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 Spirit Chimes

Souls Without a World

The world grinds half itself into dust.
What can I say about these dreams living
so well in other lives?

Should I hate the beauty that mocks pain
or love the pain that makes beauty shine?
How should I answer that trickle of morning
that calls to every heart with a different voice:

Calls to the Buddhist monk finding his
luminous space between thoughts,
his treasure a dream of oneness in
a world of hate,

calls to the Syrian orphan who has never
craved orange-colored snack foods or heard
about kids killing kids for their tennis shoes,

calls to the Saudi woman in the Christian Dior
veil buying diamonds so she can live well when
her husband divorces her,

calls to the lady in the gingham smock setting
out pies on the lawn of the white-washed
Alabama church where people still wear hats and
eat almost anything fried,

to the crepe-paper skinned rickshaw puller
gasping on the dusty streets of Delhi,

to the smuggler who can buy everyone drinks and
lose in style in the casinos of Monaco,

to the man with the thatched beard who doesn't
see the festering sunrise as he fills his wobbly
shopping cart with empty soda cans,

to the Laplander who has no idea how happy he
is with his life of unprocessed air, angelic
snow-castles and reindeer meat,

To the billions who should receive medals
just for being here
and answering that same call every day
when it snatches us from tiny deaths again
and again,
forcing us to be born to the rhythm of the sun
and says:
make your choice now, life or death,
but whatever you choose, do it hard
and do it well;
be the master
or be a soul without a world.

So I make my choice for another day
as the particles of morning spray into
my eyes and press the issue with their
painful amber joy,

and I reach into my chest,
pull out the awakening heart
and observe this star, this crystal, this
throbbing tantrum that screams one hope:
God watches.

Patricia Joan Jones

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