Death and the Maiden - Marianne Stokes (1900)
Turn it over and look up
into the sphere of heaven.
The tracery is lucent,
light seeping through to write,
white-ink your face, upturned.
Swing it below
and it's a cradle of blue water,
the sea, a womb.
A mixing bowl
for Babylonian gods.
Here, they whirl up the cosmos.
Pick it up and your hands
form a pedestal,
and all who drink
contain the arcs
of body and the universe—
and between them,
no imaginable tear or distance.
"Bowl" - Valerie Martinez
"A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.
A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, 'This way of settling differences is not just.' This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood."
From "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence" - delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4th, 1967
La Mort Du Fossoyeur (The Death of the Gravedigger) - Carlos Schwabe (1895)
You did not clock the turning of the leaves
the silent browning of the grass
nor view brief bright November
rising out of the hills.
with the sun set the bough stripped
to the curtness of winter
an accomplished act.
So you well could say
"I never trusted autumn"
who did not cradle the weeping root
of flamed October sorrel
nor taste the bitter hard-won peace
red-browning autumn brought
one whom you loved
to face the dark alone.
"Return" - Audre Lorde
"Now Midnight spreads her sable vest
With starry rays, light-tissu'd o'er;
Now from the Desart's thistled breast
The chilling dews begin to soar;
The Owl shrieks from the tott'ring Tow'r,
Dread watch-bird of the witching hour!"
From - "A Fragment (Supposed to be written near the Temple, at Paris, on the night before the Execution of Louis XVI.)" - Mary Robinson