Charles Erskine Scott Wood: from The Poet in the Desert

C. E. S. Wood_jpg
Where are you, Truth, where are you?
The Desert is pitiless.
I am frightened by its bigness and its indifference.
I am alone, an atom thrown out from Eternity,
Allotted to do my part.
I will do my part, and it shall be my own.
I refuse to be moulded in the common mould,
None different from another.
I refuse to step regularly according to custom;
To measure myself among the monotonous patterns laid out before me.
I will be myself and obey the voice within me
Which impetuously cries to be free;
To wander imperiously, destroying the paths,
The moulds and the patterns.
O Truth discover yourself unto me.

Mary Oliver: The Morning Paper


Read one newspaper daily (the morning edition
      is the best
for by evening you know that you at least
      have lived through another day)
and let the disasters, the unbelievable
      yet approved decisions,
soak in.

I don’t need to name the countries,
      ours is among them.

What keeps us from falling down, or faces
      to the ground; ashamed, ashamed?