|I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels. --Pearl S. Buck|
Laura Grace Weldon: Four Poems--by Laura Grace Wheldon, syndicated from moonmagazine.org, Sep 17, 2018
“Find everything you’re looking for?” a clerk asks
and I say, “I’m still looking for world peace.”
“Can I get you anything else?” a nurse asks
and I say, “Yes, a safe haven for refugees.”
For a millisecond, their faces soften
as they take a deep breath of imagining
then laugh or shake their heads
or commiserate. For a few minutes
we might even discuss
our planet’s highest possibilities.
Maybe that deep breath,
is a starting place.
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
With a twitch of her nose, Samantha could
halt sickness, visit other realms, reverse time.
Instead she chose to pass as a mortal housewife
folding laundry, planning dinner parties.
At nine, I saw better uses for her powers,
fervently twitched my nose, yet couldn’t
end the war in Vietnam, couldn’t even
make out blurry assignments on the blackboard.
Now I’m nine times six, and if I could
I’d cast a spell over this planet.
Greed would be erased, stories heard,
courage shared, wildness celebrated,
love revealed as the real magic.
Wishing hasn’t made this happen.
Yet since Bewitched began,
baby girls have been named Samantha more
than any time in history. No nose twitches reported,
but Earth sees more girls educated, more
women elected, more laws respecting our rights.
Summoning will, that’s what women called witches
have always used to birth a better reality.
Today they are everywhere. They pass as your sister,
your mother-in-law, your Facebook friend, your own glorious self.
Are we supposed to settle for a planet
lagging behind our expectations?
We want reversible time,
admission into past or future
easy as changing our minds.
We want teleportation, so we can
zip anywhere for the afternoon,
maybe Iceland or Argentina,
where we’ll make new friends,
agree to meet up for lunch
next week in Greece
on only an hour’s break.
We want to get past
greed and suffering and war,
And death? That’s awfully primitive
for souls with so much left to learn.
That said, this planet does a lot right.
Birds, for one.
Water in all its perfect manifestations.
Those alive poems called trees.
The way a moment’s glance
can reveal a kindred spirit.
Which we all are, really.
The oneness between self and everything
is this planet’s secret, kept imperfectly.
That’s more than we might expect.
Although time travel would be nice.
*Originally published in Writing for Peace annual journal
The powerful provoke the powerless
to push against one another.
Their power grows by keeping us
in all kinds of prisons.
Yet we are not powerless.
Remember the black bear
roaming Clarion County, Pennsylvania,
its head trapped a month or more
in a metal-ringed pail.
Remember those who chased it for hours,
grabbed it in a perilous embrace,
carefully sawed loose those tight bonds.
Imagine what they felt as the bear
ran free into the woods.
Imagine too, the bear.
*Originally published in Writers Resist.
This article is syndicated from the The Moon magazine, an online magazine of personal and universal reflections. Laura Grace Weldon is the editor of Braided Way magazine, the author of a poetry collection titled Tending, and of a handbook of alternative education titled Free Range Learning, with a book of essays available on her website. She lives with vast optimism on a small farm where she’d get more done if she didn’t spend so much time reading library books, cooking weird things, and singing to livestock.
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