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HOPE IS AN ORIENTATION OF THE SPIRIT

(after lines by Vaclav Havel)

The sun drops scarlet among clouds
into a sea of green hills.
The sky darkens and we do not know,
we cannot, where before nightfall
and near-rape, the burgled
body discarded,
a scar now upon the once
smooth surface of the face—
facing the walk home, alone.
“We have done this and that,”
you say, and I, “If we
hadn’t, we could not
live with ourselves.”
Oh to live
with one
self sometimes
slowly even
the violent
have dreams
of self but how
restore to
whole? Temples
burned. Burning
incense scents
the ruins. At the river,
a prayer: “Either
we have hope
within us or
we don’t.”
Like suppliants whose gait
has slowed, we’re tired,
“hope not being hope
until all ground for hope
has vanished.” This is strength,
“not to live without meaning,
without, finally, love
even in conditions

as hopeless as ours
that gives us hope
here and now.”

Here. Now.

-by Cynthia Hogue

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  • 21 hours ago
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Among Pain

For the body possibly to have gone through,
of the minutest and crucial sensations,
each having its purpose, or configuration:
In the mind everything goes, larger than sky
or God, the heft of all being in perception,

the weight of weight, of sense the same
only through feelings everyone shares: Well,
oh, very well, one might say and I suppose
one has at one time or another actually said,
I do not seem unbelievable nor events improbable.

Pain bleeds through imagination, unimaginative:
it just is. One wishes to do something, go somewhere,
but everywhere the sensation remains,
the body in pain. Its eyes still look out
on fuchsia and lilac overtaking the back fence,

one still bleeds, blows one’s nose,
but I do not know this body
that cannot rise from its chair,
that never weeps,
in earth’s house/hold of pain.

My mind scrolls through a list of disappeared,
decimated beings. If there is no escape,
no separation, there are also no lies.
Sun shines on the arid soil of this garden.
Pain blooms in a body, blossoming without water.

-by Cynthia Hogue

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