knowing
even if what we know
is that we cannot really be together
caught in the teeth of the machinery
of the wrong moments of our lives.
A clear umbilicus
goes out invisibly between,
thread we spin fluid and finer than hair
but strong enough to hang a bridge on.
That bridge will be there
a blacklight rainbow arching out of your skull
whenever you need
whenever you can open your eyes and want
to walk upon it.
Nobody can live on a bridge
or plant potatoes
but it is fine for comings and goings,
meetings, partings and long views
and a real connection to someplace else
where you may
in the crazy weathers of struggle
now and again want to be.