5/13/2010

Mover


Breeze moves the flower,
but who moves the breeze?
Mind moves my hand,
but who moves the mind?
Who is the Do-er?


'Notice the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap
nor store into barns.
Yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Behold the lilies of the field; see how they grow:
they neither toil nor spin.
Yet the king in all his splendor
is not dressed like one of these.'
Who is the Do-er?


We attack impoverished Third World nations
like an invasive non-native species,
pocking the earth with bombs,
displacing millions, frying the air itself
with spent uranium bullets of 'democracy.'
We slaughter tens of thousands more innocent civilians
in Iraq and Afghanistan
than Islamic terrorists ever killed in America.

When is it enough? When is it finished?
Who is the Do-er?

We drill the earth for coal and oil
to frolic in illusory abundance
on uninhabitable coastlines,
in dead oceans,
sucking a breathless atmosphere.
Who is the Do-er?

Pleasure happens: 'I' did it.
5 billion dollars in first quarter profits.
Pain happens: the corporate 'person'
points his finger at someone else.
5 million gallons of oil in the Gulf.
Who is the Do-er?

And perhaps, if it is not too late,
we bow down and cry,
"Forgive us, Mother."
We bow to the poor
who pick every morsel of our food,
every bean and apple and tomato
with brown work-wizened fingers
(who is the Do-er?)
and we cry, "Forgive us, Brother."

And perhaps, if it is not too late,
we learn to want less instead of more,
own less instead of more,
do less instead of more.
Who is the Do-er?

First Mover, teach us
to walk among the wild poppies, singing.
Teach us simplicity, at last.
Teach us only how to refrain
from trampling what lives.
Teach us to feel at home in this
beautiful body. It is enough.
Bare our feet to native soil
that we may never infest the earth again
with that invasive foreign species,
the Do-er._____________
Painting by Raphael, 1512, on the ceiling of Pope Julius' apartment in the Vatican, portraying Aristotle's 'Primum Mobile,' the first mover of the universe, as feminine.

1 comment:

Colleen Loehr said...

Powerful poem. I read it out loud to my daughter and she is also moved by it. Thank you.