We pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear

Light upon light
Light upon light, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

[When I transferred all my weblog archives from Blogger to WordPress, I found nineteen DRAFT posts amongst the lot. NINETEEN! I’m working my way through them, trying to figure out where I had been going with each of these. Meanwhile, here’s something simple I had been meaning to share last spring, but had never gotten around to elaborating on.]

Wendell Berry is one of my favorite poets. As I commented once on Baraka’s post, his poetry collection, A Timbered Choir, is gorgeous, and I especially love the poem “To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust Museum…” Here is a reminder for those of us who wish to live our lives in the light:

But remember
when a man of war becomes a man of peace,
he gives a light, divine

though it is also human.
When a man of peace is killed
by a man of war, he gives a light.

You do not have to walk in darkness.
If you will have the courage for love,
you may walk in light. It will be

the light of those who have suffered
for peace. It will be
your light.

A few more great Berry poems may be found here. I particularly like Do Not Be Ashamed and What We Need is Here (from which comes the title of this post).

13 thoughts on “We pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear

  1. i really really like this photo. you can just stare at it for long long minutes at a time. good job yasmine mashallah …and i like the poem and post, it suits today.

  2. love your blog (came upon it recently). just commenting to echo ruqayyah above. I can also identify with all those unposted drafts – I’m up to 11 and i’ve only been bloggin for 4 months now…

  3. Salaam Dear Sister:

    A lovely and very true poem. The light within us shines only in peace and love, for with eyes to see. It is the reflected light of our souls which also reflect God. Int his, we are like the moon, a body ourselves, but reflecting the light of the sun.

    Ya Haqq!

  4. OMG, Ive done that before too. Soo many unfinished blogpost projects, and I go thru them thinking, “What was I smoking?” with half a mind to just post them unfinished to see how many people they either push over the ledge of a high rise or drive up a wall.

  5. very little poetry produces some emotional effect in me. I don’t know why, but to me every poem, just by it being arranged in verse, puts on an air of elitism that wipes away all credibility that the writer is trying to say. again this is probably a personal flaw. this is the first comment I wrote that doesn’t have a witty (or unwitty according to your tastes) retort in it.

  6. Salaam! I randomly came across your website here and I’m liking it! I, too, love Wendell Berry’s poetry the pain and hope behind his words has some inexplicable effect on me. Anyway, take care!

  7. i’m glad you said that, ayan, because you’ve put into words one the reasons that i am sometimes uncomfortable with poetry. it does feel elitist – strange that we can talk about line structure this way. pretentious, too. and the fact of its being poetry allows people to feel that they’re being Artsy and then indulge in lazy thought and cliched reponses – though this isn’t a fault of poetry’s exactly, but of the people who read poetry.

    i think i like poetic prose better.

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