Two Martyrs, One Son (1987: AGE 16)

Two Martyrs, One Son
January 23, 1987

The Cardinal
his voice echoed across the land
in the ears of seven million people.
They all turned to their neighbor
–Did you hear the Cardinal?
He sang yesterday. You know I heard
him sing: ‘I have a dream today!
Let freedom ring then we might sing
free at last, thank God almighty,
we are free at last!’
Then I heard him cry
‘Oh God, oh Lord.’–
Seven million people cried yesterday.

The Bluebird
his voice echoed across the land
in the ears of seven million people.
They all turned to their neighbor:
–Did you hear the Bluebird?
He sang yesterday. You know I heard
him sing: ‘I had a dream today.
Rise above the evil in your hearts!
We can soar with the glory of love,
if we let our soul power shine!’
And then I heard him say:
‘Oh God, oh Lord!’–
Seven million people cried yesterday.

The Dove
His voice resonates across all lands
in the hearts of seven billion people.
They all turn to their neighbor
–Listen to the Dove!
He sings! Hear His voice:
‘I have a dream for you, children-
love your neighbor as yourself,
love your enemy as you love your God
for we are one, united.’
With all our hearts, listen!–
‘Father into your hands… I am yours.’
Seven billion people hold hands today.

The last in a series of poems I wrote after watching the movie Gandhi, this one most clearly reflects how I connected the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. My interest in nonviolent action was born in these poems as well as a life long conflict with the role of violence in human action. While my life has been given in service to my country, these voices of faith, hope, and love remain loud in my head. When I wrote this poem, I knew the voice inside me that I needed to hear; as I shared it with friends, I knew that voice had a place in the world.

See also, The Kingdom:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/08/30/the-kingdom-1987-age-17/
Mahatma:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/09/05/mahatma-1987-age-16/
and A Man:

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

A Man (1987: Age 16)

January 24, 1987

You are a man
You claim no more
The praise, the crowd
Make no larger a man
I wish to be
In the hearts of a nation
In the hearts of a race
In the hearts of a faith
You are a savior
A man could be no more

You have one heart
You share it with all
All for love, no more-
Is there any more?
I wish to be
Will you help me?
I am a boy
That is all
I may ever be.

Another in a series of poems I wrote after watching the movie Gandhi, this on reflects how I was beginning to draw connections between the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. My interest in nonviolent action was born in these poems as well as a life long conflict of the role of violence in human action. While my life has been given in service to my country, these voices of faith, hope, and love remain loud in my head.

See also, The Kingdom:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/08/30/the-kingdom-1987-age-17/
and, Mahatma:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/09/05/mahatma-1987-age-16/

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

And so it begins… at My Seven Storeys

Please take a trip to MySevenStoreys, a new essay-based blog that offers reflections on one man’s spiritual journey home. This week, I reflect on why I am starting a spiritual blog and offer some insights into my definition of the divine.

mysevensstoreys

Why begin a spiritual blog? The last year has been a reckoning for me as I have come to terms with decisions and their consequences. My best friend’s mom called this my period of bardo. Per Wikipedia: “bardo is a Tibetan Buddhist term describing a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death.” Clearly meant as a metaphor for the death of one “life” and the transition to another, her wisdom bore itself out over the last year and so continues. When life turned on its head, what some perceived it as self-destruction, I felt a spiritual rebirth.

I should say that I feel a spiritual rebirth.

When I began this blog a few months back, I had intentions of being inspired by Thomas Merton’s autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain. Life happened and…

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On Seeing the Sunrise, 7/20/18

I do not know God like you do
Or you
Or you
Or, even, you.

As a youth, I thought I’d meet Him
In Church
Speak to Him through Prayer.
We’d all chant together.

This morning, when I finally woke
Something entered me
Not a Man, or a Woman, but Being.
It knit a whole.

I quietly sat and listened
To the words of poets: Rumi, Kinnell, Lawrence
Blake, Kabir and Thoreau
Until their words invited me outside.

Under foot, the sand cooled by the night
Awaited my imprint,
And the sky, wow! the Sky!
Spoke through remnants of storms.

An orange glow pressed through a veil
Spreading its light across the horizon
The edges of clouds painted purple
And the silence of a new day filled me.

Perhaps, like Kabir, who knew nothing shut iron gates
That new love couldn’t open and wake
The beautiful woman asleep beyond the clouds.
“Fantastic!” He says, “Don’t let a chance like this go by!”

So across lines in sand set by human machines
I leapt to stand awake and in awe
At some divine being now inside me
Ready to swim in the bay, as full as the sea.

With thanks to poetry found in The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade. Harper Perennial, New York, 1992.

This Cup

I offer this cup to you
refill it with the blood
of imagination and immortality
offered like a gift from the gods.

I let it slip from my fingers
into the desert of adulthood.

She offers this cup to me
filled with blood shed
to resurrect the gift of love
piercing the limits of imagination.

In her hands it throbs
with a longing for childhood.

We offer this cup
a dry vessel filled with blood
to rediscover life in red
more vivid than imagined.

In our arms lips shiver
and restores our innocence.

We fill this cup
with truths lost in the desert,
the blood of mortal life
and love immortal.

Your gentle hand
fills my cup.

Image: Breakfast Still Life with Chalice by Willem Claesz Heda 1634

Morning Reflections 6/8/18: Psalm One

For how long will we choose to be chaff
Allow wind to take us on its journey
Never alight in any one spot to root?
When not chaff, but seed we agree to be
Do feet find soil to root in and grow
To become that which our vocation calls
True to the spirit and with the seasons
Able to fruit when read and shed leaves
When fallen to make fertile soil underfoot
From which the next seed will emerge strong
Seeking sunlight and tasting the cool waters
That stream around us even on hottest days
When our hearts fatigue wants us to give up
To the wind go only to have the souls root stay.

image: Gustav Klimt, The Tree of Life, 1905

This morning’s reflections follow morning spiritual practice of reading Aurelius, the Bible, and meditation. The primary source of inspiration being Psalm One in a loosely sonnet-like format. This is only a second draft, so any comments or suggestions are encouraged!