Change is made of choices
& choices are made of character.
– Amanda Gorman (“We Write”)
Nothing stays the same,
even the Earth wobbles on its axis.
We are not the same people—
we were raised with, and finally by.
Reason and truth have been inflated so
they have no value now, like fiat currency.
Yesterday, a man’s word defined him.
Today he speaks a foreign tongue.
But that’s all we have, a lifetime of words
to ease the speed and pain of change.
What comes of words planted
from a poor harvest
but strong seed to root between
the cracks of rocks gathering
every bit of rain to fruit
again and again. Listen
to the defiant sound they make:
a crop of clashing cymbals
before they die and blow away
to a better place.
An iffy eternity at best,
but let them go, anyway.
lives in the death of speech
and sings there.
– Wendell Berry (“The Silence”)
We name landmarks on maps in our minds
so we can go there. Some to detail feeling
with art reaching-out to all humanity
searching for that common hearthstone
beyond man’s hackneyed adjectives
and political objectives. We press names
into place with indelible ink hoping
to get lost in the map’s open space
to touch the unnamable and soar
with the song. Those elusive, musical
fragments, those glimpses in trees, but
all we have when words are done.