Thursday, April 21, 2011


There're many paths.
Not all of them

the blood of innocents,

not all demand
we trample down

the web of life
that feeds our body and our soul.

It doesn't have to be like this.
Colours and springs

the wondrous caravan of life,
its cruelties

and sweetnesses,
its flashing lights

the tangled jungle
laden with snakes and butterflies,

the brittle, hard-edged city
clanging with noise

teach us - if we would hear -
a few short words

that just cannot be spoken now
because they do not lie, but lie

beneath the flow
of humdrum life, hidden, but there,

a deep intensity
that if we knew it every day

would make us run
shouting, as Ramakrishna ran

but killing nobody, as we,

assenting to the framework, do,
silently, giving the nod

because we're soft,
and let our passive selves be led

by solemn lies
dressed up in suit and ties.

Maybe the pen
was mightier than the sword, but guns

and bombs, they make
all physical existence weak.

And so, without a word
we give our cash to hired guns,

to leaders who,
like it or not, express our will.

Even so, the way of death
is not the only way for us.

Joyful, we can
take up the tiny-colossal

changes that lead
away from death and misery.

It does not
to be
like this.

© Richard Lawson

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