Bowl

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

Beyond Vietnam

"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

Return

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.

 

You came

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

and left

to face the dark alone. 

 

"Return" - Audre Lorde

Now Midnight Spreads

"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