Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: David Ayres

This week David Ayres -- whose wonderful poems I have lauded before -- wrote a poem in response to the argument that nuclear weapons should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for keeping the world safe over the last 60 years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

My own poem afterward is an outgrowth of writing so much on the spiritual disciplines as of late. Writing on them forces my hand in doing them -- and that is a good thing.

- - - - - - -

The Next Best Thing

By David Ayres

I hide a toy gun beneath my bed.
Its barrel lost
that orange cap
to distinguish
it from a real gun.
In case of burglary
it's the next best thing.

Just like a bloodied, broken fist
is the next best thing to a bloodied
bat, broken on a skull.

Just like rusty machetes
are the next best thing to assault rifles
for genocidal mobs.

Just like sending planes with troops
is the next best thing to sending planes
with bombs.

Just like them dying there
is the next best thing to us dying here.

Just like tallying the dead
is the next best thing to feeling safe.

Just like a room of uniformed men
with launch codes is the next best thing
to peace

- - - - - - -

A Day in Prayer

Today as I walked
Into the light of each
New moment—

Breath enough
Waiting for me there
Like a crisp bill
Hidden in a quiet coat pocket—

I saw grow around me
The greenliness and life
Of an ancient garden

Its name was Spirit
Its name was freedom
Its name bespoke
An ecology
Filled like a comfortable balloon
With all the glory
Of mouth to mouth

Like a rainbow
Over a coal plant
Alive in the soot

Today I walked in conversation
If only for a whisper of time
Today I walked upright

No comments:

Post a Comment