Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

William Stafford -

The poems and integrity of William Stafford came up many times in the poetry workshop of this weekend. Tonight, I sit and read his words over and over, with intention to embody and wake.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

BY WILLIAM E. STAFFORD


If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the
world
and following the wrong god home we may miss
our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of
childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each
elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the
park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something
shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should
consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the
dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to
sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
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