A Rock, A River, A TreeHosts to species long since departed,Mark the mastodon.The dinosaur, who left dry tokensOf their sojourn hereOn our planet floor,Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doomIs lost in the gloom of dust and ages.But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,Come, you may stand upon myBack and face your distant destiny,But seek no haven in my shadow.I will give you no hiding place down here.You, created only a little lower thanThe angels, have crouched too long inThe bruising darkness,Have lain too longFace down in ignorance.Your mouths spelling wordsArmed for slaughter.The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,But do not hide your face.Across the wall of the world,A river sings a beautiful song,Come rest here by my side.Each of you a bordered country,Delicate and strangely made proud,Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.Your armed struggles for profitHave left collars of waste uponMy shore, currents of debris upon my breast.Yet, today I call you to my riverside,If you will study war no more.Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songsThe Creator gave to me when IAnd the tree and stone we're one.Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your browAnd when you yet knew you still knew nothing.The river sings and sings on.There is a true yearning to respond toThe singing river and the wise rock.So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,The African and Native American, the Sioux,The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.They hear. They all hearThe speaking of the tree.Today, the first and last of every treeSpeaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.Each of you, descendant of some passed onTraveller, has been paid for.You, who gave me my first name,You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,Then forced on bloody feet,Left me to the employment of other seekersDesperate for gain, starving for gold.You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot...You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmarePraying for a dream.Here, root yourselves beside me.I am the tree planted by the river,Which will not be moved.I, the rock, I the river, I the treeI am yoursyour passages have been paid.Lift up your faces, you have a piercing needFor this bright morning dawning for you.History, despite it's wrenching pain,Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,Need not be lived again.Lift up your eyes uponThe day breaking for you.Give birth againTo the dream.Women, children, men,Take it into the palms of your hands.Mold it into the shape of your mostPrivate need. Sculpt it intoThe image of your most public self.Lift up your hearts.Each new hour holds new chancesFor new beginnings.Do not be wedded foreverTo fear, yoked eternallyTo brutishness.The horizon leans forward,Offering you space to place new steps of change.Here, on the pulse of this fine dayYou may have the courageTo look up and out upon me,The rock, the river, the tree, your country.No less to Midas than the mendicant.No less to you now than the mastodon then.Here on the pulse of this new dayYou may have the grace to look up and outAnd into your sisters eyes,Into your brothers face, your countryAnd say simplyVery simplyWith hopeGood morning.
A Kite is a VictimA kite is a victim you are sure of.You love it because it pullsgentle enough to call you master,strong enough to call you fool;because it liveslike a desperate trained falconin the high sweet air,and you can always haul it downto tame it in your drawer.A kite is a fish you have already caughtin a pool where no fish come,so you play him carefully and long,and hope he won't give up,or the wind die down.A kite is the last poem you've writtenso you give it to the wind,but you don't let it gountil someone finds yousomething else to do.A kite is a contract of glorythat must be made with the sun,so you make friends with the fieldthe river and the wind,then you pray the whole cold night before,under the travelling cordless moon,to make you worthy and lyric and pure.GiftYou tell me that silenceis nearer to peace than poemsbut if for my giftI brought you silencefor I know silenceyou would sayThis is not silencethis is another poemand you would hand it back to meThere are some menThere are some menwho should have mountainsto bear their names through timeGrave markers are not high enoughor greenand sons go far away to lose the fisttheir fathers hand will always seemI had a friend he lived and diedin mighty silence and with dignityleft no book son or lover to mourn.Nor is this a mourning songbut only a naming of this mountainon which I walkfragrant, dark and softly whiteunder the pale of mistI name this mountain after him.Believe nothing of meExcept that I felt your beautymore closely than my own.I did not see any cities burn,I heard no promises of endless night,I felt your beautymore closely than my own.Promise me that I will return.When you call me closeto tell meyour body is not beautifulI want to summonthe eyes and hidden mouthsof stone and light and waterto testify against you.SongI almost went to bedwithout rememberingthe four white violetsI put in the buttonholeof your green sweaterand how i kissed you thenand you kissed meshy as though Idnever been your lover Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart.Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist andfragrance of dying.
Boys will be boys, that's what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. We are to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to display. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves this way those who do succumb to sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. Girls demand a covenant because if one gives in, others will be expected to do the same. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance, and aversion. Or we are to starve the flesh from our bones, penalizing the body for it's nature, castigating ourselves for advances we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars. p. 65
How are you coming with your home library? Do you need some good ammunition on why it's so important to read? The last time I checked the statistics...I think they indicated that only four percent of the adults in this country have bought a book within the past year. That's dangerous. It's extremely important that we keep ourselves in the top five or six percent. In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading good books is not something to be indulged in as a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who intends to give his life and work a touch of quality. The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of it's attributes.You do not read a book for the books sake, but for your own.You may read because in your highpressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind.You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed. You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life.You may read because you did go to college.You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too.You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people.Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation. It cultivates your mind by calling it's faculties into exercise.Books are a source of pleasure the purest and the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life. Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight.Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces. One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it.Some people act as if it we're demeaning to their manhood to wish to be wellread but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food. Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good. Dr. Johnson said: 'Whilst you stand deliberating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both.
Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. A mystery is a phenomenon that people don't know how to think about yet. There have been other great mysteries: the mystery of the origin of the universe, the mystery of life and reproduction, the mystery of the design to be found in nature, the mysteries of time, space, and gravity. These we're not just areas of scientific ignorance, but of utter bafflement and wonder. We do not yet have all the answers to any of the questions of cosmology and particle physics, molecular genetics and evolutionary theory, but we do know how to think about them .... With consciousness, however, we are still in a terrible muddle. Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tonguetied and confused. And, as with all of the earlier mysteries, there are many who insist and hope that there will never be a demystification of consciousness.