Satyagraha: a poem

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Art is the act of nonaggression. We have to live this art in our daily lives … Carry the poem away from the desk and into the kitchen. That is how we will survive as writers, no matter how little money we make in the American economy and how little acceptance we get in the magazines. We are not writing for money and acceptance, although that would be nice. Our deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world … ~Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

Last Friday I rose from sleep and piddled as the sun lifted from a foggy bed. Morning chores, walk the dog, sit in study for a time. I didn’t open the paper or turn on the news. I didn’t lift the gaping white screen to check the email.

After a time of study, I picked up my journal. As is my practice, I penned the date at the top of the page.

9/11/15 …

My fingers froze above the page and I was unable to write anything more. My heart has been sitting shiva ever since. It is day seven and the pen is moving once again, but my heart stills each time I remember.

::

we wandered into
an unkind forest
they left their gods
on the sidewalk with
shards of glass and metal,
ashen skin. the earth
shifts when I say
your name.

you walk among the stars now
but I remember
a boy who rollerbladed between
the stacks—books
on every side

that night
you danced until
your skin glistened…
your dreams are the
rich soil of tomorrow
I carry the poem with me

we finish our days
with a sigh,
pick our way through
the underbrush by
the light of the moon

on the trees. moss grows
thick on stones and the fine
filigree of new grass is
soft on the ball of a foot.
your comet leaves a long
tail and I awaken
with this word on my lips:

satyagraha. satyagraha

Comments

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    So lovely, Laura. I too wrote about that tragic day in real time. It’s the only way I could express the magnitude of my grief….in a smaller poetry container, so I was not overwhelmed by sadness. It was good to honor then, and good to honor and remember now. Thank you for sharing these exquisite words.
    Love
    Lynn

  2. says

    Your poem speaks to the underside of my soul this morning, places I strain to to glimpse while I listen, frozen, as truth bellows through an almost muted whisper.

    I needed this beauty today Laura, thank you!

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