Part I. We Lost Our Way – Poetry that Came this Week

We Lost Our Way
The suffering came on slowly,
Imperceptibly to most.
Siblings squabbling.
Tribes at war.
Until every continent was dirty.

The dirtiness began with what was named clean.
Hidden in the selfishness of “This is ours, not yours.”
“This is our way, not yours,” names “yours” wrong.
If something is named clean, all else is dirty.
Death becomes dirty so life becomes dirty.

Death becomes degradation.
Dying from killing.
The wars of good and bad.
So began the struggle to make it our way…all clean.
To find the white and clean up the black.

Such filters divide friends, neighborhoods and countries.
Generosity, understanding, neighborliness and helpfulness narrow to “our way.”
Selfishness, arrogance, bullying, depersonalize.
So it’s “our way” to make “your way” wrong.
And, the descent into hunting down the black begins.

But the black is necessary for the stars to twinkle.
Moonlight glitters on water when the sun shines elsewhere.
The dark makes the fire a soft and warm blessing.
When the sun sinks below the horizon we sleep.
The night makes the dawn blazon at sunrise.

Deep in the dirt, dark makes moist the sprouting seed.
And, rest is best at night.
The nocturnal ones seek and find.
Couples renew and unite after dark.
Contemplation comes with eyes closing out the light.

As in all things, we may mold any of it for the beauty of life and death.
But we lost our way.
Today, so many hold the devotion to dark.
Dark without the light of life.
For so much has invoked hope only to turn and bite.

Some relent and release life. Death becomes escape.
Dedication to the dark from the passion of disgust.
Skewed so far off the journey by betrayal.
Hate fouling self and other.
Beaten and bereft. Why stay alive?

Fear foments failure. 
Some survive and seek and still suffer.
They refuse that there is any hope in sight.
Their myopia makes them less than alive–just existing.
Like creatures: devolving. 

We lost our way. Silent suffering tires our people.
Homes hide secret troubles of depression, demoralization and rage.
Angry and hurting, some lash out the venomous heritage of harm. 
Intimates are now fighting until every school and community is dirty.
When birth is marked by neglect and injury.

by Heather Carlile
Dallas, Texas July 2016

Jack and I spent days in Vail, CO with remarkable friends which opened my heart and soul with gratitude. Then, I was deeply moved by the brilliant artistry of Augustin Hadelich (a magnificent musician who is maimed for life by being burned in a fire) playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Next, profoundly moved to weeping by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 written after 632,000 people died of hunger in WWII. And, in agony, I watched the extreme fight to stay alive in “The Life of Pi.” Then, three days ago, the night we landed back in DFW, five police officers were killed and seven injured here. I was so safe, inspired and loved and, yet, so disturbed by these tragedies, that this sequence of poetry came. I am driven to use my words for truth and for good.

This is part of my work on my book, “OuchRage: Unresolved Grief and Trauma in Children and Adults.”

Next, Part II: Hunger for the Light

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