Thursday, December 08, 2005

Palms up

The headlines in the paper
I hold in my hands
Speak quietly
Of a need for torture

I am speechless

These hands have painted signs
Pointed accusations
Beckoned and shooed
Forced open mechanical doors
Roped a lofty tree to the ground
Stolen the life of fish with heavy stone
Finished off a mangled squirrel with a shovel
Broken rocks apart
Carried a boat
Stripped thorns
Stripped paint
Stripped clothing

These hands have not stripped human souls

I question my hands —
Not spotless
Less than innocent
Still —
And they answer for me:
No,
These hands keep learning
drink love, feed life

17 Comments:

Blogger snowsparkle said...

i can't say enough about how i have loved these most recent entries of yours. Wow! Incredible writing/thinking. So rich and real. thank you thank you again- snowsparkle

12/08/2005 10:00 AM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

Your poem makes me want to look at my hands and wonder what they are capable of. Dry from the frost cold morning, and wind-chapped, I check to see if they could strip the life from human souls. I know them well. They never even extinguish the life of a bug.

12/08/2005 10:42 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

This is so incredible. "Drink love, feed life." Absolutely gorgeous.

12/08/2005 1:12 PM  
Blogger moira said...

Reading about this in the news has been inexpressibly upsetting. What powerful words you have written.

Moose, you left a wonderful comment for me several days back. I read it, and was deeply touched. Thank you.

12/08/2005 3:30 PM  
Blogger rdl said...

what a great poem!

12/08/2005 7:38 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/09/2005 2:22 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

This is breathtaking. Your talent is just soaring in recent entries here. I feel like I'm witnessing something amazing. And also, of course, I'm choked that you should write with such immediacy about these dreadful things that have come to light.

lvvimyej (love image?)

12/09/2005 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Sara said...

Excellent, Moose. Really strong. I love the recitation of those instances of quotidian savagery most people find themselves perpetrating contrasted with the callous depravity we've heard so much of lately. It's a very powerful confessional -- and appraisal.

Yeah, the torture thing really pops my top, too. Evil, evil, evil -- and they dare to do it in our names.

12/09/2005 10:22 AM  
Blogger mermaid said...

"drink love, feed life"

I read the acceptance of the hands' guilt and innocence, and the eternal cupped palms asking for more.

12/09/2005 1:39 PM  
Blogger MB said...

snowsparkle, thank you for your generous words. I am honored, and appreciate your reading.

rexroth's daughter, glad to see you here. You zeroed in on the poem's motivation. I admire your disciplined compassion.

frankie, welcome! I appreciate your enthusiasm.

Moira, I've been upset by recent news, too. I don't often get political in my poems; when I do you can expect them to be person, I guess. I'm glad you got my message. You have my complete and utter sympathy for your situation.

RDL, your comments here are always received with gratitude!

Jean, I deleted your duplicate comment. Thank you for your comment. You have a discerning eye so I am honored by your words. I suppose I wish I felt more in control of my writing, of what comes out, but largely I seem to be along for the ride and the adventurous joy of watching unfold before me. Some times it's better than others. Most times, I can't tell that.

Sara, quotidian savagery is an excellent description for what I was getting at. Thank you.

Mermaid, you've encapsulated the gist of the message wonderfully. Yes, the complexity of guilt mixed with innocence, and asking for more. Thanks for understanding it.

12/11/2005 12:19 PM  
Blogger T L Reynolds said...

Like mermaid, I'm very moved by the final line...The poem is so very complex, but resolved with a brilliantly simple suggesting.
This is one of my favorites.

12/12/2005 6:03 AM  
Blogger MB said...

TLReynolds, I'm interested by your reaction. The whole thing feels pretty straightforward and simple to me, but perhaps not as simple as the four words in the final phrase. But then, this was coming out of my head/heart, so perhaps what seems simple to me only seems so because I know it so well? Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you liked it.

12/12/2005 7:32 AM  
Blogger T L Reynolds said...

Moose, I tend to be over-analytical;) I may complicate things a little.

12/13/2005 5:33 AM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Wow this is beautiful

12/13/2005 10:24 AM  
Blogger MB said...

TLReynolds, I sympathize with a tendency to over-analyze. I just wondered what you saw there.

Sue, I'm pleased you enjoyed this, thank you.

12/13/2005 1:01 PM  
Blogger garnet david said...

I like how the hands are the characters, and how the poem carries a balanced, hopeful message.

12/13/2005 7:43 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Thanks, Garnet. Nice to see you here! I'm glad you see the hands as the characters, that's how I did.

12/14/2005 10:54 AM  

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