As a freelance writer, I've had poetry and short stories published in literary journals, magazines and anthologies including Beatdom Literary Journal, Decanto Magazine, CUT UP! (Oneiros Books - Paraphilia Magazine), O Ecuador das Coisas, Network Ireland Magazine, Eat my Words (Gumbo Press), Scraps : A Collection of Flash Fictions (Gumbo Press) and Elsewhere Literary Journal. My poem, 'The Elephant is Contagious' is now a short film.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came

The following is an excerpt from a poem by novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer, Wendell Berry. It's titled, 'How To Be a Poet', but it could just as well be titled, "How To Be a Human Being'.

Ironically, I am sharing it through social media, so reading it depends on electric wire and screens - the very things Berry suggests we shun. The poem is so affecting, I think it escapes the irony.

image: Cartophiles Log ©

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came

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