Friday, July 4, 2014

A Turn at the Darkness

caged bird

Every poet has died.

I mourn that this night has come.
Yet, as I mourn, I see the morning light.
Poets die, but poetry lives.

Poetry is humanity’s plight.
It is the human fight,
 sacred duty and cherished right.
At times at risk of sounding trite.
Yet, even so, both might and light.

Life itself is poetry played out,
 a chain of existence extending across time,
  each of us the next precious link,
   paced and metered.
We are life’s stanzas,
 but our each existence is a fractally recurring chain as well,
  a daily rhythm of linked events,
   chaos out of which we struggle to see reason and achieve rhyme,
    to distill verse from adversity.
Our personal poems join to form a greater epic poem.

We stand as witness to the miracle of this chain’s creation,
 even as we are the chain itself.
We play within its parts,
 and ultimately we play without them.

Awed by the oddity that is the world around us,
 we turn to poetry for context,
   for understanding,
   for perspective,
   for love,
   and for acceptance.

From first words spoken around a fire,
 to modern social gatherings,
  we have only each other,
   —and our poetry.

Who is next we ask, looking around the room?
 Who will speak for us, to stay the darkness,
  bringing the light, even becoming it,
   if only for this moment.

Maya Angelou spoke,
 and brought such light.
Now she is dead,
 but she is also born—

Her life’s text, under constant revision,
 is finally published.

Her link in life’s chain is complete.

And what a joy to have been alive for its creation.

She was EveryPoet, and now EveryPoet has died.
 Her time to stand and speak against the night has run its course.
Her turn played out, she sits to rest.
 But we are left inspired.

She was EveryPoet,
 but every poet will rise in her place.

Even from death’s cage,
 the legacy of EveryPoet sings.
She sings to each of us,
 challenging us to spend our lifetimes actually living,
  seizing the stage and strutting proudly in the light awhile,
   before the coming night.

What option is there?
 Only these:
  Next to live, or
  next to die.

Who will speak next?

Author's Note: Originally published July 4, 2014 at Open Salon, where I wrote under my own name, Kent Pitman.

Tags (from Open Salon): comforting, comfort, entertainment, englightenment, light, against the darkness, darkness, everypoet, every poet, storytelling, story, taking a stand, stand, fear, cave, society, fellowship, camaraderie, comradery, love, companionship, sisterhood, brotherhood, inspiration, human condition, humanity, power, loneliness, death, life, tribute, death, maya angelou, angelou, philosophy, art, poetry, poem