We hadn’t seen each other for days, only three days, to be exact, but when I came through the door and she turned her head, the way she smiled changed me again from one who passes from this world to the next, back to one who falls into his wife’s arms and rests his head on her shoulder and feels when they lie down together her warm heart beating against his chest, her hands hungry for his holding, his hands alive to her happiness. ~Shann Ray, “Mountain Homecoming” from Balefire: Poems
On this day,
this tragically public day
when lives shatter before cameras
it is important to remind myself
that not all couplings happen
in blinding drunkenness
in a power differential
in utter selfishness
in a way the truth can never be known
I need to know
this travesty called investigation
has nothing to do with truth and justice
but is politically sanctioned assault
of two people.
I won’t give it my approval by watching.
I want to know
in our joining
there is joy,
there is sweetness
and staying steadfast,
still alive, always alive
Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.
….It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble.
We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.
Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day. ~E.B. White in a letter
We can’t claw our way out of
the mess we’ve made of things;
it takes Someone
to dig us out of the hole,
wash us off,
clean us up,
and breathe fresh breath into our nostrils.
We can only hope
hope will be contagious.
We can only hope
and grab hold as His hand reaches down
to lift us up, carry us out of the dirt,
and hold us tight.
5. Here, what’s made, these braids, unmakes itself in time, and must be made again, within and against time. So I braid your hair each day. My fingers gather, measure hair, hook, pull and twist hair and hair. Deft, quick, they plait, weave, articulate lock and lock, to make and make these braids, which point the direction of my going, of all our continuous going. And though what’s made does not abide, my making is steadfast, and, besides, there is a making of which this making-in-time is just a part, a making which abides beyond the hands which rise in the combing, the hands which fall in the braiding, trailing hair in each stage of its unbraiding.
6. Love, how the hours accumulate. Uncountable. The trees grow tall, some people walk away and diminish forever. The damp pewter days slip around without warning and we cross over one year and one year. ~Li-Young Lee from “Braiding”
A silence slipping around like death, Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath; One group of trees, lean, naked and cold, Inking their cress ‘gainst a sky green-gold;
One path that knows where the corn flowers were; Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir; And over it softly leaning down, One star that I loved ere the fields went brown ~Angelina Weld Grimke “A Winter Twilight”
Our farm’s lone fir is a focal point of the neighborhood,
standing grand on the highest hill for several miles around.
Raptors use this tree for views of the surrounding fields.
The horses love the shade on hot summer days.
It is backdrop for glorious sunsets and rising moons.
Yet in winter I find myself admiring it most —
Its steadfast presence, so stoic and unyielding
though buffeted by cold wind and icy storms.
Decades of seasons flow past the lone fir, “silence slipping around like death, yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath.”