Poem: Not Quite Quiet

Not Quite Quiet

It is supposed to be the quiet place,
an inland lake. A woodland path.

Few people come here so the only sounds
are your own footprints and an occasional animal,
disturbed by your intrusion, your thrashing,
as if they could hear your mind.

Your prayers are violent this morning.
The sins of angry men have pummeled your spirit
once too often. Your past has joined in,
sensing, like wolves in the night, your weakness.

But they are mistaken. Most are mistaken.
Today you are more Jesus in the temple,
overturning tables, wrath in his eye
than the quiet child that once
made his teachers proud.

Do not claim love unless you choose to live it.
I have lost my tolerance for the righteous beaters of children,
those content to allow starvation, content
to withhold healing, braggarts whose own lives
have not yet fallen apart, confirming their worst beliefs
that they are chosen.

For what? I wonder. By whom, I wonder.
I do not pretend to know.

It is a simple thing, love.
Not easy. Simple.
Most of us of a certain age have found it
and lost it, and if we are fortunate,
found it again.
We know what it is.
We know what it feels like.
We know, if we stop to ponder,
when we ourselves act in it.
If. We think.

About this poem.

An unexpected rant. But truth is, it is never far below my surface. I probably should not have read the news this morning.

Tom

5 comments

  1. Oh dear…I didn’t get to the news yet. It upsets me most days too. An awful article in the New Yorker about African migrants that are captured before crossing the Med. I scanned through it, but that was enough. Love is so elusive.

  2. Loving others as we love ourselves — “If. We think.”

    Well said and so true of myself. And, if you aren’t angry after watching the news, you have reason to be concerned.

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