A Poem A Wednesday (1)

Bloggers like to pick days of the week for regular traditions. They usually start with same letter, such as “Music Monday” or “Foto Friday”. In a effort to add some literary depth to this blog we are hereby inaugurating a poetry day, but seeing as how no days of the week start with P we will have to settle with “A Poem A Wednesday” for now.

The first poem is a favorite of mine. Language has the power to become anchored in our souls, and from that anchor you can hang all sorts of meaning, and from that meaning you can order a life, be inspired, be reminded, be moved, awaken. There are a few lines from this poem that have done that for me from time to time… Following the wrong god home we may miss our star… It is important for awake people to be awake… The darkness around us is deep. I heard someone say recently that what is important about a person is what she loves, the trouble is that it is so easy to forget what we want to love. Language, and poetry specifically, can help us to remember. Enjoy.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other
By: William Stafford

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider —
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

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