Tradition & Innovation

Be Not Still

older woman sitting in bright turquoise chair outside. Head turned to the right. Her hair is dyed blue and bleach blonde and pulled back in pink handkerchief.

Be not still heart of mine,
Resist the call to silence and beat your big drum,
Stomp, shout, scream your blood-lust anthem,
And, when you are hoarse with time
Let the chamber music of the soul echo
Through those life-giving arterial routes,
Let me in my middle years feel the swell of your rage,
Deafen me in arias, tragic and sublime,
Sing no requiem, nor dirge, while you throb,
Pulsate, with the breath of God shaking
The very temple of your being.

Do not slow down the race with time,
Keep far from that great sleep that bewitches us all,
Don’t stumble when loved ones’ lull and pause
Pray for life, not subsistence nor peace… the enemy
That stifles the anger inside your passionate breast,
Lap for lap give time its lead and do not follow
Passively in its wake,
Ignore the diminishing road behind and look forward,
Face the finish line with the breath of God
Burning in your lungs.

Do not let the youth make you feel a stranger
When you have never felt at home,
Make your strangeness sublime, intricate and foreign,
Speak in the language of tomorrow, not yesterday,
Do not let the courtesans of today make you disappear
Into a pension, dignify you with platitudes, bully you
Into silent retreat,
Never relinquish, nor resign the last gasp
Dance through the creaks and aches of your bones
Until the breath of God parts the red sea before you.  

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