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Circles in the Wilderness

in Culture by

I have filled myself with beauty against you
Matisse blue in the museum
Bougainvillea climbing the concrete wall
Light on the Bay reflecting, reflecting

I have filled my mind with the beauty of words
The story of the people of Judea
Who crossed the deserts and gave their offerings
They too survived evil

I have filled my ears with the music
Of healing love, the voice of the tribes woman
Singing the long song of outliving the beast
And rejoicing the child newborn

I have filled my mouth
With the food of the angels, honey and lemon,
The fruit that grows from the womb of the earth,
Its seed containing all that is good in our world

I have looked again to the stars, to the sea,
To the beautiful things that man has made,
The voice of the children from the schoolyard
The light filling the window, the small bird
Perched on the last leaves of autumn

Darkness is nothing new on this planet
We lurch from sweet times to bitter
The world reveals our struggle and our strength
Tomorrow and tomorrow as long as we are here

We turn our backs on those who curdle the milk
Who sour the day with their stark greed
Together tomorrow and tomorrow we take a hand
Give our coins to the beggar in the train station

We are the conundrum ourselves, our shadow
And our light, the fig and date, the poison hemlock
Which is your future, your past, dear hearts
As the year unwinds, and resistance ripens

Even in darkness.

— For Ruth Stone, Royal Barnard
Nov. 21, 2017


Yvonne Daley is an aging hippie and a career journalist returning to poetry for sanity in difficult times. She lives in Vermont, still a sane place.