Wednesday, December 16, 2020

just below our fear

There are words in us
that don't know how
to get to the surface.
Words hidden in our marrow
afraid to show themselves
concerned the world will end
if they are uttered.
Words that cross 
the river of pain
that wish to tell the world
how much love is hidden
just below our fear.
And some of these words
sometimes find their way
to live among us
in the trust to hear them,
words that spin our compass
anger and loneliness redirected
by insight and forgiveness,
words like mercy and compassion,
words we never trusted to exist.
Words hide in the strangest places,
under stones, in clouds,
in a moment of a friend's kindness,
in a moment to your generosity;
in poems beginning their first line
climbing happily into the heart singing
how close the moon comes 
when we trust the night.
Words even hide in other words.
 Mercy hides in the hesitant pause,
questioning how much can be trusted
to the tongue, to the pen.
Invoking their true voice
rise to the surface
to sing their original song.

 ~ Stephen Levine
from Becoming Kuan Yin