While I have not been a victim personally, a poet made me feel the bruises, and this is the prayer I wrote in response.
As a Quaker, I am constantly trying to make sense of violence and find a way through it without becoming violent myself. “Done-in-Woods“ is an allusion to Shakespeare’s Macbeth when his Nemesis marches near. Here I ask God, what place poetry has in this struggle.
|Painting by KImberly Dow|
Love of God
I honor your world to honor you in every bud and inch of its teaming
Even cat paw on ant, Bambi every time, Monty Python-esque, no joke.
I would honor your purpose, too, to honor you, if I could--show it me
On the same Way you branch out for me, among the uncut grasses.
I look for it in these outpourings of my cistern mind, even in acid rain
Gathered for the revenge of the trees, as Done-in Woods marches near.
I see you in all you create, in the rain, acid, march, woods, trees, branch,
Grasses, mammals, insects, and comedians--nothing alliterates, nothing.
Are you looking for the answers, too, in poets' bleeding and begging lines
Have you made me, too, and why is the what you would have me do?
|'Charity' Painting by Kimberly Dow|
Susan Chast is a lifelong teacher concerned with the growth of inquiry and imagination. Her poetry carries the conviction of her Quaker faith, peace activist past, feminist performance art and love of literature. She is retired from the classroom where she taught high school English and creative writing, and, in a former life, acting, stage directing and multicultural theatre history and performance. She began writing full-time as a participant in National Poetry Writing Month 2012, when she also established her blogs Susan’s Poetry and Susan, continued …. She is working on a novel, Alice in Wonder.
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