Sunday, November 25, 2012
Compassion Will Be the New Lesson
View of my early spring garden 2011--beets and onions
The Telling that Changes Everything XVI.
April 8, Easter, 2012
It comes down to the I, the center
of my innermost being or soul.
You could say God. It’s what I
know as God. My father thought
my sixteen-year old quest to find
God would inevitably lead to
disappointment. He wanted to
protect me. He couldn’t. I found
what I was looking for, by whatever
name: that inside place where I
learn and then tell what’s true.
Passion, with all its ways, starts
there–from our sensual beginnings
to our stubborn insistence on
compassion as a way of seeing
the world around us. Ultimately,
it merges with our willingness
to die for how we see this life,
our fellow travelers, and our
beautiful blue-green planet.
This deep indwelling place tells
me I will live a long time, have
many losses, and yet survive
them. I am to give everything
away, especially my love, my
way of seeing, the paradoxical
truth of transformation. Death
is such a change, but so is life
eternal. Nine years ago I had
a vision of my many unpublished
books when I saw those mature
trees scattered singly and in
groups around a farmer’s meadow.
Fifteen years after my last poetry
book, Beaver Soul, here comes
Killer Frost, about my love and
grief for ill-prepared students on
an historically black campus.
Americans are losing their prosperity,
except for the few, who gorge on
our misfortunes. But Artemis
prepares her vengeance. Neglected,
intelligent children turn to crime.
The abused earth and seas rise
up to punish us. Great suffering
lies ahead. Will we learn?
Compassion will be the new lesson;
the wisdom of the inner life, our
new solace. Then we will live
again, find our exuberant joy to
watch this drunken, reckless spring,
which came too early but boldly
cast aside fears of the killing frost,
sent rain, bright sun to make a
green that floods earth and yearns
skyward into a pure, clear blue
from which sun pours down its
benignly indifferent golden grace.