I'm feeling a lot of ambivalence these days about continuing this. It could end any day now. HG Poetics has been fun, squeezed into the corners of the workday; but maybe it's gotten too easy to flatter myself with your kind attention. I don't know. I'm trying to pull together an ability to write something worthwhile. My capacities seem curious & ever more elusive. Blogging feels like a distraction or a dissipation, sometimes. (I'm admiring Anne Winters lately, someone who's seemingly done it right. Authentic social/individual poetry, by its inherent balance & integrity, seems to render most of the febrile discussions & maneuverings in blogworld - including my own - irrelevant.)

My ambivalence is reflected in my feelings about this section of the poem I'm working on. I'm going to put it back up, with a slight change, despite my qualms. I don't really know why I'm doing this. I guess I need to feel like going on with a process, rather than endlessly stalled.

I read in the Times, as you probably have too, about the 74-yr-old nun, advocate & environmentalist, who was shot in the Amazon jungle. How it was her habit, when confronted with threats or violence, to pull out her Bible and just start reading aloud. I found her story very moving.


Sister Dorothy Stang (1930-2005)

Overhead, the shady trees were towering.
Behind, the brooding Amazon, flowing.
They drew their guns (to Mammon bowing
down). You drew your book of Eden, flowering.

They hewed your coffin from abandoned wood
and took you, wailing, to the bartered ground.
A salty meal, kissed dry, was passed around -
your bread of dying (for a forsworn good).

A stone grinds sharp between God and Mammon
despite the yeast of well-fed prophecy,
and rotten meal's donated to the sea
to fatten sharks, when all the yeast is gone.

Between our tight-squeezed Bible belts,
on some old-fashioned farm, lost in Ohio,
some long-lived family (with simple sorrow)
reads your will (while lake ice slowly melts).

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