"The Direction of Light," a poem by Linda Hogan:
New stones have risen up earth's labor
toward air. Everything rises,
the ocean in a cloud,
the rain forest passing
above our heads.
Children grow inch by inch
like trees in a graveyard,
victors over the same gravity
that pulls us down.
Even our light continues
on through the universe, and do we stop to
wonder who will see it
when the light of this earth is gone?
May there long be our light.
And then it falls. Shades are pulled down
between two worlds, clouds fall
as rain, light returns
the way rain from Brazil falls
in New York and the green parrots
in their cages feel it, shake their
feathers, and remember home
and are alive
and should they be thankful
for that gift
or should they curse like sailors and grieve?
I tell the parrots,
I too have wanted to give up
when what was right turned wrong
and the revolutionaries
who rose up
like yeast in life's bread, turned
against those who now rise up.
That's why I take the side of light --
don't you? -- with the weight of living
tugging us down and earth wanting us back
despite great thoughts and smiling faces
that are prisons in between
the worlds of buying
and selling even the parrots
we teach to say "Hello."
Hello. Did I call this poem
the direction of light?
I meant life
so let this word
overthrow the first
and rise up to the start.
("The Direction of Light" is taken from The Book of Medicines: Poems by Linda Hogan, Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1993, pages 79-80.)