I have been called heroic
for merely surviving,
which is like championing an eagle
for flying to its nest
and I have been condemned as selfish
for following the call of truth,
which is like blaming a turtle
for finding the deep
and I have escaped death more than once
but not the dying.
I have been worn slowly by experience
and torn apart instantly by crisis and revelation
and all I can say is Life is Food:
to love is to chew; to forgive,
I cough up these bits:
the heart like a wing
is of no use tucked
and distrust in the world
like an eye swollen shut
stops the work of love.
Like a worried glassblower
trying to refigure his clear and shattered heart,
I have cut myself on all that I was,
surprised at the wisdom
hiding in the edges.
A Question to Walk With: Describe a time when you were thought heroic for doing what you felt needed to be done. Then describe a time when you criticized for following what you felt to be true. How do you reconcile these differences?
Recently, Sounds True published a major collection of my poetry, The Way Under the Way, which contains three separate books of poetry, gathering 217 poems retrieved and shaped over the past twenty years. These poems span my life’s journey and they center on the place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. The above poem is from the book.
*photo credit: Pixabay