January 24, 2009

An Inauguration-inspired Poem ~ by Sweigh Emily Spilkin.


Alice Walker on the radio with Amy Goodman, inauguration day 2009, said
“Ancestors have the longest memories and they also see the farthest ahead.”

She was talking about the slaves who built the Whitehouse,
how they somehow knew that the bricks and mortar, the foundation and pillars,
would someday house their own, light-bearing son.

I think of my forebears, running from pogroms in the old country.
Was I already there? Some cellular reverse memory, and did hope, then, imprint,
along side fear, so that my not yet dna grew to hold both?
And its up to me to decide, now, which I choose to invoke.

On Saturday, I asked my students to write poems of praise for inauguration day.
“Why praise?” one asked.

And I remembered Olga Broumas in 1998 saying,
“In a time of peace, it’s our duty to praise.”

I’d add in a time of war, in a time of hopelessness, in the dark times, when we are spent, striped, naked on the dirt floor, dismembered, when we’ve forgotten who we are 
or how we got there, when the only way out is through except we can’t find that way, 
when all we want is to gather the bones of ourselves in our arms, 
to cradle them and hum lullabies only we can’t remember how they go.

We need praise then as well. 
Praise is the stardust which sets in motion the unfurling of our dna 
which is waiting, has always been waiting to metamorphosize.

But none of us can do it alone. So I ask you, today and everyday, to remind me. 
Buzz tiny transmissions of yes with the molecules of your being. 
Guide me, just as Alice Walker suggested we must do for Obama,
to the pasture of the possible. Raise my vibration, kindle m
y cells potential, 
fertilize my field, with the grace of possibility. Fertilize my field with love. 

Sweigh Spilkin is a poet, therapist, healer, and qigong instructor who specializes in helping people with chronic illness to heal. 


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