December 10, 2007

What's in your bucket?

The phrase I used in the last post comes from a poem/free verse someone introduced me to some years ago. I have it posted on my office wall.

Victory with Two Trumpets
by Mark Nepo

I am tired of those
who swill their head
in a bucket and claim
there is no God or Good
or Beauty to be had.

I come from a tribe
of survivors who love life
more than the hardships
they've been dealt. And
we have found each other
the way rivers find the sea.

We know pain and struggle
and fear like driftwood
and glass scraping at
our bottom. But have
grown love and faith
and will like barnacles,
razored and out of sight.

We come from every sort
of rock: drunken, raped
abandoned, cancered.

And though everyone
navigates their darker
moments, though everyone
trembles at the wheel,
each is strong, that is real,
working naked in the stream.

So I am fed up with those
who suck at the dark side
of things, complaining
they are bored, complaining
life's a chore, complaining
there is nothing but their
chaos to applaud.

To be broken is no reason
to see all things as broken.

To fear death
is not a calling.

I have outlived a tumor
pressing on my brain, have
had my 8th rib removed, and
though I wept in the tub
at the gash in my side,
at the fact that I can
be split open so easily
like a bull pumped up
for market, I only
want life more,
long to dance
till my heart
sweats, till
my mind stops
till I understand
the dead tree's part
in the design.

I long like a root
deeper in the earth
so I can reach
farther to the sky.

So don't tell me
there's nothing
in your bucket.

To brush my teeth
has significance
after three weeks
of lying flat. And
there's glory
in the water
from my mouth
as it swirls
down the sink
in rhythm with
the largest falls
I've ever seen.

And when the ribs
ache, I dream of
swimming naked
in life's waters
with those who
pulled me back
to this season
of mystery
so many

1 comment:

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