Compassion

An unquiet stillness rocks the earth.

 

All the cries of the half-alive 
must collect somewhere, on earth or 
in spirit lands,

and I know 
because I've heard them:

 

In dreams I've stood at the edge of 
that pool and felt the flight of 
so much pain like spiteful wings 
slapping the last beads of light 
from the air,

and all the cries became one 
razor-edged scream that rose and rose . . . 
like the reckless wing, it cut my 
chest and it flew forever,

 

Oh God, forever.

 

How sweet the frothy light I awoke to, 
my mind twittering like a wind chime, 
singing the dark visions away.

 

Why should I care?

The geese have returned with mischief 
and redemption in their prattle, 
and the lilacs will fill our brains 
with amethyst till we shine like them, 
and roses will weave ambition into silk, 
and there will be light and creamy 
air to devour, 
and I'll watch yellow dollops of baby 
ducks and wish they needed my affection, 
and there will be the fragrance 
of life multiplying on the 
shaggy forest ground.

 

Why should I care? 
Why should I peer into the abyss?

 

Because somewhere, spun into the cloth 
of birdsong, and cloudsong, and green 
chiffon fluttering 
is a love that tells me to look,

 

look because it is as real as beauty, 
look because one season is a stroke 
on the rambling mural that is 
never finished,

 

but one cry silenced is music 
to hear forever.  

 

Patricia Joan Jones

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I wrote this when the millennials were young children and I was deeply disappointed in my own generation, how we were abandoning the causes we once cared about and carelessly destroying the planet.

 

Years later, I am amazed by my children's generation—how so many grew into sensitive, creative, inclusive stewards of the planet. Yes, there are altruistic souls in every generation, but the young people today give me great hope for the future. 

 

This poem received the Guiding Light Award at The Golden Quill Poetry Forum.

View patriciajj's Full Portfolio
Cascade's picture

There is a time and a place

There is a time and a place for everything and all kinds of in-betweens...

Some are grass when walked upon will rise once more

Some are lakes with changing colors and disturbing reflections

Others, lumps of coal

There are deeply rooted trees cleansed by breezes

And tiny wildflowers trampled by cattle

In every generation

Like a dandelion growing up through the cracks of a sidewalk

Like a tree growing high in an abandoned building

A forest taking over a city

Pompeii

All kinds of people, in every situation, for whatever reason.

No garentees, but always hope

And everything comes back again

In samples of humanity.

 

I wouldn't be so hard on your generation

After all...I am touched by it right here...right now.

Peace

 

patriciajj's picture

Thank you for that towering

Thank you for that towering expression of beauty and wisdom, and thank you for being the bright light that you are. You are making a difference. 

Spinoza's picture

On the whole –

On the whole – fantastic.

 

But these are the triumphs that sing to me…

 

“All the cries of the half-alive
must collect somewhere”

 

“the fragrance
of life multiplying on the
shaggy forest ground.”

 

 

And this line in particular – is pure genius.

 

“slapping the last beads of light
from the air”

 

 

patriciajj's picture

I'm so touched by your

I'm so touched by your generous and uplifting comment. It made my day. My hearfelt thanks. 

word_man's picture

most of us live in our own

most of us live in our own circles blocking out the rest of the world

we are taught that homeless people are some how inferor to the rest of us,

we think beggars are just looking for drug money and if so we don`t ask why.

seems god has failed a lot of people in this world

patriciajj's picture

Thank you for your empathetic

Thank you for your empathetic and wise insights. Your deep awareness of the problem makes you part of the solution, and that is a great encouragement me. God bless you. 

word_man's picture

maybe one day we will all be

maybe one day we will all be equal

Starward's picture

I am so sorry for being so

I am so sorry for being so involved in my own stuff that I failed to see this when you posted it.  I am about out of superlatives to describe your work, and I am lousy at learning other languages (believe me, I have tried), so I have to recycle some English words---fantastic, superb, excellence of both imagery and emotion---all the usual markers which your poems so consistently earn and then leave behind as they soar off into cosmic glory.  I was reading a theory today, that suggests the universe is somehow compelled to provide an environment in which intelligence can thrive; and that this intelligence only occurs once, but not in multiples (meaning, as I believe, we are alone); and that the purpose of the intelligence is to document both morally and scientifically the status and state of the cosmos as it presents itself.  And, in my usual verbose way, I have said all of the above to say this:  your poems fulfill that calling so perfectly that I could easily believe that those who put forth those theories (some parts of those theories are decades old) had your poetry in mind as they composed their own cosmological theories.  I hope that makes sense.


Starward

patriciajj's picture

That may be the most amazing,

That may be the most amazing, thought-provoking feedback I ever received or ever expected to receive. My heartfelt gratitude. I need to look up that theory. Sounds fascinating. 

Starward's picture

Thank you.  And I say to

Thank you.  And I say to anyone who might doubt my credibility in praising your poems:  READ HER.  My comments can never fully describe the glorious achievement of your poems, but I sure am determined to keep trying.  The cosmos has given a few poets the task of describing itself:  Vergil, Dante, Pop Stevens, and patriciajj.  Like those peers of yours, your poems always exceed all expectations.


Starward

patriciajj's picture

I'm deeply touched and

I'm deeply touched and humbled by your support. Many, many thanks 

word_man's picture

they will be good,great and

they will be good,great and ugly in all generations,the bible teaches that closer we get to the end evil will rise even faster,there is beauty in all gods creations and we are drawn to the beauty,the hurting and the overwhelmed

patriciajj's picture

Thank you for your wisdom and

Thank you for your wisdom and insights. Always a pleasure to read your perspectives. 

word_man's picture

you`re welcome

you`re welcome