Things No One Asks About

Things No One Asks About February 27, 2017

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,

to swallow.


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

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