An Old Poem That I Wish Was Not Relevant


Days like today
I could let it all go.

Release ambition
like a balloon floating

into someone else’s
yard. Let the radio

keep its death toll
and speeches. I will give

myself to what will answer
with blossom and fruit.

Could I die back?
Could I be mere twigs,

waiting? Give me
light, rain, a piece of ground.

Here I might remember
the prayer of silence, practice

one thing until done well,
heal what lies

within reach.


I wrote this poem sometime after September 11, 2001; that it feels so timely makes me sad beyond words.

4 thoughts on “An Old Poem That I Wish Was Not Relevant

  1. Everyday I push thoughts aside, climb over their bones, remember what i have never known…war. Just its TV borders leaves shrapnel in my eyes. And others are fleeing from the daily barrage that cuts the sinews of land, family, home.

    Last night I dreamed of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King…what to do?

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth, for this oh-so-apt poem. I haven’t been able to write about Paris (or Beirut) other than incoherent ramblings in my journal. The stark non-sentimentality of your beautiful poem strikes just the right note for me. Love, Sylvia >

  3. Kathy Wehage

    Dear Elizabeth, At times like this, a poets words, like yours, helps. It causes me pause and consider another way……a way that rises from the silence within, if only we stop and listen. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. Peace, Kathy (Holden Village, Women’s Retreat 2015)

    Sent from my iPad


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