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burning a book

28 Mar

Really enjoying William Stafford these mornings. Book_burning_(3)
This morning’s morsel…

Protecting each other, right in the center
a few pages glow a long time.
The cover goes first, then outer leaves
curling away, then spine and a scattering.
Truth, brittle and faint, burns easily,
its fire as hot as the fire lies make –
flame doesn’t care. You can usually find
a few charred words in the ashes.

And some books ought to burn, trying for character
but just faking it. More disturbing
than book ashes are whole libraries that no one
got around to writing – desolate
towns, miles of unthought in cities,
and the terrorized countryside where wild dogs
own anything that moves. If a book
isn’t written, no one needs to burn it –
ignorance can dance in the absence of fire.

So I’ve burned books. And there are many
I haven’t ever written, and nobody has.

____________________________________

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write!”

Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”

Oh the things we could write if we would
And the things we shouldn’t.

And the wisdom to know the difference…

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Poetry

 

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