Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where Hate ends, when Geopolitics has no Words, Poetry begins.

When the rage is gone, when the cuts were made, when the wounds have bled, the healing starts. 

I came across this poem reading an interview with the delicate Michelle Williams, excellent actress and widow - although they were never married - of Heath Ledger, an outstanding performer himself, playing Ennis del Mar in Brokeback Mountain and winning an Oscar posthumously for being the Joker in Batman - The Dark Knight.

We are living in times of great, brutal tragedies, which human beings bring upon each other, for reasons so diverse but so simple as human beings themselves: power, revenge, greed, cruelty, blindness, ignorance.

My thoughts go out to the victims and the perpetrators of these crimes against human dignity: in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan; in Egypt, Palestine, Israel and Lebanon; in Niger, Tunisia, Nigeria and Algeria; in France and in Arizona.

Where hate ends, when geopolitics has no words, poetry begins.

The Pruned Tree

(this one's for Joshua)

As a torn paper might seal up its side,
Or a streak of water stitch itself to silk
And disappear, my wound has been my healing,
And I am made more beautiful by losses.
See the flat water in the distance nodding
Approval, the light that fell in love with statues, 
Seeing me alive, turns its motion toward me.
Shorn, I rejoice in what was taken from me.

What can the moonlight do with my new shape
But trace and retrace its miracle of order?
I stand, waiting for the strange reaction 
Of insects who knew me in my larger self,
Unkempt, in a naturalness I did not love.
Even the dog's voice rings with a new echo,
And all the little leaves I shed are singing,
Singing to the moon of shapely newness.

Somewhere what I lost I hope is springing
To life again. The roofs, astonished by me, 
Are taking new bearings in the night, the owl
Is crying for a further wisdom, the lilac
Putting forth its strongest scent to find me.
Butterflies, like sails in grooves, are winging
out of the water to wash me, wash me.

Now, I am stirring like a seed in China.

---Howard Moss