children pakistan

I’ve gotta find a way
to make some kind of peace with…

if not this season, when?

I’ve gotta shake this misery
from off the surface of my skin

goodwill toward men

how the hell am I
—with all that’s going on—
supposed to find
what’s right and true in me?

not right as in correct
not right politico
or left
but plumb
like pudding
plum and ripe
for plucking
the masters
oh, the masters
that I’ve seen
they tune by resting
on the fret
they pay no mind
to resolution
all about the climbing
see what’s next

you’re all about remembering
a player told me once
I’m all about forget

cries of angels everywhere

yeah, right, forget…

could everyone
for just a sec
shut up?

guided by an Eastern light, they traveled day and night

I wonder…
I wonder if the pulse
that beats this heart
I wonder if it ends
the pulse, the ache
I wonder if it ends
when someone pulls
or throws
when someone finds
the power that he thinks
he lost or thinks
he never had
through powder

who among us shows him?
who among us says it’s fine?
you’re fine.

we’ve learned so well
to pass the ache along
agreed to catch and throw
and pull and catch
and throw
and pull
and catch

somebody drops the ball

If I could find a way
if not this season, when?
if I could find a way
to back away

goodwill toward men

to cease to play
to pull my neck up tall

where choirs of angels sing

and not tip forward in
to join the flash-banged audiences
gathered round a black hole
orchestra still tuning

I could back away
just far enough to hear
on distant mounds
the church bells
and the calls
to prayer
to see the minarets
and smell the beeswax
melting from menorahs, then
I would not have to wait for when

the season of goodwill toward men

I might perceive what rests upon, surrounds
me now, what shoulders and upholds me

bells, the bells
I am quite sure
I hear them


© Elaine Stirling, 2014