We Are All Poets

I discovered Pablo Neruda’s poetry about 15 years ago; this one is my favorite. I had not picked it up, much less recited it for a few years. Yet, on this Friday morning, it awakened in my soul. Perhaps it is the simple phrase “cooped up” which makes the obvious connection. Yet it seems that our current circumstance is already seeking to find meaning in the chaos, light in the darkness, hope in the despair. I pray that each one of us can trust the voice which rises up within us, the voice of loving God who has promised to save us. With hope in our hearts we can be the voice of the sea for all our brothers and sisters who are yet dwelling in fear. God bless you all. — Father Mitch

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell;
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea’s lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the autumn’s castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,
I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward
saying ‘How can I reach the sea?’
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of the sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.

Pablo Neruda

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