What the mouth sings, the soul must learn to forgive.
A rat’s as moral as a monk in the eyes of the real world.
Still, the heart is a river
pouring from itself, a river that cannot be crossed.
It opens on a bay
and turns back upon itself as the tide come sin,
it carries the cry of the loon and the salts
of the unutterably human.
A distant eagle enters the mouth of a river
salmon no longer un and his wide wings glide
upstream until he disappears
into the nothing from which he came. Only the thought remains.
Lacking the eagle’s cunning or the wisdom of the sparrow,
where shall I turn, drowning in sorrow?
Who will know what the trees know, the spidery patience
of young maple or what the willows confess?
Let me be water. The heart pours out in waves.
Listen to what the water says.
Wind, be a friend.
There’s nothing I couldn’t forgive.
REST IN POWER, Sam Hamill. You are already missed by thousands of poets who like myself are much indebted to you and your work, as for decades you served as an inspiration and resource for socially committed poetry.
Featured image: Photo by Teri Allen-Piccolo.