Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Call and Answer

Call and Answer

Tell me why it is we don’t
lift our voices these days
And cry over what is happening.
Have you noticed
The plans are made for Iraq
and the ice cap is melting?

I say to myself: “Go on, cry.
What’s the sense
Of being an adult and having no voice?
Cry out!
See who will answer!
This is Call and Answer!”

We will have to call especially loud
to reach
Our angels, who are hard of hearing;
they are hiding
In the jugs of silence
filled during our wars.

Have we agreed to so many wars
that we can’t
Escape from silence?
If we don’t lift our voices, we allow
Others (who are ourselves)
to rob the house.

How come we’ve listened
to the great criers—Neruda,
Akhmatova, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass—
and now
We’re silent as sparrows
in the little bushes?

Some masters say our life lasts
only seven days.
Where are we in the week?
Is it Thursday yet?
Hurry, cry now!
Soon Sunday night will come.

Robert Bly 2002

Posted on his site Robert Bly's Home Page

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